Two-thirds of the way through my collection of thirty short stories, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, is another short tale of the sea, ‘The Guests in the Crew Bar’. In overseas ports after weeks at sea, some of the crew would invariably meet ladies in bars and invite them back on board. Some captains turned a blind eye… others most certainly did not! Again, a short story means a short introduction!
This Captain was devoutly religious and had very fixed ideas about the crew’s women staying on board overnight. He had made it very clear to all his officers that by 23:00 there should be no ladies left aboard… so clear, in fact, that the third officer began to dread his evening on duty, certain that the old man would spend its last hours on deck looking down at the gangway.