In April 2015, I was heading back to my quarters at the naval base in Pensacola, Fla. I was on a high, riding my motorcycle back to base after spending the night with a guy I seeing.
I suddenly felt a lot of vibrations and it wasn’t a bumpy road. It was the phone in my pocket, buzzing with Instagram messages.
“Explain this,” one said. “Curnick, are you gay? Don’t lie to us,” said another.
My heart pounding, I pulled over to the side of the road. One of my friends had been going through my Instagram photos and found one of me with another guy on the back of my motorcycle. Their messages wanted to know the truth. I realized my biggest fear had come to fruition.
I was alone at the time and in tears, and I decided to come clean — yes, I’m gay, I told them. The reactions started coming in and, to my relief and surprise, they were overwhelmingly positive. While I did lose a few friends, the ones closest to me became even closer, because I no longer had to lie about who I was and for the first time they knew what …
Just starting out in sailing? Here are a few sailing basics which should help you in the early days.
Get to grips with basic sailing terms
Before you hit the water, make sure you’ve read up on some of the basic sailing terms you’ll need. Being familiar with these terms will enable an instructor to impart information to you more easily, meaning that you’ll really get the most out of your sessions.
Don’t try and teach yourself on the water. Not only is this dangerous, it is also likely to be a time consuming and therefore costly. By all means invest some time learning the basics from guides and books, but practical instruction should come from someone with good sailing experience. A good sailing course is worth investing in.
Start in calm, uncrowded waters
One of the best tips for sailing beginners we can give is to start out in calm and quiet waters. Nobody wants to be starting out in rough open waters or surrounded by boats containing skilled yachtsmen who clearly know what they are doing. If you’re just starting to master the basics, then start out in conditions where winds are light and traffic is …
The Royal Navy ordered a review of disciplinary punishments for homosexuals in the late 1960s after estimating that more than half of its seamen had gay experiences.
The Admiralty realised that if every sailor shown to have performed homosexual acts was discharged from service, there would not be enough men left to run the fleet.
Instead the Navy investigated downgrading homosexuality from an offence that warranted automatic discharge, because that left sailors open to blackmail.
The investigation was triggered by the discovery that more than 400 men had been visiting a “male brothel” in Bermuda and concern that many more regularly slept with young transvestites known as “catamites” in Singapore.
Documents released by the Public Record Office today show that some senior officers believed the Navy’s rules were counter-productive and increasingly outdated in the “permissive society” of the 1960s. Others railed against a “perversion” that they believed was flourishing because of the “anarchic liberalism” prevalent at the time.
But the documents demonstrate that, 30 years before homosexuality was removed as a disciplinary offence in January 2000, the naval hierarchy realised the need for change.
The review was ordered in 1968 by the Second Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Frank Twiss. It …