susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Masters under God

The first skipper I ever sailed with was my father, in the boat he built. We went to France, and when we sighted the French coast, his navigation was such, he wasn’t sure whether to turn left or right to get to Le Havre. We ended up in St Valery en Caux – which is where we intended to go all along, of course. It set a pattern for my wanderings - a leaf blown by the winds.

Since then I have shipped on board many boats as crew – the old racing yacht, and cooking green sausages for hungry shipmates (not me); Warren Blake’s Four Friends in the South China Sea (unofficial crew when I felt like it on a diving trip) – he is the late Peter Blake’s cousin; a delivery trip through the Baltic to Copenhagen, when the heart-by-passed skipper cast off, despite our warnings, in front of an opening Kiel Canal and found he had no steerage – sails up pdq, he rubbing his chest all the while; a selection of Captain Blighs with an overfondness for ultimate control; never forgetting R, who with the next 2, got us to and from Spain+Biscay (and other places) and we're nearly all of still speaking; and last but not least S &J, – the laid-back night club owners, husband and wife, who like a good old cruise, drink and a laff. And they know who they are.

And now Jack – sailor of Fortune – ace navigator and all things nautical and such a funny guy. He’d be happy if he never had to set foot on shore.


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