Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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Friday, August 5, 2011


This Prelinger owned video Is so beautiful that it seems a shame for it to be setting in an archive.  So here it is.  I changed the music as I felt the the film maker didn't have the opportunity to get Creative Commons music to use as we do today. I hope that the music I used was better suited. We should all thank those that create art of all kinds and allow us all to use it.  All my video and writing will be will be free for anyone to us and I am presently getting it ready to be licensed under creative commons.    Doug


I posted this not because I think anyone is interested in My vacations. I know some who like the sea and the rocky hills. I know some who like ships, boats  and rocky coast lines.    All of us like a lobster or two. We slept in a canvas Camper and picked blue berries from a sea side  field. We rose with the sun to eat our fill of blueberry pancakes.  The four of us hiked the trails and set talking beside the rocky coast.  We  witnessed  the  power of a raging  Atlantic and felt is power through our rocky perch. We Watched the gentle  rise and fall of a restive Sea.   It was the best of times.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Low Cost Voyaging



This video is dedicated to the many of us that spend so much money and labor in the interest Low Cost Voyaging. Busters struggles failures and successes so much remind some of my own I had to laugh. I laughed not so much at Buster but at myself! But then that is what good comedy is all about . So to all would be Low Cost Voyagers I say, If you can't laugh at this Stay home. Doug

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Dream of Every Young and Old Sailor

video
We'll here it is!  The dream of every young and old sailor. To find himself on an Island of beautiful and innocent you ladies. That's the dream that crewed the ships of England and the world. The only thing wrong with this video is the girls aren't naked and they forgot the two G's.  Girls and gold!   The plight of the poor sailor who was so ill used as to be too tired to swim away, was only hinted at.  The Gold nowhere to be seen!    I remember seeing this in the movies probably in the 1940's.  Doug

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Moron Brothers

Now here's some fellers that knows a little sumpin about messin around on the water. Play a little music, sing a little, fish some and fry'em. Then they eats'em. Not a one of'm knows nothen about catch and release. I'd Guess! They don't worry none  about runin lights. They poops in a pot and I bet the throw it in the woods.  No water pollution worries for them??   From the looks of the shanty they built I bet it took a dozen cases of beer to make her as crooked as she looks.   Then theres a guy in a little push boat boat with an outboard on her. She ain' got no numbers on her, so I bet she ain't registerd with no inland game and fisheries.   Can't say I blame them not for not signen up with some body named Inland Game and Fisheries.  Heck they ain't inland they's on the water. Any way's!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kate 2 Sailing


Now here's as fine a lass  as every plied the waters of the Piankitank river in Virginia. A fine mistress she is and not demanding of the pocket book either. She is the same Kate I show  under Construction here.  This long video turned out to be sadly brief due to a camera malfunction.  Since the whole taping thing was impromptu we were lucky to get what we did, I guess.  We had almost no breeze and I found myself pleasantly surprised and bragging of her light air speed and agility. She moved so easily in such light air that I came to the conclusion that she has no need of a motor. Only in a dead calm, would one be considered and with no wind to row against a few splashes of an oar will get you home in good time. There is not an ounce of ballast aboard her and yet as in the video a crew member scrambles forward without just a hint of heeling from his weight out on the gunnel. Stiff indeed! If there was ever a boat that don't need a motor it's Kate.
  She has been a joy to me from the moment I tacked her plans to the side of my  shed and drew her first lines on wood.  Kate is of the design Elver,from  the drawing board of Steve Redmond who is online. Thanks Steve.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sailing Ships and sailing Men



As a boy in the 1930's, I knew sailors. Most came home and swore off sailing ships for ever.
Drawn to a wild Baltimore waterfront life, they blew their wages on booze, women and gambling. They were shanghaied or signed onto a ship just to have a home for a time. It was not the sea they were drawn to, but instead, family.
A man, known to do his share high up on the yard arms, had respect.
On land, they were lowly and even tramps. Upon the sea, each a respected seamen! To stand his watch, furl canvas in rain and sleet then lend a hand on the bitter end of a sheet, a new boy on board rose to man and mate.
Good people these, though not in a way most of us would recognise.
Among us modern sailboat sailors we may swagger and tell of hanging on with one hand and reefing a flogging sail with the other.
You could with effort, drag the same story from these square rig sailors, though they wouldn't say they were high in the air above mountainous waves reefing and tying as they rounded the notorious capes, driven by snowy squalls. To be 200 ft in the air in gale winds with a sails snapping and booming making every attempt to throw the watch to deck. Cut from heavy cloth, these men who worked, lived and died at sea.
A seaman I knew and was influenced by, was a Mr. Outabridge who fell from the main yard cracking his skull. He supervise the repair of it and inspired the character Doc in the Novel, Of Mooncursers and Other Spun Yarns By Douglas G. Pollard Sr. on sale @ Lulu.com .
My mothers brother Talmage Williams right after World War one was shanghaied aboard a sailing ship in to the far east. After a two year stint when his ship had not made a U.S. Port. He signed aboard a steam ship to Baltimore. Left in port at Tripoli where he had gotten drunk and spent a couple weeks in jail for getting into a bar room brawl. That was his last duty under sail. Arriving home he lost his seaman's papers for a year for jumping ship. During world war two he stayed at sea almost constantly. He made the one and only Mermanske run through the North Sea hauling gasoline. They were close on the German coast and suffered bombings for several days. Talmage said they watched ships burning in the distance every night and all hands fully expected to die on that trip. It was by luck that they  never heard wine of diving German Stuka dive Bombers.
To find men like this today you have to look to our men fighting on the sands of the middle east. So, every Generation has it's men.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hills and the Sea


This Prelinger owned video Is so beautiful that it seems a shame for it to be setting in an archive.  So here it is.  I changed the music as I felt the the film maker didn't have the opportunity to get Creative Commons music to use as we do today. I can only thank those that create art of all kinds and give it to the public to use free of charge. I would be hard pressed to write and perform music to put in video. It's great to earn money with art but it's also nice to give it away to all.  I am slowly putting my work out there for all to use most anyway they like.    Doug 

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Shanty Boat


This video is for all my shanty boat friends. This is where it all began with a man named Hank. He left on one of these flat boats up on the Ohio, where he drifted with a load of corn and hemp. He went down river to New Orleans where he met a Creole Women that he couldn't shake off. They raised the roof and moved aboard. The boat looked like the shanty he lived in with a squaller of kids back at home in old Ohio. He called her his shanty boat and with a hint of Irish he called the gal, his shanty women. Now one night Hank came home drunk with a desiring look in his eye. The Creole Lass, asleep in her bunk, awoke and shouted toward the winder. "Who is that at my shanty boat winder awearin' eyes that I cannot see." Now Hank with a sly disguise in his voice, replied, "It is Willy your own true lover". Just a thing to make her laugh. “Oh please come in”. said she, in a beckoning way. Now that was a blow, and Hank replied with a report from his Smith and Wesson. With a wound in her breast, the lass slid from the bunk with a questioning glance stood with help from a shaken Hank. He held her in her dying embrace. With a tear in her eye, she drove her blade right through his aching heart.
So, if it's a shanty boat you want and you take on board a Creole women. Don't be sneaking home at night calling in a strangers voice. This story was told to me by William Masoncup. Hank was his Grandfather.     Doug

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wolftrap to key West


The above video is in the public domain. 
We sailed aboard Wolftrap down the Florida Keys in 1987. Georgene and I spent a couple weeks around Key West and had a good time there. Wolftraps crew saw every sunrise and sunset, and wandered the island most hours in between. We spent a few evenings ashore but spent most lazing in our cockpit listening to music wafting across the water. The island's lights were dazzling from the seclusion of our off Island anchorage. Life was beautiful beyond belief and so we drank a toast of rum, orange or grapefruit juice and a sprinkle of tonic water most evenings. A time in our lives fit for the gods, but savored by us lowly but fortunate mortals! We met two young hippie couples with small children who were living in tents on a Key and were building cruising catamarans. Their dream was to cruise the world. I have often thought of them over the years. On such occasions I catch myself secretly smiling with an imagined assurance that they succeeded. I admired their grit I guess. Their children have children of their own likely by now and I wonder what their lives are all about?  We don't allow our children to grow up hippies much these days

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wolftrap South By North

Sailing aboard Wolftrap from Key Largo to Key West and North to the Alligator River.  As a music video she gives some idea as to what the videos will be about, and previewing Wolftrap's entire adventure.  South by Northmay not  actually be a possibility but who Knows??      Douglas Pollard

Saturday, February 12, 2011

WolfTrap South


This is a preview of video that will be posted of Our adventure of going south from Virginia to the Bahamas and Florida keys.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Take a Ride On a Steam Side wheeler


We are taking a ride on a steam Side wheel ferry boat. The narration is a bit hoky but it was done for elementary school children, so just overlook it. The experience is great. A ride on the Hudson river in company with steamships, tugs and a few small boats as well as kayaks and a sailing canoe that are about the on boats they are not steam powered.
This reminds me of cruising on the Tolchester. A ferry from Baltimore to Tolchester on the Maryland eastern shore. We went over there to the beach and amusement park.
On another occasion I remember fishing with my father at seven foot knoll, a shallow oyster bed out in the Chesapeake Bay. It was late at night and the Tolchester came close by. She was lit up all over and people danced in her saloon and foredeck while refrains of a sweetly sung song to an instrumental tune wafted across the silent water. In a short time two sailboats sailing side by side on a beat to windward heeling slightly moved slowly toward the east. Their running lights lit them in an eerie glow. I had sailed on sailing sharpies but these were fine small sailing sloops and it was at that moment I fell into a life long love.
At about age nineteen I took a young lady aboard the Tolchester on a midnight cruise. We cruised down the Bay and returned to Baltimore just after sunup. We drank, ate and danced the whole night.
In the hustle and bustle of the Baltimore water front we walked wobbly kneed down the gang plank.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fort Lauderdale Speed Boat Race

This video is a race we watched while anchored at Las Olas Bridge in Fort
Lauderdale Florida.  We had stopped here before going to the Abacos.  I put this in here because I am still working on a video from Great Bridge South.
I started taping this from on top the bridge. Across the waterway they had set up a barge and places along the docks for paid spectators. What I am saying here is said in the video but with a lot less detail. I began taping the race and a surly looking fellow walked up and said you can't tape this race because it's syndicated. I wasn't sure what that meant but remembered the Bowery Boys in the Saturday movies as a kid calling the mob the syndicate.  I was sure this guy was one of them as he had on a pinstriped suit in the daytime in South Florida.  I stopped taping until he turned and walked away. I began taping again.  A policeman walked up and told me the same thing.  I left and went down on the grass that I thought was private property  and began taping. Two Cops come up on Motorcycles and told me to leave. I suggested that I was on private property.  I was informed I was not.  I walked over to a break water in front of a house and continued on. In a moment the lady came out of the house and asked what the heck I thought I was doing?  I told her, Videotaping that speed boat race.   Git, was her reply. I did!  I went down onto the bow of my boat and began recording looking through the underside of the bridge.  A police man standing on the bridge scowled at me.  In a few minutes a police boat pulled up and anchored in front of me blocking my view.  I threw one of my anchors out off the bow and pulled my boat over from behind the police boat while still being attached to the mooring buoy.  The policeman got on his radio and talked for a long time.   I tried to listen to what was being said but he turned his radio down. I thought they might send a boat to board me.  I called the Coast Guard on the radio and the told me that as long as I was tied to a city buoy they could do nothing but that they would call the police on my behalf.   I was not bothered further. I taped the rest of the race. About a week later we were in a good position to watch the Christmas Boat parade.  Now let me tell you something. They really do it up big.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wolftrap to the center of the World and beyond

The above map shows Wolftrap's course on the First day of the trip to the center of the world. It started at Sarra' Creek across the York River from the battle fields of Yorktown. The first Night out was at anchor In the Elizabeth river At Hospital Point.






This is the first of a series of videos on Wolfraps trip from Virginia through the inland waterway and over to the Bahamas and Florida Keys. We spent a total about ten years down that way and 15 years living aboard in all.  We didn't live aboard Wolftrap all that time but also aboard Kate, a Fantaisia sloop.   Wolftrap was far and away the finer sailboat.  Kate was without a doubt the nicer live aboard boat though she had many vices as a sailboat, some unforgivable.  Still there was some affection there. After all you can even learn to love a mean dog.