Monday

Stereotypes in my world.

When you arrive to work aboard a boat for a new contract there are always crew you have never met, and often a few crew whom you know well and maybe even like. New crew come in a few forms: The Know-It-All, the guy escaping whatever evils are to be found on land, the fresh faced young and naive to whom every aspect of this adventure is completely awesome, the possibly wise and quiet older gentleman, and then there's the quiet, hardworking and observant crew members. The latter are ideal as far as boat ops but life is boring without variety, and the different personalities help each other learn effective communication skills and a more well-rounded sense of community. My old boyfriend Yuri and I used to yawn at the thought of joining any crew that was completely staffed by 20 year olds on their college break.

Today my online friend Stephanie Robb posted an article regarding the Schooner Virginia being docked and shut down until money could be raised. Locals chimed in, saying things about the waste of their tax dollars that were put into building the boat, and what is she really doing for the community in return? They have no idea of the sense of community, culture and pride that a traditional boat can inspire. Who cares about the tourist revenue she attracts or doesn't attract! Here you have a piece of culture that represents your port's maritime history - shipping that came long before you were able to get Toyotas and Nikes off a container ship, or boats that fished or helped defend American shores. A platform on which to teach hard work, community and respect. How lucky I am to be a part of this! I know that 200 years ago it was the same for anyone just arriving to a boat: the Know-It-Alls, the guys escaping shore life, the young fresh faces, the confident captain and wife team, the old friends with whom I haven't sailed in years... I love it and it's so comforting in a world where friendship and community and respect has become more dependent on personal convenience rather than passion, loyalty and tradition.

3 comments:

  1. Well put, I agree, maritime culture is a real thing and not to be lost

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  2. It sounded naive for me to say "who cares" about a port's tourist revenue. I know that is a major factor, but a bigger benefit is to get locals involved in the community atmosphere aboard, whether it's at-risk youth finally being able to take some pride in their accomplishments, or adults getting out of the office for a day to do a little teambuilding. All of this benefits the people living near the port. Even if they have to pay for it - they now have access to a unique growth experience.

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  3. There are too many people today who are against anything that they do not directly benefit from.
    Something that benefits a community is too abstract for them.

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