Solo sailing can do some funny things to people

The tale of Sir Robin going swimming reminds me of a very scary story told me by the late Frank Mulville. Frank was singlehanding his old gaffer Iskra en route to the Azores. ‘Quite suddenly,’ he said, ‘I had an overwhelming need to see her from the outside. I stripped off, tied a rope round my waist and dived over the side.

‘When the rope was fully paid out I enjoyed being towed along for a short while and then I momentarily lost my mind. I untied the rope and held it in one hand. For a moment it was quite exhilarating – I literally had my life in my hand. Luckily sanity returned.’ It was a very frightened Frank Mulville who climbed back on board.