Monday, December 14, 2009

Boat Kids Overheard

I Like Sea Urchin
I Like Sea Urchin
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Boat kids are a special breed of child. They swim like dolphins, climb like monkeys, and lead lives full of exploration, play and wonder. They also say some of the dangest things.

DrC was carving up a tuna on the deck during a kid party. He was surrounded in a sea of bleached blonde heads.

Eric (4): Captain, you don’t want to start cutting there.
Robin (9): He’s right. Start at the anus.
Casey (14): What do you think he’s eaten?
Jaime (12): We found a little octopus once!
Robin: We found someone else’s bait!
Finn (8): Have you ever had sea urchin? That’s really good eating.

* *

The market is always a good place to spur the kids to explore.

Jaime points at some unusual vegetable, “What do you think that is?”

Mera stares at it a moment, clearly unwilling to touch it, “I don’t know. It’s in the abbarotes section, though, so it must be edible.”

To which Aeron replies in resignation, “Ah man... don't show Mom. She'll just cook it with onions, garlic and olive oil and make us learn how to spell it.”

* *

Manners are super important -- particularly if you want to return. This scene took place on coming into Isla Ixtapa Grande and swimming over to visit s/v Merry Lee.

Aeron calls from the water, “Captain, permission to board.” Captain Lewis looks a little surprised and grants permission.

Then Jaime, “Permission to board, please?” Again, the affirmative.

Romi (8) pipes in her small voice half filled with water as the wake from a passing panga nearly swamps her, “Per*glup* mission.... *breath* ... to board....” Merry Lee’s captain is starting to look a bit panicked as a veritable school of polite boat kids appear to invade his home.

Mera believes in eye contact so she uses the swim ladder to pull her head up high enough to see the captain, “Captainia de Velaro, permission por favor?” This interesting hybridization of Spanish and English raises a few eyebrows. Captain Lewis shrugs and rolls with it, “Si.”

Kirk of Bay Wolf, already resident with a glass of wine in the cockpit, notes, “We probably should have mentioned that Don Quixote and Bay Wolf travel with five kids between us.” Miya bounces up to the swim ladder, “Me too? Permission to board?”

“That’s five!” Aeron offers helpfully as she and her sisters drip a gallon of sea water into the cockpit.

Captain Lewis laughs, “That’s five. Come on aboard!!”

* * *

Boat kids frequently have better radio protocol than their adult traveling companions. There is also something delightful about their high voices on the VHF which causes everyone to switch channels to eavesdrop. Once during the April Sailing Week 2009, thirty some odd boats joined s/v Profligate of Latitude 38 fame for a wonderful week of fun, good company and fantastic downwind sailing. Richard Spindler and the girls bonded... the girls wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to play on a 60' catamaran and Richard basically having a child's joy in the wonderful powers of pure play.

Mayan or Egyptian?
Mayan or Egyptian?
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Mera: Profligate, Profligate, Profligate, this is Don Quixote.

Richard: Don Quixote, Profligate. Which one am I talking to?

Mera: This is Mera.

Richard: Hello Mera! Good morning, how are you and your sisters?

Mera: We're good. We shouldn't talk on this channel. Can we switch to 72?

Richard: Of course, 72.

At this point, theoretically only Don Quixote and Profligate should be on 72. However, it's morning, the weather is calm and gorgeous, and Mera's voice booms across the anchorage as 30 boats switch to channel 72 to listen to Richard and Mera.

Mera: This is Don Quixote on 72. Are you there Profligate?

Richard: I'm right here Mera.

Mera: Okay Richard. You're on Profligate. You need to say that. Can we come over and play? We want a play date with you.

Richard's laughter rolls through the anchorage: Yes Mera. You can come and play.

* *

Tuna again, this time after the guts are overboard, and the kids trying to figure out what to do next.

Tim (10): I recommend that we make fillets and put them on the barb-b.
Robin: Nah, let’s eat it raw. I bet they’ve got some wasabi on this boat.
Eric: I had it wrapped in bacon once. It was real good.
Aeron: Anything wrapped in bacon is good.
Finn: Sea urchin wrapped in bacon would be -really- good.

6 comments:

Jolea said...

I am so happy I found this blog! Hilarious post! I have tears in my eyes from laughter! Boat kids have it so good....

lifeonplanetearth said...

This is my favorite blog post of the month! Love it. Your kids are too cute.

Steve & Lulu said...

Toast,
I love reading all your stuff but this had to be one of the best yet.
-Steve

The Crew of Savannah said...

I agree with the others....we just moved aboard and will be in the sea of cortez next spring...my 4 year old will fit right in! I'm wondering...can I link to your blog from mine? I think it's polite to ask first, right? I hope we cross paths soon...

Toast said...

s/v Savannah, go right ahead and cross link. The more the merrier. My license is currently set to use, don't abuse, credit. Links fit that bill ;)

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Why do you think I liked hanging out with your boat? Duh. Kids. Sure wasn't you or DrC.
KIDDING!! BTW, your eldest invited me down.