Friday, May 9, 2014

Missing Familiarity

No, I’m not tired of Bruce yet… nor have ditched him and I’m just not telling.  Maybe I’m just the teensiest bit stir crazy because we are literally being held prisoner by the wind right now… But when I saw this photo on a friend’s FaceBook page…  

Doug Tinker (Photo via Facebook and Lori)

I was transported back to that day.  I began thinking about the man in the picture, Doug.  He has passed on but he touched so many lives and bonded so many sailors in friendship just by our knowing him in some small way.  We weren’t great friends, but he was such a familiar in our group.  He was a lawyer by day, but during his off hours, you would never know it.  He never wore shoes, had a bug tattooed on the bottom of his foot (for squashing them like a bug?) and often wore red and green toenail paint to remind him of which was port and which was starboard.  His sense of humor was the BEST.  All who knew him will miss him.

Thinking about him and of all of the other sailors from our home town MORF and BYC Clubs, has led me to realize how many old familiar things we’re missing while we sail around out here.  (We’re not even gonna talk about family stuff…) We meet lots of folks for happy hour and on the docks.  We strike up conversations, and some folks we even travel with for a time…  But these friendships are not like those from home.  

I’m don’t really consider myself “that girl” who needs a lot of friends.  I have gone through life with one or two really close friends, and lots of acquaintances and co-workers.  My Best Friend passed away three years ago so now… Bruce is IT!  We’ve lost touch with the daily lives of our friends back home.  This picture brought home to me just how much those other relationships we had… the mid-level ones like MORF and BYC Club-members meant to me.  

I miss our Dock-mates and I miss running into people and knowing what’s going on in their lives already.  I miss having common experiences that go back for some time.  I miss getting that email announcement for the Annual This or That and how thinking back on the previous years has me anticipating the next...I miss being on the “always invited list”… of having a “Pack” to run in… 

I can’t believe I’m even saying this but I miss GOSSIP!  The good kind of course…  Hearing about someone’s kid graduating or learning of a long anticipated pregnancy…  And the heartache kind, divorce, illness, loss…  And yes… even the Juicy kind… She’s sleeping with WHO???  I miss sharing the lives of others on a deeper level that just isn’t possible while we travel around out here.  I miss familiarity... 

I wonder as we consider stopping for a month or two at a time, if it is even possible to “connect” with the people who live in the places we’ll  stop…  Mostly we don’t get to know the locals, we interact with other Cruisers and folks involved in the businesses we visit.  I just don’t think a month or two is enough time to cultivate that feeling of belonging.  

I’ve heard that Cruisers develop the ability to instantly connect on a deeper level, to dispense with the natural reticence that we all have for spilling our guts to random people…  I have met some ladies with whom a deep friendship could be possible… but it just hasn’t happened for me on that deeper level with the limited time we have together.  Maybe it never will…

The funny thing is… that in the month and a half we’ve been here in Marathon, there have been some characters that have become familiar to me on the most shallow of levels.  And yet I forego those budding bonds in lieu of moving on.  I feel like we’ve enjoyed all we care to in this place and the desire to see the next place, to be on to the next adventure, is stronger than my need to stop and bond.  

I guess that’s the answer.  Life is about choices.  We’ve made the choice to leave the familiar, in trade for the unknown and the new.  Yet it is nice to spend a little time reminiscing about past times and relationships that have enriched our lives, and maybe even shed a tear or two before shaking it off and plunging into our next challenging adventure… Crossing the Gulf Stream!  


  1. A year and a month past you in travels. Left Marathon last May. I still miss exactly these things even though we have been to the spots considered mecca for camaraderie. My sat phone helps as does internet. Thank you for stating it so well.

    1. Glad to know someone else feels the same. I keep hearing about all of the camaraderie as well, and although I don't wish to discount the connections with the wonderful ladies I've met thus far, it's all the old familiar things that we can't replace. Thanks for reading and for your comment!