Swearing Like a Sailor

posted in: Offshores, Sailing | 0

It occurred to Mel last night that the origin of “swearing like a sailor” may be different from what she previously imagined. She used to think it came from what happens when a bunch of men are stuck together with no maternal, mediating force aboard. Now she knows where it came from: all of the Calamity. Mel has been swearing a lot herself lately. “Damn! I just pinched my finger in the rapidly sliding, heavy drawer.” “Crap! I banged my arm into the corner of the saloon table, producing the 8th bruise on that arm!” “Shit! Apparently you cannot cook Tuna Helper in the pressure cooker!”

Mel feels badly that she has not been very successful at her supposed role as dinner cook. Well, not too badly. That was never her forte anyway, which is causing a bit of an ego crisis as she is not very good at sailing just yet, which is the only other thing she can do around here at the moment. To work on her skills, she re-read the provisioning section of Bill Seifert’s 200 Tips for Ocean Passagemaking and laughed out loud when he listed “coriander” as a necessary staple. Mel cannot imagine cooking something with coriander when sailing into the wind. Actually, Mel can’t imagine using coriander for anything ever. I mean, what the hell is coriander, anyway?

These are the deep thoughts that occur during night watches. Mel has found that listening to Mama Cass sing “Dream a Little Dream” is quite soothing while one wonders what will happen if the wind goes nuts if the rainstorms you see on the radar head your way. “Just let out the mainsheet” they say. That is not so easy, people, with a mainsheet bridle and my tiny biceps, which have become sore just from holding onto the chair to keep myself in it. I will just head up, thank you very much!

Mel has gotten accustomed to the noises of her very noisy boat, and even learned today from NCR that we do not actually have “deck slap,” the loud bang that occurs when a wave hits the bottom of the saloon of other catamarans. Rather, we have “chine slap.” So she will change her nighttime swearing to: “Shut the frick up, stupid chines!”

However, today we are in a different world. We rounded the end of Cuba and now have the wind behind us. What a difference! Now the boat just lightly, quietly rocks as we sail ahead in 12 knots of apparent wind with just the mainsheet at 7 knots. It is like we are all coming out of a coma. Even Gypsy is perking up and finally starting to explore a bit! We can read and write without barfing! The solar panels, which include our giant Kyocera, are putting out 60 amps! Fortunately, only minor things malfunctioned last night, such as some cord around the trampoline. We washed down the deck today and getting that sticky salt off is like the first real shower after a five-day backpacking trip! Also, things have to be going well, as Greg is back doing Projects!

So Mel will hopefully stop swearing soon. It is un-ladylike, much like being a bad cook. She’s not sure she can stop being a bad cook anytime soon though. Oh, fuck it!

Less than 24 hours to Jamaica!

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