You have heard term ‘buddy boating’ in your travels, I am sure. We had. But, what does it mean? Everyone you ask has a different sense of the obligations–if any– it implies.
Seems the term signifies, at least, a relationship between travel companions and a certain care for the other boat. You, at the very least, expect to (1) stay in contact while traveling, (2) meet up whenever you are in the same locale, (3) share plans and time lines, (4) share resources like trip planning, harbor entry, dealing with port captains, sometimes arranging a slip for the other boat if you are the lead boat that day.
It seems to imply a similar style of sailing and perhaps a recognition that both boats share common speed, sea worthiness, equipage, and a philosophy of sailing vs. motoring vs. efficiency vs. fun or pleasure in a day’s sail vs. a day traveling under engine power.
It is distinguishable from events like the Baja Ha Ha in that there is no organizational overreaching goal or mercantile interest pushing an agenda forward. In the Ha Ha there are many boats and few buddies. Or to many, there are a 150 buddy boats. It depends entirely on your relationship with other boat(s) and their owner/crews. Unlike the Ha Ha, buddy boating is wrote small rather than sailing as a group wrote large.
At its best, it is a bond a lot (or in some cases identical to) like friendship. Maybe a better term would be “Friend Ships”.
We have had the pleasure of sailing for the last 4 weeks or so with Senta II. We knew them from La Paz as friends before we made plans to sail with them . To a large degree, the got us off our butts to go south again. We know each other. We know each other’s history, likes, worries, political ideology, motives for sailing, for leaving the US behind on this voyage of discovery and escape. We know each other’s boats.
You get to know the other boat from close interactions as you sail, anchor, sit at a slip, wait on the other boat, pick up parts for the other boat. Or, as they wait on you. Hear of your troubles putting back to sea and try to let you catch up.
You learn what the others like to drink. what kind of food, entertainment, places they might like. You learn what they hope to see as they travel south. You go places you might not go alone, because it gives them pleasure as well. You talk, plan, dream, sail, anchor, and always keep thoughts on your life compass . You know the one; it’s “the compass that does not point north”.
Their voice wakes you in the small hours of the night watch … at a harbor entrance … when there is a problem … and, sometimes, when there is just a need to talk to someone who cares.
Senta II left Barra Navidad three days ago. We did not.
We had all planned on traveling to Puerto Chiapas together. The next jump was Manzanillo and then Zihuateneo , then a bay near Acapulco. But, we have taken a look at Barra and said to ourselves –and now to them– that this is as far as we want to sail … for now.
This came as much of a surprise to them as it was to us. We only made the decision after supper on the night before we were all to leave. We couldn’t tell them till that morning as we were all having breakfast and coffee and waiting for the French Baker to come around with the goodies to the marina.
Nancy seemed less surprised … seems she sensed we were liking Barra Navidad from all our discussions about whether or not we might come back here, if the trip south did not yield the kind of place we were looking for.
To a degree, it is also because we have been sailing for a about a month and we are feeling a little rushed .. beat up … and a place to sleep safely at night might be fun again. Not necessarily a slip. Even a safe anchorage would be nice.
And to a degree, it is the result of discussions between Carolyn and myself about what we were looking for in Mexico. A fear, maybe, that we might pass it by if we were not careful. We decided to stay a while and see what life here is like.
So, we have said ‘hasta la vista” to Senta II. Like aloha, it does not mean goodbye, but rather ’till we see you again’. The phrase has a sense of we will meet again … life goes on … but we will meet again… and that between friends there are no real “goodbyes”. Sailing has thus made a new kind of relationship for us. This seems to be a state of expectation rather than remorse at a loss. There is no loss. And no one is diminished by the parting.
Fair winds … following seas, Senta … Think of us … and occasionally look behind you … we might be back there again.