For each shipwreck and partial dismemberment and what-not on the bounding main, there are thousands of unlikely near-misses.
Like history, sailing stories are told by the survivors.
The wind was piping up, and as an A-cat is wont to do, the boat began to sail without human guidance.
It charged along for perhaps a boat-length or so before attempting to tip over. Then came the sad truth: the mainsheet, that rope used to trim the sail –– the gas pedal, more or less –– was in fact tied around my skipper's right ankle.
Like a greyhound reaching the end of its chain and yanking itself to a standstill, the boat sped up, tipped, stopped, smacked back down, sped up, tipped, stopped smacked back down, over and over, with our hero dangling by a thread.
The boat couldn't properly tip over and the rider could neither dismount nor regain his seat. "He was heading for Cuba," one of the other sailors told me, strangely gleeful.
"I didn't have a knife to cut myself free." Mr. Linton admitted. "Or anyway, it was in the mast-bag and I couldn't reach it."
Dunked repeatedly, pointed toward the open ocean, and rescue not close to hand –– the dunking went on until somehow –– somehow –– he managed to wiggle free.
This story seems to grow in horribilification* the more I think about it. We are all here by luck and chance. One tiny mistake or a droplet of ill luck and ––
Maybe maybe the stories are better left untold.
*Sure <shrugs defiantly> I made that word up. Horribilification. Big Whup. I think we all know what it means.
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