Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.
emo_snal

Shanties

   So my official title here is both Education Coordinator (Ed Co) and Steward, two formerly separate positions which have been rolled into one (StewCo). As steward I am in charge of passengers: making sure manifests are in order, checking them in, and being a sort of master of ceremonies on sails.
   I'm not nearly as flamboyant about this as my predecessor / current equivalent on the Lady Washington, Aaron Walker, who is so enthusiastic about the part that he is often seen wearing period clothing while off duty. Not just any period clothing, but specifically a period midshipman's outfit so accurate he was once seen fretting that the buttons were indicative of the wrong decade.

   Notwithstanding that I'm not Aaron Walker, I have no problem at all with public speaking so most of this is just fine with me. One of the duties of the steward during sails is to lead the crew / passengers in singing a sea shanty. I... don't sing. I don't sing karaoke. I don't sing in the shower. I don't sing alone in the car. I've never had any inclination or aptitude to sing.
   But simply being uncomfortable with it doesn't terribly much bother me. I was absolutely terrified of doing so the first time I threw my hat in to run for student government senate in college. The first time I was asked to bring a tool up to a coworker working on notably aggravated bees up on a roof while I happened to be wearing no protective gear I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea but I didn't hesitate. The first time I went out on a yardarm it was in the dark amid rolling seas (on the Pilgrim) and I was certainly not comfortable with the idea, but the captain was hollering urgently for all hands aloft and there I was standing there wearing a harness what was I to do but go up?
   Actually what concerned me the most at the time was that I didn't know HOW to furl a sail so I wasn't sure I'd be able to do anything at all once up there.

   And that's the problem in this case, I don't know any sea shanties. In fact, I don't know the lyrics to any of my favourite songs. I don't think I know the lyrics to any entire song. That's just not how I process songs I guess.
   And to make matters worse I am absolutely terrible at memorizing anything. I can learn things but memorizing lines or other data just barely works at all for me.

   And so, the prospect of leading sea shanties is a bit daunting to me by the plain fact that I physically can't lead a song I don't know and I know no songs.


   I'd been hoping I'd be able to shleff off the shanty singing leading to other people that know them but the captain/first mate seem determined that I should do it. On the sail today the first mate gave me about twenty minutes to study the lyric book with Pony (who has been leading the shanty singing thus far), saying I would be leading a shanty after that.
   Needless to say I'm quite certain I could under no conditions learn a song in 20 minutes. I did my best to study sea shanties for twenty minutes, but the time was soon up. Fortunately, though, I had come up with a plan, of some kind at least.
   I reported to the waiting mate that knew no shanties and could lead no shanties, BUT I wouldn't go ashore until I could!

   And so, here we are, I've taken a vow not to set foot ashore until I can lead a shanty and I intend to take it seriously.


   I think I want to learn South Australia. (:


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Tags: hawaiian chieftain 2010
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