I was massaging a man who had just got back from a week-long sailboat charter with his wife. It was a massage for two in a beach hut overlooking the Strait of Georgia on a beautiful summer’s day.
There was palpable tension between the couple as they lay on their respective massage tables. I attributed it to them being nervous at the beginning of the massage and fully expected them to relax into the treatment. As I massaged the man, I noticed multiple bruises on his legs and arms. When I inquired, he replied that he got the bruises from his sailing trip.
Back to quiet, my mind was trying to connect the dots between this man’s experience sailing and my own. I have to admit that I have had my fair share of bruises, but this man looked like he had been in a NHL hockey game and his team lost!
As we continued the massage, his wife would not relax – her eyes open watching her husband as he finally succumbed to relaxation. There were some deep threads of conflict tethering these two together. We have witnessed this conflict between couples while out cruising. It is often one person trying to exert control over another or trying to mask their own lack of knowledge by asserting themselves over the other person. In our experience, this is not only uncomfortable for both parties, but also unsafe.
Clear communication between couples on boats is essential for your enjoyment and safety on the water. Both parties are responsible for becoming knowledgeable in navigation, boat handling and boat maintenance. Acknowledging and respecting each other as equal partners in your adventures will heighten your experiences on the water.
Some sailors try to force an itinerary without regard to weather, tides or the crew’s comfort. Mother Nature is a fickle Madam and it is she who dictates our movements when on the water. A sailor is always watching the weather, adjusting the sails and perhaps even changing course completely. No fighting the conditions; no bruises.
Sail plans guide us, but do not dictate our actions. As the wind changes so must we by adjusting our sails. This is life.