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Boats Beaches Bars & Ballads by Jimmy Buffett

Back in the 1980s I was on the Big Island of Hawaii. The sea was calling and I chartered a beautiful Hunter sailboat for the day. The owners, a husband and wife came along.  It was not a bareboat charter; the boat was their pride and joy. We cruised down the coast toward Kona.

After a bit the Captain asked me if I'd like to take the helm. He stood behind me and watched me carefully as I drove.

"Here, take the wheel for a moment, please," I said. I moved forward and adjusted the main sheet, the boom vang, and the downhaul and then returned to the wheel. I had been racing sailboats all my life and I could not help myself.

I took a cassette tape (remember those?) from my pocket and handed it to the Captain. "Could we put this on the stereo?" He was still looking up at the sails.

"Huh? What's this?" He looked at the tape. It was the fall of 1985 and Jimmy Buffett had just released Last Mango In Paris. (Off to See the Lizard was still a few years away.)

"Is this Buffett's latest?"

His wife and First Mate popped up in the companionway.

"He has the latest Jimmy?"

"Yeah, and he can sail."

"Well hand me the tape and I'll put it on!"

By the end of the day I had traded three Jimmy Buffett tapes for another full-day sail. Imagine what you could trade for with the boxed set!

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