Best Day On The Water: Catalina Moonlit Night

By Dave Barrette

Singer-songwriter performs for record-breaking raft-up off Catalina Island.

Concert on boat cartoonIllustration: Gary Hovland

I am a singer-songwriter who performed in and around Southern California in the 1970s, but left the music business some 20 years ago to start a family and get a "serious" job. My wife and I became powerboaters back in 1984 and joined several yacht clubs, both on the mainland and on Catalina Island. I have performed my music at various yacht clubs over the years, and built a following among the local boating community. I loved Catalina Island and the beautiful times my family, friends, and I had there, so I wrote a song called "Catalina Moonlit Night."

Four years ago, I sang and played guitar in the cockpit of my boat. Word got out, and we soon had a dozen dinghies gathered around as fellow boaters came to enjoy the music. The next year, a fellow yacht club member, who played the bass and banjo, joined me. Each year the crowds grew larger and more dinghies came, all filled with fellow boaters who brought drinks and snacks to share while singing along, and some even danced in their dinghies.

Last Labor Day weekend, I invited another guitarist, a drummer, and a sax player, and we brought a huge sound system to play on the back of the bass player's boat. We're told we broke the record for the largest-ever raft-up music concert on Catalina Island. It's now called the Annual Cherry Cove Cockpit Concert. The crowd was fantastic! They sang and danced. It was a magical evening on the water. Why stop now?  

— Published: October/November 2018


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