Allow me to introduce myself and my company's new blog: The Champlain Scuttlebutt! My landlubber name is Hannah Langsdale, but me pirate name be Captain Diddy Longbeard. I'm the owner of Whistling Man Schooner Co. and I'm excited to embark on this blog adventure with you all!
This blog is meant to provide local knowledge, lore, and insight about sailing, pirating, picnicking, adventuring, anchoring, and what it’s like to be a Champlainophile (a made-up word for someone who loves Lake Champlain). I'll also be enlisting my salty crew of sailors to pitch in with their wide range of expertise and impart their knowledge and stories upon us! Together, we'll share with you everything we love about the people, places, and things important to Whistling Man and our lives working aboard Friend Ship and Wild Rose, including but not limited to: treasure maps, books, secret Lake Champlain coves/swimming spots, ghost stories, snacks (geedunk), pirate names, pirate costumes, pirate slang, etc. Who knows, maybe we’ll even share our Champ sightings with you!
Speaking of pirate slang, this seems like a great place to start. Let’s get down to brass tacks: what the heck is a scuttlebutt? And what does it have to do with this blog? Nowadays, you may have heard the word scuttlebutt as the equivalent to the colloquialism of “the water cooler” in an office setting: the place everyone hangs out to hear the latest gossip.
But in old times aboard sailing ships, the scuttlebutt was a small cask (a butt) holding fresh water which had been scuttled, as in, a hole was cut into it. Sailors would use a cup to scoop water through the hole and drink from it. (Side-note: they called this cup the “dipper”, and sometimes the Captain would order the dipper be hoisted all the way up the mast to prevent the crew from drinking more than their fair share of water.). Noise had to be kept to a minimal down below so the off-duty sailors could sleep, and on-deck you had to be quiet so those on-duty could clearly hear orders. So where’d a sailor go if they needed to spin a yarn with their best bud or parley with their frenemy? The scuttlebutt of course! It was one of the few places aboard where you could relax a bit, mull over the day’s happenings, and exchange views with others.
We hope that this blog acts as our version of a metaphorical, online scuttlebutt, where we can all share happenings and bits of wisdom with each other. This is not a one-way conversation: we want to encourage our readers to engage with us in the comments section or via email if you have anything to share or if there is a topic that you would like us to cover!
Thanks everyone, we’ll be back soon. Dipper Hoisted!