Good Foot Health

Nine out of ten women suffer from corns, calluses or bunions at some point in their life, and nine out of ten wear shoes that are too small. To prevent problems with your feet, ensure your shoes are the correct size and never wear the same ones two days in a row. Shoes that are too tight can eventually cause such debilitating conditions as hammertoes and bone spurs.

There were the minimum of blocks and tackles, so every rope that had to be hauled was a hard pull. We were told that gloves and coats were for sissies and soppy weekend yachties, so through January and February we held the icy ropes in our bare hands, while the water ran off and froze on our skin.

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If the weather really blew and the rain was hammering down, we were allowed to put on oilskins; but it had to be very severe. Sometimes the sea whacked into the old whaler so powerfully I felt my teeth judder, as the seas washed over the gunnels and we baled and baled while Polata shrieked at us through his loud-haler. When we got back we had to haul the boats up the long slip by hand then strip them out and carry the big heavy orange canvas sails and hang them in the sail loft to dry.

On warm and pleasant days, which we had from April onwards, Saturdays were wonderful. Sitting in the sun while the little boats pottered across the wavelets, smoking, joking, laughing, running our hands in the water; there was nothing better. But when it was wet and wintry and blowing, it was hellish; worse than a prolonged harsh scrubbing in a cold shower.

After everything had been stowed away, we sat in the sail loft and ate sandwiches for our lunch before going down for Chief Rozers practical seamanship lessons. For seamanship, we gathered in groups of three or four and garnered our fluency with rope-work: the enduring staple of seaman.

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