Salty & Sweet: 100 Songs of Wind & Sea…that you won’t find on every other list out there.

Maritime Musings
As with anything in life, music makes a boat even more enjoyable. Be it at the dock or under sail, having a good mix of songs to spice up the scene is always a good thing. Of course, there is ONE exception as far as I’m concerned – and I know I’ll get some incendiary flack for this…
Sorry Buff-hards - No Jimmy on this list!

Sorry Buff-hards & Parotheads – No Jimmy on this list!

 Seriously people. Your Jimmy Buffett is killing me. I don’t hate the guy or his music per se. I’ve just heard too damn much of it. STOP! To quell the angry mob that will likely be waiting for me dockside to hang me high from my very own mast, I offer up the following list of songs for consideration. All give reference to the wind or sea in some way – in either a literal or figurative sense. If you don’t recognize a few or most of the artists on the list, maybe now is a good time to crawl out from underneath that Jimmy Buffett you’ve been trapped under and listen to some new stuff? Eh? I absolutely welcome any suggestions to add to the list…sans Mr. Buffet.

  1. Lost at Sea (Demo Version) – Guster
  2. The Golden Rose – Tom Petty
  3. I’ll Sail My Ship Alone – Hank Williams
  4. Neptune’s Net – M. Ward
  5. Down By The Seaside – Led Zeppelin
  6. Waltz With Me – Bob Roberts
  7. Helmsman  – Ambulance LTD
  8. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay  – Otis Redding
  9. The Ark – Dr. Dog
  10. La Mar (The Ocean) – The Beautiful Girls
  11. Wild Wind – Black Mountain
  12. Go To Sea No More – The Dubliners
  13. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  14. High Tiding – Nick Waterhouse
  15. Louie Louie – The Flamin’ Groovies
  16. Way Of The Ocean – Three Mile Pilot
  17. Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image
  18. Sailing to Nowhere – Broken Bells
  19. Catch the Wind – Donovan
  20. Tales Of Brave Ulysses – Cream
  21. Sea Shanty – The Pogues
  22. Pacific Theme – Broken Social Scene
  23. Will There Be Enough Water – The Dead Weather
  24. Canoe And You – Ray Barbee & The Mattson 2
  25. Sea of Love – Tom Waits
  26. Sea Song – Doves
  27. Tidal Wave – Dick Dale
  28. This Ship Was Built To Last – The Duke Spirit
  29. When The Ship Comes In – The Chieftains
  30. The Captain – Guster
  31. Yourself Unto the Sea – Patch and The Giant
  32. Smooth Sailing – Leon Bridges
  33. Ocean of Noise – Arcade Fire
  34. Big Boat – M. Ward
  35. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
  36. Tahitian Moon – Porno for Pyros
  37. The Irish Navy – The Dubliners
  38. Seasick On Land – Rogue Wave
  39. Honey Bee – Muddy Waters
  40. Stormy Weather Boys – Bob Roberts
  41. Float On – Modest Mouse
  42. La Mer – Charles Trenet
  43. The Beach – Dr. Dog
  44. On A Ship To Bangladesh – Three Mile Pilot
  45. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
  46. Maiden Voyage – Ray Barbee & The Mattson 2
  47. Ease Your Feet In The Sea – Belle & Sebastian
  48. Sail Away – David Gray
  49. Pacific Ocean Blues – Dennis Wilson
  50. Spanish Armada – Ratatat
  51. Sand And Foam – Donovan
  52. Drifting Too Far from the Shore – J.Garcia/D. Grisman (Pizza Tapes)
  53. Descent Into The Maelstrom – Radio Birdman
  54. Don’t Rock the Boat – Eddie Floyd
  55. Net Hauling Song – The Dubliners
  56. Never Been A Captain – The Barr Brothers
  57. Pirate Love – Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers
  58. Seasick – Jessie Baylin
  59. Stingray – Link Wray
  60. Windy Old Weather – Bob Roberts
  61. Let the Waters Rise – Justin Townes Earle
  62. A Sailboat In The Moonlight – Billie Holiday & Lester Young
  63. Cortez The Killer – Neil Young
  64. If I Had A Boat – Lyle Lovett
  65. The Irish Rover – The Dubliners/The Pogues
  66. At The Beach – The Avett Brothers
  67. The Breeze – Dr. Dog
  68. All For Me Grog –  The Dubliners
  69. Boatman Dance – Elizabeth Cotten
  70. Chanty – Son Volt
  71. Dead In The Water – Supersuckers
  72. Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & the Shondells
  73. Driftwood – Travis
  74. The Bonny Ship the Diamond – Ian Giles
  75. Of the Sea – A.A. Bondy
  76. Smooth Sailing – Queens of the Stone Age
  77. Moani Ke’ala – Gabby Pahinui & Ry Cooder
  78. Wave – Joe Henry
  79. I’m Sailin’ – Mazzy Star
  80. Shiver Me Timbers – Tom Waits
  81. The Iliad – Tapes n’ Tapes
  82. Four Strong Winds – Neil Young
  83. Salty Dog Blues – Mississippi John Hurt
  84. Sea of Heartbreak – Johnny Cash
  85. Big Boat – Devil In A Woodpile
  86. Sinner in the Sea – Calexico
  87. Sail On – The Commodores
  88. Ship of Fools – Grateful Dead
  89. Night Boat to Cairo – Madness
  90. The Ocean – Ambulance LTD
  91. Sailor Song – Felice Brothers
  92. Backwater Blues – Big Bill Broonzy
  93. The Wind That Blew My Heart Away – Fruit Bats
  94. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
  95. Mean Monsoon – Dan Auerbach
  96. Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison
  97. Rise to the Sun – Alabama Shakes
  98. The Breeze Always Blows – Dead Meadow
  99. Wave – Antonio Carlos Jobim
  100. Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson
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Happy Holidays!

Maritime Musings
Every time a this bell rings an angel gets a beer!

Every time  this bell rings an angel gets a beer!

Whichever deity you fear enough to celebrate, on this day…

May you have walls for the wind

And a roof for the rain,

And drinks bedside the fire,

Laughter to cheer you,

And those you love near you,

And all that your heart may desire.

Best wishes and safe return to all in the New Year.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Trifecta: Seatlleites, Sailing and Sushi!

Maritime Musings

My Mom and sister, Lindsay flew down from Seattle Saturday morning for a quick weekend visit to see us and the boat. We were thrilled that they could make the trip, given there is still plenty to do in preparation for Lindsay’s wedding – just 4 short weeks away. Without a hitch, they made it to the dock just before noon. After a quick tour and a toast with few beverages – we were casting off and under way.

Lindsay taking to the sea like an old salt.

Lindsay taking to the sea like an old salt.

Both Mom and Lindsay came with some sailing experience, but we expected them to be a bit rusty. Regardless, it’s easier for me to perform whichever required duty myself, than to thoroughly explain what must be done. They were ready to help if needed.

Outside the marina we unfurled the jib and cut the engine. This was marked by great enthusiasm! Once all that fabric filled up with air it was undeniable – we were SAILING! In preparation to raise the mainsail I was unable to free the halyard shackle pin. It just wouldn’t budge. The crew seemed to be happy with the pace the jib was keeping so I heeded their pleas to forget it, and I simply left the mainsail tied the boom. Nice and slow, no problem. We had fair winds to keep us moving along the water. I focused on keeping the headsail well trimmed.

Mom - completely happy to be sailing again.

Mom – completely happy to be sailing again.

Mom quickly found nostalgia as we gently rocked atop the light swells; remembering all the great times had aboard my grandparents Coronado 30. She recounted many funny tales, one being the occasion my grandfather was hit in the side of the head by a flying fish. On the way out to Catalina Island they encountered a school of flying fish, coming right across their beam. Up sprang one of these winged devils straight for the poor helmsman. It knocked his sunglasses squarely off his face! In complete disbelief, the only way he was convinced of what happened was by pointing out the telltale scales still dusting his reddening cheek. Surely this was good luck; a sign from Neptune himself! We got a good chuckle out of that one.

A bounty of fine such memories remain, although “La Marinara” was sold some 31  years ago. As I was still pretty tiny, I have scant recollection of the times I was aboard my grandparent’s sailboat. Yet, the subconscious impact of those moments on the water most certainly led to my lifelong love of the ocean and want for a vessel of my own. It’s really all their fault, and I’m grateful.

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We had a grand cruise; all of us breathing in the salty breeze and wearing the warmth of the sun. My cheeks began to hurt from the smile fixed upon my face. Three hours had passed in what seemed like one. It was a dream. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.

The San Patricio pulled back into the slip (without incident!) just before 5PM and we celebrated the great time had by all. The entire crew had worked up an appetite and a unanimous vote for a sushi dinner determined our plans for later in the evening. We made the deck tidy, gussied up and made a bee-line for Sushi on Fire on 2nd street in Belmont Shore. We enjoyed a legendary feast!

The following day we met up with the Grandparents at the Auld Dubliner. Bottomless mimosas and bloody marys – and some brunch. We all went back to the San Patricio to enjoy some more boat time together before their return flight up north. It was a quick visit, but we made the absolute most of it. So far, we have a perfect record for sending our passengers away with smiles. Surely the margaritas help!

Left to Right: Mom, Big D and Nini

Left to Right: Mom, Big D and Nini

10 Good Things About Living Aboard

Maritime Musings
s/v San Patricio @ anchor with Downtown Long Beach and Shoreline Marina in the distance.

s/v San Patricio @ anchor with Downtown Long Beach and Shoreline Marina in the distance.

  1. It’s CHEAP! This is a huge plus as we’re trying to refit the boat and save up a kitty for cruising. For what we pay to live aboard at the dock, we paid for a small studio 5 blocks inland, whilst carrying the monthly slip fees too. Southern California rent is ridiculous, especially with proximity to the water. Although we had to buy a boat first, living ON THE WATER has proven to be a BIG money saver.
  2. SIMPLE LIVING. We jettisoned most of our belongings to finance the  boat purchase and earnestly prepare for boat life. We loved our stuff, but we also loved getting rid of it. The boat layout provides all the furnishings we need to be quite comfortable. Decorations are things we use frequently.With storage being finite, we can’t load up on bulk items. We don’t have a garage or storage space other than the dock box. We’re forced to live simply, do well with what we have and enjoy not be weighed down by all our stuff.
  3. PEOPLE. Before this whole boat thing, I was a staunch misanthrope(I still am whenever I have to drive anywhere). However, the folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on our dock and getting to know have redeemed my faith in humanity. It’s the first time in a long while we’ve known our neighbors by name. Whether on the dock, at the yard or out on the water, a majority of the boaters we’ve come across have been excellent human beings; friendly, knowledgeable, eager to help and fun to be around.
  4. THE WATER. It’s no wonder cultures all over the world have such reverence for the water. It’s immediately captivating – and whether we’re sipping our morning cuppa joe or watching the sunset in the evening, the water’s calming rhythm puts us at ease. They say if you’re lucky enough to live by the water, you’re lucky enough. But ON the water…now that’s a blessing.
  5. NO SPIDERS. Well…we may get one or two wee ones that ride the wind over and spin a web on the rigging. They eat our fruit flies and their nets catch the morning dew and delight our morning with a natural art installation. We seldom tremble at those little guys. However, the spiders that summon terror, you know – the big, black, hairy and ugly ones. Happily a thing of the past. Have fun with those on land brothers and sisters. (shiver)
  6. PEACE & QUIET. Before moving aboard We were awakened frequently throughout the night by screaming sirens, passing vehicles, slamming gates and the general bangs, booms, crashes and yells of urban cacophony. Now, all we hear is the chiming of loose halyards on the wind (which strangely drives some people nuts?). Occasionally we will hear the music from nearby festivals hosted on the marina green, but we tend to enjoy the distant mix of sounds. The one exception being “Pride” weekend when two stages battled for highest decibels; one playing House music ad nauseum and the other blaring the musical atrocities of Fantasia(American Idol: Season…who cares?).
  7. SLEEPING. We get rocked to sleep every night. Sure our terrestrial “box spring & pillow top” was nice, but or cozy little v-berth in the bow has a hatch that opens up to the moonlight and stars above. We never had that in any of our first floor flats. Did I mention we get rocked to sleep every night?
  8. THE CRAIC. Craic(pronounced crack) is a Irish word, with no exact English translation,  the closest perhaps being “fun.” Put simply, having craic is having a good time. With that being said, we have ourselves some Mighty Craic!  If we ever tire of boat duties we can attend any of the impromptu dock parties that crop up during the weekends and (lately) on some weekday evenings. Throughout the year the marina fair grounds host countless festivals and events – the best of which center around food and music. There’s oyster-fest, lobster-fest, Cajun-fest, BBQ-fest…As if that weren’t enough, we have the option of several good pubs and restaurants within walking distance if we ever require a change of scenery or a proper pint. With neither of us charged with driving home – we’re both free to let loose.
  9. SUNSETS. When we were “landlubbers” we would come home and habitually turn on the TV…and mostly look for something to watch before finally giving up and going to bed. We didn’t see a  sunset unless it was in a commercial. Now we see them all, and drink them in while we shed the day’s troubles and/or share the day’s triumphs together. It’s a great way to end the day and wind down.
  10. FREEDOM. We could leave tonight. Raise the sails and float anywhere. Albeit, more work is needed to make such a notion more safe and comfortable for a long journey….our boat takes the world’s largest obstacle and  makes it a passageway. That’s freedom.

Dinner & Daysail

Maritime Musings

After pulling up roots and moving to Arkansas in February, my Dad and stepmom, Mary returned for a quick visit and a day of sailing. Along for the ride was my nephew Wade and Grace, my niece. Jackie was very excited, as it was her first time out with the sails up since the sea trial. I was excited to unfurl the reconditioned Jib we just picked up the previous day from Hyde Sails. It was a great day for sailing; beautiful weather and 10 knot winds blowing southwest.

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We followed the cruise with an early dinner at the dock. Tri-tip and potatoes on the grill! Dad was happy not to have experienced any engine or fuel mishaps like we had on the delivery. And I was glad to see him at the tiller again. Although a short visit, it was great to see everybody and go out sailing before they hit the road for my sister Brandi’s place in Idylwild. Next time we’ll take them out to Catalina – or maybe even the Channel Islands.