Sailing and Ukuleles

I never realize the connection between sailboats and ukuleles until last night, sitting on a sailboat in Des Moines, WA. The rain was pouring down in sheets, so what would have been my first ever sailboat race was cancelled, but sitting inside a cozy boat listening to a ukulele concert drinking Californian beer and learning how to tie a bowline knot was not too much of a disappointment. Our hostess, Joan Marie, decided that we should invite the next door neighbors over also, so we walked across the dock and knocked on the side of their 40 foot boat - "The Filthy Whore" (yes, the name was painted on the stern). Two large sailors appeared carrying tiny ukuleles and more beer.  They argued for a bit about which one had the honor of being the namesake of their boat.

Joe, the male half of the duo, was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and flip flops despite the cold. He pointed to the boat in the slip across from him, a 42 foot cruiser whose windmill was spinning and turning in the wind.

"The owner has a hot tub inside his boat," said Joe. "If you ever run into him, he'll ask you to come in his hot tub. Whatever you do, don't do it."

Joe seemed to know what he was talking about, so I agreed that I wouldn't go in the neighbor's hot tub. Instead, we went back in the beautiful red 28 foot Islander that I was checking out. That's when the ukulele concert happened. Joan Marie had learned to play when her grandmother, who had also lived aboard, was sick. She said her grandmother had loved it when she played the ukulele. She played Iz's rendition of "Over the Rainbow."  Joe followed up by playing, "Hiphopopotomous" by Flight of the Concords. Yeah, imagine that on a ukulele.

My coworker Andy was pretty handy with the ukulele and caught on quickly. He strummed along on a tiny pink uke that happened to be sitting behind us. I learned the "C", which is really all I need to know since it's the pirate's favorite cord. It's the third fret on the first string. Not to hard.

Joan Marie promised me ukulele lessons if I bought the boat. It was a hard sell.

We played so much ukulele that we were almost an hour late to the documentary Indie Games, which is why I'm not going to post a movie review. From now on though, Fridays will be film review days on the blog.