Here I was, on my windsurf board, gliding along the reservoir, proud and happy, feeling like a starry-eyed Kate Winslet in Titanic (the Queen of the world bit, not the sinking bit). Then my instructor shouts at me: "Céline, you’re sailing close to the wind!". I panic. Trouble? Danger? Where? How? AAAAAAAH. SPLASH. As I hauled myself back on my board, I mused that sometimes, expressions have to be taken literally. I was indeed sailing too close to the direction of the wind, which went behind my sail as well as into it, making it flap madly and ultimately swing towards me.
This led me to chat to my fellow windsurfers about nautical expressions used in everyday language, and it turns out they are everywhere. This is probably not so surprising, considering the importance of sailing to a people living on an island.
For more nautical expressions and their origins (including Three sheets to the wind, Cut and run, As the crow flies, etc.), please go there.