Slip Slop Slapper

I am a slip slop slapper! Let me explain.

Sunburn is an occupational hazard for all sailors. Every year I manage to get my forehead sunburnt. The combination of salt water, sun and wind is corrosive at the best of times. Completely ruinous to our pale European complexions . I know better but always seem to forget that even early on in the season, Factor 200 must be worn at all times.

I sometimes think it’s amazing how quickly culture, science and attitudes evolve. If I look back on my 50 something years on Earth, times have certainly changed.One thing that I think has radically been rethought are the advances and attitudes towards sun protection. Things have certainly come a long way since I was a child.

I have to say Mum was very due diligent with the ample slatherings of Ambre Solaire. I was marinated in more grease than a basted Christmas turkey and smelt like a walking Bounty Bar. Half the sand from the beach was normally rubbed in too. At the age of 5 I had no idea exfoliation would soon catch on as a must have beauty treatment. At the time it was just bloody painful.

As a teenager, like a lot of girls of my era, I had to have a tan, and this was before the advent of TOWIE. I shudder when I think of this but my choice of sun protection was either  Johnsons Baby oil, or Mazola. Another trick was to cover a  piece of cardboard  in silver foil and reflect the sun back on to my face!  Believe me if I thought it was going to make me brown, I have used it.

Can you imagine teenagers doing this now?  Because I certainly can’t.So I thought I would look at the different types of sunburn to be avoid.

The ‘Not The Face!’ Burn

This is where you have diligently put on a beanie and sunnies, but forgot about the rest of your body.  Maybe you wanted a body tan without the ageing qualities of face wrinkles. However the pain will definitely outweigh your choice to wear a hat in the first place.

The ‘I was only outside for 10 minutes’ Burn

You might be just been going down the river, or stepping ashore for lunch. You’re not even in a swimsuit, and yet your face and shoulders have the tinge  of lobster thermidor.  You should really be wearing an SPF in your daily moisturising to avoid situations like this. Men take note. That includes that bald spot.

The ‘I Actually Wanted a Tan So I Did This on Purpose’ Burn

The classic error of most Benidorm bound Brits. They have yet to learn that the sun is their enemy. So they go out with their coconut oil and deliberately lie out in the full sun for hours, rotating at intervals to get an even fry. When they return to their  hotel rooms they realise that instead of the even brown copper tone they were going for, they have the texture and sheen of a hot peeled tomato.

The ‘Invisible Flipflop’ Burn

Who puts suncream on their feet? Nobody has the flexibility or foresight to do that. I fall into this catagory. I permanently have flip flop seared branded feet.

The ‘I wore a fancy strappy vesty thing’ Burn

This burn is like the invisible flip flop burn except all over your upper body. Instead of thinking you look like a beach fashion babe, you have in fact a burn similar to a semi-permanent neck tattoo. A choice that seemed cool at the time but will show up very badly on a classy evening in the yacht club bar.

The ‘I tried’ Burn

This is the burn where you’ve clearly made some effort to apply suncream, but have missed spots. Streaks or patches appear because you have slapped it on in a hurry as an afterthought. . The patchy coverage leaves piebald proof that suncream is indeed effective if you actually put it on evenly.

The Australian “Slip, Slop, Slap campaign is drummed in to Aussie kids from a very early age and with good reason, Sun induced skin cancer in Australia kills over 2,000 each year and its on the rise in Western Europe too
So…..Slip on a shirt, Slop on the sunscreen and become a Slapper with a hat.


Roger  is the skipper of our  boat which makes me the crew. There are a lot of important tasks and duties that the crew needs to be able to carry out effectively and one of them is to mutiny.

This is an extremely important skill that every sailor needs to know how to do. We’ve all been in those situations where the skipper is being really crabby and getting on your nerves.

The times when the skipper is way too concerned with your inability to tie “bunny knots” and  keeps telling you they are called “bowline knots” not “bunny knots”.   Then he gets really cranky when he can’t untie your “Susie Special” knots which you use instead of the “bunny knots” because they’re much easier to tie but not so easy to untie.

Then there are the days when the skipper gets really pissed off because you forget (again as he likes to point out) to untie the fenders from the boat while we are leaving our moorings and they fall into the water. And it is really his fault because he complained that your “Susie Special” knots couldn’t be untied so you tie the fenders on with knots that do come untied easily. You just can’t win!

Or those days when he asks you to bring him a beer but the boat is all tippy on moving water  so you bang your legs against everything and you get some really giant and very unattractive bruises everywhere.
These are the sort of  days when being able to effectively mutiny really comes in handy. Up until now, I’ve held off with the whole mutiny thing because I didn’t learn it on my RYA  course. It seems like a really important skill. The instructor obviously ran out of time otherwise I’m sure it would have been covered.

But this is all going to change. It is important to keep learning new things when it comes to boating, so I’ve been studying up on the whole mutiny thing. This is what I’ve learned and I am going to share with you because I imagine your skipper really gets on your tits sometimes too.

First make sure you know what the correct definition of “mutiny” is. Some people mistakenly think it is a “conspiracy” or “rebellion” against a superior officer to overthrow them. It isn’t.

It is a way to teach your skipper a lesson not to be a knob to the crew.
Besides your skipper isn’t really superior. A smart crew just lets him think he is so that he feels important and does all the hard jobs like hoist the anchor.

How To Mutiny

  1. The tried and true method is pushing your skipper overboard and then motoring away as fast as you can. Make sure your skipper can swim first. Otherwise, it is just plain mean.
  2.  When the skipper is in the dinghy and waiting for you to get in, you can just untie the tender (assuming it isn’t tied on with an “Susie Special” knot) and let him drift away.
  3. Get some help. It is much easier to mutiny if you have some co-conspirators. I’m the only crew member on our boat and I think it would be much easier to mutiny if I had some help.
  4. Get one person to lure the skipper into a false sense of security and one person to helm the boat in order to make a speedy get away. If you want to help, just lurk around on L pontoon at Universal Marina down towards the bottom end. That’s where we keep our boat. I’ll distract Roger and you can hide down below when he isn’t looking. Then we can “surprise” him. It will be fun.
  5. Make up a story to tell your skipper’s friends  when they call looking for him. It is important to be prepared with a convincing story otherwise they might become suspicious and call the police. I’m going to go with something along the lines of: “He is in the shower and says to take a message.”
  6. Watch some inspirational movies about successful mutinies. “Mutiny on the Bounty” springs to mind.
  7. Take notes and photos during the mutiny. You do have a blog to update and it is important to document these things.

Re-read steps 1  and 2. Do not take notes or photos and do not update your blog. Otherwise, they might use this as evidence to hold you without bail.

Bunnie Knots

If you are all wondering why I call bowline knots “bunnie knots” its because its the only way I can remember on how to tie one.

First a loop is made near the end of the rope, which will act as the rabbit’s hole. Then the “rabbit” comes up the hole, goes round the tree right to left, then back down the hole. This can be taught to children with the rhyme: “Up through the rabbit hole, round the big tree; down through the rabbit hole and off goes he

Bunnie Knots!