Rule #1: Don’t Screw the Crew
Every boat has its own rules when it comes to having couples on board. Some welcome it as a means to having a quieter crew who party a bit less; some are reluctant toward them but eventually concede once the long-term deckie convinces the captain to hire his girlfriend; and some just flat-out refuse to hire a couple, thereby avoiding the risk of fiery explosions in the crew mess (and the inevitable make up session, which is all the more awkward if the couple doesn’t share a cabin). And then there is the one instance which remains a grey area - the couple who meets on board. Hired as individuals, spark up a connection and, under the confines of long days and nights out at sea, fall in love. I am one half of such a couple. My boyfriend - who I’ll call Moses shall I - and I met on board and the relationship eventually transcended past the boredom-at-sea phase. However, there was a good stint in the beginning when we thought we were being terribly covert and that no one else in the crew had picked up on our blossoming romance (they, of course, had). At the time, there was another similar situation with two of our colleagues - let’s call them Jamie and Gavin - who were equally convinced of their anonymity. We all knew of course but one one really spoke about it. So you can imagine my surprise when one afternoon on a trip with some high-profile guests, the twelve year old son of our billionaire guest came up to me, and this conversation ensued:
American child: So Kate, do you hate Jamie for breaking Rule Number One?
Me: What’s Rule Number One?
American child: Don’t screw the crew?
Me: What!? Where the hell did you hear that?
American child: Moses
Me: Oh Jesus
Now, before you assume Moses has a tendency to talk to young children about such delicate matters I will ensure you that the conversation in which said rule was mentioned was one overheard by the American child between Moses and another crew member. Nonetheless, I was fairly disturbed, firstly by hearing a twelve year old utter such a shocking sentence, and secondly by my secret boyfriend’s blatant disregard of his very own actions.
Anyway, after much convincing I finally accepted his excuse that it was just a way to throw everyone off, and keep our little affair secret for longer (again, everyone already knew and we were not being particularly smart). One year later and we are out and proud, still together and heading to South America for some adventures sans boat. He shall undoubtably be a fairly big feature in future posts so I thought I’d introduce him properly to you - my exception to Rule Number One, and a pretty good reason to break it.