Christmas on the Water: It’s Poetry

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Ah, Christmas is here, and this year’s 103rd Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade was spectacular, and my Captain’s hat is tipped to the boat owners who did a fantastic job of decorating their boats ranging in size from 10 feet to more than 100 feet in length.

Mother Nature was not kind during the week, with drizzly rain and the high winds, but King Neptune made sure that the parade could proceed each night, and I was able to still announce from the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum for the visitors from near and a far.

The live radio show broadcast on KOCI 101.5 FM was great, with fine weather, and the museum’s 40-by-40-foot tent was packed full with anxious parade watchers.  Craig Carpenter was my co-host, and a special guest was Ray Tsuneyoshi who is the former California’s Boating & Waterways director and now is the national program director for the United States Power Squadron.  Then on the air was Rita Stenlund, executive director of the Nautical Museum, and Janis Dinwiddie, of Dinwiddie Events, chatting about the museum’s displays and renovations.  I received numerous emails after the radio show that we need an Internet camera feed for next year’s parade for those across the nation to watch.

Once again, I updated my annual Christmas poem, as I weigh anchor for Christmas:


‘Twas the Day Before Christmas Upon Newport Harbor


‘Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the Harbor

You could see a few boats sailing on the water

And sea lions were hauled out on Harbor’s entrance buoy

With the bell clanging with each passing swell.

The fish were happy as no hooks were around

And the sea birds were eating, being fed by a shore crowd.

When all of sudden there arose such a clatter

The mermaids swam up to see what was the matter.

The sea lions dove into the water and the boats sailed away from all the splatter.

When shore crowd looked out to see such a sight

but the birds just continued eating their supper.

All of a sudden but what should appear

the King of the Sea bringing his own Christmas cheer.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

As King Neptune held up his scepter for all to see,

And out of the scepter came a lightening bolt so grand

it made a loud bang when it hit the land

And to everyone’s amazement as you looked around

Disappearing were all the storm drains that drained into his sea from the land.

His gift for Christmas was no more pollution into the water

But I heard him exclaim, when he swam out of sight

What starts at the drain, feeds the harbor when it rains

And Mayor Nancy Gardner accepted his scepter for all to see

for all her hard work keeping our bay clean

Lastly, Merry Christmas to all and to all a safe voyage!


And don’t forget: Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, Capt. Mike Whitehead’s Boathouse Radio Show, broadcasting coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network every Saturday at noon, Pacific Time and replayed on Sunday at 10 am Pacific.  Join Chandler Bell, Craig Carpenter, and me as we talk about “all things boating.”  You can find the station listings, cable TV channels, live streaming on the Internet, and now available are apps to listen to the show for your iPhone, Blackberry, iTouch, Android, Palm, and Windows Mobile at or

Until next week, Safe Voyages!

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