What the Sailboat Taught Me #1


Twenty years of sailing brings its rewards. It made me wiser and able to cope more adeptly. Many of those lessons I learned from this experience are useful in other parts of life. For example, always always always ask before jumping onto someone’s boat. It is customary to say, “Captain, permission to come aboard?” Coincidentally, if you find someone on your boat without your permission, then you might be in for a very bad time. We heard of American sailors visiting a harbor north of Cartegena on the northwest coast of Colombia where local men jumped onto their boat and would not leave until they were paid off. In the harbor at St. Lucia a sailor went on deck to find a stranger aboard. Within seconds there was a gun pointed at his head and in about twenty minutes the visitor had taken all the money, jewelry and electronics that he could off the boat. Off the west coast of St. Vincent, a local boy jumped from his friend’s boat into the dinghy we towed behind our sailboat and would not leave until we gave him the job of setting the anchor.

Watch carefully for people jumping into your life without your full consent. I’ve had that happen too. They usually want something without giving (friendship, etc.) in return. I’m the Captain of my life and am careful about who I let on board.