There’s something you should know about us. We are slaves to tradition.
“A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past.”, is how wikipedia defines it (with a recent download of the entire wikipedia database on the boat, it’s basically our source for everything), but within the Saltbreaker society, it should read, “A tradition is something that occurs one or more times, either accidental or intentional, which is then repeated ad nauseum.”
We’ve got a lot of traditions. Living with 2 other guys on a 32 foot boat for the past 3 months, we’ve had a lot of time to weave together a web of rituals that determines what we do at any given moment.
Our oldest nautical tradition is probably the secret phrase, “Hard to port”. In sailing, this is a direction to the helmsman to turn the boat as far to port (left) as possible. On Saltbreaker, a mere mention of this phrase means everyone aboard needs to take a shot of hard alcohol followed by a swig of port. We’re extra careful not to let this phrase slip before noon.
Then there’s Phil Collins; a perfect example of a nausea inducing tradition. None of us can recall the fateful day that Phil was blasted on the way out of an anchorage, but our best guess is that it happened somewhere around the channel islands, and has continued ever since.
At this point, the tradition has been repeated to the point that cause and effect are intertwined; it’s impossible to separate Phil from the process of weighing the anchor. We’re still waiting for the day we pull into a perfect tropical anchorage, drop the hook with intentions of staying for several days only to have Phil come accidentally on the radio. We’ll be 20 miles away before we realize we had no intention of leaving at all.
As anyone with ears can tell you, Phil Collins can wear on a man. If we’re anchoring in a new place every night, nobody is particularly excited to turn on the stereo. On the other hand, when we stay somewhere too long (which has happened in both Puerto Escondito and La Paz while waiting out heavy winds) we find ourselves hearing pieces of “Against All Odds”, and “Another Day In Paradise” in the melodies of every ranchero and romantica song we hear coming from the cantinas at night.
Neighboring boats have commented further down the line, “Were you the guys blasting “In The Air Tonight'” on your way out at sunrise?”. Yes. That was us. We don’t even know why anymore.