Went sailing and exploring this weekend with my friend the Guatemalan. She’s been here for about 10 days now, just settling in. The situation is a little weird: she advertised herself as available to crew on a few crew-placement sites, and had plenty of replies. She picked out the best-sounding respondant, and after a few weeks of emailing, showed up here to join on as cruising crew.
Coincidentaly, the fellow whose boat she joined is a local yacht broker whom i happen to have some contact with here around the boatyard. So, as it turns out, it’s more a case of “living on a boat at a mooring” than “cruising around the Caribbean”. The Guatemalan was looking for a bit more adventure; now she’s stuck on this boat with the both the broker’s misguided ardour as well as his teenage son.
This past weekend, we all went sailing. Normally, i wouldn’t have had much interest in sailing with the broker, but the Guatemalan was insistant; as much to enjoy my own company as to help keep the broker at bay. The sailing was okay, and i finally got to explore The Baths and Estatia Sound over on Virgin Gorda, but for most of the time she and i felt that we would rather have had better company than the socially-graceless father and son (and coming from me, “socially-graceless” is fairly damning).
The whole situation is an interesting one, that i will have to follow closely. Of course, i’ve offered the Guatemalan sanctuary if things get too weird on the boat. The broker doesn’t seem like a jerk, but still, he ought to have noticed by know how uncomfortable he makes her feel with his calling her “my princess” or “baby”, and finding excuses to touch her; it’s like he’s trying to come off as a casual, humourous, affectionate, and friendly fellow, but ending up being just plain slimy. It’s not really his intentions i doubt, just his manner.
If you go to any of the crewing websites out there, such as 7Knots or Floatplan, you end up seeing that the great majority of the “crew-wanted” ads read like singles ads; “…50-ish male skipper seeks adventuresome 20’s-30’s female first mate for extended cruising…”. Frankly, i think it’s pretty pathetic. Naturally, energetic, charismatic, beautiful young women like the Guatemalan have no problem finding hordes of guys who want to get her alone out on a boat, especially as she has a modicum of experience and doesn’t get seasick. She’s smart, assertive, and has her pepper-spray, but i’m still left wondering if she’ll be able to find a berth where she can really relax and enjoy herself. Right in her berth-wanted ad she abrubptly states “I’m not looking for a lover.”… Isn’t it ridiculous that she should even have to say so?