Crossing the Line: The 2023 Guide to Unconventional Boat Guests

By John Morris

Stock the galley with snacks, it’s time to welcome guests on board for another boating season.  Our 2023 CTL Guide to Boat Guests will assist you in preparing the welcome and battening down the hatches.

Captain Speedo: Native to European beaches but often seen here, The Captain sometimes sports considerably less outerwear than you might prefer.  Hopping on board shirtless, but friendly, he eschews a jacket even as we get underway. 

Perhaps you’d like a handsome sailing sweater, you offer. Nope, I am a sun worshipper. Pray for a cold breeze. Or maybe not.

The High-Heeled Honey: Sometimes seen stuck on the dock when a Jimmy Choo heel jams between the boards, this honey will often apologize ‘oops, I must have forgotten my deck shoes, teehee,” as she struts across the cockpit. Characteristic fiberglass chipping and ankle twists contribute to the afternoon.

The Tech Genius: Do you know how radar works? GPS? Do you know about bow waves and hull speed? Prepare to find out. At length. Brace for the afternoon with 12-volt wiring schematics and chart plotter manuals as the workings of your boat are ransacked and explained to you, even though you installed them yourself.  Mark the invitation BYOM – bring your own multimeter.

The Sun-Fearing Parent:  How many different levels of sunscreen can one guest bring? Is SPF 90 effective? Can’t be too careful! And make sure you have a proper broad-brimmed hat, avoid too much exposure, and have everyone, particularly the kids, wear long sleeves. Or maybe a parka. 

Was there ever a day when we just enjoyed the warmth and catching some rays?

The Cooler-lugging guzzler: Like the albatross, this guest arrives burdened with straps around his neck. ‘Can you throw these in the fridge,’ he asks handing you three six-packs and a variety of Persecos as well as half a dozen wrapped assorted subs and a box of 125 Timbits. ‘Just a sec before we push off, let me get my other cooler out of the Jeep.’

The Dad Jokes Humorist: Two sailors talking, the first one says, “My wife just sailed to the Caribbean.”

“Jamaica?” The other one asked.

“Heck no! She’d been wanting to go for a long time.”

That groaning you hear is not the bulkheads flexing – your guests are teaming up to throw this guy over the side.  Distract them with stories about your relatives from Winnipeg and how seasick they get.

The Shanty Mangler: You’ve heard his deafening tenor before as he yowls “I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier” mutilating the beloved Stan Rogers classic.  Having started, he feels he will engage us with all 14 verses. 

As our boat trip gets underway, you might hope the excitement of the afternoon might quiet his bellowing, but surprise, he has brought his accordion. Try offering him a sandwich, only to be rebuffed with the chorus of The Drunken Deckhand’s Lament.

But perhaps we were being hasty. Sea shanties have become a rage, and everybody enjoys singing along. Too bad the engine is making so much noise and the songs get drowned out amid the waves.

Welcome aboard another great season of hospitality.

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