Saturday, January 12, 2019

I drive the boat

A very long time ago, when doing the loop was just an amusing thought, Russ read some blogs from other boaters who either were doing or did the loop. One particular entry told of some harrowing ordeal in a lock, where the wife was handling the lines (which were big and heavy for her) and the husband piloted the boat. I don't remember the specifics, but it was clear to Russ that the rolls should have been reversed; that the man is stronger to deal with heavy lines than the woman, so that's what he should have been doing. You don't need muscles to pilot.

I'm not sure how it happened but I've become more of the pilot on our boat, and Russ handles the lines. To me it's feels natural -- I get how the thing moves (well, most of the time, when strong winds and currents are plaguing us). Moreover, I enjoy it. I'm looking forward to getting really good at it.

I've noticed, however, that this isn't normal. That most women don't drive the boat. I talked to the woman next to us once about maneuvering and she says she panics and makes her husband take over. I've certainly felt panicked or uncomfortable, but I feel driven to "get us out of this" rather than run away from the problem.

When we met with the "anchor people," who are a seasoned husband and wife team, I got the sense that they too had those gender roles: He piloted the boat and she handled the anchor and lines. They'd been doing this for decades.

Ultimately, we do want to share the roles. Piloting is more fun, in my humble opinion, but my skill set shouldn't be limited to the bridge, nor should his be limited deck. 

I am curious if this will be something we see throughout the journey to come.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the current boat's condition. THIS makes me panic. It's also why we haven't gone anywhere since getting back.




A sunset to calm my nerves

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