Personal note: Every now and then, on the summer ferry ride from Great Cranberry Island to Southwest Harbor, I would recite a poem I'd been working on for whoever was the captain on that run. In 2007, one of the captains I recited for was Ellen Ewankow. In September, at the end of the season, as she was about to depart for her annual trip to work in Antarctica, we invited her for dinner. After dinner, she recited this poem. She hadn't done such a thing before, and I was thrilled. I had to learn it, too, and in finding it, discovered near its end the phrase "Though if you know your Service," which led me to Robert Service's Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail," which also became a must-learn. Compare them for the pleasure of seeing a very clever adaptation.
Note -- Because there are a lot of nautical and nautical slang terms here, I've put links to pages explaining them, for anyone who isn't familiar with them and is curious about them.
Back Story: This poem is a nautical rendition of the Robert Service poem Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail. I first heard it in 1982 while circumnavigating on board the Schooner Deliverance. My understanding is that it was written by Wayne Chimenti (chief mate), Dan Quin (bosun) and Dave Higgins (master and owner of Deliverance). Thus the names in the poem. I suspect it has been handed down from "schooner boy" to schooner boy" for the past 25 years and its origin forgotten.
The Sea Slug Cocktail
David Higgins and others
Down the dock with a swaggering walk, came another salty lad
Of spinnakers and bloopers, and cunninghams and such,
But he claimed to know the gaffers, he could tell you throat from peak,
Now Wayne the mate was forward, and Dan the bosun, too,
He steps aboard and spins a yarn of all the rigs he's known,
"I agree," said bosun Dan, "and so I have a plan
So that night in the focs'l they assembled all the gang.
A yachting cap was on his head, top-siders on his feet,
"And so," said bosun Dan, to the blushing new deckhand,
Now the same some say is one who's sailed through a roaring water-spout,
A puzzled look crossed the new man's brow, "I trust you do not tease.
They're soft and fat and pasty white, and feed upon red-lead,
She mixed the critters up in a shaker of squid secretion
And there he pumped his bilges while the schooner boys made jest
But if you were a schooner boy, you'd know it was no sham,