Photo: Sydney Wired
1. A normal friend will respect your privacy and personal space. A boat friend grows accustomed to being in such close proximity to you, they never stray more than a few inches from you at all times, even on land.
2. A normal friend carpools with you to school or work. A boat friend rows, dinghies, SUPs, or just swims over to pick you up.
3. A normal friend will watch a movie with you on a bad weather day. A boat friend will come over and help you strip off outriggers, antennas, running rigging, and seal around hatches, ports, and lockers. They’ll make sure cockpit drains are free-running, the bilge pump and switch work, and that the battery is topped up.
4. A normal friend considers talk about the weather to be small talk. A boat friend discusses weather intentionally, as you’re immersed in the elements at all times. Your next night’s sleep depends on it.
5. A normal friend prevents you from drinking and driving. A boat friend just makes sure you stay on the goddamn boat.
6. A normal friend would question bruises covering every square inch of your body. A boat friend understands how brutal maneuvering around a boat can be.
7. A normal friend will wait until after 5pm to offer you a drink. A boat friend will wait until you wake up.
8. A normal friend will help you in any way necessary after disaster strikes. A boat friend will prevent it altogether, keeping watch over the bay while you sleep, giving you a lift to shore when you run out of gas, regularly diving down to check your mooring line, or simply rowing over a fresh pot of coffee in the morning.
9. A normal friend thinks you’re crazy when they find out you don’t have electricity, refrigerator, running water, or a bathroom. A boat friend lives the dirty life too.
10. A normal friend will ask if you want to check out that new restaurant in town. A boat friend will catch a fish and serve it up with a side of pineapple they foraged earlier that morning and homemade grilled garlic bread. And, of course, wine.
11. A normal friend might mention your hair looks like it could use some brushing. A boat friend will find your new dreads fitting for life at sea, if they notice the change at all.
12. A normal friend asks if everything is okay. A boat friend believes your mood is their mood. They know something is wrong and demand you talk about it, as they’re close enough to practically hear your thoughts. They can feel your moods and read your thoughts by looks alone.
13. A normal friend slams the door and takes a few days to cool off after a disagreement. A boat friend storms a few feet away to the opposite side of the boat and avoids eye contact.
14. A normal friend might be uncomfortable seeing their friends naked. A boat friend is the farthest thing from modest and completely unfazed by nudity in all forms, be it friends, neighbors, beachgoers, or old salts.
15. A normal friend considers themselves rich when they have loads of zeros in their bank account. A boat friend considers themselves rich when they have enough money to buy food, beer, gas for the tanks, and most importantly, when they witness the sunrise and set each day.