In Paradise, God showed a pleasure in creating norms and rules for everything, as Spain would do in the future. He planted the two lovebirds in the Garden of Eden and forbade them to touch the apples. The snake, who was a bit of a populist, convinced the first woman that it did not matter, that for human beings, failure to comply would be an everyday thing, something anecdotal. The rest is well known, God took it seriously and Adam and Eve became the first squatter candidates.
It was also the beginning of the bad reputation of women, who were always charged with the guilt of their predecessor having eaten the apple. They were associated with sin and relegated to giving birth, cooking and running the house, and if it was done in silence, the better. Only during the 20th century were rights recognized such as driving or voting. Unrecognized women have stood out in all orders: scientists, athletes, politicians (good ones), writers, journalists, there were then and there are now. The recognition keeps growing slowly, although the suspicion is still there. In the last 40 years, women (not girls, who had already been sailing for a while) arrived at yachting with impetus. By a couple of names that sound familiar to us (Ellen Mc Arthur, Florence Arthaud, Wendy Tuck) there are dozens on Olympic podiums, solitary circumnavigations, and examples of tenacity and guts that defy traditional anatomy. British, French, Australian, New Zealand, American and even a Polish woman, Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz, who was the first female who in 1978 and at 40 went around the world alone in a 9.5m sailboat. They were the forerunners of those who, as professional crew came to the yachts to clean, tidy up and few also to cook. Ada, my wife, sailed with me for 10 years in the 80s and 90s, and she was a formidable crew member. These newcomers adapted and integrated and taking on greater responsibilities in increasingly larger boats, sailed many miles and did courses and decided that this would be their career, even though boating was not considered a serious job, especially not for a woman. In the 80s, when we were chartering in Greece and the Caribbean, clients asked us “what do you do in real life”.
Today they are crew members on the vast majority of yachts 25m and larger. They fill positions as hostesses and chef cooks as before, but also as butler, first officer or captain. There are very well-organized female crew associations. Women have their own qualities that the men know but find difficult to put into practice. They quickly and deeply develop loyalty, dedication, order, responsibility, compassion. They are excellent disciples and have a sixth sense to pay attention to. I know a few that I admire, and under whose orders I would have no problem working, since they are at the highest level of nautical and marine knowledge. With Monica, a Catalan in her 50’s whom I love very much, I would go blind as a crew member to negotiate the Menorca or Bonifacio straits with Mistral, me vomiting and she laughing, for sure. With Nerea, a thirty-year-old friend of my daughter I would embark on her ketch “Alcatraz” to share any marine adventure. Women stand out as charter agents, are excellent port managers, directors of nautical companies, presidents of associations, and the list goes on …
Guys: let’s stop with the nonsense, forget the apple and its consequences. This suspicion that is still there, latent, makes us retrograde.
Oscar Siches CMP , GMBA Spain
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