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Laughing at Yourself For Laughing at Others

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Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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There’s many other How-To books I want to write: “How To Say Nothing in 100,000 Words”, “How to Pretend to be an Expert on Subjects Your Readers Know Even Less About”, and “How Not to Smirk” are just a few.

Yikes! I just wrote a book entitled STORM PROOFING YOUR BOAT, GEAR, AND CREW and, suddenly, a bunch of people who don’t know me think I care whether they live or die. Weird, eh? Evidently they don’t understand modern book marketing—the question isn’t whether their corpses wash ashore on a Caribbean beach but rather, prior to their death, did they order the Kindle version or a dead-tree book?

… did they write a book review on Good Reads or Amazon?

… or were their lives completely wasted from my perspective?

There’s a lot of humor in my book—for instance the hysterical section on shackling your anchor to your scrotum—but most of my low IQ readers miss the joke, and, well, all of my high IQ readers are non-existent.

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I mean, is any sailor really going to attempt to deploy his JSD (Jordan Series Drogue) while snubbing it off on his ‘soft bits’ rather than his hard bitts?

Surely they know I’m being tongue-in-cheek when I tell them I wake up my sleeping wife from her offwatch by attaching a Kevlar string to her big toe … and then tossing over the Gale Rider. (Never, ever has this failed to wake her up—although, alas, once it did knock her unconscious on the companionway ladder as she went shooting up through the cockpit like a naked blood swab.)

I know, I know—people say I lack compassion, but why would I care how they feel?

The new book just isn’t PC. There’s sexism in it—for instance, on the section of towing drogues I discuss mother-in-laws at length. The Donald. The entire staff of Faux News.

Actually, I intended to name my new book STORM SPOOFING but my ultra-dumb wife/editor Carolyn misheard.

There’s almost nothing I can say in my own defense—but, of course, as a professional journalist, that won’t stop me.

Fatty Goodlander laughing
Cap’n Fatty relaxes after detaching the anchor shackle.


For instance, many newbie sailors don’t realize that SAR works slightly differently in the States versus the Lesser Antilles.

If I fall overboard off Newport, I call the USCG on my HH waterproof VHF, give them my precise location—and then report I just saw a swimmer smoking a joint— and bam, they arrive lickety-split.

It’s different in Bequia. First off, they show up lickety-spliff—and they bring the papers or a pipe, knowing I won’t have anything dry.

“Ya, mon!” one bleary-eyed Admiralty Bay sailor-wid-dreads told me wid obvious cultural pride, “Dat sweet, mon!”

Many American yachties are ill-prepared for bad weather—but love those US taxpayer subsidized helicopter rides—especially since many of the younger USCG dudes will now allow you to bring your rum drink as they hoist you heavenward in the basket.

… wow! What a view! Media coverage! A GoFundMe page!

Yeah, life is strange. Kitty Genovese is stabbed and raped in NYC for hours while her apartment mates draw the curtains—and we yachties complain if the SAR chopper is ten minutes late or lacks a well-stocked bar.

On the other hand Kitty didn’t own a yacht with an EPIRB, so what did she expect?

When I first decided to write a book featuring Jordan Series Drogues, I figured I was fairly qualified—then my meanie-to-the-max wife shook her head negatively and said, “Fatty, it is J-S-D… that’s a J, not an L.”


In any event, I believe in education. Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to catch some square grouper—and he and his homeboys can party for a year!

Which brings us back to the subject of strong rum and how its intoxicant is measured—for instance, if you chugalug a whole bottle of Bacardi’s best, 151 fellow sailors will have scientific proof you’re drunk.

Which part of STORM PROOFING did I enjoy writing best? The bondage bits, I guess. Yes, a lot of that gear goes both ways, so to speak—that’s why you find so many Dutch sailors in the porno shops of Amsterdam.

On the other hand, why not have your foulies made out of latex if it turns you on?

In my book I point out the benefit of being sexually tolerant offshore—my Garmin GPS has an MOB (man overboard) button, a COB (chick overboard) button, and a SIC (still in closet) option.

There’s many other How-To books I want to write: How To Say Nothing in 100,000 Words, How to Pretend to be an Expert on Subjects Your Readers Know Even Less About, and How Not to Smirk are just a few.

Oh, no, my Lite Thoughts on Heavy Weather book isn’t for everyone—for instance, I have a section entitled Life Raft Etiquette. That’s right, I’ve instructed my wife not to staple up any cheesecake pics of me in the life raft, regardless how much she enjoys looking at ‘em.

… forget the handcuffs, thanks—they are bound to rust.

Sure, I’d like to allow my wife into the life raft to join me as well but, hey, it says 8 MAN, and I don’t want to break the rules.

If my STORM PROOFING book really takes off, I’m going to come out with a complete line of ‘Storm Strutter’ merchandise—say, a PFD filled with concrete for your ex-marriage partner, some pre-chafe drogue-rode to your baby-mama (two babies back), and, of course, a Clorox bottle wrapped with lot of string to toss over to mark your mid-ocean grave.

What could be nicer?

Editor’s note: Fatty and Carolyn are currently cashing their royalty checks in Africa. 


Cap’n Fatty Goodlander and his wife Carolyn are currently on his third circumnavigation. Fatty is the author of Chasing the Horizon and numerous other marine books. His latest, Storm Proofing your Boat, Gear, and Crew, is out now. Visit: fattygoodlander.com

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Cap'n Fatty Goodlander
Cap'n Fatty Goodlanderhttp://fattygoodlander.com/
Cap’n Fatty Goodlander has lived aboard for 53 of his 60 years, and has circumnavigated twice. He is the author of Chasing the Horizon and numerous other marine books. His latest, Buy, Outfit, and Sail is out now. Visit: fattygoodlander.com

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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