Boat parade on Redwood Creek


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A little motorboat covered in christmas lights with a tree at the prow was idling in the middle of our end of the harbor yesterday afteroon. We asked them what was up and they told us about a lighted boat parade from Docktown to Bair Island and back. We were very excited!

I charged up the battery on the Daisy, our sail/row/motor boat, and bailed out all the rainwater and set up the engine. The Daisy has an electric trolling motor that runs off a marine battery. Marine batteries use gel instead of liquid, and are specially insulated, so that if your boat sinks, the battery fluid won’t leak out and poison everything. The trolling motor is almost perfectly quiet, but not very powerful. Usually we can go faster than the current caused by wind and tide in the creek. Usually!

Milo in the boat parade

While we didn’t have holiday lights to put up, I did have some green glow sticks and a few flashlights. So we managed a red light to port, a green light to starboard, and I hung a white flashlight down my back. That made us legal to be out on the water after dark. The extra green glowstick was for Moomin to wave around.

Out on the water we saw a few sail and motor boats cruising around Redwood Creek. We sang “Jingle Boats” which we made up on the spot.

Dashing through the waves, in a one horsepower boat,
O’er the waves we go, when we’re all afloat!
Jingle Boats, Jingle Boats, Jingle all afloat,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horsepower boat!

There were other people singing and one very huge magnificent ship:

boat parade on redwood creek

The smallest sailboat and the motorboat with the tree came up into our part of the harbor to sing carols. We joined them and even tied up to the sailboat to share one of their laminated books of lyrics. They had some great boating xmas carols written by Cynthia Shelton: Let it blow, one about being stuck in the mud, and my favorite one to the tune of Winter wonderland, “Livin’ on a dock by the bay.” Though it has able-ist language and maybe is a little passive aggressive towards whoever lives or lived in slip 34, I laughed pretty hard. Moomin mostly laughed at the line about poop since he doesn’t realize very much about social dynamics or what “being out on parole” means. I wonder if this is the same Cynthia who was an attorney and helped me with my disability paperwork at the Independent Living Center in about 1995? Maybe so!

Gone awaaaaay, are the bat rays
Here to stayyyy, is a nutcase,
In slip 34, He’s the sloop next door,
Livin’ on a dock by the bay.

Pelicans open fire, Bombardiers here for hire,
Hey do me a favor, and poop on my neighbor,
Livin’ on a dock by the bay.

Who says every liveaboard is crazy,
On the lam or maybe on the dole,
Not all of us are whackamoles are lazy,
Or psychopaths out briefly on parole,

Later on we will have some, margaritas or buttered hot rum,
Pretend we are cruisers ‘stead of slip-bound loser,
Livin’ on a dock by the bay.

boat parade on redwood creek

The main singer on the sailboat kept yelling at the guys by the engine to sing more. They didn’t want to! Moomin also got very much into telling them off for not singing enough and not having proper spirit about caroling. If there was a job for righteously telling people off, he would do well. (Perhaps a future activist.) I figured out at the end the reluctant singers were the lady’s teenage sons! They invited us back to Docktown to the Peninsula Yacht Club (not as fancy as it sounds, a lot more homey) for soup and lasagna, which was tempting for me but not for Moomin who does not eat either of those things since they don’t come in “nugget” form.

Another great song to the tune of Silent Night.

Stormy night, Land out of sight,
All alone, Holding tight

Force 8 or 9, with 30 foot waves,
I should have heeded the NOAA,

Now I’ll sleep with the fishes!
Sharing some zzzz’s with the fish.

I felt lucky we happened across this impromptu boat parade. It was beautiful out on the creek after dark and very sweet to sing goofy carols with our neighbors. Moomin had wanted me to organize something like a water caroling party but I didn’t have that quite together to do. So, lucky us, we found the carolers!

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