Phil Collins

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.

Phil Collins

Time to go

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.

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7 Responses to Phil Collins

  1. jennifer matuschek says:

    why ask why? and i’ll never say ‘hard to port’ on the saltbreaker again…

  2. Erin says:

    Because “In the Air Tonight” is the perfect way to get pumped for anything, of course! Love it. (Except the fact that it doesn’t get going soon enough and before you know it, the part that does pump you up is over…) But good call, I’m gonna use it to help me get started on a paper right now…

  3. Marc Abdou says:

    Puedo sentir venir en el aire esta noche!

  4. Steve says:

    I can distinctly remember hearing “In the Air Tonight” on the radio while in the store the day I got my first job in college – The Bottle Store on Lincoln Highway. It must be a sign for new beginnings.
    And what more can be said about port. I very much look forward to the day we can share a toast with it.

  5. Frances May says:

    Phil Collins??? How about “Over the Rainbow” or maybe “Blue Skies” or here we go “Come Rain or Come Shine”. I personally get “pumped” when I hear “Oh What a Beautiful Moorrnnning–Oh what a beautiful day!!!!” Okay sailors–let’s hear it!!! mm

  6. I fucking love this! Jesse, Yaz and I are gonna pitch these traditions to our captain and see what he says – he’ll probably just kick us off there and then!

  7. Liz L. says:

    Hilarious. You guys are great. Phil Collins, however, not so much. This is a tradition I would have never, ever, EVER begun.

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