A guest’s eye view from On Delay (Part I)

Wren, of Wren & Laura, our recent and most wonderful boat guests, left me (Jane) with a Word doc of her observations and musings about life on On Delay and Colombia. I’m thinking that many of you will be interested in her perspective. I plan to post Wren’s words in a series of short blogs over the next week or so.

And now, from Wren herself:

On On Delay Off Cartegena

Chalon Bay, Colombia, October 21, 2012

Greetings again from a now very relaxed guest correspondent reporting in from a lazy boat bobbing at anchor 600 nautical miles N of the equator. More vignettes about recent and ongoing (as best I can tell) On Delay life.

On being polite:

As a guest in this country and on this boat it feels important to be an appropriate visitor. Here’s what this looks like:

In Colombia

  • Many people here greet each other and obvious tourists with courtesy and respect. Even the local fish salesmen in tiny boats.
  • Store staff are often really helpful and seem to enjoy having and doing their job.
  • Many Colombians are really happy and pleased when we take interest in their city, music, food, and culture. They are willing to struggle with a few words of English to connect and make tourists feel safe and well cared for.

On On Delay

  • Many things are a premium here: space, water, private time/space. Respect and following the spoken and unspoken rules and guidelines are key. You can probably use your imagination, and just multiply appropriate by at least 3. You’ll get along fine.
  • Space. More than one person in the kitchen is a crowd. Everyone is careful to say “Excuse me” whenever passing another in the 3.5 x 4.5 ft standing area.

    Laura, Tony, Jane, and Lobster preparing dinner in the galley.

  • Space. Put your personal items in your bunk when not in use. Don’t leave books, camera, notebooks, used cups and dishes in the main cabin. Or any shared space.
  • Water. Don’t be running any extra wash or rinse water for the dishes or your body. Rain water collected in two 10 gallon buckets on the back deck is used for multiple purposes such as rinsing hair after a swim, and rinsing clothes (not underwear) when a bit dirty.
  • Private time/space. We all need it. Alone time reading, sleeping, or just chilling out watching the gorgeous view off a quiet piece of boat is as important as socializing.
  • Good hygiene. A fine balance of all of the above and being a good citizen can be a balancing act when off shore with 160 gal of fresh water and gathered rainwater. You can stay clean taking a swim then lathering up. Spritz off using a shower hose off the back of the boat. All this is done discretely.
  • Attitude. Have a good one. Smile and say thank you often when your shipmates do nice things. It makes for a better day.

    Nice Jane hands Laura a handcrafted tropical drink at sunset.

  • Help out. Everybody works. Everybody is good at something or several or many things. Sometimes people are just nice and do a job to be a good citizen. For example, one day Gayle washed the lunch dishes even though she didn’t happen to eat with the rest of us. Nice personified. Everyone takes turns in karma goodness.

On Delay crew enjoying the water; at anchor in Chalon Bay, Colombia.

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