When Every Day is Saturday
A Month of Music Jams at Whisper Cove Marina

Net Controller

1-Net Controller 7-18-2012 6-40-19 PMI have control issues and I get to use them to good advantage every Friday.

I also like to talk (no kidding). I MC’d events and Pep Rallies in high school and college. Heck, I majored in “Human Communications” at the University of Maine.

“What’s that major?” asked my dad.

“Speech, Daddy. I’m a Speech Major.”

“Jeezum Crow. All you do is talk. Why do you need to study that?”

I didn’t really have an answer for him.

Anyway. Very shortly after we arrived, Lynn from Silverheels III made a dooryard call in her dinghy – waving a red t-shirt. “We need a Net Controller for Fridays and you’ve been voluntold.”

Frankly I was delighted. I would have volunteered if they’d put out a request.

The Grenada Cruisers’ Net pretty informal – but we do have a suggested script. Now, I’m one who made fun of the Georgetown Cruisers’ Net in the Bahamas. That is a formal net which can last an hour. If you want to participate, you must call the Net Controller prior to the net and get on the list for the appropriate category. I was not “into” the Georgetown experience, but I’ve enjoyed the information and camaraderie found in the cruisers’ nets in the different islands. Some are run by local business folks who (bless their hearts) take time every morning to help us all learn what’s happening, set up social events, and find necessary parts. Here in Grenada, where sailors tend to stay for a month or more, it’s possible to find enough cruisers to take a day or week on a regular basis.

I have two goals: 1) to slow my speech enough to be intelligible on the radio and 2) to make most of my “audience” smile – or even laugh – at least once per “show”. These may be the only goals I’ve met so far in Grenada. In addition to (mostly) following the script, I’ve added in tidbits each Friday. Sometimes I steal an idea from John Gould’s Maine Lingo. At other times I’ve made fun of the tides here. The other day we actually had a one foot tide. I’m not sure why we give the times of these tides, but my public expects it.

I had a lot of fun on Friday, July 13th, discussing how sailors traditionally didn’t want to lay up keels or set sail on long journeys on Fridays; or that many wouldn’t sail with only 13 on board, believing that one would surely die. But my favorite find was the word, friggatriskaidekaphobia, ending my broadcast with, “The fear of Friday the 13th has been called frig-ga-tris-kai-de-ka-phobia. Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.

Of course the rest of the day, I would meet up with cruisers who asked me to pronounce the word again for them. I was able to comply without the notes. I’m afraid that word will rattle around in my head until I die. I’ll probably forget important things, like EW’s name, and still be able to spew out friggatriskaidekaphobia. Of course my favorite comment came from our good buddy D’irv on ReWa, who called me after the net and asked what fear of that word would be. I promptly answered, friggatriskaidekaphobiaphobia.

Damn it. I can’t ever remember that judgment has only one “e”, yet I can now spell friggatriskaidekaphobia.

Go figure.

Oh – the front of the shirt says: “Have no fear, the net controller is here.”

Here’s the back. I (of course) altered it since it wasn’t gender neutral. 1-T shirt back 7-18-2012 6-41-05 PM

No, I don’t wear it when I run the net. Really.


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