There was a song recorded by Jo Stafford in 1951 called, "Shrimp Boats," which included the following lyrics:
The Shrimp boats is a-comin'
Their sails are in sight.
They go to sea with the evenin' tide
And the women folk wave their goodbye.
There they go ... there they go!
While the [Mississippi] moon floats on high,
And they wait for the day when they can cry ...
The shrimp boats is a-comin'
Their sails are in sight.
It's a cheerful and catchy tune, and if you'd like to listen to it while you read this post, you can click on the following YouTube video.
During our recent visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I was delighted to discover a fleet of shrimp boats docked behind the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi.
I couldn't help but wonder about the origins of their names ...
I spent about a half hour roaming the docks and was fascinated by the intricacies of the colorful tangled nets and ropes and masts. I would love to see how they all work together during the shrimping expeditions.
Some of the shrimpers offer "Shrimping Tours," but I don't think they would want me as a passenger considering I got "seasick" on a tour of the USS Alabama in Mobile several years ago, and it's in dry dock!
I found the ropes to be especially interesting ... and could imagine the weathered hands of the shrimpers as they quickly and expertly tied the knots, even though bone-tired after a day spent on the choppy Gulf waters.
I used my zoom lens to capture the next picture of one of the barrier islands not far off the shoreline. What fun it would be to explore the island and take pictures from there.
The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony is a Gulf Coast tradition marking the beginning of the fishing season for shrimp fishermen. The blessing, given by a local priest, invokes a safe and prosperous fishing season for each boat in the procession. Here is a picture I found on the Internet of a shrimp boat all decked out for the festivities ...
This year's ceremony is scheduled for May 29th through June 1st, and I would love to go back and capture the colorful procession of boats and imagine Ms. Stafford's lively tune announcing "the shrimp boats is a-comin' ... their sails are in sight!"
Perhaps I can get a ride out to that island while I'm there, too!
The word lagniappe, as defined by Webster's, means "something given or obtained gratuitously, or by way of good measure."
"Time never turns backwards
Its old charms to give,
In photographs only
Can yesterdays live."
~ Edgar A. Guest
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