10 Rules For Sailing

OK, so it’s late and I’m cranky (how many of my posts start with that line?) but I feel like we all need to come to jesus about something here. Namely, appropriate behavior while you’re on a sailboat on which I am lucky enough to work as crew. I know it seems unnecessary. I once thought so, too, but trust me, it is not. So here are ten simple rules that will keep me from kicking your touristy ass back to Nebraska while you’re on my boat:

10. At no time whatsoever are you and your significant other to make your way to the bow of the boat and re-enact any scene from Titanic. Why? Well, three reasons: one, it’s a stupid scene; B, it’s bad joujou to pretend you’re on the Titanic while you’re on another boat; and three, you are on a way cooler boat than the Titanic. Namely because we don’t hit icebergs and kill people, but there are other reasons, too.

9. Do NOT shit in the head. Why would you do this? Are you not in control of your bodily functions? Remember that rule, the one where I have to flush the head, not you? Let me clue you in on something: There’s a reason I do not now and never will have children- I don’t deal well with other people’s shit. I would really rather see you shit yourself than flush after you. If you must defecate, please remember to tip the crew at least $30. That is our minimum fee.

8. Harness your children. No, I am not speaking metaphorically, I would love to see them tethered to you at all times while on a boat. This includes anyone under the age of 13 and few spring breakers. If you can or will not harness your spawn, we reserve the right to do so for you.

7. Please do NOT offer to help me. Serial, people, do you know how angry it makes me to see you sitting there, sucking down a Miller High Life, offering to help me raise the main on a 50+-foot mast? You don’t look like you’re in prime condition, Tubby, and just because you have a penis does not necessarily guarantee that you will do any better than I am at hoisting the main. Yes, I know I’m a girl. Yes, I know I’m short. Yes, I know it looks hard. That’s because I am, I am, and it is. But I’m at the gym a minimum of five days a week. When’s the last time you went? Back off, Bucko. I don’t need your help. You wanna help me? Tip me. Generously.

6. Don’t assume the captain and I are married. While, on many trips, we poke at each other relentlessly and seem like we can’t stand each other and I can understand how many of you would mistake this relationship for wedded bliss, rest assured that the only way we do NOT kill each other is by going home to our respective lives at the end of the day.

5. Here’s a suggestion quasi-related: do not ask me why I am not married, as I will likely answer “because I’m not stupid” and that will probably just piss you off. Along those lines, please don’t ask me any personal questions. My marital status, my children or lack thereof, and how much money I make on the boat are really not any of your business. I will lie if you ask these questions, and the lies I tell will be geared at getting the most tip money out of you, so, really, why bother?

4. Here are the answers to some questions I know you will ask, so let’s get them out of the way now because if I must answer them one more time I will scream: yes, it really is the best job in the world (despite my bitching here) and no, it isn’t enough to live on but we all make trade-offs as we go through life, don’t we?

3. I don’t know where the dolphin are. We have no fucking clue. It’s a bloody miracle when we find them at all.

2. No, they’re NOT playful creatures, they’re actually pretty vicious. They have good publicists, though, so we’re not really allowed to tell you about how they sometimes rape their females or kill other species of dolphin.

1. PLEASE don’t try and help us sail the boat. I don’t care if your uncle had a sunfish when you were three. You really don’t know what you’re doing and if you touch our lines we are completely justified in killing you. It’s the law of the sea. Really.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.