June 21, 2011

Miss Maritime Manners

A TEXAS READER, Frank Barthwell, wants to know how to kiss a girl with a boat. “I seek your advice on a personal matter,” he writes. “This is the situation: I have met a charming girl and have invited her out on a first date. But she is a keen sailor and lives on her own boat in a marina. I have never sailed so I’m not sure of the protocol here.

“Firstly, where do I kiss her goodnight? At the head of the gangway leading down to the concrete walkways? At the locked gate at the beginning of the walkways? At (but not on) her boat? Or in the cockpit? (I think it’s the cockpit. That hole at the back.)

“Secondly, do girl sailors kiss any different from ordinary girls? I mean, will she expect a peck on the cheek, a brush on the lips, a straight full-court press, or vigorous osculation with labial intrusion?

“Any help in advance would be appreciated.”

► Well, Frank, I’m no expert on these things. (And I say that not only because my wife might read this, but also because it’s true. Honestly, dear.) Nevertheless, I have met a few woman sailors in my time and one thing they had in common was that they knew what they wanted and were pretty good at getting it.

So I think you should just relax and be yourself and let her do the leading, which I’m sure she will do. She must have dealt with landlubbers before. You won’t be the first. So if she pauses at the head of the gangway, cocks her head toward you archly, and pushes her lips into a kiss shape, that’s your goodnight signal. She’ll see herself home from there.

On the other hand, if she keeps going all the way to the boat without stopping, don’t get left behind. Stay close. Wait for the pause and the cocked head just before she steps aboard. That’s goodnight. But ... if she disappears down below without pausing, follow her quickly. That’s an invitation to stay for coffee, after which she’ll undoubtedly offer to show you the Golden Rivet[1]. Lucky you.

PS: I would imagine that kissing choices vary from woman to woman, but I think it’s safe (according to books I’ve read, dear, not personal experience) to assume she’ll be happy to start with normal, gentle, lip-to-lip contact, and if she wants something more hectic than that, she will show you how to do it.


Today’s Thought
A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That’s basic spelling that every woman ought to know.

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #212
What defines a voyage, as opposed to a passage? Well, the old Cape Horners regarded a voyage as the full journey, out and back. A trip between any two ports was not a voyage but a passage.

“As I’ve known you for so long, doctor, I won’t insult you by paying you a fee. Instead, I’ve made generous provision for you in my will.”
“Really? That’s very kind of you – and may I glance at the prescription again? There’s a small alteration I’d like to make.”

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