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Gentlemen Do Not Sail to Weather

Not so many years ago, yachting was principally a wealthy gentleman’s activity. They would dress in their sartorial, elegant white pants, striped jacket and cap, and sail off with the wind abeam or from behind. Not to the weather, for if they did the latter they would be crashing into waves with seas coming aboard and they would be doused, thus destroying any appearance of proper dress and elegance. So gentlemen did not sail to weather.

This sailor has no choice. For the past week I have been "close hauled," going to the weather with the result that we are constantly being sprayed with each wave we hit, and at times, we take on a full wave and "green water" comes across the deck. Going forward to inspect, I first have to turn the boat off the wind a little, attach my harness to the jacklines that run the full length of the boat, solely for my safety. I quickly do my inspection and work as fast as possible. Inevitably though, I get doused. Of course, were I a gentleman, I would have a paid crew to carry out such functions. But they must be hiding, as I have not seen another face in the 15 days since I left Bermuda. I wonder how many of my readers have ever experienced such isolation - and this is just the beginning.

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