Thursday, May 5, 2011

How To Date The Crew

So over the years I've crewed on a bunch of different boats.  Some only once & others for a few different races or as a semi-regular on Wednesday nights.  And now I have a regular ride on Bump...which is great--I like having a home.  I think I have a new spin on crewing--it's a hell of a lot like dating--how?  Well let me tell ya'I used to write a lot about my 50 first dates & how I kissed a lot of frogs until Xing Fu became my Frog Prince.  I think finding the right boat to call home is a lot like that.  I've spent a few years "trying out" a bunch of boats--50 first crews?  

I don't like skippers who yell a lot or who verbally bash their crew & I've seen it & been put through it.  If sailing is supposed to be fun, who the fuck needs that??  I also don't enjoy being put on the rail for the entire race as ballast--I need a job--I may not be the most experienced racer out there (Xing Fu is miles & miles better than me), but I do know how to sail, been doing it all my life, just not racing, & I can trim jib or do pole on down wind legs if I'm not regular crewI wouldn't ever dream of taking the job of a regular, but don't have me sit & do nothing except get bashed up diving across the deck during the tacks.  To me, that just ain't fun.  

What I've learned is that when you find "the one", it just doesn't matter that you get banged up crossing the cabin top--and I may hurl myself across even faster because I want us to do better.  That's how I felt last night during the Wednesday night race.  In fact, the first time I crewed on Bump for the first race of the Wednesday night series on the West River, I felt that tingle--that these people were fun to be with & that I fit right in, uh-oh...And I stayed with them & now I look forward to being with them both on & off the water.  It is a good fit & it took a little while---I'll never forget the "infamous tiller" on another boat I crewed with for a few races...ah, the stories...anyway.

Last weekend I'd taken a guest spot on another boat for NOODs.  It just wasn't a good fit & if, when Sunday rolled around,  and my head & heart weren't in it & I questioned why I love sailing--then there's a problem.  And, watching Bump's transom in front of me is a bright spot during the racing...and that I don't freakin' care if I get an Annapolis NOOD red see what I mean.  So, when I arrived yesterday to climb aboard my regular ride, I was just so happy to see everyone.  These are the folks that I want to be with--a little yelling sometimes doesn't bother me because I know that they appreciate my contribution--and I do have one.  And also, if I have to ride the rail sometimes, I don't mind because I know that when the down wind leg arrives, I'll be on--that's when I'm busy & I want to do it well.  I look forward to the challenges & I can't hide my smile because it is just an easy fit--just like finding the right guy.  Yeah, we don't always see eye-to-eye, but we have fun--and that's what it's all about.  And beating the boat I was on on Sunday doesn't hurt either.

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