Travellers miss out on the best of a trip by ship or boat if they see it as just a matter of transportation.
There's the sense of place and time - the history of the body of water and its ports that created that man-made part of what we see of the land around us leaves tantalising visible clues that are well worth learning about.
There are also the vessels that use the waters, often developed to suit local conditions and the work required of them - fishing boats, for example tend to be low to the water to allow their crews to work nets and pots, while the shingle beaches of the South Coast require sturdy, shallow keeled boats, such as those you see at Hastings.
And then there's the cultural material that comes down to us from the different groups who have used the sea in their own ways - sailors, bargemen and fishermen in particular, but also the fraternity of yachties and traditional boat enthusiasts, to which I belong.
The songs on this album represent an important part of this heritage. Many are great stories played out in a dramatic and hazardous setting: we have cautionary tales, stories about young love, difficult relations between the people of the land and the people of the sea, and the appalling bullying that clearly used to go on in the little dictatorships that were sailing ships in the old days...
And of course many have grand anthemic choruses that are perfect for singing in a bar, after an evening meal on board, or on a hard beat to windward - truly songs for singing sailors.
Gavin Atkin, March 2015
For more from Julie and Gavin Atkin, see: julieandhersqueeze.com