by Ray Jason
One of the great joys of my sea gypsy life is the wonderful sense of camaraderie that exists amongst the ocean sailing community. Because we have voluntarily embraced dangers that land-dwellers vigorously avoid, we have a deep sense of kinship. And when we gather together in foreign ports, we are extremely helpful to each other because we are essentially a wandering, water-winged tribe. This is a far cry from the isolation and suffocation of the modern suburbs.
A common fixture of our little sub-culture is something called “The Morning Net.” It is a radio broadcast in which the sailors can share valuable information. If you need to borrow a torque wrench or check on the surf report or sell an item that you no longer need, the Net will assist you. And if there is a genuine emergency such as a snake bite, the sailors’ radios will light up with help from our many Sea Samaritans.
About a week ago, the Morning Net also bequeathed me the subject for this essay. I noticed that cruisers were requesting help from the various tradesmen scattered amongst our fleet. People were seeking a diesel mechanic and a refrigeration specialist and a welder and fiberglass worker and an electrician. But more importantly, I noticed that nobody was seeking help from a hedge fund manager or a “political scientist” or an expert in gender studies. (Actually, the cruising community has gender issues fairly well figured out. The common joke is that the husbands may be the Captains, but the wives are the ADMIRALS!)