Last Monday, I desperately searched for a women’s salon to get my unruly mop of hair cut but they were all closed. Craig was sitting in the barber’s chair for his ultra shave so I took a chance. I ended up with the swirl of the cape around my neck and a young blue haired girl warming up her scissors. I began my drill for all-who-cut-my-hair. “Get out those clippers and start shaving.” They never believe me so without fail will snip gingerly at the strands that have been making their way down my neck. “No,” I say. “Fire up the clippers.” Eyes wide, blue girl puts on a #5 blade and picks away at a few locks. “A ONE.” I insist. I can’t convince her that I want it SHORT. Her seasoned colleague at another chair yells out, “this one’s goin' boat so cut it off. She don’t want fuss and muss. Them folks don’t have time to care about their hair.”
My good friend Margaret-from-Ottawa has been with us for three weeks and this is her first time living on a boat. To her, Goin' Boat is a new way of seeing the world. Here are her words:
Goin Boat is:
- safety over grace in dinghy boarding and disembarking, and knowing what dinghy-butt is. You’re not in the Bolsheviks' Ballet.
- -awareness of resource use, like drinking beer instead of water and not filling the sink of dishes to overflowing. Or actually don’t even use the dishes please. Showering isn’t a right; it’s a privilege.
- throwing around new words like stanchion and cleat, as in “I’d rather polish a stanchion over a cleat any day.” (Go, Margaret!)
- closing the saloon door before washing down the deck
- knowing where the saloon is in the first place
- you have to plan, be organized, and double check. “Never forgot my bath towel once!”
- use the direction the boats are pointing in the marina as wind vanes instead of weather.com
- Knot tying. “There are as many types of knots as there are things to be tied. It’s not enough to know how to do the knot. You have to know the purpose so you can use it in the appropriate place and get it untied quickly”.
- Where to walk and where not to walk. Skid coat is your friend. “I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t walk on that window. Or what’s that thing called?” You have hatches, portholes, and windows and they are all things you look through.
- It is a different culture. (Craig is stunned to think we have culture.) “You help each other. My neighbor at home would see me bleeding on the street before he’d help me. In the pouring rain and in a hurry, you helped a guy tie on to his mooring ball. You knew what he needed and you didn’t blink.”
- "And now it bothers me that that rope is in the water.” Margaret points to the boat next to us. We have been watching its dinghy shackle dangling in the water for days. It is driving us crazy.
- Things have multiple purposes. Toothbrushes are good for cleaning heads, and preferably not the toothbrush you are using.
- Nature. A bird is not just a bird. It is an Immature Phalacrocoroax atriceps albiventer, no, it’s a Leucocarbo sensu lato!
Thank you, Margaret. You are now officially a Goin-Boater.