The First Mate Succumbs - Photo by: Erik K Veyland Mal de Mer T here we were last weekend, just setting out from Weymouth on the southern shores of England. We were repositioning an Arcona 37 so as to be well placed for the race start the following day. The Can Opener discussed race details with the tactician. The skipper gazed stoically out to sea. I stood over the rest of the crew poking them judiciously from time to time with the motivational sceptre. All were shiny bright and waxing optimistic. Then suddenly we gurgled forth from the protective arm of the headland curving around the east side of Weymouth Bay... and met a quartering four metre sea... The rest of the crew had been over to Cherbourg and back in the last month (thus inuring themselves - or at least upping their resilience - to the unsettling motion of the waves). My dear Can Opener had not. This put him outside the mythical ten week* ring fence since he last had faced rolling seas ...