An old-time sailor from our club told us that every new boat tests its owner. Sailing can break you down and make you regret ever leaving the comfort of your couch. Sailing as a couple creates some of the most challenging situations you’ll ever face together. You either bond and build a stronger relationship, or one of you becomes fish food.
“Sweety, pull the red rope!”
“Call me sweety again and I’ll hang you from the goddamn red rope!”
Communication in a relationship is vital. The same is true for the crew on a sailing vessel. Now your crew is your life partner and your relationship is crammed into 9×3 metres of fibreglass. This is like couples therapy in an octagon, without the referee or anyone to witness a body going overboard. “He tripped and fell, your honour.”
During and argument at home there are other rooms in which to hide and doors to slam to display frustration. Unfortunately, there are no doors on the boat. Sliding a curtain angrily doesn’t have quite the same effect. One could stomp, from the cockpit to the bow and pout into the distance, while your partner in crime sits with the tiller in hand wondering what the hell you’re doing. You are two fish in a jam jar.
One of you refers to pieces of equipment by their correct names, because life is easier when everyone knows what we’re talking about. Your loved one calls them “thingy-thing with the stuff on the thing.” Any apparatus which uses electricity is a charger and all ropes on deck are halyards.
Once the anchor is down, the engine is off and the still water reflects shades of purple and orange from the sunset, all arguments seem trivial and tempers cool in the evening breeze. The effort was worth it and you both realise, you could not have done this alone.
At anchor for the evening
Sailing from Uppsala to Stockholm on Octavia