Ready to sail?
Recent events have reminded me of an incident I once observed when Pat and I were on vacation in San Diego.
This was in our early sailing days, when we had recently completed sailing lessons and bought our own boat, the MacGregor 26 Syzygy, within the past year or so. So we weren’t experts by any stretch of the imagination. But at least we did know a bit about sailing and what it involved.
We had been visiting Jer, who still lived in the San Diego area at the time, and we had left him at work (yeah, at one time, he had an actual job) to do some touristing. Since we don’t get a lot of seafood in the desert, and since a major focus of mine when traveling is to enjoy the best of whatever the local food is, we were dining at one of San Diego’s best waterfront restaurants. This one has a nice dining room for fine dining, but it also has a café that has an outdoor deck and reasonable prices, at least by southern California standards.
So Pat and Gerald and I were seated at a table on the deck. This restaurant also has docks around the deck, so customers can arrive by boat, tie up, and enjoy themselves.
A large sailboat – somewhere in the 46 to 50 foot range – approached. At the helm was an older gentleman. I would guess his age at about 60, steel-gray hair, about the right amount of weathering of the face. His crew was a girl who was probably in her early to mid 20s, blonde, curvy. My immediate thought was “trophy wife.” (My later thought was “auditioning to be trophy wife.”) He was wearing upper-class yachtie attire – blue blazer, white slacks, skipper’s cap. She was wearing upper-middle-class slut attire – I’m sure everything she had on had a designer label, but short-shorts, a halter-type bikini top, and pointy-toed spike-heeled sandals are not appropriate for wearing on the foredeck of a sailboat.
If you’ve seen the movie Bambi, remember the scene in which Bambi is spinning around out of control on the ice on top of a frozen pond. That’s about what this blonde looked like on the foredeck of that sailboat.
So the guy is bringing the boat in to dock, and the girl is on the foredeck. He tells her, “Take the port dock line and run it ashore.”
She says, “What?”
“That rope by your left foot,” the guy says. “Pick it up and run it ashore.”
She looks down at the line in question. “Huh?” she asks.
At this point, the boat is about to crash into the dock. But a couple of other diners, handsome college-athlete types, have sprung from their table and dash down to the dock to help with the docking. One of them grabs the bow line (and incidentally the blonde as well), while the other snags the shrouds to keep the boat straight in the slip. That takes a lot of strength with a 50-foot boat.
Reflecting back on the incident, I am astonished that the skipper of that boat would even have allowed that bimbo on the boat with those so totally inappropriate shoes. Whatever thinking he was doing, he was doing it with some other organ than his brain.
Admittedly, most sailing in San Diego isn’t going to require a lot of foul-weather gear or other accommodations to severe weather. But even in San Diego, sailors need to be prepared for what conditions arise. And here in New Mexico, winter sailing is an iffy thing, and anybody who wants to sail here in January should have plenty of layers of clothing, and definitely suitable shoes. It’s not a simple day in the park.