Zelma: “Boat buddies”

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"Buddy boats", is this strange term used by cruising families. It describes the boats whose crews which find a chemistry when together in an anchorage. 

Our trip is not just dominated by the places that we visit, but also by the people that we meet. And on a boat, the most logical encounters are those with other crews. 

At Saint Martin we had a technical stopover in the lagoon for several weeks. As there were several crews doing the same thing, it wasn’t difficult to meet another family and then another and another… And so life with boat buddies began. Want to hear more? 

Despite having just met, we were all very much at ease with each other. We were from the same world. We all felt so comfortable, that the children would be left with other parents who we hadn’t known a few days earlier.  

The children get on famously, and hop from one boat to another without any problem. The number of little blond heads on our boat is in a constant state of flux. Some sleep on our boat. Some of ours stay elsewhere. They all share the sleeping quarters. A few days ago having woken up, it took me a while to work out exactly how many kids we had on board. 

And the parents love it too. Just think about it! People doing exactly the same thing as us! We go from one boat to the next having sundowners and talking the night away. We talk about everything: sailing; the kids’ education; fishing; good places to go; antifouling prices and sometimes more personal things: family life, on board problems etc. As there are many nationalities, it’s a chance to discover new cultures and languages. 

There’s lots of helping out too. If you need a hand fixing something, you can ask your neighbor. Or someone who needs a kick up the backside to get up the mast will get it. And maybe they’ll take the kids for a while so ...

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