Posted by: adventuressetravels | February 4, 2011

The Tell-tale Heart of Kenny G

When I first saw the Kenny G cassette tape in the extensive collection of tapes on the wall in my bunk I didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe.  I decided to play it safe and bite my tongue; after all, the captain probably had different taste in music than I did.  Little did I know how useful I would find Kenny G less than two months later.

When Tony arrived one of the first things the seasoned sailor did was  to ask if there were any cassette tapes aboard.  He wanted to make telltales for the boat, he explained.  Telltales were  little pieces of yarn, or more effective, cassette tape; because the tape didn’t get moldy or fall to bits.  These telltale threads were attached to the ship’s shrouds, metal cables that running down from the mast that are part of the ship’s rigging.  They blew in the wind and indicated the true direction the wind was blowing.  Of course we had a Aometer, or wind reader, on board,  but that just wouldn’t do for Tony.

Of the oldschool mindset he always preferred to read the wind using telltales as wind indicators rather than their electronic counterparts.   Machines and electronic equipment was always failing.  It never hurt to have a backup and be able to read the sea by sight.  Not to mention that telltales were a great help in setting sails.

It was a good lesson for me at the very least, I had never heard of using cassette tape to judge wind direction before.

And so Kenny G took his place on the Leeway, Blowing in the wind, high up on one of the Leeway’s stays.  Perhaps the album Breathless was not the best choice for a tell-tale but he is doing far more good on our shrouds than he ever did collecting dust in the cassette box and now we can set our sails using nothing more than the telltale tape of Kenny G.


  1. awesome! I love that kinda resourcefulness. neat picture too.

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