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What’ll we do with a drunken sailor,
What’ll we do with a drunken sailor,
What’ll we do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-aye in the morning?

This traditional sea shanty probably wouldn’t have been written if the situation hadn’t come up so often. Sadly, it appears the issue of drunken sailors is still a problem today, although perhaps in less frequency than it may have been on ships of old, I don’t know.

In our year of sailing we have been introduced to at least a few men with obvious drinking problems. I am not going to stand on a soapbox and say that alcohol is bad because as you might have read on our blog a time or two, Rebecca and I like to party a bit ourselves. If, however, you are half in the bag by 10 AM, as the song says “Earl-aye in the morning,” on a daily basis, you have a problem. Unfortunately, just as it is in the land-based world, those with substance-abuse problems negatively affect the lives of those around them at least as much as they do their own. Sad actually.


  1. Ah, The Norwegian guy… Read two or three stories about him. Sad.

  2. Hopefully this is what you do with a drunken sailor:

    AA Group with scheduled meetings in Grenada is Open Discussion Grenada Group
    Open Discussion Grenada Group meets at Carlton House Parade, St. Georges. See schedule below.
    To contact Open Discussion Group please call Mike at 473 – 443 – 3294 or Derek at 473 – 440 – 2469.

    There is help if a person is willing to change.
    Capt Rich

  3. Did you have a bad night then! 🙂 !

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Just wondered what had caused that conscience stricken post! 🙂

    I have always heard it stressed, even by quite hard drinkers, NEVER drink then sail.

    On a monohull it is obviously many times harder to keep balance and be in charge if your control is even slightly impaired.
    However, you can’t get casual about it on a mutihull either, when things happen on multis, it happens very fast, seemingly faster than monos.


  4. Mike thanks for having the guts to post this. This has been one of my biggest questions as we prepare for departure – since we don’t drink very much will we “fit in” with the cruising community? I feel a little better after reading this.

    S/V Kintala

    • I wouldn’t worry at all. There are days when we go to Rogers bar and just drink Ting (a soft drink) as opposed to beer or rum. No one ever gives a second glance.

  5. Nice to see you speak to this issue. One may garner the mistaken impression that cruising the islands is all about bars, partying and drinking.

    • I agree that people might think that due to the fact that people write about it so often. One could also easily draw the same conclusions about people’s island vacations and I think in that case, I believe they would be even more true.

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