Muscle Memories


Not much of what happens on land happens at sea. The essentials like eating, sure but it stops soon after. The tying and untying of lines for example; not a priority back on land when you’re watching tv. Here: essential to know. The raising of sails, finding the wind and using it to navigate. Not quite unlocking and stepping out the front door.

Now, I’m not a natural sailor. At all. I’m not trying to be fashionably self-deprecating either, it’s just the truth. If we don’t sail for a week, I completely forget how to. It used to drive Jack crazy but I’m pleased to report that after five whole years, he’s starting to hit mellow button on it. Until now, he’d watch me stare blankly at the winch with the line in my hands for a number of anguished seconds before it clicked again – ok, this way, yeah like a clock – and I’d be ready to go. Not the best method when you’re in a storm or your dog falls overboard in between Antigua and Guadeloupe. It’s definitely due to Jack’s clear thinking that we still have our dog, Fin. I’d probably still be flailing around in that awful channel.

Some women reading this might be thinking – oh typical, put-herself-down and giving women a bad name. Trust me; some things I’m awesome at. Sailing is just not one of them. Every muscle in my body tightens when Quest lurches in a gust of wind. I can just hear my fearless mother in my ear, ‘For God’s sake, are you still scared?’ Yes, Mama, I still am. Ha ha!


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