The last post here on O Dock got quite a few comments, most of them from Mr. Tillerman, who, for some reason, decided to delete all of his comments after I replied to them. I'm not quite sure what he was up to, but I think it was one of the following:
- Expanding the envelope of avant-garde commenting
- Paying further homage to his minimalist guru, Mies van der Rohe
- Just giving me a hard time, something he seems to take a certain delight in
- Getting even with me for all of those times I've left nonsensical, off-topic stuff over on his blog
- Practicing his sailing knots - in this case a knot popular with many sailors - the elbow bend
There were some complimentary comments about the post, to be sure, and I certainly appreciate those. Thank you, very much.
But, oddly, there were no replies about the topic of the post. No one volunteered any of their own tales about building trust with a spouse or significant other.
I realize I've been extremely lucky to be getting the kind of response I have been in the comments pages here since I started this blog. Many bloggers who are far better at this than I am have taken a long time to attract a readership that's interested enough to leave comments.
But, to be honest, I was expecting to hear from at least a few folks who had faced similar challenges with their spouse/GF/BF/SO while sailing.
I know many have been through nautical sturm und drang with their mates - I've been a sometimes embarassed, sometimes amused witness to much of this on-the-water drama.
In particular, I remember sitting with my wife in the cockpit one day, comfortably moored in the BVI, when an older couple came up to the open mooring next to ours on a small charter boat, she obviously nervous on the bow with an unwieldy boat hook, he firmly in command at the easier job, behind the wheel. What followed was one of the greatest performances of nautical theater that I've ever seen.
It's easy to muff this simple mooring maneuver if you haven't had a little instruction in the basics, and this couple obviously hadn't. So, on their first attempt, they missed the mooring completely. But, what turned this into theater was that they missed on the second attempt, too. And on the third. And on the fourth. And on the fifth. And on the sixth. And on the...we all lost count, eventually, but it went on for an hour, and for the poor couple it must have seemed like it lasted for their whole two-week vacation.
At first there was some squabbling, which escalated with each missed attempt. Frequent hand gestures were employed, but not the ones I see discussed in sailing books. As act followed act, the audience grew throughout the mooring field. Heads started popping out of companionways like so many meerkats. The couple finally gave up, motoring off to another anchorage, I guess, on what had become a very quiet boat. I'm sure that day has been a frequent topic of conversation at their family gatherings ever since. I think I can guess which one of them brings it up.
But, my point (I did have a point, didn't I?) was that I know couples have been known, from time to time, to have shall we say 'differences of opinion' while sailing together. I think this watery battle of the sexes is probably a reason why many of those abandoned boats at most marinas lie idle. What once seemed like something a couple could share happily together, eventually drove them apart.
So, I wonder why there have been no volunteers here at the O Dock confessional or counselors offering sage advice. Is this subject too touchy-feely for a sailing blog? Or just way too sensitive to even discuss? Did my post put everyone to sleep, or are you all smarter than me (my leading theory for now), and wisely choosing to hold your tongues? Or choosing at least to put your tongues to better use than writing comments here? And yes, you can take that however you like.
As George Costanza once said, I want details, and I want them right now.