Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In January, we do the best we can

I stop sailing in October, and by Thanksgiving, LIQUIDITY is under wraps for the winter. Holidays aside, December is spent sorting gear in a less than perfect triage: save for next year, hold aside for repair, toss in trash, sell on eBay, recycle at a gear swap. That brings us to January.

The cover comes off LIQUIDITY in March. February is the boat show. January, squarely in the middle. So, with sailing three months behind me and three months ahead, I've done what sailors for centuries have done in their free time; I (figuratively) picked up pencil and paper, and wrote verse after verse after verse of lyrics, all to the quite well known rhythm of Blow the Man Down.

Given my propensity for volunteering on The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and given the notion that "blow the man down" is a bit violent for the 5th graders who walk the deck of our beloved sloop, the chorus was changed up a bit. The tune though, is easy to write to, easy to sing, and as I said, quite well known.

If you want to try a practice verse, this is among my favorites:

Music's more fun when it's done with a crowd... Way, hey, hauling away...
If you can't sing on key you should sing really loud... Hauling away on a Clearwater day!

Having never before performed in public, or at least not since chorus in 7th grade at Walt Whitman Junior High School in Yonkers, I wasn't sure about actually performing a shanty. My new found hobby was writing them! But, then came the invitation to Clearwater's "Open Boat" pot luck and song swap, in Kingston, NY, coincidentally on my birthday and conveniently located near family willing to provide overnight lodging. So...

Have as much fun watching as I and select members of the Clearwater crew (past and present) had singing. The lyrics were written specifically for Clearwater and condense about 500 years of Hudson River history down to less than four minutes. It's bad acoustics, off key singing and cell phone video; it will look and sound better if you join in and sing as you watch!

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's 2015 already!

See how fast non-sailing season is going? Thanksgiving is gone, Christmas is gone, New Year's is gone. So I'm thinking there's St. Patrick's Day, Easter or Passover depending on your inclination... wait... that's pretty much it!

Okay, so I left out Valentine's (or is it Valentines') Day. Also a couple of three-day-weekend holidays, which are more about vacations than whatever we used to celebrate, so I'll ignore those.

We're down to just two more check marks then!!! See how fast non-sailing season is going?