© David Watts
Victoria winter 1996
Tune: I once loved a lass
In the mists of the Olympics a silvery gleam
Streaks red, shimmers white, as if in a dream
‘Cross Juan de Fuca she cuts through the stream
The Coho takes aim at Victoria.
For a third of a century she’s steamed twenty miles
Port Angeles’ link to Vancouver’s green isle
Cross-stitching two countries, a border with style
And bringing their peoples together.
Her lines they are simple, her beam broad and low
Her spaces are ample inside and below
With a record untarnished and a name people know
She serves with a quiet distinction.
Of the fleet of the Black Ball she’s last of a line
Of red and white ferries that each served their time
The Chinook and Quileut and Smokwa remind us
Of the totems and tribes of the elders.
The princes, princesses have all had their day
They came to the capital, faded away
The Coho alone still returns to James Bay
As trusty and true as the Empress.
Her whistle is sounded, her lines they go slack
The pier falls away as her bow inches back
A plume of exhaust rises over her stack
As she points her prow back to the ocean.
Victoria fades in the wake to her stern
The light of Port Angeles twinkle and burn
Tales of two cities on the Strait ebb and yearn
And await the return of the Coho.