A newbie’s view on the ocean life world
I posted this a while ago, this is a revised version and so good it should be read again. As many know Lucka is a remarkable Slovenian young lady whom i had the joy of having as crew for three months. Her fresh look at the cruising life is great. This piece is now being featured in a new book on power cruising.
After just slightly dipping my nose into the world of sailing, the universe decided that I should dip my nose into the world of motorboats as well. The concept of that wasn’t difficult for me to accept but it was pretty funny to watch what a reaction my decision to do this caused in some sailing circles. The opinion on the last sailing boat I was on went as far as me selling my soul to the devil. Well people would be people and I guess even in the world of boats finding excuses to bring division and a bit of spicy drama is to be expected. Thankfully those aren’t the only aspects of the boating world. Far from it. It seems to me that the people living with the ocean are generally different than the city folks (in a positive way). There is this undeniable shine that sparkles in their eyes and gives away the spirit behind them – it’s a spirit of freedom, joy, courage, adventure, traveling and love for the ocean along with ocean life. Physically people are healthy and fit, covered with different tones of brown skin (except for some English chaps, those go a little more pink), nice lines of muscles and hair bleached from sea salt and sun. This world is full of interesting people with fascinating stories to tell. Those generally evolve around where they’ve been, where they are going, the troubles they’ve had with their boats or other boats in a shared anchorage, information on passes, anchorages and provisions, funny stories about other boaters lack of knowledge (those always go with a slightly outraged and marking tone), the mechanical parts of the boat that are working and those that don’t, the joy and drama around the dynamics of the crew (these are fun to listen to, satisfy the need for local gossip and reading tabloids), ect. Traveling on a certain ocean route also creates a kind of boat community – a mix of bumping into the same boats and meeting new ones. The last but not the least surprising thing that needs to be mentioned is that the world of boats has its own language. After spending half a year learning the names of boat parts, sailing maneuvers and other names and elements of the disciplines that make the ocean traveling possible, I can now actually listen to a boaters conversation and have a bit of an idea of what they are talking about but it will take a while longer for me to fully engage myself in a conversation. What I do like about the language and its topics is that it seems quite equally distributed between men and women. There are women sailing instructors (and I do know one woman captain), women seem to know just as much as what’s going on on the boat as men do, the majority seems to be willing to learn and do (and not just go for the ride and look pretty, but that is fine as well). Men do seem to be more engaged into mechanical conversations but I have been listening to those coming from women as well. In that way the ocean world feels a bit more balanced and definitely interesting. I think everyone would agree that this world is never ever dull. I absolutely adore this life. For me it generally reflects what I perceive life to be – a constant change. Nothing is certain, plans change, people come and go and you never know when or if ever you are going to see them again. Along with that changes the scenery, one beautiful island after another, going from a tiny village to a modern city marina (I prefer the first one though, don’t like the heavy traffic noise), from one culture and language to the next, a rainbow parade of energies, feelings, thoughts and experiences, excitement that comes with going into unknown. All of the above combined sometimes can be overwhelming and scary. There are moments where I wish I could just hold on to something I know and like for just a little longer; a good friend, beautiful bay, even myself. But then I hold on to the reassuring thought that nothing is ever lost or gone but lives eternally in the never-ending storage of the heart. So for all of you wonderers out there that are thinking “ocean life, yes or no?” I would definitely recommend it. But a slight warning: it will change you whether you like it or not.