Posted by: Lare | October 22, 2012

Back In Bocas

Well, here we are back in beautiful, but very warm, Bocas del Toro, Panama. You probably already knew this but it name means “Mouths of the Bull.” Needless to say it’s a lot warmer here than Seattle—currently about 86F with a humidity of about 85%.

Vicki is practicing her flute and when she’s done we’ll head to the beach for a cool down swim. I’ll post some pics of the beach later. Being that we were here only a week when we came back in June we didn’t really take time to see the area. We plan on fixing that this time.

Before we can go exploring there are boat chores. When leaving the boat for three months, as you can imagine, we have to batten down, disinfect, pickle, dehumidify, defrost, and otherwise pack up everything. Which means as well that when we return, we do the reverse of all these things. And of course, while you’re gone stuff breaks, corrodes, rusts, molds, mildews, expires, and rots, (excuse me, decomposes). We are now about halfway through the list of “stuff that needs to be done before we can go.” If you’re cruiser you know exactly what I mean. If not, it’s kind of like leaving your house for three months in an area where all the elements gang up and attack. Oh yes, and there’s that possibility of sinking thing. Anyway, Murphy was at work while we were away but luckily he missed a few items.

Still it’s good to be back in paradise, and as well it’s fun looking forward to the other paradises we plan to experience along the adventure trail in the next few months.

Posted by: Lare | October 15, 2012

Making Our Own Music

I’ve written a few songs over the years but it seems that in the last year I’ve had lots of inspiration and my output has increased a lot. Lyrics have been written with accompanying music and from there all it takes is money and time, (or timing). What may seem like a last-minute decision is actually a carefully thought out plan that just happened to come about at what may have seemed like the last minute. Okay, I may have put it off a bit too, but an original song is ready when it’s ready. In this case I was ready at the end of August but the stars didn’t align until late September. I have to admit to some apprehension about exposing a part of myself that not many people know, and that could have contributed to this. Surely all song writers, novelists, physical media artists and other performers have some of these same feelings. Or, it could be that I’m all alone on this island….whatever.

Anyway, about two weeks ago began a music project to get a semi-carefully selected few of my tunes recorded. It’s been a lot of work. My band mates of a hundred years generously offered their time to help me realize this dream. Our drummer, the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with, is Mark Jelsing. I first played with him in 1975 and we went on to play in many bands together. Besides being a first class musician, he’s a nice guy. My second partner in crime is a very nice guy as well. His name is Robert Thomsom, (I call him Berto). This fellow is perhaps one of the premier bassists in the land, and Mark and I have had the great fortune to be associated with him since 1980. Many years ago we three traveled the land seeking opportunities to regale the undeserving public, (our view at the time), with our musical expertise. Well, it didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped but we did form a very tight trio.

These are the guys who boldly went into the studio with me to create my first album. Over the last two weeks I’ve spent most every available minute practicing, writing, and rewriting eight songs for publication. The ninth is a cover that I have enjoyed playing for a couple of years, and which also features Vicki on the flute.

I met a couple of nights ago with a horn section featuring great saxophonist Paul Fessenden to lay a track in one of the tunes called All for Love. The album is now done and ready to mix down and send to the mastering studio.

Posted by: Lare | October 8, 2012

Perry Rendezvous Allstars

If you’ve followed the blog for a while you know that Rocinante is Passport 40 sailboat designed by the famous Robert Perry. I’ve always been a fan of his designs and hoped someday to meet him, which I did in 2011 at his home in Tulare Beach. At Port Ludlow every year sometime in August, there is a Robert Perry Design Rendezvous. I’ve tried to make this event for several years running but something always came up. I was determined to attend this year.

I emailed Bob and told him I would be going to the Rendezvous this year and I hoped to be able to jam with his band that would be playing on Saturday night. He agreed, (actually he said it wouldn’t hurt to bring an axe and see what happens), but I could tell he was understandably a little reluctant to commit. After all, the band had played together for a number of years and didn’t necessarily need a third guitar player. Well, I was going to the Rendezvous anyway so I might as well take my gear and see what happens.

Since Rocinante is in Panama I had no boat to take to the party. I came up with a plan B. This was easily enough solved, by taking Rocinante II, our 34’ Damon Motor Coach. My original plan had been to sail over to Port Ludlow with a friend but that didn’t work out. So off I go to find a temporary home near Port Ludlow for the RV while I attend the goings on.

Thirty-nine boats registered for the rally but I’m sure there were more. Signed up were Babas, Islanders, Lafittes, a Mirage, Nordics, Passports, a Saga, Tayanas, Tashibas, a Union, and Valiants. I was able to see and visit four other Passport 40s like Rocinante. It’s really interesting to see your own boat with different dressings and equipment. I learned quite a bit. The Saga had recently done a round-the-world trip. I think this is my new favorite design—outside Rocinante of course.

Saturday night came and as I was walking about I saw Bob Perry setting up band equipment for the evenings festivities. I asked him again if I could jam with the band and he said okay, but he reserved the right to pull out the hook if I sounded bad. That worked for me so I made the trip back to Rocinante II at an RV park down the road to retrieve my gear. After setting up and playing a few practice tunes with the band they allowed me to stay.

The party was a lot of fun and judging from the responses and the dance floor participation, the music was great. I’d like to thank the Perry Rendezvous All Stars, Bob Perry, Jeff, Frosty, and Kurt, for letting me play. I really had a good time. Having the opportunity to sing good three-part harmony is a rare thing for me and I enjoyed it to the fullest. As a matter of fact it was so good for us that we had a weekend jam at Bob’s a month later to practice and learn some new tunes for the Rally next year. It’s nice to know that I’ll have at least one gig when I come back.

Posted by: Lare | October 6, 2012

Larry Becomes A Busker

Well, I know it’s been a while, but we’ve been visiting the Seattle area since late June and I guess we’ve felt as if, since nothing is going on related to sailing around exotic places, there wouldn’t be much interest. Lately I’ve taken to looking back at all we’ve done in the past three months and decided to give a report on some of this.

Coming back to the northwest after being in Central America was of course a temperature shock. I’m not sure I’ve ever re-acclimated since we sailed away in August of 2009, even when we we’re here that time for seven months. Ok, enough whining about the weather.

In July I decided to try something I’d never done; being a busker. A busker is defined by Wikipedia as:  the practice of performing in public places, for gratuities, which are generally in the form of money and edibles. People engaging in this practice are called street performers, buskers, street musicians, minstrels, or troubadours. My first foray into the business of busking began at Everett Farmers Market near the Marina of Everett on a nice sunny day at around 11am and ended at noon with $7 in my cowboy hat, (tip receptacle). I must admit that I didn’t expect to get rich, but $7? You probably noticed in the definition that some buskers play, (or in the past have played), for food. I wasn’t desperate for food, or money for that matter, but I did want the experience. Another idea in the back of my mind was marketing my new CD which at that point wasn’t yet a reality.

All in all it was a fun experience although I admit to some nervousness doing this new thing. It was obvious I wasn’t going to get rich doing this, but I wanted more so I decided to try busking at Pike place Market in Seattle. If you’ve been there you know that there is quite a variety of street performers there and consequently lots of competition for those precious tips. You may have thought that it’s only a matter of taking out a guitar and putting down a hat and crooning yourself into millionairedom, but in some places it’s a bit more complicated than that. In the case of Pike Place Market, unlike Everett Farmers Market, you must first apply for and be granted a busker license for a fee of $30. After the mandatory reading of pages of busker rules and receiving a map of numbered and approved performance spots I set out to impress everyone with my talents.

Having earlier cased the area for the best available spot I moved in. I won’t try to describe all the rules to which you are subject, and there are a few, but each performer gets one hour in a given spot and if it is occupied you wait your turn. The busker occupying my desired corner was a balloon twister and a very nice guy who would share with me the unwritten rules, one of which he was accused of violating a few minutes after I arrived.

As were standing, (in my new friend’s case twisting), there a fellow with a pigeon walked up and went into a tirade about how the twister was going over his allotted hour and not displaying his plastic coated performers permit. This was truly as bizarre as it sounds–a guy with a pigeon on his head yelling and swearing at a fellow in a clown suit accessorized by a nicely coordinated variety of colored balloons around his waist, neck, and head. I was drawn into the conflict because I was next in line for the spot and didn’t have my permit displayed either. The hullabaloo didn’t go un-noticed by the large number of passersby but in spite of the gathering crowd didn’t garner us any more tips. Eventually a security guard appeared and things got back to semi-normal.

When my turn to perform came about the pigeon head fellow stood about 20 feet away and glared at me until I asked him if he was “an asshole to everyone or was I just special?” He became copacetic but not apologetic after that and I finished my hour making $12, five of which came from the clown for standing there with him during the debacle.

That was my one time playing at Pike Place Market. There was no return performance. I decided that buskering in that high stress environment was just not for me, but if I change my mind I still have my license.

Posted by: Lare | June 27, 2012

Music from Rocinante

Hello from Lare. I’m looking at posting our musical recordings here soon. I hope this is of interest to some. If you’re familiar with our music and have a special request let us know and we’ll try to make it happen. You may hear the sounds of the water, waves, wind, or other boats in the background but that’s how it is when we record on the boat. We hope you like it.

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