13 Stupid Things Landlubbers Say

Let’s face it, when it comes to sailing our landlubber friends just don’t get it, gawd bless ’em! Fair enough, it’s a lifestyle, not a pursuit, so unless you’ve been there why should you know your port from your starboard?

Even so, some of these clangers are inexcusable. With much thanks to the Liveaboard community over on the YBW forum who contributed some of these priceless gems. To see the full conversation, go here.

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1. What do you do all day?

Owning a boat is like owning a house but not having the Yellow Pages to call in a plumber/builder/decorator/mechanic when things go wrong. If I’m not hiding behind the computer writing up stupid lists for my blog, I’m cursing my way through ‘five minute jobs’ that take all morning to fix. Anyway, what do you do all day?
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Have you looked at a chart recently and seen some of the depths we’re sailing in?

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2. When doing long crossings, where do you anchor at night?

Have you looked at a chart recently and seen some of the depths we’re sailing in? Believe me, it would be rather impractical to carry a three mile long anchor chain, so we do what sailors have been doing for thousands of years, we carry on sailing.
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3. Do you have lights so you can see where you’re going?

Well, we have lights, but they’re so other people can see where we’re going. We have the moon for a couple of weeks in a month, does that count?
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4. When are you going home?

Home? Where do you think our home is? We’re sailing it.

5. I suppose you eat a lot of fish

Well we are a bit partial to a tin of tuna. I suppose you eat a lot of steak and kidney pie.
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6. Do you sleep on the boat?

Sometimes I’ve been known to wake up in the ‘cabin’, which is another name for a bedroom. It’s got a bed in it too.
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7. It must be so relaxing

You obviously haven’t read our blog post on the time we got stuck in the middle of an ocean. I’d have traded places with you any day.
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8. Are you allowed to do that?

Contrary to what you might believe, we don’t need a license to sail the oceans and we don’t need to check in with the coast guard when we do. Having this freedom is precisely why we choose this lifestyle.
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9. Do you wear a lifejacket in bed?

Oh, come on!
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10. You must be wanting to go back to the real world soon, this is a very artificial life you lead!

This was said to a yachtie as he stood on Shirley Heights in Antigua, watching the race boats out at sea. It wound him up so much he said “I think I probably did an extra year on the back of that.”
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11. Why doesn’t the boat tip over when it stops?

Overheard by Liz on a crossing to Rhodes in a passenger ferry.
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12. Don’t you miss the routine?

No, that’s the whole point of what we’re doing. To quote Liz: a sailor’s plans are written in jelly.
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13. You’re so lucky

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson





6 Comments on “13 Stupid Things Landlubbers Say”

  1. Helen Moat

    Jamie that’s hilarious. I know I’m really ignorant when it comes to sailing, but this takes ignorance to a whole different level! Made me laugh.

  2. June Cluett

    Thanks for a good giggle! I’ve had where do you PARK at night on an ocean crossing!
    Another is the impossibilty to imagine cooking aboard and living in such a small space! But a good topic worth a wry kindly laugh! 

  3. Shaun

    I love the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. Many years ago when I was about 10, I was sat at the side of the road with a friend. A very nice looking Porsche went past and my friend exclaimed “Lucky B*&$%rd”. I remember saying “Luck doesn’t have anything to do with it”. This moment has dwelled in my thoughts all my life and because of it I’m a firm believer in ‘making your own luck’, I’m glad I am as ‘luckily’ we now live-aboard and sail our 48 ft Oceanmaster.
    Enjoyed the blog, many thanks … Shaun 

    1. Jamie

      Great story, Shaun, it makes my point exactly. There’s another one by Thomas Jefferson who said “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”.

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