The Pants of Power. You will have heard these words in various sentences and phrases before, but onboard Jamaica they take on a new meaning and form a significant part of our daily routine when put together in this order.
They are not in themselves Powerful Pants. They are not Supermanesque in the giving of super powers like X-ray vision, or being able to travel at the speed of light (although that would be particularly helpful in trying to catch the leaders).
They are not Power Pants as in Power dressing the likes of which are is seen on The Apprentice, although we do have persons on board who have got Power Pants in this category. We have The Pink Panther (not the typographically challenged Pink Panter as in a previous blog which would be something completely different!) who dons his Pink jockey’s when the mood takes him. We have also had a sighting of the Zebra Print pants which we’re also quite Powerful in their own way, especially the way they are paraded.
Likewise there are also Powerful Pants that have been worn for a number of days and are seen as a challenge by the wearer to see how long they can been utilised before an enforced change has to be made for hygiene reasons!
No, the Pants of Power are none of these, for there are in fact not strictly pants at all but they are the climbing harness to which one member of the on watch crew must always be wedded. The reason is not sartorial but purely that of safety for the occupier of said harness is the nominated person to go over the side if one of the crew go overboard, and retrieve them, obviously whilst attached to the boat themselves by various halyards connected to the Pants of Power . Their remit also covers having to go up the mast when circumstances dictate eg. If a halyard gets stuck or damaged or, God forbid, one of the sails gets wrapped around a stay. Whilst this would always be a last resort at sea, the Pant of Power controller must be prepared for this eventuality.
Now, they are a significant part of our daily routine. No one really likes wearing them, but at each watch change over, the mantel is passed from one watch to the other a bit like the Olympic flame, no watch daring ever to not be seen without one of their number wearing the Pants of Power.
In other on board news the Hank of the Day Award continues to be presented at Happy Hour. Awards have so far been variously given to one person who appeared to have deleted all the crew photos (now recovered), another to someone who mused upon the apparent disparity in the length of his and a ladies pair of identical board shorts, until the disparity in their height was pointed out which accounted for this and the two Assistant Watch Leaders who assured everyone that the 5 litre cold drinks container kept on deck was perfectly secure on the non slip mat, 2 minutes before it promptly fell overboard when the yacht leant over slightly more than normal! Other than that its sunny, windy, the sea’s wet and we’re sailing south.