Friday, September 30, 2011

Wine safety equipment

Some might say that wine is a vital boating fluid aboard Eolian.

They would be right.

And although box wine is now more frequently what is found in the liquor locker, the traditional wine bottle still makes appearances too.  Among other reasons, because no one would ever suggest that a "message in a box" would have any staying power in the ocean.

But now, this brings us to the crux of things.  Most of you have seen those "rabbit" wine bottle openers - you know, the kind with the two handles that grip the top of the bottle and the third handle that you push down and then lift up to withdraw the cork. 

You want to be wearing steel-toed shoes when you run one of these suckers. 

Like most things, I learned this the hard way.  I was (hurriedly) opening a bottle of wine in the main saloon.  It was summer, and it was hot - I was barefoot.  In my haste, I failed to properly engage the bottle in the clamp handles... and when I pushed down the handle which drives the screw into the cork, it instead pushed the bottle out of the clamps.  It fell straight down, and landed on my big toe nail.

The good news?
  • There was no damage to the cabin sole - my toe protected it
  • The bottle did not break - no broken glass - my toe protected it
  • The wine was not wasted
But the bad news was that I lost the toenail as a result.  Did you know that it takes nearly a year to grow a whole new toenail?  And weirdly, did you know that the fingerprints on your toes (toeprints?) wrap up over the end and into the area where the nail would be when there is no nail?

No, I didn't know these things either.

Now I do.

Question:  Do you think it will be awkward for everyone if in the future I open the wine wearing nothing but shorts, teeshirt, and industrial steel-toed boots?


robwrongshoes said...

Ouch! I bet that hurt.

Have you tried an Ah So? They're very easy to use, and far smaller, so it'll save you space as well on the boat.

Here's a link...

Anonymous said...

I hope a nail-less toe does not mess up any sailing? Mind you work has finally caught up with us so we are missing boating in the current UK indian summer.

The corkscrew we have on Indigo Dream is not discrete but I just love the action - it is Vacuvin Winemaster eg see but I am sure we paid less then that for ours?


bob said...

Hi Richard!

Good to hear from nb Indigo Dream!

No the lack of a toenail had no effect on sailing... in fact it had no effect on anything. I have concluded that toenails have no value whatsoever (other than to serve as a platform for paint on females).

The Vacuvin opener looks like it is similar to my ScrewPull opener, complete with the attendant toe risk... use with caution when barefoot! There are a lot of clever ways that people have invented to get into wine bottles... we really *really* want to get into them, don't we?


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