The Few, The Fortunate, The Live-aboard Sailors.
When re-uniting with another person from the lucky minority of live-aboard sailors, their are some formalities that simply are not necessary.
I was in Trader Joe’s the other day, browsing around the organic ground beef and boneless poultry, when I bumped into a woman intent on the price of a whole turkey. We backed off and apologized for getting in each other’s way, and then stopped.
“I know you,” I said. “I know you, too,” she answered. She was tall and elegant, so familiar, and I tried to figure out how I knew her. Sailing, I said, and she said, yes, that was a likely possibility, and rattled off a few names that rang no bells. Then she said her name, Gail, and suddenly I knew it.
“You’re Star!” I said. “Gail from Star! I’m Wendy from Osprey.”
“Osprey, of course!” she exclaimed, and we were suddenly hugging each other, all smiles, as if we were old dear friends, which in a way we are. I couldn’t remember her last name—I don’t know if I ever even knew it—and she probably didn’t know mine, but what did it matter? We identified each other through our boats and our time crossing paths while cruising, and that told us all we needed to know.
We did a little catching up—it was December in a Trader Joe’s in Maryland, not a drop of blue water anywhere in sight, so what the heck were we each doing here, rather than being where we should be?