The Motor Boater and the Sailor
While he enjoys talking about engine parts and fixing things, I enjoy discussing the natural world and ideas. He reads some Jack London short stories from the 19t century while I read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth from the 21st. He can't relate to poetry while I like to write poems. He loves to build, own and rent houses while I love to learn and find life significances between people and their behavior. He loves to work, gets his hands dirty, crawl under houses while I love to play and commune with nature. Clint loves to mention how much something costs or how much I can save, I usually don't care. I am awed by a sunrise or sunset and he barely pays either any attention. He is married to a 25-year-old 40' Trawler motorboat, a loyal dog named Francis and a woman life companion. I am divorced and live alone happily on my 40' catamaran Mystique though I still believe in love.
As Clint and I sailed to Eleuthera we were amazed we had stayed friends for so long. Besides some shared history and sailing interests we have few things in common. But somehow we always found light-hearted topics to discuss or laugh about. In many ways it was our differences that rescued us during our near three weeks together.
During our time together Clint walked Nassau or rode buses around Paradise Island and New Providence. He discovered Nassau's poverty and opulence. I sat and wrote emails to loved ones.and posted my thoughts on my blog.
Clint thinks he is funny when he refers to a sailboat as a motorboat with sticks. I ignore his this mocking as I know he is onboard for some sailing. Though he seems to have forgotten most of what he once new. One way I could tell was how he turned my boat's wheel. Like he was weaving the curves on the Le Mans speedway, he steered Mystique like a race car. I reminded him he was on a sailboat. But he wanted to sail by numbers, compass direction and GPS while I mentioned we might try to sail by wind and land sightings.
Our one sail at night coming into Bahamian waters was telling. We had two hour watches and two hour naps for that first night. Sailing with a reefed jib and main and a jury-rigged traveler and using GPS in the dark's 20-25 knot easterly breeze, we pointed as high as possible towards the Western Channel. When I woke for my 3:00 am turn, we were heading for the Berry Island shallows 20 miles away so I
I took photos of sunsets, rainbows and seascapes and later watched stars and the full moon. Clint has never owned a camera, but he wanted me to show him how to take a photo using the iPad camera feature he had borrowed from his wife.
As we all age, we all lose friends. Death, disease, accidents, we outlive others. Maybe we gain a few acquaintances in later life, but for the most part, these people can never be your lifelong friends, they did not know us a child or even a teenager.
Clint made good-natured fun of some of my thoughts as "wo wo" and I in turn dismissed his judgements as ego. And I told him I didn't appreciate his mocking tone and he apologized and we moved on...
But in actuality life-long friends are actually those we meet and keep until we die. They don't have to have entered our life from the very beginning. Who said friendship is based on time? On commonality? On a feeling? other? Combination? Something undefined?