The 12 Days of Boatmas: Ten Thousand Miles Away

The 12 Days of Boatmas: Ten Thousand Miles Away

This shanty comes as a suggestion from Lady Washington's Captain Ben 'Tiny' Saint! The separation from loved ones and holding true to them is often a theme in maritime songs. The history of this shanty is debated but one version holds that 'Ten Thousand Miles Away'...

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The 12 Days of Boatmas: The Mermaid

The 12 Days of Boatmas: The Mermaid

The sighting of a mermaid on the seas was considered a portent of a shipwreck, a topic that gets taken up in this rollicking tune from the mid-1700s. With its upbeat tempo and catchy tune, 'The Mermaid's verses are the discussion between men on a ship in stormy...

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The 12 Days of Boatmas: The Last Shanty

The 12 Days of Boatmas: The Last Shanty

This contemporary shanty is a favorite of Hawaiian Chieftain's Captain Ryan 'Otis' Downs. "It's perfect for what we do", he says, because while we admire the old square rig sailors, "modern conveniences have changed the world so much for us. It's impossible to truly...

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The 12 Days of Boatmas : Jericho

The 12 Days of Boatmas : Jericho

Photo Credit: Jennifer Long Jericho is a modern sea song that has become popular with our sailors and passengers alike. This song tells of the deep relationship between sailor and ship, and the need to care for each other. The chorus describes sailing through wintry...

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The 12 Days of Shanties : A Drop of Nelson’s Blood

The 12 Days of Shanties : A Drop of Nelson’s Blood

A work shanty that is popular on our education sails is the ever-versatile Drop of Nelson's Blood! The base of the verse is: A [something you'd miss on a long sea voyage] wouldn't do us any harm! . The desired item changes quite a bit depending on who is singing the...

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The 12 Days of Boatmas: South Australia

The 12 Days of Boatmas: South Australia

Photo Credit: Jennifer Long South Australia is a work shanty that can often be heard floating across the water from our boats. While there are many interpretations of the 'sea shanty' genre, a broad definition is as a particular type of work song that sailors use to...

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The 12 Days of Boatmas : Spanish Ladies

The 12 Days of Boatmas : Spanish Ladies

Photo Credit: Jennifer Long A foc'sle (or forecastle) song was a song sung by sailors during their 'down time', rather than for work. Because the singer's hands weren't necessarily occupied with work while singing a foc'sle song, these songs were more likely to be...

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The Weight of History

The Weight of History

By Captain Ryan “Otis” Downs S/V Hawaiian Chieftain The crew of the Hawaiian Chieftain has been in Sacramento, California for over 9 weeks. This is an important port for the ship, because we bring our excellent, hands-on education program to children far from salt...

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