Author: Loretta Maticke
Loretta, a Connecticut native, has been sailing professionally for over 10 years. She has visited 48 countries with no plans for stopping before she can see the rest of the world, maybe twice. She recently completed a 3 year journey from St. Croix, USVI to St. Petersburg, Russia sailing on a 115 year old classic wooden boat. When not on the water, she enjoys traveling to places like Thailand to chat with monks and photograph lovely temples. She hopes to write about her travels and is enrolled in the MatadorU course to learn to share her stories and motivate others to get out and explore this big beautiful world.
1. Sailors are used to packing light.
There’s not much storage space on boats, so things have to get stowed in tiny lockers. Soft-sided waterproof bags are standard gear. Your travel buddy won’t take up a lot of space in the car or hotel and you won’t be waiting on them at baggage claim either. More time to get out of the airport and start enjoying the holiday!
2. They will never complain about sleeping conditions.
Sailors are used to sleeping in small bunks, or on deck with or without a cushion. You won’t find them complaining about the hostel beds or sleeping bag. Long flights and long layovers, no problem, they can pretty much sleep anywhere sitting up.
3. Likewise, you will never have to hear them whine about bathroom conditions.
Sailors are used to doing their business in a variety of conditions. Most sailors have a method for hanging on to something while underway and getting the job done…overboard. That toilet in Thailand or India where you stand up or crouch down over the facilities, no prob.
4. Sailors know how to maximize limited time like quick train/bus stops or flight layovers.
Due to anchors dragging or getting off the dock before paying big fees, sailors can find the nearest store and get back lickity-split. Think Amazing Race for beer and food.
5. They will show you how to avoid tourist traps.
Sailors can quickly assess new locations and determine where and what the tourist traps are and how to avoid them, because ports are usually littered with them.
6. Sailors somehow know everyone.
Sailors can get your very unhooked-up self into local events just by throwing out a few names of other sailors. “Oh, you know, so and so,” and, bam, you guys are all of a sudden the guests of honor at the beach bonfire later.
7. They have access to insider local knowledge.
Sailors are used to buying local goods and using local services at most ports. Need a good recommendation, head to any marina office and chat up the dockmaster, and usually a lot of local knowledge is imparted graciously.
8. Sailors can fix most anything.
Rule of thumb: spray with WD40, if not, use duct tape. Sailors are very handy lads and lasses to have around when something breaks.
9. Sailors don’t get riled up by bad weather.
A lot of time is spent waiting for a “weather window” to go sailing or start a voyage. Sailors will not sit around complaining. On a rainy day, they know to head to a bar to meet some locals and swap salty sea stories.
10. When your pic of the glorious sunset doesn’t do the moment justice, you can always steal theirs.
Theirs will always put your sunset pics to shame. They probably have 5,000 examples to prove it.
11. On most any coastline, your chances of getting invited on a boat go up dramatically when traveling with a sailor.
Sailors have a large network of sailing friends that travel all around the world and probably “bump” into them regularly. It’s not unusual to be invited for a sail and/or drinks on the boat.
12. Sailors know beaches and surf spots.
Always in touch with wind and tide reports makes for a good resource to find a nice place to surf or relax.
13. Sailors know how to cook lasagna with a blow torch.
Can your regular travel buddies say the same? If stuck somewhere without cooking fuel, rest assured that your sailor friend can still work some magic with whatever is at hand.
14. Sailors won’t keep you waiting while they primp.
Sailors don’t require hair dryers or cosmetics. They have the windblown, sun-kissed look down pat.
15. They can book your flight expertly.
They know all the big and little airports and their symbols. It’s part of the job to move “on the fly,” and they might have some frequent flyer miles to share, too.
16. Sailors won’t freak out without power or wi-fi.
A headlamp and book is fine. You won’t find them complaining the internet signal is cruddy. They don’t care.
17. Sailors are the original Boy Scouts.
They usually carry a multitool everywhere. Bottle of wine? They are always prepared with a way to open it.
18. Sailors function as your personal GPS.
The location of the sun and stars will do in a pinch. Lost? Right this way.
19. Sailors know how to sew.
They are not too proud to whip out a needle and thread. Sails don’t fix themselves. Your backpack breaks? Hand it over to your sailor friend and it will be like new in a few minutes.
20. Sailors know EVERY hour is happy hour.
Nothing more needs to be said here.