Well ahoy again! Welcome to the second entry in our SY Wake playlist, in which we get our groove on to music about boats or sailing or the sea. This one is an obviously essential number, because there’s no excuse for being on a boat and not hearing some classic Jimmy Buffett (unless you are an old-timey pirate, since back then Jimmy Buffett hadn’t been invented yet). So here’s his song “Son of a Son of a Sailor”, from the 1978 album of the same title:
Welcome to the first sample of the SY Wake playlist! With weeks upon weeks nestled in a cockpit watching the cats chasing bugs, obviously music is a necessity for marginal sanity. And what better than songs about boats?
Our first number comes from Tom Waits, a virtuoso and multifarious musician whose career spans decades of the blues and the experimental, the poetic and the sinister, the mysteries of trainyards and the glittering highways – and the sea! Here’s his song, “Shiver Me Timbers”, from the 1974 album The Heart of Saturday Night:
Holla! Kitty here, and it’s been a long time since I’ve put up a blog post, due to a mixture of sloth, a visit from our tremendously awesome friends, and a number of concerts (Davi touched Lenny Kravitz! and his security guard punched me in the throat)—basically, lots of Shore Leave. But we’re back, with further videos and pics to come, and the dark, dark tale of a rather embarrassing episode in the life of SY Wake.
See, it’s been *counting on fingers* six months since we met the boat and brought her back here to La Spezia, and since then our “work” has consisted largely of on-and-below-deck improvements, lounging, and figuring out how to build a floating bar on the paddleboard (totally achievable).
Of all the gin joints in all the world….
Totally like that scene in Titanic
BUT apparently you are supposed to scrub and scrape the underside of a boat on a regular basis, lest it become rife with maritime pests, such as barnacles.
Let’s talk about barnacles! They’re part of the subphylum Crustacea, which means they’re rather unexpected relations of crabs and lobsters (like how aforementioned Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker are distant cousins, look it up). A newly hatched barnacle is called a nauplius, and consists of basically a head with a tail; in the larval stage the head starts secreting a gooey adhesive substance which is kind of gross, and attaches itself to a suitable substrate (such as rocks or our own damn boat). Barnacles then develop an exoskeleton of hard plates, begin using teeny legs to eat plankton, and become the acne of pirate ships which we all know and love.
Also, in Olden Days, certain barnacles were thought to hatch into the goose species Branta leucopsis (unsurprisingly named the Barnacle Goose), because people can be dumb as hell sometimes.
Sooooo when Wake began to cruise at a slower and slower pace, we figured there were probably a few barnacles clinging to the hull, thus hindering the boat’s streamlined progress. No prob, we thought, just gotta take her out of the water on the haul and get her cleaned. Just a couple o’ barnacles. Well, as I said, people can be dumb as hell sometimes.
There exist moments in life in which few words can express the true nature of a sight, and in the case of Wake being lifted from the marina, the sole turn of phrase which came to mind was “holy shit”. See:
Yep. It turns out that barnacles grow freaking fast, and that spooky weeds can sprout around them, too. Fortunately, the good stevedores (can I call them stevedores? that’s a word we don’t use enough) of Porto Mirabello knew just how to power-hose the little bastards off the hull, which kind of reminded me of the guns they use in Ghostbusters.
Meanwhile, each and every worker took the time to ramble over and admire the cats, who waited in their carriers pretending to be wholesome while big burly Italian dudes cooed at them.
At last, Wake was clean, returned to full function and ready to return to the waves, and we learnt a valuable lesson in why you need to scrub the hull frequently. Away we sailed, the wind whispering redemption around us, when at once we heard a mournful cry…
And then the boat gave birth to a beautiful new goose!
With immense happiness and slight hangovers, we’ve returned from a fantastic weekend with our friend Gregory – an incomparable singer, a wise and worldly soul, a sweet New Yorker and a wonderful friend. Between diving (Greg leaping from the bow) and dinghies (we went fast!), Prosecco (have another glass, please), sunbathing and reading and the terrible greed of cats at lunchtime, we had a freaking awesome time – so here’s an album for the awesome jawesome memories!
The universal gesture of friendship: the Nose Kiss
Paddleboard Polaroid = Polarboard? Paddloid?
We’re on the second bottle and not even done
Gregory and I discovered my new selfie cam has a beauty face
That cocky cockpit attitude
Did you want to use my sundeck?
Bring it on, kiddo, I’m in the water and you’re a cat
The Second Coming of the Cat is nigh
They have no idea what they’re doing
Can’t catch them now
They left Wake and made a wake and that is so meta
Gregory and Davi looking so nice
We will accomplish absolutely nothing
Is this the part that makes it go fast?
THAT’S FOR ME!
Ahem, don’t you think it’s a little rude not to share?
As some of you may have noticed, our boat is named Wake. Hey, that word means more than one thing at once! And that’s why we’re here to drink explore its meanings and history, and what the shit that might mean to us.
So, as a verb (that’s the activity kind!), to wake derives from a Middle English fusion of Old English wacan, meaning “to become awake, arise, be born, originate”, and Old English wacian, “to be or remain awake”, both emerging from the proto-Germanic waken, which in turn finds its origins in the proto-Indo-European root *weg-, “to be strong or lively”. Do you ever just read this crap and wonder how goddamn weird ancient people sounded when they spoke?
So if we’re getting all metaphorical up in here, the boat could represent a kind of awakening which is:
Fill in the bubble entirely; answers will be graded after class.
But as a noun, a wake can denote “the track left by a moving ship”, first attested in the 1540s and perhaps taken from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wake, “a hole in ice”, from proto-Germanic *wakwo. Is wake then a literal reference to what the boat actually does? Fuck if we’re going to be sailing through any ice, though.
Please draw a wake here:
Or a wake may indicate the act of “sitting up at night with a corpse”, which is either really Irish or really hardcore. This usage dates from the early 15th century, though there’s also an obsolete Scottish rendition, lichwake (why are we no longer using this word?). It’s not necessarily all bad, though, as it’s meant also to celebrate the memory of what is lost and loved. Or it’s just spooky, how should I know.
Thus, if we are to persist in our really smart analyses of the word, the boat’s name touches upon the notions of death and mourning in order to remind us of: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Please use complete sentences; spelling and grammar errors will be recognized as consequences of the irrevocable transience of humankind. Essays due at the Apocalypse.
An introductory post by Kitty, about who we are and other crap
Welcome to the blog! This is the first entry, so it’s super high pressure and I gotta make sure this sounds well thought-out and does not exceed a 1:10 proportion of curse words to regular speech. Sonovabitch, don’t fuck this up Kitty… Anyhow (as further detailed in that whole section on the menu bar), we’re the crew of a boat christened Wake, a 1991 Amel Super Maramu (an awesome mode of transportation because it’s very photogenic and has a pretty good sound system, and there’s water around it).
We consist of:
Davi, my wife of 12 years, our brilliant and beautiful Captain whose roots lie from Libya to Hungary to Australia and Colorado and Italy and now beyond… who can pretty much do anything, I shit you not
And Cristina, our darling partner, a Moldovan flower with a gift for fabulous photography and professional sunbathing, fluent in six languages and adept at saying adorable, ingenious strokes of lost-in-translation
And Kitty (that’s me!), a published author who really doesn’t do anything except write and learn interesting crap so I can get drunk and tell you all about it (I’ll talk philosophy if you’re buying bro)
And of course…
Katinka, the Halloween cat, who is officially our treasure-hunter since she’s quite greedy and steals everything, including wine corks, lard, butter, and Cheetos
Rocket, the quartermaster, a real ladies’ man with a tender heart and the courage of a lion, and this weird thing where he sucks on his paw for a half an hour per day
And Kirby, who is an asshole. She’s very pretty and she knows it, was once on Italian national television, and tried to kill a pigeon in front of small children
So that’s us! I hope y’all like the blog, because it’s a bitch to format. Also check the YouTube channel, find us on the Facebook, look at our pretty stuff on Instagram, and send us good vibes so we don’t die!
Three cats, three queers, endless love in an endless world