“Sea Men,” those who are a nightmare on a boat.


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Not everyone has a sense of irony. The articles we published about “Sea Women”(links 1, 2, 3 and 4 here) have been much discussed. There were those who accused us of being sexist and inciting misogyny, and those who fortunately (and among them many sailing maidens) instead caught the goliardic spirit, the desire to laugh about it. At this point I take it upon myself, as a man, to tease the boys. Because let’s face it, of “Sea Types,” there are industrial quantities of them…. Which ones do you know?

master-and-commanderIf he could, he would walk around in a nineteenth-century admiral’s uniform even when he goes to work. The office desk is as tidy as an operating room; he gives orders to subordinates as on the command bridge and resents impositions from above. Perhaps that is precisely why he only needs to breathe in the salty air at the dock for his eyes to glow with an “evil” light. If you are on a cruise, you will have no way to decide when to go ashore or sleep quietly in the roadstead. Agreed that a commander is needed on board, but this is going too far…. P.S. With a little attention, you can recognize the “commander in chief” even from a distance: he is the one who is desperately looking for a crew because no one wants to go sailing with him anymore.

sashsplitNot only, as is proper, must you remove your shoes before boarding his boat, but you must also be careful where you put down your bag. The “Precursor” checks that you have stowed your accessories and clothes in the most proper way to gain space. There is no smoking on board, not even facing the aft platform. But the real drama is the galley: would you like a nice pastasciutta washed down with a Vermentino di Gallura? Forget it: booze is definitely frowned upon, and carbohydrates can be replaced by a small salad (of which you will find at least ten packets on departure, which will become hopelessly soft, moist and inedible after two days on board). And in the morning, no cookies and Nutella: everyone on the deck doing yoga.

092010_met_sailboat_549603aImagine the scene: here you are in the middle of a transfer without a breath of wind and with the sea looking like oil. The ideal situation to relax, sunbathe, read a book. No way. The hyperactive owner hops nonstop from bow to stern, fixing some tape on the cotter pins, watching the gps all the time. And if you see him with a worried look staring at the base of the mast, don’t make the mistake of asking him if you can do anything. Cayenne will seem to you to be a place of all rest. On a cruise, the hyperactive is unable to enjoy a roadstead. As soon as the anchor is dropped, while the crew dives in to enjoy a refreshing swim (for they will surely be fresh from a crossing of at least twelve hours) he will already have in his hand pilot books and charts studying the next leg. Which will always come too soon…

Screenshot 2014-06-24 at 12:11:43 p.m.

Okay that making the boat travel at its best is one of the pleasures of sailing. But there is a way and a way. The hardened racer you recognize immediately: in his wardrobe there are no shirts, on the other hand he has a number of polo shirts , which he wears at all times, possibly with the collar turned up, to make a store in downtown Milan envious, all strictly “logoed,” from the most varied competitions. It doesn’t matter if there are two or twenty-five knots of air, wearing his mittens he will always be there to adjust the sheets, check the base, drop a little vang.So focused that he is likely not to notice that you are motoring along.

5-looking-down-Seagulls-garden_smWidespread in other countries, it is gaining momentum in our country as well. It is true that the beauty of arriving in a new place is getting ashore to discover it, but this is going too far. Who said that to get to the top of the island mountain where you dropped anchor and enjoy the view, you have to trek five hours on August 13 at lunchtime?

Alexander de Angelis





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