Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dip Ship

(Just a minor note, to drop the point that there are all sorts of morning experiences available on board, including going overboard.) 

On a boat, rolling at anchor, the movement gives you a sense that everything is at play; nothing is at rest.  So, presumably, one acquires a sense of relaxed readiness for whatever the next moment will bring. You learn to maintain alertness, as the boat is always giving you warning that you are fair game.

A house gives no indication of its preferences regarding gravity, other than creaking and complaining.  A boat, however, insists upon being attended. The ocean demands respect, you are continually told. If one disembarks and keeps their balance too high while taking the dinghy's rope off the cleat, it's only logical to presume that there is always the rogue wave ready to separate the two crafts in between, upsetting the balance. They conspire if you are found to be even slightly inattentive.

Therefore, supposedly, you guard yourself; you know the MOB drill, you learn the procedure for man overboard.

So, nevertheless, on Christmas Eve morning, all dressed nicely for a good breakfast on shore, I fell face first out of the dinghy, faster than imaginable, right next to the ladder. It was a split second and down in the drink I dropped. Dinghies pitch around more rapidly than the boat, but practice only makes you think you don't have to play by the usual rules. Well, you do.

Keep your weight low in a boat, bend your knees, keep down in gusty weather, even crawl when in a gale. When working on deck, keep one hand for the boat, another for yourself. Always hand your things from one person to another from boat to dinghy only after you are safely aboard. These are some of the standard precautions.

After my dunking, I'll add some other words to the wise:
Always wear a bathing suit under your dress. It doesn't look out of place when pinned to the lifeline, while drying it out, and no-one is the wiser (even though everyone finds out anyway). Wear flip-flops that hug your foot, so they don't come off under water. If you wear sunglasses around your neck, wear 'em snug, to make sure that they won't easily go over your head. If possible, contrive to find a sympathetic boyfriend who wouldn't dream of hooting at you, but pulls you out and makes a true effort to look sympathetically concerned.

Lastly, write in a blog and write it off. Ship dip happens.

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