Women and Sailing

Published on March 10th, 2013

Some of us bruise more than others, and when those bruises leave the sailing scene and enter the work place, not everybody knows you to be a weekend warrior. A story by Hilary Oliver in Adventure Journal explains…
One June afternoon, Katie’s boss quietly cornered her in her finance-department cubicle. She had noticed bruises on Katie’s legs.

I know you say you’ve been mountain biking a lot lately, her boss whispered, but if there’s something else going on – anything you’d like to talk to someone about – please know that I’m here for you.

Katie blushed, and then assured her boss that it was her sport — not a battering boyfriend — that was to blame for the black and blue.

I was thankful Katie’s supervisor was aware and concerned for her safety—abuse should not be taken lightly. But the interaction was culturally enlightening: Scraped knees are not okay. Unless you’re seven years old. So where do we fit in, the ladies whose scraped knees come from shredding a new trail? – Read on
“I love the bruises article,” noted yachting journalist Diane Swintal. “Bikers are like sailors – we’re a pretty tough lot. I too have a story from my adventures in this regard.

I never really thought much about bruising – my family was used to seeing my legs damaged from weekends filled with dinghy sailing. But I’ll never forget my first Long Beach Race Week on the bow of a J/105 – it was typical Long Beach, big breeze, big waves. It felt like I’d smacked my body in the same places on the same parts of the boat in every tack. But I had a blast, so I wasn’t worried.

“Until the next day. It was a warm day, so I’d worn short sleeves to work. At a quiet lunch table, one of my co-workers, looking concerned, asked ‘Diane, is there something we can help you with?’ He nodded toward my arms – which I somehow hadn’t realized sported several nasty looking bruises. It required an explanation of my weekend adventures.”
Any of you ladies want to share your bruise stories? Post them in the COMMENTS.

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