my first sailing adventure and what an adventure it was. My
sister-in-law, Jen took us out on Coco Kai, her 70-foot
schooner, which I learned is a boat with two or more masts.
(Masts are the poles that hold the sails, I was also
knows her stuff. She should, after sailing around the world on
Coco Kai (named after my niece, Coco) for the past 9 years.
Watching her crew pull this rope and that rope (also called
"lines" or "halyards" or
"sheets" depending on their use) to hoist this sail
and that sail was exciting.
moment the engines shut down and all I heard was the whissshhh
of the gleaming white sails skim us across the clear blue
water, I was suddenly moved to lean over the bow in true
"Titanic" movie style and exclaim, "Jack!
I asked Jen, "How do you know which way to turn the
those little ribbons blowing around on the inside of the
sails?" she said. "Those are tell tails. They help
me trim (adjust) the sails to the proper wind direction."
it. Thatís where we get the term "tell tail" or
"telltale" which means a sign that helps us evaluate
a situation. One telltale sign that sailors of old had a
vitamin C deficiency, for example, was bleeding gums.
has other telltale physical signs that may indicate we are off
course. Dull, dry and brittle hair may be a sign of protein
deficiency. Low levels of niacin, folate and other B-vitamins
may show up as a red, sore tongue. And spoon-shaped nails can
indicate a deficiency of dietary iron.
years of learning and experience, Jen navigates Coco Kai like
a seasoned sailor. I on the other hand had to be reminded to
get my head out of the way of the sails. But this rookie did
glean some important nutrition lessons from my maiden sailing
cautious when on autopilot. When the boat is set to steer
itself and the captain is not at the helm, someone on the crew
still needs to be on the lookout for hazards. Jenís friends
and crew kept us well away from any nutritional hazards with
plenty of fresh food and beverages on board.
capable crew. Jen understands the physics and technology
required to safely maneuver her vessel. She studies weather
patterns and reports from other nautical experts. Similarly,
smooth sailing through nutritional waters requires more than
just holding up a finger and deciding to go "that
way!" It pays to trust the expertise of those with whom
you, Coco Kai and crew. It was a blast.