They’re well traveled. They curse a lot. They’ve had to rescue people, pets and watercraft. Some have even been chased by modern day pirates.
Welcome to the world of SOBS – Stuff Old Boat Captains Say. I get to listen to their tales on a daily basis, now that I live with a semi-retired yacht captain. I say “semi-retired” because I know, if the right job came along, he’d rather be out there on the Atlantic than stuck on land.
The only reason Captain Crusty is stuck on land is because his significant other, me, cannot make up her mind on which boat to buy for our “let’s go to Bimini for breakfast” urges. We’re Boatless on the Bay, with an empty slip staring at us each morning, wondering why we haven’t filled it with a vessel of some sort.
Today’s morning chat with Capt. Stash (Crusty’s best friend, who sports a giant, Sam Elliot-style mustache) involved whether to use RainX or regular car wax on one’s car windshield. Captains know their cleaning products the way surgeons know their knots.
Crusty said “Yep, car wax lasts longer and makes your windshield bead up better when it rains.” I didn’t hear Stash’s response. Then they talked about the new ban on public marinas and boat ramps in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Large boat gatherings (like at our nearby Haulover Sandbar) are violating the “spirit” of Coronavirus containment efforts, politicians say. I certainly agree, after seeing news coverage of the massive Spring Break parties throughout the state of Florida which can only make the spread of the pandemic much, much worse.
So we are back to our daily habit of online boat shopping. We’re looking for a vintage Cigarette boat, 35 feet or smaller. For years, Crusty has touted the superiority of Mercury engines. He makes snarky comments on an almost daily basis about Yamahas, shouting stuff like “If it’s gray, take it away” or “If it ain’t black, take it back!” He doesn’t care who gets insulted on the boat docks. Of course, it’s hard to insult one guy’s engine choice when you don’t even have a horse in the race.
Crusty needs to lay low until we actually get a boat. And then he’d better hope we don’t break down on the way home because our Yamaha-owning neighbors sure as heck aren’t gonna offer us a tow!