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Sailing on Los Banos

Another in the "Close Shaves" series.

This one isn’t so much a ‘close shave’ but more of a "you fucking retards!" story. It’s also one that Marnie asked for well over a year ago (don’t bother clicking the link, she hasn’t been around for ages). So Marnie, if you’re out there I hope you enjoy this…

Many years ago, when ET, VP and I still lived near each other, we used to do adventurous things together all the time (when we weren’t so out of it that we couldn’t do anything). On this occasion VP thought it would be a good idea to go moonlight sailing on Los Banos. This would have been a good idea if it wasn’t for two things, alcohol and drugs.

VP was an experienced sailor, ET and I weren’t but that did mean anything. I think this whole episode may have been to celebrate someone’s birthday (it may have even been mine), but the details are a little foggy (I’ll have to ask MDW). However, I remember enough to give a general recounting of the debacle.

In anticipation of a splendid evening sans femmes, we packed booze, food and weed, hitched up the trailer of the Hobie Cat

(that’s not the one in the story, but it’s the same model) and headed out to the lake. It was about a 45 minute drive and by the time we got there both Et and I were, as the hippies used to say, ‘wasted’. Luckily VP still had his wits about him and he got the Cat rigged in no time at all and before we knew it we were skimming across the lake.

Boy did we have us some fun, VP kept pulling out all kinds of tasty treats from his backpack (his wife is one of the best cooks I’ve ever met. Gail, I know you read this so "you’re welcome"), ET kept pulling out his bottle of Bourbon (and beer chasers), and I kept rolling doobies. Hey, speaking of Doobies, did you know that Blackwater by the legendary Doobie Bros has a three part harmony at the end of it that was specifically written for three drunk, stoned guys on a Hobie Cat? Or at least it seem to us that it was three part harmonies written for drunks (on account of there being three of us, and you know the rest). We sung it for hours (both VP and ET have pretty good voices), in fact if it wasn’t for the all the guys out fishing that night, yelling at us to ‘shut the fuck up’, I think we may have been able to sing it until the sun came up (if we didn’t pass out, that is). If I can find a clip I’ll include it for those who are unfamiliar with it.

Since the pricks fishing had no sense of humour, we decided to call it a night and got into our sleeping bags while VP tied off the mainsheet (that’s the rope that controls the angle and tension of the sail). It’ s important to note two things here; 1) it is sheer lunacy to get into a sleeping bag and drift off into a drunken slumber when you are on the trampoline of a catamaran, and 2) it is absolute lunacy to get into a sleeping bag and drift off into a drunken slumber when you are on the trampoline of a catamaran in the middle of the night when no-one is at the helm. If you have any understanding of sailing you will know what I’m talking about (I’ve since owned several sailing boats).

This is getting a tad long, and there’s a bit more to go, so I’ll finish it tomorrow or the day after (I like to keep my posts short, I also tend to read posts on other blogs that are of the shorter variety [hint]).

OK, I found a clip (two actually), this one features the original track off the album (‘What were once vices are now habits‘, rather apt don’t you think?). There are some interesting images in this clip that relate to the song lyrics, plus it features a full moon as did the night we went sailing…

For those who prefer to see the the band perform (which I normally do) here’s a link to them playing the same song in one of their farewell concerts.The Doobie Brothers’ Black Water. Ironically, while this song is about the Mississippi River, the band itself is from San Jose, where this story takes place. Go figure!

Oh, if you’d like to try it yourself, here are the lyrics for the harmonies.

I’d like to hear some funky dixieland
Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand pretty mama
Come and dance with your daddy all night long
I want to honky tonk, honky tonk, honky tonk
With you all night long


43 Responses

  1. I grew up sailing Hobie Cats. I haven’t seen anyone sailing the old school ones for years. We have two at my dad’s house and we get out whenever we can. I loved this post.

  2. I love this song! Great post ya old hippie!

  3. I think you should have lead us to believe that was you on the Hobie Cat. I mean, you’ve convinced us you are a pirate in big girl panties.

  4. this is one of the more disjointed postings you’ve made. yet charming in its own way.

    and i refuse to take your hint about shorter posts.

  5. Oh, we have something else in common–sailing. You’ve actually done it, and I’ve been wanting to.

    The hint made me laugh. You’re just jealous. While I’m still getting started, you’re done already.

    Can’t wait to find out where you woke up.

  6. See how long it takes to get service around this joint!

  7. The mainsheet controls the mainsail…it’s attached to the boom:). Yup, we’re sailors. (we just sold our yacht one year ago last week…..*throws head on computer keyboard wbugbm;kdhnqpffa;hdg;jdhfwlekd[pgh;ajhdfafdha;s and sobs uncontrollably).

    *regains composure to resume laughing*

    The image of you guys on a CAT/trampoline, stoned out of your heads (munchies sated long enough to sleep) – snoozing as your vessel is left adrift. I cannot believe you guys weren’t moored up anywhere!

    That song brings back so many memories of my childhood. I love it.

    I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. TWO PARTS. Right.

  8. TLG – It wouldn’t have been so bad if the Cat was simply adrift, but it was actually under sail.

  9. For some reason I really love this post. You old hippie.

  10. My mom, the true Southern California girl, used to date the creater of the Hobie Cat.

    And the song? One of my FAVS. Roger and I like to sing this – wanna be our third?

  11. Do I sense a wet ending?

  12. I know nothing of sailing, although I love reading about it (and have just finished Master & Commander – does that count as sailing experience?), but even I can see where this could be going.

    I remember doing a few nutty things myself that I’d never dream of doing now. Amazing how we can survive the utmost stupidity, eh?

  13. OMG! Does this bring back memories or what? I love that song and yeah….I can actually remember a similar escapade under very similar circumstances…ah, the hippie generation…if life were only that simple again and we could all smoke away our problems! Really looking forward to part two…

  14. Wait.

    This is scaring me.

    Melissa is paying Willowtree a compliment? The end is nigh.

    I better get back to blogging asap or all hell will break loose.

  15. I remember the old days of hobbie cats, beer& beach! That was back in the 70’s before “don’t bother clicking my link” was born. My husband sold Hobbies for a living, so we got to play with them to make sure they worked. We got dumped in the drink plenty.

    Oh ya, that place you went? los Banos? isn’t banos Spanish for toilet?

  16. don’t know anything bout sailing but i have a great imagination so i think this is going to be fun to hear about;)

  17. Dear willowtree. I once went catamaraning on Brisbane Water. It was rool nice but I was a kid and my brothers loved to tell me there were sharks everywhere. So I was scared shitless (and still am, hence why I am not too much of a fan of the beach). Like the song. Looking forward to the next installment.

  18. Ok, it was getting long … but I still wish you’d finished the post. I keep giggling at Swampy’s comment about you being a pirate in big girl panties.

    Hey and I scored full marks on today’s quiz AND I got my time below 100 seconds. There’s a genius in here somewhere, I just know it.
    I hate you for getting me hooked on your quiz.
    And I hate myself for repeatedly viewing the B@rbie post.

  19. I went to bed last night, not too long after commenting and it niggled me…”Los Banos”….that’s the men’s toilet in Spanish WT. Right?

    I’m double amazed you guys would have set the mainsail on some random course with no one at the helm (my bad – you did say you’d set the mainsheet). Talk about stooopid accident waiting to happen. Just sayin.

  20. “I like to keep my posts short, I also tend to read posts on other blogs that are of the shorter variety [hint]).”

    So what are ya sayin? I should shut the F#*K up? You do know that I am a bit talkative and I am even known to talk to myself in public? I was rather disgusted with myself, posting a comic cut out this morning. Most disturbing indeed.

  21. That damn quiz lies. It did not take me 68 seconds to do the quiz. When does the time start? Before you logon?

  22. Ah, the good old days. Anxiously awaiting the end of this one.

    Talk about a band that went through some changes. I loved it when Skunk Baxter joined them. And John McFee. When I saw them I sat right in front of him. He is outstanding. I noticed Tom Johnston was with them in the live clip, also. I was glad when he came back around. It just seemed right. Thanks, WT. This was a nice way to start the day.

  23. Oh my WT, I am glad that you are still around to tell about the Los Banos story. I liked both of the videos. The images in the first are very nice. I will be humming the tune all day. Thanks for the lyrics.

  24. OMG, it all begins to make sense now…northern CA in the 70s. It explains so much. I grew up in Marin. Yep. My folks did allow me to cross the bridge till I was 18. Of course, it didn’t really matter – big brother and the holding company bought the house across the street!

  25. Can’t wait for part two.

    (This was reminding me of three girls, a leaky rowboat, mint ice cream and beer in a huge lake, when none could row a boat. Good times.)

  26. Well, I don’t mind long posts so I’m waiting for the ending of the story kind sir.

  27. but from you, dear WT, we expect sheer and absolute lunacy.
    now i have that song in my head, by the way. thanks a lot.

  28. I have to compliment him once in a while, ever since you left me alone in the interwebs. *distraught wailing*

  29. That explain why You nowadays sails on the Cyber ocean … putting down Your feet here and there.
    Thanks for Your visit and lovely comment.

  30. 1) I think we have a different understanding of CAT.
    2) I was able to catch your meaning because, unlike some, I am capable of sticking it out through long posts. I don’t always have the patience to follow all links and sometimes I skip words–like Hobie.
    3) I enjoyed this longish post.
    4) Blackwater is a favorite song around here. We all know all the words, but we do not have to be drunk or high to sing it.
    5) I prefer to think of it as Old Blackwater as opposed to the *new* Blackwater that I keep hearing about on NPR.
    6) The lines “I’d like to hear some funky dixieland/Pretty mama come take me by the hand” remind me of how my Granny used to describe the jazz funerals she saw when she was growing up in New Orleans. Imagine an 80-some year old woman dancing around and chanting “Funky butt, funky butt, take me awaaaaaay.”
    7) I don’t have time to post on my blog, so I thought I’d leave a nice long comment here. I know how you like to read long posts/comments.

  31. I know damned well that I’m one of the people that shorter posts hint is aimed at.Tough. Your video clips take longer to watch than my posts do to read.

    So there.

  32. So, “Winkin’, blinkin’ and Nod went out one night on a clear blue sea…….”. Throw in some Blackwater and a few more serious vices and whatta ya got? A reprobate hippie version of Victory at Sea? Let’s hope!

  33. Dear WT,

    I’ve made a very short post. Just for you. Really, c’mon over — it’s a present in your honour:).

  34. I saw Jaws as a kid and that pretty much ruined CATS for me. I prefer tough fiberglass boats (although now that I think about it, they didn’t fair too well in the movies either) Oh well, I’ve been on ’em since I was a baby and I’m still here to tell about it. I’ll stick with good solid boats, thanks, which reminds me, I have to call DMV to register the one we received as a gift. Things to see, people to do…

  35. I don’t know anything about sailing, but I think if I was out on a catamaran in the middle of the night, I would be wide awake, clutching the sides, and praying for the shore. Or another doobie!

  36. Robinella, Yeh, fiberglass isn’t very tough. Run into some rocks? Cracked and sunk. Steel hulls are solid. And totally jaw/shark proof. 😀

    Hey Dubya-T. Coz you got me laughing so hard from this post, I’ll post a photo of our yacht tomorrow, for you.

    Gah. Can you tell I’ve been housebound with crappy weather? I’m totally stalking your blog since …last night.

  37. Hmmmm, it seems that I touched a nerve with several of you guys with my comment about long posts, exactly what part of “I also tend to read posts on other blogs that are of the shorter variety” indicates anything other than the fact that I have a short attention span?

    RC – Ah, yes that may be true, but the links are only added for those with a thirst for knowledge, an eye for detail, or too much time on their hands, and none of them have to be followed, nor do the clips need to be watched in order to get the gist of the post.

    So there.

    TLG – As a matter of fact I can.

  38. Cliffhanger or will it be damp squib!! short attention span could that be too much whacky-backie !!

  39. …plotting my comeback to the interwebs as I type…

    1. Find sparkly bikini.
    2. Practice sticking tummy out in time with shitty music.
    3. Find babies to neglect.
    4. Find CHEETO’S before babies. (v. important)
    5. Practice acting smart and not “country”. Use Posh Spice as example.

    See the list is short! I’ll be back soon.

    Hugs and kisses,
    “It’s Marnie Bitch”

  40. oh suspense, I can’t wait to see what happens

  41. This post should be titled “How to keep an idiot in suspense”. Can’t wait to find out what happened next!

  42. If you come out with that bikini on, I’m taking you straight to rehab. After we party for three or four days.

  43. I like the Doobie Brothers. Even have an album I think…

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