Since leaving on our boat we've even added a new category of friendship to our repertoire: the one which we call "cruising" friends.
These friendships are very, very different from any other type I've experienced. Scott always says, "There's something special about friendships formed on water" and it's true. Don't get me wrong, not every cruiser is an immediate friend - just like on land we "click" with some people and not with others...but when you *do* make that 'real and deep' connection with someone on the water, a little bit of magic happens. In an effort to explain what a cruising friendship looks like, here are eleven ways in which I find they are different than others:
1) They are formed fast and furious. Friendships blossom fast on the water, one minute you are helping someone rescue their dinghy from floating away, the next you are sharing cocktails in the cockpit like old friends. There is an instant familiarity between cruisers and, even if you only spend one evening together, you usually cut right through the small talk and get to the meat of the matter. It takes almost no time for cruisers to start acting like old friends, despite only spending a few days together. Just as marriage in a boat is amplified and condensed (1 year on a boat = 4 years on land) so is friendship. When you click, you click and that is that.
|Jost Van Dyke, BVI 2015. The McGuire Family are blog-follwers turned friends who we were lucky enough to cruise with for a bit during their epic 5 month charter. We love them like crazy and there is not a doubt in my mind that we will be friends with these people FOREVER and because they live in the midwest, we know we'll be seeing them again.|
|Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas 2013. These two have a very special place in my heart. Genevieve, one of my very best girlfriends, of s/v Necesse (currently in the USVI) and Karina of s/v Kazaio (currently in the South Pacific)|
|Tortola, BVI 2015. Eben of s/v Necesse helping Scott install our new battery bank.|
|Georgetown, Bahamas 2010. In this bunch are our very first cruising friends and what an epic group it was. Brian and Lara of Forest and Fin, George and Kelly of Earthling Sailor, Sarah and Miguel and Jay and Nicole.|
|Tortola, 2015. Carly of the fantastic blog, Salty Kisses (they just competed the Northwest Passage!!! INSANE.) We only hung out together a short time but have spoken via email and chat a BUNCH of times. Her little boy, Crew, is only a week apart from the twins so we have a lot in common dealing with our little ones on board.|
|Our very best family friends, the Sunkissed Soeters. We have spent so much time with this family and get along with them so well that's it's almost bizarre. We love them like family and we'll be reuniting with them in a few weeks!! GAH!!!|
|Gerogetown, Bahamas 2013. This is where Genevieve and I first met and formed our awesome bond. We reunited three years later in the Virgin Island after a LOT of trying to convince her to head that way on my part. Those of you that love her blog can thank me, I helped convince her to write one - probably not long after this photo was taken ;)|
|Tortola, BVI 2015. Maggie and Wiley were just making the transition from live-aboards to full-time RV'ers (Harmony on Land). I still laugh at Wiley's stories and we love this couple a LOT. So much fun and we wish they were still floating!|
10) They get "it."And by "it" I mean everything. Fellow cruisers just get it. The ups and the downs and everything in-between. You don't need to explain to a fellow cruiser how shitty it is to lose your engine/blow a mainsail/kill a dinghy motor/drag anchor...etc...because they can empathize. They understand what it's like to be stuck somewhere waiting for a part, they feel the pain of trying to diagnose a mystery problem and they know the hell that is a rolly anchorage. Adversity brings you closer. Cruising is a wonderful lifestyle, but it can come at a price. Complaining about these things can seem unappreciative to our land-based friends, but cruisers know and understand that the downsides of cruising are all too real. They also know how amazing it is to have a 'perfect' passage, finally fix that mystery leak, discover a great new "galley hack" and capture that incredible sunset. No matter how hard you try to explain your life to land-lubbing friends, they just won't get it. Just as parenthood cannot be fully understood until you yourself are a parent, the same holds true with cruising.
|St. John, USVI 2015. Jody of the awesome blog, Where the Coconuts Grow, and Genevieve again. Three peas in a pod!|
|Scott with Mike and Melanie (blog followers turned friends), me and my super girls, Lisa and Nicole (an arial acrobat!)|
I could not possibly capture ALL our cruising friends in this one post, so to all of you who we love dearly who are not pictured, sorry!! I was going bug-eyed looking through photos and it was SO hard to just chose these few!