After snatching a fish out of the jaws of a herring gull’s victory, I glide over the rippling pennants atop the ships’ masts and circle as the men heave the canvas up into the air, the ships flapping their wings in due deference to me. The teams of sailors work the capstans, drawing up the great anchors, in readiness for the tide and seawitch wind to catch them up and throw them forward into the open Channel.
Further out on the horizon is a brewing mass of ships. The great galleons of the Spanish come to meet the tiny ships of the English fleet. But the great galleons of the south are slow and cumbersome. The Albion craft are quick to manoeuvre, and clever, blasting their guns broadsides onto the great hulks before them. The smoke starts to obscure my view but I can still see the Spanish, battered and bruised, still holding the line. Until the fire ships come into play. The flames are too much for me. King of the ocean skies am I, but I will not take them on. And neither can the Armada. They beat a retreat further up the Channel, the English fleet nipping at their heels. I wheel around back to the shore, Smeaton’s Tower my beacon, back to lord it over the feathered fraternity settling to roost.