It always seemed obvious to this retired sailor why ships are feminine, because no matter how exactly alike any two ships are built, every single one has her own personality, her own quirks and habits, her own way of sailing in any given sea state.

That, and if you don’t pay her the attention she needs, from cleaning out the bilges, to making sure all steel bulkheads are properly painted, to ensuring all the gear adrift is stowed in case of high winds and heavy seas, then she’s not going to do what you need of her, no matter how nicely you ask or how crudely you curse her.

I know it’s a little much, but in my opinion, Billy Joel’s song “She’s Always A Woman To Me” applies not only to the girl who’s put up with me for 28 years, but also to every vessel afloat.

Lastly, seeing as you’re from my ancestral home, as I was writing this, I couldn’t help but hear my own words in the lilting tones of an old man holding court in a pub over a pint or three of Guinness.


Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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