Most people have very romantic notions of sailing, which are to some extent justified. When you are slicing through the water, sails gorging on the breeze, watching a giant red sun melt into the waves while slurping on a glass of crisp white wine, sailing is definitely romantic.
But then there is the other kind of sailing. The one that drags you shivering from your cabin at 3am, after just two hours of fitful sleep, to pull on your damp heavy oilskins and clamber out on deck where the wind and water slap you across the face as the boat is flung from wave to wave like a pinball. At those times, it can be difficult to detect the romance.
The sea is a fickle mistress. She lures you in with promises of unimaginable delights to come, then spits you out in a violent rage moments later. The sea demands respect. She can grant you safe and easy passage making you want to spend your life afloat or leave you praying to Poseiden and all known maritime Gods for dry land.
When conditions turn against you, life on a boat can be at best deeply uncomfortable, at worst, plain frightening.
But that is one of the joys of sailing – its total infuriating, electrifying unpredictability.
It has many other appeals, the sense of total and unadulterated freedom, the poetic motion of the boat through the undulating water, the sense of self-sufficiency, the simplicity, the journeys and the destinations.
But never board a sailing boat expecting to spend all your time lying back in the sun with a gin and tonic. That may be what happens, but it may not.
Some sailors relish in the discomfort of life at sea. They deny themselves any of day to day luxuries you might expect on land – good food, comfy bedding, a decent stock of wine, beer and other alcoholic delicacies. They enjoy toughing it out and treat each passage like an endurance test that you feel great pride in having completed with every limb intact.
Pete and I are not these types of sailors. Pete and I like good food, comfy bedding and a well-stocked drinks cupboard.
To quote my godfather Willy Everett’s oft-used phrase: “Any fool can be uncomfortable.”
Well we’re no fools – subject to who you ask.
Sailing can be as comfortable or uncomfortable as you choose to make it and we choose to be as comfortable as possible. We do it for fun, after all.
We’re also greedy. Or phrased another way, enthusiastic about food.
Nothing lowers crew morale faster than bad food. Or even worse, lack of food.
One of the few times I have completely lost my temper on board was when trying to eat a really delicious supper produced by some of sort of magic in the galley while the boat pitched through squall after squall in the middle of the Adriatic. Every time I tried to lift the perfect morsel to my mouth, the boat lurched over and down yet another wave and I lost the lot.
“Waves, would you just f**k off,” I yelled red faced at the sea. She didn’t listen. At least not for another six hours.
We’re well practiced at sniffing out the culinary delights of each place we happen to moor up.
We also pride ourselves in producing delicious wholesome fare throughout every voyage. Whatever the conditions. We cannot guarantee how easy it will be to eat it, but it will be provided.
We are the hungry sailors and we hope you’ll join us as we eat and sail our way to new shores and new adventures.