Ann is writing this one, not Jim.
The advice is excellent, but I doubt many will read the papers to get the intellectual background. Part of the explanation for this, IMO, lies in the facts that most of cruisers are extremely independent, i.e., we shy away from advice, and we are action oriented. Some years ago, in 1990 or the beginning of 1991, Jim had a conversation with a New Zealand
fellow, who asked him, "Is it just you and your wife on the boat?" "Yes," said Jim. "But who do you TALK to?" asked the Kiwi. This story illustrates that there are some men
who are not prepared to treat their wife as an equal partner. The catch is that independent women will, in the presence of such a husband, choose other sports and activities that they can enjoy. If there's anyone (regardless of gender) out there who wants some advice, it's this: if you want a partner whom you can trust during your offwatches, then, by golly, you ought to treat them like they were your best friend's partner whom s/he wanted to indroduce to sailing! Encourage, teach calmly, take care of their comfort as much as possible. Most people do not take well to being shouted at, frightened, made cold and wet, and expected to wait on the skipper
as if he were God. If it's hard to relate to that comment, the reader
may lack empathy.
That's one issue. The other one, "deviant" behavior, I'm not
qualified to comment on in the context of those authors, having
not the time nor inclination at the moment to get hold of those old studies. However, I did accept when we left our country of
origin, the essentially anti-social nature of our actions. Yes, it's pro-active, and yes, the cruising community is a whole lot like a small town wherein the people both respect each others' "personal space" and are reciprocally helpful. We
have exchanged overcrowding for our floating "lebensraum." However, it is also a clear statement that the dominant culture lacked a number of values important to us. A friend's Master's
thesis explored the values amongst liveaboards in the Oakland/Berkeley area of Calif., USA, in the early '80s.
You may be amused to read that sometime in the '80's, in
"Latitude 38" (pub. Richard Sprinkler) it was suggested that a
who were considering the cruising lifestyle spend two
weeks living in their bathroom with the shower
problem is that it only addresses the space and moisture considerations of the environment
Belligerance. Well, normally, when people meet other people, a friendly approach engenders a friendly one back. If someone is afraid, the other guy is likely to pick upon it, in spite of language differences and everything, and just as with other animals
, the more fearful one is liable to agress first. (Some of this may be
simply fear of losing dominance.) Both Jim and I decided against carrying weapons of deadly force years ago. The problem are manifest; here are a few: 1) firearms must be declared, and then Customs
of the country you're visiting puts them in bond, to be reclaimed when you complete exit formalities. Some places this is merely expensive and a hassle. And then you don't have them where you're most likely to need them--in port. [By the way, where is it written that Americans get to go somewhere the locals don't want them?] We choose not to go to places where there are huge problems with inter-personal violence. 2) If firearms are going to be effective, you would have to pro-active and choose to use them before you're fired upon. As a cruiser, you're a good will ambassador for your country of origin. The two positions are mutually exclusive. 3) If you fail to declare firearms, and someone rats you in to Customs
or they discover them on their own, you risk confiscation of the arms, your vessel, and rather large fines (by our cruising budget). 4) Everyone has to decide for him/herself what acceptable risk is, and what to do about it. Most successful cruisers understand very well that they are visitiors in someone else's country, that the indigenes may behave incomprehensibly at any moment--and that's okay. They get to make their own rules, just as we have done in our country, and if we don't like what's going on, we, at least, can leave! One doesn't have to condone what seems like corruption, but one can keep one's mouth shut unless asked. So we're talking a lot about personal boundaries and ethics being very clear, about having empathy, compassion, and the willingness to actually like people who are very different in some ways--and how like in others! It's all about the people, and less about the beautiful tropical sites, or the incredible high latitudes, after you've been doing it a while, and recovered from the overcrowding.
Well, that's an extremely long response to a seemingly innocuous suggestion. ...And I still think most people don't care to look very deeply into their motivations and psyches.
Thanks for the opportunity to express all this.
(Signed) Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II