Sunday, 13 May 2018

Salty Sea Dogs


Move over, Captain Ahab, here comes UberGrumpy.

Unless you count the Isle of Wight ferry, Mrs G and I are not experienced sailors.  So a recent holiday with good friends on board a sailboat was quite literally a voyage of discovery. We learnt loads.  Naturally, I feel the need to share some top tips with you.

We had a captain, who did the hard stuff like making the boat move, and not crashing into other boats.  We concentrated on the basics, like standing up, not spilling your mojito, and not standing in the wrong place.  The captain was a big help here, building bonhomie with quips like “Move! You want to be decapitated by a block?”  Oh how we laughed, enjoying the banter, while quietly learning that boats are made of blocks, apparently, and sometimes they come loose.

Familiar things become strange and new. On a boat, sheets are actually ropes, and vice versa, probably. This is one of the reasons people don’t usually sleep on boats.  We did, and were surprisingly comfortable, although Mrs G still has a couple of unusual burn marks.

Similarly, heads are actually toilets. After a heavy session, the phrase ‘I was completely off my head last night’ takes on a whole new and quite unpleasant meaning.  So my advice to you, shipmates, is drink moderately, not least because the room rolls around unpleasantly even before you start.  While sipping carefully, suck on a salty snack like dried seaweed, or a Twiglet, to keep the dreaded seasickness at bay.

After a hard day’s sipping, sucking, lolling and greenly focussing on the horizon, you may think a romantic tryst in your little cabin would be just the ticket. You would be wrong, unless you are lucky enough to have rubber bones, and suckers like an octopus. Even a peck on the cheek can be downright dangerous (I could show you the toothmarks) so anything more would be suicidal.  We did have a go, I will admit. It was like Twister in an earthquake.  Lord Nelson took Lady Hamilton with him on voyage, and ended up minus an arm, and an eye. Enough said.

Perilous, yes, but such fun, and all too soon our voyage was over, and we were back on terra firma, swaying gently (mostly from the shock of the bar bill).  Sadly we watched from the quay as our nautical home disappeared, until the very tip of the mast was gone.  I guess someone pulled the plug out.  It wasn’t me. 

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