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The Shipping Forecast
The Shipping Forecast

A gale warning summary, a general synopsis.
Sea-area forecasts and coastal station reports.
These are part of the shipping forecast bulletins.
They help sailors decide if they should stay in port.

It stems from the wrecking of the Royal Charter.
When off Anglesey 450 people lost their lives.
Vice-Admiral Fitzroy was the inventor of the forecast
There’s a region in his name and a place in the archives.

Wind, sea state, weather and visibility,
Easterly, moderate, rain, occasionally poor.
Areas like Forties and Malin are linked to these predictions.
I thought the Forties was the decade of the war.

It starts with Viking and ends in South East Iceland.
In Fisher, Dogger and German Bite the visibility is good.
In Biscay and Trafalgar there are gale warnings,
And thundery rain in Bailey unless I’ve misunderstood.

Four times a day on BBC Radio 4 its transmitted.
A rhythmic enunciation as British as cream tea.
But where the hell are Cromarty and Lundy,
And North and South Utsire are well beyond me.

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