Awkward etiquette: a guide to sailing (with someone you don’t like)


Darling, if you’re brand new to sailing and you’re going sailing with a woman you don’t particularly like, here are a few tips that should really make it better. If you’re new to sailing, you can be forgiven for not knowing that you should be downwind from this woman when vomiting and when you’re seasick. Also, it’s crucial to know the difference between port (left) and starboard (right) so you don’t embarrass yourself when she yells at you to secure a line.

You’re new to sailing, you’re awkward, and you don’t know your way around the boat. Who knew people could be so easily knocked overboard? Remember to hold onto the lifelines, and always keep one hand for the boat and one for yourself. You are brand new to this—how are you supposed to know that that’s the most shark-infested part of the ocean? If you’re brand new to sailing and you’re going on this woman’s boat, how were you supposed to know that your stilettos could damage her teak deck?

I thought we were supposed to baptize the boat with a bottle of champagne for every voyage. Did I get glass on you? Also, be aware that the head (the boat’s toilet) isn’t like the one at home; you can’t flush anything but the bare essentials. And don’t worry about the fashion; just think safe, dry, comfortable, and maybe something you can spend the night in jail in, just in case. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and water-resistant gear because you’re going to get splashed—trust me.

You might hear terms like “tacking” and “jibing,” which refer to changing direction with the wind. Knowing the difference can help you avoid getting hit by the boom. Speaking of which, duck when she yells “prepare to jibe!” And don’t forget to ask where the PFDs (personal flotation devices) are—safety first, even if the company isn’t the best.

Most importantly, remember to have fun and keep an eye on the weather. A sudden storm can turn your nautical adventure into a scene from a disaster movie. Pay attention to the telltales on the sails to help with trimming, and don’t be afraid to ask what a halyard or a sheet is—they’re just ropes with fancy names. Happy sailing!


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