Playing with Swords!


So, of course I am still wacky about throwing knives — and sometimes hatchets, too, you may have seen. But, on a recent cruise, where I was part of the crew delivering a 125′ classic steel-hulled explorer yacht down from Wrangell, Alaska to Port Townsend, I got to experience something I’d only ever seen…but never expected I’d do!

Have you ever seen someone saber the top off a champagne bottle? It’s a thing that high-end restaurants will sometimes adopt as a unique way of presenting and serving a customer’s favorite bubbly. It’s usually done with a great deal of pomp and flair, and truly it does look impressive.

This sword is about 2/3rds as big as me!

Personally, I’d never thought “normal” people do this. But, as it turns out, the owner of this boat not only DOES it, but he has a particularly serious custom-made saber for that very purpose! Actually, it could also serve as a great deterrent to potential marauding pirates, but luckily we didn’t run into any of those!

Anyway, when the owner told me we’d be doing this, I thought he was joking. But, oh no…he shows me the sword where he had it hanging in the dining salon and he proceeds to show me how to put it on. Now, people, this thing weighs a bunch! And, it’s sharp. No toy here. It’s intimidating just to put the thing on and walk down the deck.

So, we get the bottle of champagne and B (the owner), shows me where the “line” is on the neck of the bottle that I’m going to use to align the blade of the sword with as I’m getting ready to whack it’s head off.

Oh, yeah, sure…I’M going to do this? Eek! Isn’t this dangerous?

Well, I have no fear of knives, right? But, this does seem rather improbable. Doesn’t this require gobs of practice on crappy bottles of inferior bubbles? Like, the stuff I wouldn’t even water my plants with?

Nope…gonna do it with the good stuff right out of the gate. So, B shows me the line, explains what I’m going to do. The first practice “slide” he holds the bottle and the sword with me, showing me where I’m going to aim. Then, after explaining it, he turns the control of the sword over to me. He’s still holding the bottle, thank heavens, but now the business end of the transaction is up to me.

Two practice swings, then he tells me the third is “live” and I gotta do it with conviction.

And, so I “strike.” And, lo and behold, the top of the champagne bottle is severed from the neck with a resounding “pop!” and I’ve just sabered my first bottle of champagne!

OMG! I cannot tell you how ridiculously satisfying this was! Look at me and my inner bad self! I just couldn’t get over it. But, don’t let me spoil it…take a peek at the video below and tell me what you think!

It was so much fun, we even had a second bottle (we did the good one first, though) so I could do it again! I’m not sure now that there is any other way TO open a bottle of the good stuff. Clearly, I gotta get me a saber! This is actually more fun than I could have expected and I am hooked.

I love my adventures. Stay tuned for what’s next…

P.S. If you have followed me for a while, you may notice the hull behind me looks quite familiar. It’s the lovely M/Y Montego which is the boat I was cheffing on for my very first charter season in British Columbia/Desolation Sound. Such a lovely boat…I really do miss her.


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