His name is Graham Moss, Chantilly’s captain, and he’s one of those inscrutable outdoorsy-types, one of those guys who isn’t married and doesn’t hold on to girlfriends for long because he’s always sailing single-handedly to the other side of the world or leading a small group of explorers up some ridiculous mountain peak in South America.
He’s pleasant enough, in a gruff Scottish-Humphrey Bogart sort of way, but doesn’t talk much, and when he does, it’s usually only in response to a question. On the first day of our cruise, as we sail down the Sound of Jura in gloomy seas, I naively ask Graham why the winds have changed direction in the afternoon and with obvious exasperation he says, “Do you know nuthin’ aboot ha the weather works?”
Well, no, Graham, I’m sorry, I don’t.
So with a huff, he breaks out an isobaric chart, spreads it across a table, and goes over such things as low pressure systems and high pressure systems and clockwise winds and counter-clockwise winds and such. Of course, I have no idea what he’s talking about.
“Now du ya un’erstan’?” he says gruffly.
The easy thing to do, of course, would be to lie. Instead, I say, “Look, I’m from Los Angeles. We don’t have weather.”
Properly disgusted, he goes back on deck to stoically stand at the helm, watching out for some big nasty-looking seabird, called a great skua, that Graham swears will swoop down on us and pluck our eyes out if we’re not vigilant. I sit out there with him. Partially to keep him company but mostly just to annoy him.
It’s seems to be working.