Category Archives: Culture: songs, stories, photography and art

Traditions and culture relevant to the world of real boating and sailors

Two sea shanties for singing sailors

Two proper sea shanties that are highly suitable for the singing sailor.

I gather ‘noggin’ was a very rude word a century or two back but seems remarkably harmless now… And for that I guess we can thank Oliver Postgate, creator of the cartoon character Noggin the Nog.

PS – And here’s a forebitter about a common sailor’s fantasy – the young woman who dresses as a boy and goes to sea.

A drone over the Wanderer dinghy national races at Whitstable

My thanks to my sailing pal Jim Van Den Bos for pointing me to this YouTube shot by a drone flying over the Swale and the beaches of Whitstable on the occasion of the Wanderer nationals a week or two back.

It wasn’t a great day for sailing – or racing – but it was clearly a good day for a drone to go up and show us some of the local landscape.

Catro Vellos Mariñeiros musica tradicional de Galicia

My thanks to Martin Calpe for sending this one over. The two types of sailing vessel you see here are the lancha, used for transport, and the dorna, much smaller and used for fishing.

Photo project to reveal how people feel about Faversham Creek

Picture the Creek

Picture the Creek is a project that’s about the photos folks take of Faversham Creek and what it means to them. It’s not supposed to be about how good the pictures are, but the stories they tell, so an expensive camera is not required.

You can take a photograph or send one you’ve already got – maybe one from long ago. Or you can draw or paint a picture and scan it or photograph it.

The images will be shared on the Picture the Creek website, on social media platforms and at an exhibition in Faversham in the autumn.

There will be prizes for the most interesting and original images however. These will be in two categories: adult and junior (16 and under), and will be awarded at the autumn exhibition.

The most important point, say the organisers, is to say something about what the photo shows: is it something you like or something you don’t, something that made you curious, something that brings back memories, makes you angry, makes you laugh, or makes you sad?

Faversham Creek has all of those for me. In general, I dislike photo competitions (how can anyone make iron judgements about something as subjective about how you respond to a photo?) but I might just go and see what I can dig out myself…

Square rigged sailing ship Peking rounds Cape Horn

Here’s some classic footage of the square rigger Peking rounding Cape Horn – and some other bits and pieces. My thanks to regular reader Martin O’Scannall for sending this link over.

By the way – this YouTube is really rather poor and I’m told by regular reader Chris Brady that the Mystic Seaport Museum has a much better version on sale on DVD.

Michael Maloney’s film: The Apprentice – Making Life Work

Faversham film-maker Michael Maloney is passionate about the value of apprenticeships to young people, and believes they are vital to the economic and social future of Britain.

He points out that about a million of our young people are currently unemployed – a point that which contrasts sharply with the some of the claims we hear about the healthy state of our economy.

I particularly like the quotation from Griff Rhys-Jones visit to Faversham Creek Trust’s apprenticeships project at the Purifier Building in Faversham last year: ‘The reward is in what you do.

(It had better be – in the same short speech he also revealed that the boat cost him £70 to buy, that he had spent a further £500,000 on her over the next ten years – and that on putting it on the market more recently had been offered how much? You’ve guessed it – £70,000.)

This Youtube is a trailer for a longer and more in-depth film that Michael is making on the subject of apprenticeships.

Read more about Michael’s project here: http://www.cwideprods.co.uk/the-apprentice/

Two more songs for singing sailors

Two more sample recordings of songs from my temporary bedroom recording studio: John Connolly’s widely sung Fiddler’s Green, which is today so beloved by real-life fishermen, accompanied by my pre-war Hohner Erika melodeon, and the classic broken-token-my-love’s-a-sailor-but-he’s-been-gone-seven-years piece The Dark Eyed Sailor, which like many people I learned from the singing of Fred Jordan.

The eventual aim is eventually to make a CD – working title ‘Songs for singing sailors’ – that will hopefully be available through the usual commercial channels. We’re months away from that result, but I hope these samples tickle someone’s fancy!