August 9, 2011

Curing the cruising scruples

TO MOST SAILORS’ ASTONISHMENT, there are still some old-fashioned women who insist on being given a wedding band, or at least an engagement ring, before they will embark on a cruise for two under sail.

It therefore behooves every male skipper to keep handy a medium-sized ring of some metal resembling gold, fit for the wedding finger of the left hand of a female exhibiting a case of pre-cruise scruples.

In addition, the well-prepared skipper will keep handy the following script, which is to be read aloud in the privacy of the saloon before the cruise starts:

“Now hear this; now hear this. To all whom it may concern, let it be known that under the powers invested in me by the Merchant Shipping Connubial Bliss Act as captain of a vessel engaged in peaceful commerce and flying the flag of the United States of America, I do take this woman, Flossie Splendid, to be my lawful wedded wife, with all the duties that implies, for just so long as this voyage shall endure. I may now kiss the bride.”

The skipper should sign and date this script. It would be as well to make a copy for the lady, too, in case you are boarded by the Coast Guard, so she can demonstrate that everything is above-board. Once a lady has caught the scruples, she needs all the paperwork she can get.

Today’s Thought
If a man wants to leave a toothbrush at my house, he can damn well marry me.
— Michelle Triola Marvin. (On winning court case against common-law husband Lee Marvin.)

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #233
It’s a widely respected custom that if you anchor with two anchors you are moored, not just anchored. This is especially so if your anchors are arranged on separate rodes in such a way as not to be able to foul each other. There may be occasions when it would be legally beneficial for insurance or other purposes if your boat were moored rather than anchored.

How’s you love life been lately, Ethel?”
“Terrible. Either I get a man who’s so slow I want to scream, or else a guy who’s so fast I HAVE to.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

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