I can fully attest that one of the major reasons we loved the Virgin Islands so much this season is because of the awesome group of friends that we had here with us. Buddy boating was in full-throttle and it was rare that we did any solo trips during this entire season. Which is pretty crazy and awesome.
This season we were reunited with long standing boat friends as well as meeting up with some new great ones. It was so much fun knowing that we always had someone to hang out with, someone to drink happy hour drinks with, to travel with, kill time with, laugh with, and complain with. WE HAD FRIENDS AROUND!
One thing that I find hard with the cruising life is friendships. Every once in a while you meet people that you truly love, and would love to have in your neighbourhood for always. But in sailing, everyone is nomadic. We all have cruising plans and they don’t always line up over the long term. As much I would like to raft up with some of our friends for the next three years, sometimes plans just don’t let that happen.
So this sailing season was quite unique, in that we had so many friends around. If we were feeling social there was always someone around to call on. I am worried that it may be a while until we come across that again. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE MY HUSBAND. He is my best friend, and there are many nights when I want it to be just me and him (after the kids are asleep), but girls’ night, and drinks on the beach, and going out to beach bars, those are a little more fun as a group.
Sometimes sailing can get lonely. It’s times like these, when everyone has parted ways, and memories of the recent fun are still fresh, missing those connections is ever so clear. And my heart is still tender. I sort of feel like I am going through a breakup from several people. Because even though we have all talked about being together again next season, who knows where everyone’s plans will bring them. And once again it could be another sad three long years until we see them all again. Ocean friends come and go, “it’s how we do”, I just have to get used to that. Until we are reunited we always have things like FB to keep each other close.
On the flip side, we are finding ourselves more stagnant this off-season so we have been taking advantage of island life. We are befriending landlubbers (and loving it!). Being that we are staying in one general area, people are starting to get used to seeing our faces around and are taking to us. We have met some awesome new friends and are living a bit of the “dry” life, (not booze wise, land excursion-wise). It has been so much fun driving around, visiting new areas, having dinners in houses, etc. Our new friends are re-introducing us to the luxuries of land, and are great companions for it.
So not all friendship hope is lost. Our sea-faring friends may be off on their adventures, and I can’t wait to see them soon, but at the same time being less nomadic has given us the opportunity to meet some amazing new people that I am so grateful to have in our lives.