The north mooring field in Majuro with the tuna boats offloading to the factory ships in the background.
by Christine Kling
Sometimes I must admit, my kid turns out to be pretty smart. Okay, I am a proud mom, but I’d like to share a chat conversation I was having with him on my computer from Majuro here in the Marshall Islands yesterday. It was almost 5:00 in the afternoon on Thursday here, and it was coming up on midnight Wednesday back in Fort Lauderdale, so my son was talking to me from the past. I still have trouble wrapping my head around that.
Anyway, I told him that I was very surprised about it, but it looked like I was going to make this boat Learnativity my future home. I wrote that it had been hard being solo for so long and that as a single mom, I had always felt alone and afraid.
He wrote back:
“We’re still just monkeys. We need need the security of a tribe.
Basically, I mean you can survive solo. And probably be happy. But I think you’re fighting your wiring.
And I was just worried you had made up your mind, and that’s how you were going to live out the rest of your life. So all of this was a pleasant surprise.”
Okay, I admit it, I wiped the tears out of my eyes at that point. But over the past 24 hours, I’ve been thinking over and over about what he said, and I keep thinking to myself, “Out of the mouths of babes….” because no matter that he’s almost 30, he will always be my baby boy.
Tribe, club, neighborhood, communities, partnerships. We humans are very social animals.
And that fact was brought home further today when I got up just past sunrise and went out into the cockpit and turned on the VHF radio to channel 74. Right on time at 7:30, the lovely Aussie voice of Rhondi on board Navi-gator came on the radio saying “Good morning and welcome to the Majuro Cruisers’ Net.” From there, she went through what would be familiar to cruisers from the Bahamas to Trinidad.
“Do we have any new arrivals? Nothing heard…. Does anyone have any treasures from the bilge?”
And finally, she announced that today there would be a seminar at the Wan Hi Chen Chinese Restaurant from 10:00 a.m. to noon on “Apps for Cruisers” presented by Wayne on Learnativity and Philip on Blue Bie.
I mean, really, have I fallen in with my tribe or what?
For readers of this blog who aren’t cruising sailors, it’s probably difficult for you to understand that cruising can be a lonesome lifestyle. When I cruised the South Pacific back in the 1970’s, it was a big deal to get together with another boat or find people to talk to. I mean, we didn’t even have a VHF radio on board and we weren’t unusual. The Internet has changed this significantly and now with Satellite phones, cellular broadband, and wifi, people are finding more and more ways to make their tribal connections.
The Abaco Cruisers’ Net now has a webpage and anyone with Internet access can listen in to the weather and the day’s menu at Grabbers or Nippers. It’s a kick to listen to it out here in Majuro.
The Women who Sail Facebook group I belong to now has 1,746 members. The group is closed and it doesn’t allow any men to become members. It’s supposed to be a place where women can go to ask questions and share thoughts with their “sisters.” Not long ago a woman posted about how lonely she felt far away from the community of women friends she had had back in the home town she’d lived in before taking off cruising. She described how when she returned home now, she no longer had anything in common with those women, yet when she was back aboard with her cruising partner, she so missed the company of other women. I lost track of the thread when the comments went past 150. Women from all over the world shared their own fears and lonely moments and that Facebook group of over one thousand women came together to virtually hug and support a lone woman on a boat anchored in an isolated anchorage. She found her community online.
Throughout the Caribbean there are Facebook groups for Antigua Cruisers, Trinidad Cruisers, and Grenada Cruisers, to name a few.
So, at the Apps Seminar this morning, I met many new folks aboard boats here in the anchorage at Majuro. I offered to help a couple who have their first iPad arriving soon and they offered to lend us a hand with dropping the rudder on Learnativity. And I find each day, I am less and less of a solo sailor and more of a member of this community or tribe here in Majuro.
So, I’ve concluded my son is a pretty smart kid. Even if I do say so myself.
Share on Facebook