Just Saying

Boaters who are together 24/7 often develop their own language. Sometimes its clear and other times it’s not.

“Mosquito on your tail.”

“How big?”

“Big enough to bite if its fast.”


“Hang on. Ouch!”

(Translation: fast little fishing skiff has just zoomed by and left us rocking in his wake.)


“Could you change the page on the chart?”



“Because your thingy is on it.”

“Take my thingy off and lay it on the next page.”

“Well, all right.”

(Translation: post-it marking our location on the chart is a thingy)


“Is the next channel marker red or green?”


“Are you sure? I don’t see it.”

“It’s there.”


“There.” Pointing.

“Two fingers to the right of the bow? Three points off the starboard quarter? Where.”

“There.” Pointing frantically.

(Translation: red triangles or green squares with number are out there somewhere and will eventually come into view)


And my favorite.

“We have an orange.” Smiling.


“An orange.”

“In the refrigerator?”

“No. In the head.”

(Translation: color indicators telling you how full your holding tank is weren’t working until it went past half…the color for that is bright orange on a light panel. I thought it perfectly clear.)



Sometimes you just KNOW what to do, even when the words don’t come out of the mouth. We once crewed with a sailboat racing skipper who did this:

“On the count of three, I want to tack.”



“Wait. What happened to the count?”

“Tack. Tack.”

(Translation: change direction. And know what I want you to do, even when I don’t tell you.)


Mark and I get along very well. We actually use words…even when they don’t make sense to anyone else.

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