The 12 Nautical Days of Christmas

12 Nautical days of Christmas: I just love Google, I have no idea what I was originally looking for but I found this by accident and it was too good not to share.
My thanks to the Portland Yacht Club
This will be my last post of 2016. so I wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
In the words of Arnie – “I will be back”

Published on Dec 13, 2012

The Poop Decks (Portland Yacht Club Mens Chorus) sing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ with a nautical theme at the 2012 Ladies Holiday Dinner

If you want to sing along, they also kindly published the words….

A seagull on a piling;
two sets of foulies;
three shiny shackles;
four new red flares;
six new life jackets;
seven white boat fenders;
eight cans of boat wax;
nine quarts of bottom paint;
ten charts of the San Juans;
eleven feet of dock line;
twelve gallons of diesel.

Marinas and their indigenous residents

Marina residents are a fascinating bunch of characters. Every marina will have a version of these indigenous types. They come from all walks of life but all with one purpose and that is to enjoy their boat.

The  First-Timer

Not normally their very first boat but have upgraded from trailing for one requiring a marina mooring. Looks like a rabbit stuck in headlights. wondering what the hell they have done.

Always spotted wearing life jackets at all times even if they are safely propping up the club bar. Their constant companion is the tide time booklet a and an old copy of Reeds almanac. Insists on calling the bow and stern the “pointy bit” and the “arse end”. Husband and wife have a wardrobe of matching nautical sweaters.

This type of boat owner  gets their crew (wife) to meticulously cast off all lines as they attempt to  leave the mooring only to find they have left the electric cable plugged into shore power.

Come on we have all done it.

Often go by the names of Howard and Hilda

The Gin Palace Owner

There are 2 sub categories of this type of resident. New money and old money.

GPO – Old Money.

Husband and wife have sailed for years but have had to give up the sticks and rags as a spot of rheumatism is begining to set in. Life long members of the yacht club, they still sit on the committee as rally/social secretary. Often found moored outside Cowes with huge amounts of family onboard sipping vast amounts of gin. Normal uniform is a club blazer and tie and for the wife cashmere twinset, pearls, and slacks (never trousers)

Charles and Fiona Double Barrelled Surname or Charlie and Feefee to friends.

GPO – New money

Not hard to spot due to their dress code. Look closely and as well as the suspiciously deep tan you’ll find that those ripped jeans are in fact £600 Dolce and Gabanas while the plain-looking deck shoes are limited edition Balenciagas.

If in doubt, sneak a glance at their wrist, they can’t resist splashing the cash on an expensive watch.

Always accompanied by a painfully stylish WAG who  spends the day teetering down the pontoons in ten-storey Louboutin stilettos with flowing hair extensions tangling in the breeze. Enormous sunglasses and a pink skin-tight outfit are a must, as is a tan in a deep shade of Coppercoat.

Boat never seems to go anywhere as the resident WAG shudders in horror at  the thought of not being able to reach her manicurist/hairdresser at a moments notice. And the chihuahua is seasick

Go by the names of Dwayne and Chantelle

The Family Boater

All he wants to do is have a nice day out with the family and his idea is to go fishing. He staggers  onboard laden down with fishing gear and bait boxes
His poor wife follows closely at his heels with a trolley load of Tesco food bags, a cold box for the drinks, small portable BBQ, wet weather clothing , warm weather clothing and wetsuits. She is hoping for an afternoon reading this weeks edition of  “Woman’s Weekly” and sipping warm Chardonnay.
Young son bounds along the pontoon laden down with  water skis, inflatable donut, kayak, snorkels, fins and paddleboard.
Bringing up the rear is  teenage daughter who is moaning constantly about  how bad for the environment motorboats are. She alternates between taking endless “selfies”, texting and talking to her BFF in monosyllabic terms such as “yah”, “no way”, “whatever”. Her day is ruined as soon as they reach the mouth of the river.
No 3G  – “Quelle horreurs”
The Grey Family, Graham, Gillian, Gary and Gayle

Grizzled Seafarer

Grizzled sailor
Grizzled Sailor

This is the type of person most people think of when they picture a boater, and the truth is they do exist; they’re just not as common as you might think.

The grizzled seafarer has spent years in the Merchant Navy and has the sea in his blood. He is always found on a sailing boat, MOBO’s are a complete anathema to him It his boat that gives him away.  that has seen some serious weather. Mismatched fenders dangle from the sides accompanied by weathered and frayed  ropes. GS’s love to discuss the finer points of their favourite type of knot, wearing a knitted jumper and a stained and greasy cap  regardless of the weather. They permanently have an  expression of serene superiority.

You find them propping up the bar with a pint of real ale, retelling the heroics of their latest single-handed trip in a force 10 westerly.

Normally have an ex navy name such as Old Sam or “Bosun”


Weather – It blows an ill wind.

Wind wreaks havoc over any type of boating. This November has been a very windy month. For us MOBO’s it means staying safely on our moorings sipping mulled wine. For the yotties it is their utopia.

To gauge the level of sea going heroism there has to be a form of measurement. The Met Office has provided a series of guide lines by which to judge the level of bravery of the yacht club navy blue Terry Thomas lookalike blazer wearing heroes. The most  popular is the Beaufort Scale.

Force 1 – Light Air

1-2 knts

MOBO’s are stretched out  on  sun pads sipping champagne.
The marina is full of bored yotties going nowhere fast.

Force 2 – Light Breeze

3-6 knts

Champagne glasses remain unruffled on the cockpit table.
The marina is still full of yotties going nowhere

Force 3 – Gentle Breeze


A slight rustling of the pages of the Telegraph.
In the marina there is a rumour that the yotties may get their sails out.

Force 4 – Moderate Breeze

11-15 knts

Empty champagne bottles are rattling in the galley. Instructs someone to take them to the bottle bank
Yotties are joyfully clambering into full foulies  with huge smiles on their faces.

Force 5. – Fresh Breeze

16-20 knts

Concern is being expressed that the champagne stored in the bilge might be having its sediment disturbed.
Yotties are excitingly preparing to slip their lines.

Force 6 – Strong Breeze

21-26 knts

The Champagne is being shaken… but not stirred.
The marina is half empty. The yotties have gone

Force 7 – High Wind

27-33 knts

MOBO’s are back on their moorings because ‘well old chap….frightfully difficult retrieving the champers out of the bilge….nearly spilt some!
Yotties are hauling up their spinnakers with whoops of joy.

Force 8 – Gale

34-40 knts

Champagne glasses can no longer stand unaided on the cockpit table…or anywhere else.
Yotties have decided to pull in the washing and  tea towels off the stanchion wire in case they fly away.

Force 9 – Severe Gale

41-47 knts

Champagne glasses must now be grasped with both hands to prevent spilling
Yotties clamber into harnesses, clip themselves on and hang over the side to balance the boat.

Force 10 – Storm

44- 54 knts

Two people required to open champers bottles. Very difficult to find mouth.
Yotties have dug out the book on reefing and have added more canvas

Force 11 – Violent Storm

56-63 knts

Champers bottles in the bilge will be smashing. Everyone retires to the club bar.
The Yotties who are at  the mercy of the ocean and a wildly bucking boat  can be heard swearing because the wind keeps blowing the gas out and they can’t get a hot brew.

Force 12 – Hurricane

64+ knts

Best spent in a fallout shelter far away from the sea watching it on the weather channel
Yotties are standing on the top side yelling in unison “Thaaar she blows!!”