My parents like to sail. They have just returned from a 4-week sailing holiday around Sweden. Along the way, they picked up different friends and relatives that helped out as crew for a couple of days each. It’s a great liberty.
I have been thinking about joining them many times. I have great memories from when I was a kid and we had our boat in Trosa, a sleepy fishing village close to Stockholm.
The idea of sailing is great, but many things have changed since I was a child and if I am honest, when I’m out on the ocean, most of all, I like to chill. I like to listen to the wind and read a good book or think about what to eat when we get back to shore.
The problem is that in my family, “Kuttersmycke” or “Boat Bunnies” have no real value, as they seem a bit useless just lying in the front of the boat reading a book. My dad is the skipper and likes wind and involvement from his crew, so I have never been considered a good crew member (apart from the fact that I can stay very calm in certain situations, like docking the boat).
Sailing demands clear roles and hierarchy. “Boat Bunny” might sound like a degrading term, but really, if you ask me, every boat with self respect should have a Boat Bunny – someone that cares for the boat’s well being. In former days it used to be a gallionsfigure, or ship head. This figure, carved out of wood in the front of the boat, was supposed to protect the ship from bad spirits.
Today I do the same. I cook food for the crew and for this I expect to be left in peace during the boat ride. This means I can enjoy a relaxing time on the water, and then everyone else is pleased when we reenter the harbor – because instead of eating at a random restaurant, we can all enjoy fresh fish at the most beautiful spot, as the sun goes down. Like here at Öland the other night.
The other reason I prefer to chill-out while at sea is that I usually get seasick.