Phyl Lobl




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Written using information given by Evan Matheson about life of settlers of the Shipwreck Coast, reading from literature including 'The Tasmanian Trading Ketch' by Garry Kerr and from personal experience of sailing journeys undertaken in Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait. These small shallow draught wooden boats traded along the Coasts of Tasmania and Victoria serving communities with shallow entrances.They took in supplies and mail and took out mail and products like shell grit, wattle bark and limestone. Occasionally it was a husband and wife combination that crewed these passage boats. The Arch and The Curdies are geographical formations along the Southern Coast of Victoria.

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Words, Music & Sung by Phyl Lobl
Arranged and accompanied by Michael Roberts
Vocal Harmony and flute Chris Wheeler.

We set our sails in a dawn fresh pearled
With the gulls in cry and the bow wave curled
Round a hull well packed with the stuff of lives.
Flour, tea and sugar, nails and knives,
And seeds to light the eyes of settlers' wives.

And all the glowing gems of Araby
Couldn't buy this passage boat my love sails in with me.

With a lighter load by gold of noon,
Gone now wood and the iron harpoon,
But tucked in the Cuddy Deck mail from home
Safe from the spray of stinging foam
We sat and watched the coming of the storm.

The siver gulls were a filigree
On the greying sky and the greyer sea,
Like the Arch and the Curdies the storm soon passed
Pain like pleasure does not last
Sailors bear whatever fate will cast.

Our sweat had dried when the sun set down
Its flaming orb like a ruby crown,
On the billowing waters that ruled Bass Strait
We thanked the strength of our centre plate
The shell grit and the limestone ballast weight.

The night time sky was opal black,
Pinned with diamonds as we sailed back,
Glad to be part of a life afloat
I kissed the pulse in my true love's throat,
And our bodies moved as one on the wooden boat.




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