Given the success of our list of five fellow boaters to avoid on a cruise, we thought we would expand it with a second installment. Here are five more types of sailors you would do well to avoid boarding if you don’t want your vacation to turn into “Ten Calm Hours Flat.”
Five boating companions to avoid on a cruise
In Liguria they also call it “bauscia,” but beware: do not identify it with “Milanese,” it mostly stands for behavior. This gentleman at the dock and before sailing knows everything. He has participated in ocean sailing courses. He has been aboard Soldini’s boat. He even once saved a castaway from certain death and in match-race claims to have given James Spithill a run for his money. But strangely, he is not listed in any roll of honor, and if you try to “google” his name nothing will appear. As soon as you are in navigation, you will understand why. He pretends to be at the helm, and as he sails he pulls behind the pillar to which he had obviously forgotten the 220 outlet attached. The braggart can’t tell the difference between mainsail and genoa (which he thinks is a soccer team), confuses speech with bowsprit, and thinks fenders are an aesthetic decoration. Disaster. It is probably true that he gave Spithill a run for his money: but he was in the boat with him.
Well yes, this character of Pirandellian memory also roams the docks. You are on board, sailing to Elba, ahead of Livorno. The sun is shining, a light breeze accompanies you on the flat August sea. “But how come you don’t have the self-inflating jacket on?” the hyectator asks you. “And where are the life-lines?“. You would feel like telling him to go to hell, but there is no time, because a sudden rump runs over you and you find yourself, in Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt, battling a storm that not even at Sydney Hobart. Reducing your brain to mush, as you are desperately trying to give two hands of terzaroli, will be the phrases uttered to yourself (but loud enough to be heard) by the hyphenator: “Eh… I said it… eh… the Grib Files… eh… the meteorology course.”
We don’t begrudge the female readers, but alas, this is a well gendered character. The girlfriend of some of your fellow boaters who arrives in a twelve heel and a stiff Hermes suitcase: who scolds you if the boat tilts and if the mainsail covers her sun. That with the fresh water he uses to take a shower on board could solve the thirst problem throughout Africa. That, at 6 a.m., at roadstead, wakes up the entire crew to force them into an unlikely “sun salutation.” Who, for Pete’s sake, is with your very dear friend and you can’t say anything to her so as not to ruin a years-long relationship of mutual affection (with your friend), otherwise, so much for the feminists, you would smack her and force her to watch Wertmüller’s “Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August” 100 times.
You are about to moor at the dock: you have assigned roles to the crew, there is one already ready with the half sailor for the stern and two at the stern, ready to receive the lines from the mooring man. When out from below deck pops him, the crazy mooring advisor. He takes command of operations without being authorized by anyone. He gives contradictory orders to the helmsman, for his part he fiddles with the gears, reverse and forward, reverse and forward, shouting left and right disorienting the crew. The result: you will find yourself transfixed in no time, with a nice dirty tug crawling on deck or wrapped around the engine propeller, and your boat neighbors cursing because obviously the fenders, moved by the insane advisor, are not in the right position. The counselor will contemplate the mess made and comment, seraphically, “Eh but if you never listen to me….”
Be careful to avoid like the plague the miser on board, or your cruise will turn into a terrible captivity of tuna, beans and stale bread and 30 grams of pasta (cooked in seawater) every week. It will force you to wash exclusively with seawater. It will demand to go sailing even in full becalmed conditions and, in the worst case scenario, will force you, if you really cannot stop at the roadstead, to moor at the transit in the marinas but only after midnight, waking you up at five in the morning to set sail and thus not paying the fee.