#233: Open Marriage With the Sea?

Married to the sea, science, each other, as well as assorted ladies.

Dear Captain Awkward,

A week ago, I met this person my age at a sailors’ swap-meet. He was selling a marine toilet, and I happened to need one. I bought it, and we talked a bit about our respective boats, then went our separate ways.

But yesterday, a letter turned up. He must have pulled my address off the check. He wrote me a very sweet letter about how nice it had been to meet me, with two attached letters as well; one for if I was single and open to dating, and one for if I was just interested in making a friend. The first one, in particular, was very flattering. He rhapsodized about my smile, calling it a summer afternoon and ‘a small boat in open water, and … the lighthouse guiding it safely home.” In the friendly letter, he offers to lend me a few books and suggests some labor swapping on our respective boats, and just asks to stay in touch.

From a personally objective stance, he’s amazingly appealing. We just met briefly, but I remember him as being tall and handsome, and I definitely tried to get his facebook (he doesn’t have one). Like me, he’s a solo sailor with a long renovation ahead of him. We’re even of an age. I would certainly be interested, except:

1) I’m not dating right now. I have an intense restoration project going on for my boat, and when that’s done, I’m leaving the country for a lengthy period of time on a solo circumnavigation. I decided almost two years ago that I don’t have room in my life for both a relationship and the cruise.

2) Related to the above: I wouldn’t even know how to casually date. Every relationship I’ve been in has begun with me dreaming about spending the rest of my life with that person, and most of them have ended with me realizing that my dreams are more important to me than a future with the other person. Considering how big this particular dream looms in my life, I can’t imagine a person competing with it until I’ve achieved it.

I would love to be friends with this gentleman. He’s articulate and sweet, and from these letters, he understands at least the basis of my grand passion. We share a major interest, and we could trade help back and forth on our boats, which are similar. I don’t currently have any friends into boats, which makes it a lonely hobby, and it’d be so nice to have a project buddy.

But he’s obviously interested in me. Very very obviously. I’m confident that I can express my boundaries in words, but I don’t have a good history of friends respecting my boundaries, so I worry that I am not as good at expressing them in action. I also don’t have a mixed group of friends to invite him out with to give myself a buffer. So I’m just not certain where to start with him. I have his number and his email address, and the ball’s in my court. Where do I go from here?

Thank you,
Married To My Boat

Hi there, Married to my Boat.

Okay, we’re gonna logic this one out, right quick, and then take on the overthinking bits in a specifically nautical context. Groovy? Great. Your only articulated question is “Where do I go from here?” which is something that I, a purveyor of internet advice, can not tell you definitively. You are the only person who decides what you’re going to do.

HOWEVER, you’re asking what to do instead of automatically consigning this guy’s letters to your personal pile of creepy come-on stories (His three letters are merely a more elaborate version of the middle-school note asking “Do you like me? Yes, No, or Maybe – check one!”) which tells me that you DO want to date this guy, but can’t make it make sense logically. So based purely on the fact that you’re asking this question, I’m going to say that – if it were me – I would jump in and go on at least one date with this guy.

You like him. You might LIKE like him. Why not find out if that could work?

Married to the sea, duty, honor, and whist.

Allow me to introduce you to one of my main men: Horatio Hornblower. In the first book (written, not in his personal chronology, and boy howdy racist as only a book from the 1930s can be!) Beat to Quarters, he is a busy dude. International relations, navigation, power mad superiors, keeping 200+ dudes alive and healthy in a wooden box thousands of miles from safe harbor, and a ton more. Not to mention that he is totally married to the sea and despises women, especially his wife. If anyone had no time (and less than no inclination) for love, it’s Horatio. And yet, love finds him anyway (spoiler: it’s not his wife).

With your first point – I decided not to date – you’re reminding me of some of Horatio’s less good qualities: he’s very rigid and hard on himself for having feelings that are not connected to the ship or his duty. You may not be looking for love, but love can still come looking for you, and you will not be betraying your dream to say yes to it.  Yes, you can stay married to your boat, but take a minute to consider it an open marriage.

(Warning to the non-sailing types: jargon ahead) Think of love like the wind in your sails. Right now, you’re seeing love like a headwind, coming directly from the place you want to go. The only love you’re imagining will put you in irons. What I’m trying to tell you is that love can be any wind. You can sail it close-hauled and exhilarating. You can tack through it. Love can be a running wind.

I'm a fan of the beam reach, myself.

A relationship that holds you back is not love. If you do have a relationship with this or any guy and he puts limits on you and your dreams, then you dump him. If you have a relationship with this or any guy and he fixes your boat with you, sets up rendez-vous with you on your solo trip ports of call, sends you letters and you want to send him letters, or is quietly accepting that when you leave you’re 100% gone for at least 2 years, then it is ON for the amount of time that it is.  Time limits don’t make love less.

On your second point – you don’t know how to casually date – NEITHER DOES THIS GUY. He just sent you a letter (or three) after meeting you once. He compared you favorably and romantically to nautical touchpoints. A casual dater would have just asked for your number and whether you wanted to grab a drink. Now, I didn’t meet this guy, wasn’t there to see the possible sparks flying over the marine toilet you were negotiating, so I can’t really judge how you should feel about him and his letters of DEEPLY UNCASUAL DATING (which it’s possible that he sends to every likely sailing lady he meets. Hey! look who got burned by a sailor before! It’s Cdr. Logic! Although, everyone is different, even sailors, so your guy could be legit into you and only you.).

So don’t casually date. Go on a real date where you wear pretty clothes and you both agree that it is a date. This isn’t competition with your boat, any more than sleeping, eating, occasionally watching a movie, or talking to your friends is competition with your boat. Maybe you will hit it off, and maybe you won’t, or maybe you’ll hit it off platonically. But you won’t know unless you go.

Now, regarding your friends and their lack of boundary respecting: that is what they are like, that is not what everyone in the universe is like. Sure, it’s possible that you’re not expressing your boundaries effectively (I don’t know, ’cause I wasn’t there), but there’s nothing like practice for getting better at something. So keep trying with them, and keep setting your boundaries with new people.

If this guy has time for a rockin' violin solo, you have time to date.

To conclude, where to start.

If you want to date him:

  • “I thought a while about both letters – of course I read them both, too tempting! – and I’d like to take you up on a date offer. What did you have in mind?”
  • If he makes you plan the date or flakes at all, he’s not that into dating you, and you can cut your losses.
  • On the date, talk about your boat projects. It may come up naturally that you’re planning a long absence, or it may not. All you’re doing on this date is finding out if you like him enough to go on another date.  That’s all.  Not grand passion, not marriage, not abandon all your other projects.  Just… another date yes/no?

If you don’t want to date him:

  • “I thought a while about both letters – of course I read them both, too tempting! – and while I’m very flattered, I’m afraid I’m not interested in dating. But I would like to get a coffee or [local sailing meet up?] with you. I don’t have any good friends who are sailors and would love the chance to talk shop.”
  • On the not-date, talk about your boat projects.

And good luck on your circumnavigation!

62 thoughts on “#233: Open Marriage With the Sea?

  1. I love everything about this letter, starting with the fact it contains reference to a marine toilet (I don’t even know what that is). LW, you seem like a really cool person with a neat life doing things you love. I can see why this guy would have been drawn to you.

    1. Agreed! This is my favorite advice-requesting letter EVER. It begins with a marine toilet. It pertains to things nautical. It will contain an adventure full of exploration into exotic and mysterious places. LW is a badass, with the amazing dream, the followthrough, the busting of the gender stereotypes left and right. Oh, and there is a boat named Gandalf too. Thank you for brightening my day, LW, as well as to the Captain and Commander who brought us your missive! And good luck, LW!

      (I think a date with that guy sounds like a great idea for all the reasons mentioned here, but obviously I’m mostly fixated on the SEA ADVENTURE.)

  2. I could be wrong, but I think your boundaries should be decently safe around this guy, if only because he gave you an out from the very beginning.

    Granted, the poetic ‘I would like to date you’ letter was quite the sweeping gesture, but there was also the understanding that you could crumple it up and toss it into the fire without so much as reading it and go for the friendship letter. That to me seems like a good indicator that he’s self aware enough not to push his feelings on you, even if said feelings start out strong from the get-go.

    1. Seconding this, and adding that I think this is one of those situations where it could be TOTALLY CREEPY, but it apparently wasn’t, because she never mentions feeling weird about it. It’s one of those Gavin de Becker listen-to-your-feelings moments.

      1. He made a Choose Your Own Adventure story using the U.S. Postal Service, which takes forethought and effort. And neither of those adventures seem to end in dismemberment and burial at sea, so good! I agree that it totally depends on the people involved whether this is creepy or the most fantastic “How I Met Your Mother” tale ever. LW seems to have good instincts and a good sense of what she needs and wants, so I’m voting for “Probably awesome!”

        1. He even referenced the CYOA books in the- well, I guess I call it the Cover Letter. Which certainly isn’t hurting him in the ‘appealing to my nerdy side’ department.

        2. I think the format makes a lot of sense given the Nantucket whaling vessel parameters of their relationship. Ordinarily, it’d be precious, but given that they’ll definitely be working out a long-distance relationship whatever happens, it’s kinda clever.

          And I think that since she likes him, she shouldn’t worry that this relationship will derail anything. I don’t know, but I suspect she’s in trip-planning mode, and thus understandably paranoid about any potential complications? I would have been way overthinking any handsome sailors who came my way mere weeks before departure. If there had been any.

      2. Totally agree. I mean, solely on the facts of the case (He sent me letters! I never gave him my address! He’s suddenly in love maybe?), it has high creep potential. But potential isn’t necessarily predictive. Given that she’s considering dating the dude, I’m willing to trust that it didn’t feel weird and that the letters were respectful. A date would help sort this out!

    1. Commander Logic DOES love a boat narrative. Awesome answer, L.! As I knew it would be!

      1. Thanks, sugarbeet! I love an opportunity to get my feet wet. LIKE ON A BOAT! GET IT? GET IT? (I’m pretty sure everyone gets it.)

  3. You had me at “marine toilet.”

    Amplifying part of the Captain’s answer: The writer seems to assume that a date promises short- or long-term romance. S/he should meet him, and afterward they can decide whether to meet again. This decision isn’t permanent!

  4. If sailors are anything like pilots, then this guy’s interest may very well be genuine. Most guy pilots I’ve met are thrilled to meet a woman who is as into aviation as they are. Especially since they outnumber us 10 to 1.
    And that eagerness could be one reason he came on strong.
    Why not just have coffee?

  5. Oh Letter Writer — it sounds like fate is knocking at your door via a nautical toilet. What would YOU think if you read this tale on a different website ? I think that you should meet for a casual date and just see where it goes. You don’t need to plan your entire life around the what-ifs and your master plan for life. Take a couple of hours out of one day and sit down and have a nice meal, or drink, or walk or whatever with this fellow who sounds very interested in you, polite, and overbrimming with at least one mutual interest (boatsboatsboats). Then sit back and take inventory of what your heart says — maybe like, madly in love, maybe unsure — whatever the outcome is, it will be okay.

    I think many of the readers here today would do anything to trade places with you right now, for those few crystalline moments where suddenly something unexpected happens — a person who seems attractive, sane and interesting is interested in YOU.

    1. I agree. I think that if you like him, then you should trust that liking him won’t damage your plans for your life. You’ll make it work. And, if he’s a nice guy, he’ll help you make it work.

  6. I’m reminded of a book I read (can’t recall WHICH one right now) where a woman had a similar problem. She was planning a world tour of Europe and had zero interest in meeting The One before that. Her friends discovered The One, wanted to fix her up, the lady said no. Her friends did a sneak ambush on her to make sure she met the guy. They hit it off. But…what about her trip?

    She took the guy along and all went well.

    If you want to take off for 2 years on a boat, this guy may very well be up for that too!

    1. You’re right of course, but if the writer is wary of entanglements from one meeting, the prospect of years together in a confined space could be terrifying. I think the Commander was right not to mention it.

      1. Too right there. I’m planning to take a friend for this leg or that, but there are going to be 45-day periods of being trapped in a 27′ boat and having someone along for that with whom I have -any- kind of a complicated relationship is the stuff of nightmares.

  7. Just go for it. Don’t overthink this. Seeing where it goes does not mean you will end up married and living in the burbs and malfunctioning if you have alcohol (did you see what I did there? Didja? DIDJA???). You might have a fun fling, a nice casual romance, or a lovely relationship that either survives the solo cruise, or is put on hold with no rancor and that you will either pick up where you left off or just resume as friends.

  8. Lots of people in this world have grand all-encompassing passions that take up lots of time and brain space. It’s not unusual, and as long as you are up front and clear about it from the get-go, I don’t see a problem with having a grand passion and a relationship at the same time. What I mean is, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell someone about this awesome passion you have and here’s the things you do and isn’t it wonderful and it makes you such an interesting person. You can have a good relationship without being joined at the hip. Not every relationship is the American sit com standard where you must do everything together or one partner is always waiting for the other to show up.

    I’m an artist and a gamer. Gack, two time-consuming passions. I’m also married. What I have found important in having a functional working relationship when you have a lot of demands on your time is choosing your partner wisely. You want to choose someone who also has demands on their time, and who understands why sometimes you’d rather go muck about on your boat than go to the movies with them. It may be harder to schedule time together, but scheduling concerns are frankly easier to manage than having someone waiting around for you all the time getting resentful. Sometimes I take off for weeks at a time to go work in someone’s studio or to go do a residency or, frankly, because I just feel like wandering off for a bit. But then, I’m married to a man who is busily curing cancer while learning two different computer coding languages. Sure, we miss each other, but we get on just fine if our partner is not home or busy. We make certain to schedule time for each other, but we have our own things that we spend a lot of time on. And together, we rock. My friends don’t get us, but my friends aren’t living my life either.

    1. You have something I do eventually want going on here. Something that’s an instant turn-off for me in a relationship is a partner who won’t make solo plans and/or gets upset when I do.

  9. A relationship that holds you back is not love.

    This can’t be said enough. After you’ve been through a few stressful, exhausting relationships, it’s amazing to find someone who supports you, who makes life easier rather than harder.

    Of course, some people like high-maintenance relationships. Some people get off on the drama, or enjoy constantly negotiating and having Big Talks. I am not one of those people. I need a friend and comrade, someone who, if I were a sailor, would totally understand my need to circumnavigate the seas.

    And now I’m as bad as the LW’s boundary-ignoring friends, because I am rooting for these two to get together. And no matter what happens, I want the movie rights.

  10. Your letter reminds me of someone I love very much, who tends to want to know how everything is going to turn out before she takes the first step. I mean, most of us do to some degree, but you’re coming off as being on the high end of the scale — at least on this issue. (You obviously aren’t risk averse across the board, or your life’s dream would not be a solo sail around the world! But you sound that way when it comes to this romance.)

    You’ve got a guy you find very attractive who is very attracted to you and has shown he’d like to be friends even if you didn’t have an opening in your life for the romantic lead, and who shares your consuming passion — which is otherwise sort of a lonely thing for you. And you’re pecking at it with what-if’s!

    I say, unless you are getting creepy uncomfortable vibes you haven’t shared, which are the reason this situation is making you nervous, look at it this way: this may be your chance to have it all! Physical attraction, friendship, shared interests, and a guy who won’t groan and feel neglected because you want to work on your boat, or sail it around the world, because that’s the way he is, too.

    It may not work. But if it does, how very glorious! Worth taking a chance to find out whether you can get the guy without sacrificing the dream.

  11. Regarding the high “creep” risk: BE VERY SAFE!

    Meet in a public place, tell friends where you’ll be and when you’ll be back, leave info about him, bring your cell, all that stuff. (Google online dating safety tips if you don’t already know them.) Don’t bring him back to your boat or apt. and be as vague as possible about where you live, etc.

    Remember that this is a guy who took your address off your check. That means he might think stalking is romantic.

    1. *salutes*
      Absolutely going down the safe-date checklist. I’m currently planning to ask him out for coffee on familiar territory, and have plans with other friends for afterwards so I have a definite time limit for the date and people who’ll know where I am and notice quickly if I’m not there.

  12. LW you should totally go for it! It sounds like you really like this guy and I’m totally one of those people who believes in taking risks for love.

    I agree with ths captain about trying to date casually. Don’t try, just let things flow (if you decide to try to go put with th is guy) if it turns out that you guys do get together, things will work out. Even if the relationship ends up only being short term! I’m in a serious sort them relationship right now that will end for the foreseeable future when my partner moves away, but I wouldn’t trade the last six months we’ve had together for anything and I’m really happy with my decision to make the leap.

    Do what your heart tells you. Good luck!

  13. The question for this guy is really whether he’s willing to be a sailor’s boyfriend. Whether he’s willing to say, “This is a picture of that girl I really like – she’s out sailing the world, but she’ll be back in November!” and whether he’s willing to make the most of the time you’re onshore. It’s kind of a gender reversal.

    I come from an army town in the middle of farm country. Where I come from, “farmer’s wife” and “soldier’s wife” are job descriptions that are quite distinct from “farmer” and “soldier”. I’m a farmkid, so I knew growing up that being a farmer’s wife but not a farmer still demands that you pick up the slack and do things at home or off the farm, so that the farmer can spend 18-hour days in a tractor during harvest or never go more than half a mile from the pens during calving. Same with soldiers–you can’t really negotiate around “I am going to Afghanistan for the next six months, see you!”

    So in my town women who want to run farms or join the Army either have to dare/marry other farmers or soldiers and pitch in/get posted together, or find men who understand that “farmer’s husband” and “soldier’s husband” are job descriptions, and who are willing to take on a certain lifestyle for their women.

    So LW, maybe this dude will join your sailing dreams and you’ll loooove being in a small enclosed space with him 24/7 for two years straight. It might happen! But on the other hand, even if he won’t, it’s not over, and you don’t have to give up the sea. You just have to see if he’s willing to love you and the big clunky dream that demands priority on your time and presence.

  14. The violin solo is not rocking. The fictional Aubrey Maturin (played by Russel Crowe in the film Master and Commander) was a famously mediocre violin player.

    1. *polishes off pedant badge* NOT SO, kind interloper of these interwebs!

      It is STEPHEN Maturin who is the mediocre player of stringed instruments, whereas JACK Aubrey is superb and holds himself back during their duet sessions so that Stephen won’t feel bad about his shitty playing.

  15. Ok, but what about this:

    You meet him on neutral ground to begin with and say, “Here’s the deal. I have been meaning to take this solo trip forever, and this is the time for me to do it (once I fix up my boat) and I want to do it, and I want to do it solo, and I am not ready or willing to get into a relationship right now because as far as I am concerned, I am married to the sea and my boat and this trip for the next two years. But! I like you, and I want to be friends until I disembark, and maybe I’ll write you letters, and we can see how things go while I’m away.

    And then when I get back, if you’re still free and interested, and I’m still free and interested, let’s revisit this again.”

    And if he’s into that, well, that’s a great sign, isn’t it? And if he’s not, he’s not. But you don’t need to get involved right now. You know your heart and mind! And there is also no reason why You Must Choose Right Now. Really. That’s just what they do in the movies to make it exciting for the viewers.

    1. And there is also no reason why You Must Choose Right Now. Really. That’s just what they do in the movies to make it exciting for the viewers.

      This completely, though I think I would advise LW to leave out the neutral ground manifesto entirely unless she’s leaving, like, TOMORROW. If it’s more than a few months out, no need to disclose right away, but no need to hide either. Like I said up in the advice, a first date/meeting/not-date-at-all is not the time to lay out your heart and life plans unless that’s where things go naturally. The ONLY thing one *must* do on a first date/meeting/not-date-at-all is figure out if the other person is worth meeting a second time.

      1. I like what you’re saying, and I like your date/meeting/whatever- I just think that all of these people posting “you should go on a date! You should dress up!” are saying yes, you must choose, and you must choose relationship. I like that the Captain left it open, but I don’t think there has to be a choice, and I read a lot more hesitation about getting involved with a relationship in this letter than I think a lot of people did. Of course, I may be wrong. 🙂

        1. Yeah, I’d personally advise a date, because why the hell not, but also leave open the possibility that the date won’t lead anywhere and that’s okay, too. The reason I focused so much on the relationship stuff was because LW was shutting herself off from the very idea of love entirely, and I don’t think that’s going to make her happy in the long run. She doesn’t have to haunt OKCupid or relationship-obsess or anything, but ferchrissakes, if a guy asks you out AND you kinda like him, GO OUT.

          I am pro-more-sexytimez-opportunities!

  16. Ahhh Captain Awkward once again knows my life!

    Basically, I’m in the opposite side of this. Although I did not send letters, I asked him out for drinks with friends and he managed to make it into the date that I was too cowardly to do.

    My suggestion: go on the date if you’re interested (and it seems like you are!). BUT, be as clear about what you want as you were here. The guy I went out with was only clear that he didn’t want a serious relationship, which I agreed with (he’s trying to find a job after graduating and has no idea where he’s going to be, I’m leaving for the opposite coast…), but now I’m not sure if I should just not ask him to hang out and hold off until he contacts me and if it’s too serious to call and wish him luck on interviews…it doesn’t help that we’re both super busy (and I’m clinically inexperienced).

    But luckily you know where you’re going to be when, so your situation is more straightforward. This guy seems to have made an impression on you — try it out. You can always go to being friends if those impressions seem off. And in terms of relationships — you’ll figure it out! You seem very in touch with what you want, which is always a good thing. Good luck! (Let us know how it goes?)

  17. As usual, the commander’s answer is spot-on. I’d like to add one thing though – just as it’s possible to have an LDR on land, it’s entirely possible to have one while at sea. There are radios and satellite phones, and there’s the possibility of meeting up when you’re in port to resupply… If the two of you fit one another and are both willing to make it work, then it can work.

  18. Oh LW, I have been in your shoes SO MANY times. Like you, I have a Grand Passion that regularly takes me Far, Far Away for months-years at a time. Actually, scratch that – it’s not like I’m even going away from (and, conversely, returning back to) any one given place. My Grand Passion (career) just keeps me moving. And let me tell you from (17 years of) Experience: Relationships Are Hard when you’re living a life on the road or the sea. I see some people make it work, and that gets my hopes up, but I’m in the middle of ending Serious Relationship #7 right now, and really sure right now whether I even want to try again until I eventually settle in one place for a while.

    Let me tell you how these relationships usually work, in my book: 1) You have what you think is a fun fling with the guy, but he’s ready to move you in, domesticate you, and marry you. You run away as soon as the sea calls again, and he’s heartbroken. 2) You have what starts out as a fun fling, but then you fall for the guy, especially after he starts talking about sailing with you part-time. Then when it comes time to actually get on the boat and go, he changes his mind and refuses to budge and refuses to keep up his end of a LDR, and you’re heartbroken.

    There are two other theoretical possibilities: 3) You both have a fun fling, then you each go on your merry way, and it’s all good; or 4) You both start out having a fun fling, then you both fall in love, then you find some way to make it work – he goes with you part time, or you meet up in ports, or you just do a LDR until you get back, and it’s all good. I’ve done #3 once and hey, it was fun, but rare. I’ve seen my fellow traveling friends make #4 work, but I have yet to be successful at it. I came the closest with Latest Guy, but in the end he turned out to be a #2. Sigh.

    Good luck! If you do meet up with this guy, I hope he turns out to be a #3 or #4!

  19. Sometimes people show up that you weren’t looking for. I was just playing around with dating when I met a particular dude. I ended up moving my stuff into his apartment at 4 months then leaving for 4 months for an internship very far away.

    That’s not exactly “circumnavigating the world for years”, but still. Sometimes it’s worth seeing what might happen.

  20. I don’t have anything constructive to say, but LW, I think you are a total bad ass. Two thumbs way up for being you!

    1. I’m learning, but I only started a couple years ago, and need to brush up for this season. Initially, was just an Age of Sail fan, but Chicago’s got pretty reasonable rates on classes, so HusbandLogic and I took it up on an extremely part-time basis.

      The plan is to get our international cert and go to Chile for boating and wining!

      1. Ooh, Chile is supposed to have a very friendly Coast Guard. They like to keep tabs on all their yachties.

        I grew up in a sailing family, did the Sea Scout thing, then signed onto the Lady Washington for a long stint, but am only now entering the world of solo cruising, with my sturdy little boat Gandalf.

        1. Very cool! I’m not super confident in my sailing yet, which is probably why I prefer sailing a beam reach; it’s so forgiving!

          The Lady looks stunning, and Gandalf is… Well, she’s all yours and she’s definitely coming along! ;D Comfy lookin’ too. I’m learning on J28s so the pics look familiar.

  21. Hey! I just wanted to say I found this song last night and you may already know it, but if not, I want to gift it to you, Married to my Boat. Because it’s about being a lady who’s in love with adventure and not “I’m broken and you deserve better” but “sorry, dude, I got a lot of living to do right this moment.”

  22. Follow up!

    I went on the date. And it was really pleasant. We talked boats and books and blogs, and I think we click nicely as fellow-hobbyists and I’m going to take him up, eventually, on his offer to let me crew along on the weekly race he sails in.

    1. That is super fantastic! You’ve unlocked the New Friend Of Interest achievement!

    2. I just came in here to post a comment asking DID YOU DO IT DID YOU but you did and hey! Hooray for you, and glad to hear that you don’t have to make heart-wrenching decisions right now.

  23. Sadly, the follow-up to the follow-up is boring. We traded lists of books about boats and discussed trading filthy boaty labor, but I haven’t heart from him since mid-May. I am, honestly, disappointed, but it’s one less complication and a lot fewer 6-gallons-of-gas drives to BoatyCity in my life.

    The upside of meeting with him is that, with the possibility always around of him contacting me again, I want to have progress to brag about. So he’s been a good motivation tool. My boat Gandalf is looking cleaner, I have exorcised the fuel tank, and am about to actually get the old toilet out so I can install the one I bought from him.

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