Boat times…

So people keep asking me what it’s like on the boat, whether I’m having fun and enjoying myself, what the crew are like, what the boat itself is like and so on and so forth. Telling the same story ten times is just plain inefficient communication, so I’m just going to write it out and y’all can read it here.

First of all, let’s take a tour of the boat. Here it is from the outside:

Here is my cabin and bed:

Here’s the main inside area, so the galley, table, living quarters I guess:

Here’s the toilet and shower. Yep, they’re the same room:

This is the outside stern deck and seating area:

And finally a picture from the bow:

Ok, so that’s the boat. Now we’re all caught up on where I am, since I get the impression a lot of people heard the word ‘yacht’ and thought of a big luxury liner with huge spacious rooms and the like, which is not the case. It’s actually quite, quite comfortable on board, though.

Moving on. Am I having fun and enjoying myself? Well, the answer is somewhat more complicated than a simple phrase, but it could be summed up with ‘meh’. Which is ok – not everything can be fantastic. And the reason it’s only meh, and not awesome is, mostly again, down to people.

Which nicely brings me onto the crew. There’s the skipper, who is an asshole. There’s an alcoholic from Texas who speaks exactly like Boomhaur from King of the Hill (who is actually the most pleasant member of the crew), and then there’s a Finnish couple who don’t speak an awful lot of English (though in their defence, I don’t speak a lot of Finnish, and they do seem like a lovely couple). Now, that’s five people. Out of those five, I am the youngest by exactly half. What I mean by that is the next oldest person on board is 200% my age, being twice as old as me. So… yeah. I’ve not a lot in common with anyone here, and feel kinda like a fifth wheel on a four wheel car, ‘cause the Finnish couple have each other, and the Texan has been on board for a few months so he and the skipper are pretty friendly. Such is life, though.

Why is the skipper an asshole? Well, for a start he’s incredibly selfish, and seems to think this is a) acceptable, and b) amusing. He does nothing on board whatsoever. Now, I know this boat is his home and sailing around with paying crew is his lifestyle, but if it were me, I’d feel all kinds of awkward having random strangers not only do everything for me, but pay me for the privilege as well. The guests do the provisioning of the boat (food, supplies etc), all the cooking and cleaning and so on and so forth. He lacks fairly basic manners which I, despite outward appearances, possess and use regularly (when appropriate…). For instance, once other people have prepared the meal and set the table and all that jazz, he’ll not either wait for everyone to be seated, nor wait for anyone else to be ready before taking food for himself and starting to eat, let alone just serving and waiting for everyone else. Also shit like taking the last of the sweetcorn, say, without asking if anyone else would like some, or pouring himself a glass of water and not offering anyone else a refill. Now maybe it’s just me, but that shit is common courtesy.

And none of that is really the biggest issue. The real problem is that he’s the kind of person who has no idea how to deal with or interact with other people. He reminds me of people I’ve worked with years ago – just a plain bad manager of people, and given that he’s the captain of the boat, that’s somewhat important. The main manifestation of this is that because he’s been on boats for years and obviously has a lot of experience in the area, he assumes that things that are obvious to him and are a given are also obvious to people who’ve never been on a proper sail boat before and that they should have inherently known. Telling me to “tie off that rope” when there are a) fifteen fucking ropes, and b) a hundred bars it could be tied to, and c) seemingly infinite knots that could be used to tie it, is no fucking use, now is it? “Same as you did two days ago” is no use either, since everything I did this week involved ropes, tying, and knots. When one does try and get involved and is asked to do something and is had a go at and made to feel stupid for not knowing how and what to do instantly isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring and certainly doesn’t encourage one to join in more often. Then you’re berated for not offering to help out. Then there’s the whole being ‘told off’ (you’re neither my boss nor my parent, that shit won’t fly) for doing things (or not doing) that have never been mentioned as things that shouldn’t (or should) be done. I should’ve known, what with my extensive time spent aboard boats. I do know, honestly, that he’s the captain and it’s his boat and his rules apply, which I’m totally fine with. What I’m not fine with is not being told what those rules are, and then being railed at for having bent them accidentally.

Anyway. Bitching over; there’s more and I could go on, but it’s unnecessary. You asked what the crew and boat were like. Answered.

What we do. Well, mostly, we sail from about 10am ‘til we get to wherever we’re going that day, then we dock either at a port or in an anchorage (away from shore, basically). Then we’ll go ashore for a while, have a look around, come back to the boat for dinner, maybe go back ashore for drinks or something, and rinse repeat. A lot of the scenery has been lovely, and the nights out here are beautiful because there’s no light pollution (as previously mentioned).

Now, like I said earlier – that’s all okay. One lives and learns, and not everything has to be or can be a completely pleasant experience.

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