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Date: 4 November 2013. Where the Women Are.

As discussed in the previous article on relationships If the Deck Shoe Fits there are some basics that many cruising single sailors fail to appreciate the importance of: specifically the rules of socially acceptable behavior don't change just because you're now the captain of your own vessel. In fact there are additional items you must follow in order to find your cruising companion.

#1) ALWAYS keep your boat clean. It can of course be chaotic during the  midst of a project but by putting away your stuff each night you'll be ready if that gal from the anchorage rows by. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say "come aboard for a cup of coffee" or "I'm about to have a glass of wine, won't you join me?" without having to shovel clear a spot for the lady to sit?

Corollary: Is there a way for her to safely and easily board your boat if she's wearing a skirt? Boat chicks have legs and we do wear dresses you know! Dawgfish (a MacGregor I met) has a nifty platform built that you might adapt for your vessel:
 

(This picture is full size)

Captain Robin owns Dawgfish and is just outside of the picture frame.
And of course he's got his eye on Miss Kitty who likes watching the water for fish.


Yes, the dog's name is Miss Kitty. Sort of like the guy I knew who named his black lab Spot...

#2) EVERY DAY (not just on Saturdays) clean yourself. Really, I should not have to say this but you're (potentially) dealing with mothers and we've all checked behind the ears of our young ones. We KNOW when you've just smeared the surface, and we don't like it.

#3) If you're in a place long term, start a Radio Net. You'll meet folks coming thru and I can tell you that is the one disconcerting thing about the Gulf coast: I've yet to hear a radio net and I do miss the sense of camaraderie found on the VHF. As a bonus you'll meet some interesting cruisers too.
[Yes, I'll have an article on Radio Nets at some point.]

When you think all is lost, the future remains.

So you're all cleaned up and no where to go, eh? This is where I often see another round of "Doomed to Failure" ensue. Men, women who want men for more than to buy their drinks do not go to bars. We definitely aren't at the places with loud music, not unless we're looking for a drink supplier.  That's what the kids do -- not adults. I should not have to say it, but I will:

Getting liquored up to gain false courage isn't at all attractive to women.
You sound like a drunk blithering idiot; sober and stammering is much better.

For every 50-something year old man there are a slew of 30's women who have had their dose of immaturity and seek that stable, older fellow. Some will bring children into the equation, and your relationship will last until the money is gone. Perhaps longer, but be wise to the ways of the female: trading youth for comfort is not unknown.

May/December relationships do have some commonalities:

We know what December sees in May (youth, gaiety)
and May is going to expect Christmas in December.

As an over-50 I have found mostly invisibility as far as the singletons go. The great thing about hitting 50 is that I really don't give much concern to your thoughts about me. That is certainly freeing, and the days of sucking in my stomach so I look thinner? That's not happening either! I am what I am, without the pretenses I considered necessary when younger....

I don't care what you think about me.
I don't think about you at all. Coco Chanel.

Just last night I was chatting with a friend on a 40'er who now sails with a fellow on her boat. She said how it was only recently that she discovered how lovely it truly is to not hold back. She's having more fun in every way with her guy and wishes now she'd been this brave years ago.

So from my perspective, don't count out the older woman. We have a lot to bring to the table, IF you can manage to be clean and relatively civilized. And where are the women who have raised their children and either divorced or been widowed? Everywhere you're not looking!

  1. Church. Places of worship generally in addition to the Sunday services have Singles group meetings, classes and outreach programs. Attending gets you off the boat and interacting with the rest of the world. Sitting on your boat and numbing your solitary existence in alcohol doesn't alter the facts, so get thee to shore and learn something. (smile)
     

  2. Colleges and Community Colleges. Often you can audit classes for free or at a very low cost, and there you'll find women who are at least intelligent enough to crack open a book.

If you plan on eventually going south to Mexico or the Sea of Cortez, why not go to your community college and take a class in Spanish? After a couple of classes the mention of your boat, but don't call it a Yacht! Say that you intend to cruise to foreign countries, using the skills you're learning now someplace tropical.

Now any gal who is taking a class in Spanish and hears that the fellow sitting right there has a boat and thus the means to travel... well, she's going to be thinking about you all week. She'll be imagining herself aboard your boat sitting on the bow with a drink in hand while you ply the blue waters. She'll swim naked with you while exploring reefs seeing all those fish she's watched on Animal Planet or Jacques Cousteau shows on television.

Seriously boys, her imagination will do enough to at least give you a head start on the whole First Mate acquisition process. The next article in this series will have specifics on how not to screw it up!
 


Post cards are a great way to keep in touch with your home port friends.


How did you meet your First Mate? Was she yours before getting the boat or after?
And, are you interested in the the series continuing?

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