Sunday, July 30, 2006


Sailing is math. At least that’s my conclusion after a week on the water with three engineers. My previous sailing experience had been with smaller boats and old fashion sailors. I was taught how to figure out what direction the wind came from by licking my finger and putting it up in the air. Not here. There where quite a few clocks and digits that told what direction the boat was going, what angel the wind was blowing from in relations to the boat, the depth, the speed, the angel the boat was leaning and lots more. Some of them I never bothered to understand. The guys spent most of the time calculating wind speed and direction with planned direction and distance. They made nice straight paths on the GPS. Which where only interrupted when I had to go to the bathroom… One of the inconveniences with being a girl: you can’t just strap on a safety rope and hang from the side of the boat when you need to pee. At least I didn’t want to.

The boat was nice and stuffed with wine glasses from Iittala, glasses for drinks, cognac, shots etc. More glasses than I have at home. The owner (a business associate of one of the “sailors”) had also left tons of boxes of wine, nice bottles of wine and beers. You might say we where all set on that department! No room to put our stuff due to all the glasses and wines. But that’s ok.

The only place I have sailed before is in the Stockholm archipelago which is full of small islands so you have to keep switching directions all the time (not sure what the correct term for this is in English) (it’s “kryssa” in Swedish). Not here. Since we where sailing from the east coast of Sweden starting in Visby, Gotland – going around the south of Sweden up to Gothenburg on the west coast, the rout did not have many obstacles in it’s way. Just open waters basically. We set the autopilot on one direction and just sailed. Didn’t have to do much actually. I’m used to being in charge of something, usually one of the sides of pulling in or letting go of the front sail. Here the front sail was automatic. Sometimes it needed tightening, but since it was so big I wasn’t strong enough to do the last bit which always seams most important anyway.

So what did I do? While the guys kept busy with their mathematic calculations and occasionally changing the sails (it seamed like they had do be occupied with something at all times), I finished a book, worked on my tan (the days we didn’t wear our ski-jackets that is!), talked to my guy-friend onboard and sent text messages to my girl-friends on shore. During our night-sailing sessions I had the graveyard shift with the least talkative guy. I didn’t know this before we had the shift together (1am - 4am) but I got painfully aware since the tree hours felt like the longest ones in history. Imagine being dehydrated, suffering from lack of sleep and not really in tuned with the sea yet, and then having to stay awake for three hours with a man who says NOTHING during this time. I tried to start conversations by asking him questions about things I thought he might be interested in. He answered them in the shortest way possible and didn’t ask anything back. Jolly!

Although the week was fun and full of sailing, sun, wine and good food – the way these men all got excited when the engine broke: they read the whole manual and had the problem figured out within a few hours. Or how they could discuss cell phone technology over an entire dinner. Not a single word about relationships, art or other “soft” issues. To be frank: they where boring and single minded. That’s a bit harsh: I know. My friend is a keeper and not dull and one of the guys is a fantastic chef. They’re not a drag all the time, I’m sure. But if I can sum the topics up: that is my conclusion.

When the owner came to get his boat back, he turned out to be an attractive man in that undefined age between 38 and 55. He brought golf clubs, tennis rackets and he was very social and friendly. So when his wife was coming, I was expecting a cool woman in his age, with an interesting career-job, fit and with good social skills. His match basically. I got so disappointed when this young girl in her lower twenties came. She didn’t have a firm hand-shake and hardly looked people in the eye. I’m not sure, but I bet she doesn’t even work – at least not because she thinks its fun and challenging. What a bore! I asked my friend what he thought about this and he just said “it’s another statement showing how wealthy he is”. Excuse me?! Why is a pretty girl with no thoughts of her own a sign of wealth?! I’m guessing he’s no more fun than the other guys I have sailed with, and he would get a low self esteem if he was to date a woman his equal. I am fascinated by people who think about relations and context of things. It could be religion, politics, psychology, society, art or anything. People who might not expect to find definite answers and who doesn’t se everything as right or wrong, black or white. Not like the square headed men who have not discovered the beauty of a woman’s mind, and only see her as a threat or an object. Why are things not changing?!

So I’m not particularly interesting myself and certainly not entertaining, and maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated by people who are. I’m a thinker but unfortunately not a communicator, I confuse s ex with intimacy. So what’s my point? I don’t know. I got a tad bit discouraged.


Blogger ~Deb said...

First of all, let me just comment on the sailing part... My friend went sailing, thinking it was going to be a 'serene little getaway' or some relaxing cruise somewhere on the ocean. She ended up doing the MATH, (hehe) and guiding the sales. There is a lot more work than people think. But I am glad that you had fun! Sounds like you had quite a nice time.

As far as that guy dating the younger girl with the loose handshake and lack of eye-contact---TOTAL TURN OFF! I don't understand this. For me, personally speaking, I need a woman confident in her approach; someone who has a firm handshake who is all about personal relations. Someone who can carry themselves with class and dignity. Sounds like this girl is going to be short-term. Believe me. After a while, it gets to be 'played'.

Glad you had a great time!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Tillerman said...

So funny. Both my sons are engineers (and sailors) so I know exactly what you mean.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Deb! I expected the work but not the math and NOT 24/7! Jeeez! Have to pick my sailing mates better next time...

And as far as the guy dating that not so independent girl: if he is a total bore he might keep her. At least that's what I think.

But I did have fun!

12:42 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Tillerman! I'm glad you can relate! And that you confirmed that it wasn't just a fluke...

Thanks for visiting!

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting thoughts from within on the subject is Maja Storch´s book "Starka kvinnors längtan efter starka män". If you can handle it!

Dr Phil

9:25 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Dr Phil: thanks for the tip. Although why do I have to read it when I'm living it? But if it gives some new insights I will - as soon as I'm done with my examination at the end of August. Not sure if I fit the "strong woman" profile though.

Take care.

1:06 AM  
Blogger It's me said...

Asa.. thanks for stopping by my blog. I personally don't think early 20's women are that appealing. I think that the late 40's is the time when women hit their peak.

3:59 PM  
Blogger mal said...

I am certain you are MUCH more interesting than a "trophy wife". Certainly you are more grounded and centered on what is important!

Engineers can be such GEEKS! *L* I have to confess, I am speaking from experience here. I am impressed you did not hit them all over the head with a wine bottle

Overall, it sounds like a great trip and I am more than a bit envious

6:10 PM  
Blogger HanktheDog said...

Sailing sounds wonderful! I adore the beach and go as often as I can to romp in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Åsa said...

d shark: glad to hear there are different view from the ones I met. And hopefully you are on to something. A few more years and I'll find out first hand.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Mallory: thanks for not thinking I fit the "trophy wife" profile! I do believe you'd have to eliminate your own personality in order to be one.

I have sensed that you know engineers quite well. Right? So they might not be particularly charming, but they do make sure the species (mankind) continues on. Do you know what I mean? And the reason I didn’t hit them in the head with a wine bottle – like when they discussed cell phone technicalities for an hour and a half – is because I’m pretty good at tuning out. I might be looking like I’m listening – but the fact is: I’m probably planning some future party and of course solving world peace!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

hankthedog: unfortunately I had to let Simon stay with my dad while I sailed. Simon is more of a motorboat kind of dog. Or maybe he doesn't care: as long as he gets to swim and dive for rocks in the water. Hope you get to go to the beach a lot this summer!

12:57 AM  
Blogger mal said...

Asa, I am an engineer by training (mechanical) although I ended up technical sales when I graduated. It was bad enough I trained as an engineer but I had to fall further from grace by going into sales *L*

I love you comment about "continuing the species" a dirty job, but some one has to do it! *L*L*L*

6:39 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I believe the English sailing term you're looking for ('kryssa') is 'tacking.'

I believe the English term for having a wife that is merely ornamental is 'tacky.'

But that's just my guess. On both counts.

Wow...three days on the water with a bunch of engineers. I just spent five days at my brother's house (he's an engineer), so I can commiserate. You can't change them, so just be amused by them.


7:12 PM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Mallory! My experience is that if you want to make money (or become an executive for that matter) you should go into sales. I see nothing wrong with that!

6:30 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Balloon Pirate: Thanks for the English lesson! And I spent seven days with three engineers. I did not attempt to change them: just study them. I’m fascinated! I’ll try to remember not to do that again (spend seven days with only engineers). The last six years I have worked at engineering companies, so I spend most of my working hours in that environment. Don’t have to do it on my free time as well. Unless they are utterly sexy of course…

6:33 AM  
Blogger Sam I Am said...

that looks like you had a blast,I wonder if that boat could hold me,I love to go sailing,Nice reads

5:04 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Sam: do you enjoy the tilting of the boat as well?! I'm impressed :-) I had white knuckles from time to time trying to hold onto the boat. It was big enough to hold a doggie though. Simon was surely missed on the trip, but I don't think he would have liked it. Sleeping on my dad's couch was a good vacation for him I hope.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Lion said...

Thank you for the comment! I took your advice... I don't know if you checked our blog again, but they got the guy.

7:27 AM  
Blogger mal said...

Asa, regarding your question on my background and work, I would be happy to share that, but would prefer doing it via e mail. If you would like, please drop your address to

8:13 PM  

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