The Salt Factor

Spout comes to mind when talking about some “sailors” – as in spout nonsense. I am talking about those addressed at dockside as skippers or Cap’n without any significant experience on the water. These individuals always wear a foul weather jacket ( expensive brand) and fashionable deck shoes. They can talk smoothly about their newest navigational software, but their basic piloting skills land them on the shoals with some regularity. Watch their activities getting off for a morning sail. How does the crew handle lines and fenders; how well does the skipper trim and fill the sails. Would you get a blank stare if you pointed out that getting stuck in “irons” means not passing through the eye of the wind smartly?

It’s not obvious right away who is knowledgeable and who is putting on a good show. However, taking a glom at their chart table library Can tell you lots. Dogeared copies of essential texts, even old Yachtsman’s Companions, are good signs; frequently used charts neatly stowed- also good indications. If you can’t get on board, watch and listen to the dock staff or yard personnel. They know every bit of damage on the keel, every ding in the rub rails, and every sloppy habit you have stowing sails in the dark damp away from the daylight over the winter.
My favorite way of determining the “salt factor” of a captain is sound. The sound of yard employee or dockside worker calling out, ” What can I do for you Cap’n?” The one word, Cap’n, can host so many meanings. Listen carefully for the rise and fall of the voice, the cadence, and the amount of drawl added to the basic syllables. It can have such a nuanced nature – idiot, incompetent dolt, dangerous in any waters at any time, or it could just mean captain. So much meaning placed into one compressed word of two syllables. Language truly is wonderful!

One Reply to “The Salt Factor”

Comments are closed.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Just another weblog

Sammi Cox

Author Aspiring

Stephen Fielding Images

Views of the natural environment & climate change

Family Matters

I'm Victoria Stuart, a poet committed to love's transmission.

Zombie Flamingos

A journey into bloggerdom



My Two Bits

My thoughts and ideas about life, cats, and whatever else I think about


Andy and I miss Dougy

Jalsails's Blog

Spontaneous Connections During Tidal Times

Pensieri Parole e Poesie

Sono una donna libera. Nel mio blog farete un viaggio lungo e profondo nei pensieri della mente del cuore e dell anima.

....on pets and prisoners.....

food for the body; food for the soul

Louis N. Carreras, Woodcarver Fine Hand Carved Accessories

Handcarved Accessories For Modern Living

Piper's Adventures

Mississippi life culture lifestyles inspiration

Mister Bump

My "bump" was in 2016 when, aged 48, I suffered a stroke. This blog charts my recovery. (Header clipart licensed by

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.


Adventures in Creative Writing by A.M. Moscoso

%d bloggers like this: