Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Aegean Mission Part II (a)

An observer's guide to Yacht hiring in the Dodecanese - how to spot nationalities…...

No 1. British Yachtsman
Normally a couple or two couples, with loads of sunblock.
Under provision on food, over provision on beer.
Tend to sail a little over reefed.
Give plenty of swing room in anchorages and lays ground tackle with care.
Approaches stern-to moorings with discretion, care and at a walking pace and deploys lines with accuracy.
Observes inshore etiquette to the letter, including lowering of colours at sunset.

No 2. French Yachtsman
Lone elderly man made of tan shoe leather.
Load no food other than sea-weed, but flagons of rot gut wine on the foredeck.
Sails carry no reefing points, as the lines tangle around the solar panels.
Anchor with the minimum amount of chain, lays ground tackle with a shrug
Never moor stern to, instead anchor in the roads to glare at other boats
What etiquette?

No 3. Italian Yachtsman
18 people on board in speedoes and bikinis, all talking on their mobile phones.
Spend two hours arguing in the supermarkets with ten trolleys of food and then clear out the shop of retsina, while talking on their mobile phones.
Sail massively over pressed at all times with entire deck talking on their mobile phones.
Deposit sixty metres of chain in 5 metres of water, then swing wildly, over everyone else's anchors, while talking on their mobile phones.
Moor stern-to in a place too small for a mirror dinghy at full astern, involving the entire crew arguing over how it should be done. Repeated three times - with mobile phone breaks.
No flag etiquette.
Time in harbour spent hiring scooters and talking on their mobile phones.


Kate said...

You forgot the Germans ... 'rows over to criticise the Englishman's rigging ... '

Nicodemus said...

They are worthy of an entire post - for observations abound on their sanctimonious behaviour whilst forgetting to wear the right lights.

Anonymous said...

Some observations about Englishmen from a dinghy sailing perspective:

Englishmen - never wear shirts on the first day of competition and in agony by the second through sunburn. First to strip off their clobber for a nudie run through the boatpark after the welcome BBQ, and first up the flagpoles for a souvenir as soon as it is sunset on the last day. Also most likely to spend a night in the lockup at some stage during the regatta, especially if the regatta is in Germany. If in Italy, also most likely to have a minor car crash, and to have their way with the teenage daughter of the race controller (never did manage to work out how they did that one).