Thursday, February 10, 2011

Privacy On Board

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

Onboard Tarwathie how secure are we from prying eyes and ears? Very secure; at least we think so. It feels like having a home in the country, far from neighbors.

Could someone come onboard unexpected and unwelcome? Sure I guess. Would they? Nah; it would be very unlikely. It never happened to us. In six years of cruising, we've heard of two or three incidents of people being invaded by robbers or pirates, but it's extremely rare.

At anchor, when friends come to say hello on their dinghy, they knock on the hull.   They can't see in the windows, so there's no risk of being surprised.   When we visit, we do the same.  We knock and we avoid being in position to see in the windows or doors.

On the dock at a marina, it's a bit different. People walk by the boat at all times of night and day. In those cases we enhance our privacy by handing shower caps over our round portholes. They make perfect curtains. We also pull in to a slip bow first, so that the companionway door points toward the water, not the dock.

Noise?  We're pretty quiet at night, so we never disturb the neighbors.  What about neighbors who disturb us?  Yes, it has happened a few times, but it is not common.

What about when we have guests on board? Then the meaning of privacy changes profoundly. A boat is a very intimate environment. One can go in the head, and close the door, thus having complete visual privacy. Audible privacy is harder to achieve. Sometimes we have to step up the conversation or turn up the radio, to help provide guests a greater measure of privacy.   For some people, just the prospect of not having complete privacy is acutely stressful.  Intimate environments are tough on them.

We also have doors which allow separation of the v-berth from the main cabin. That allows guests a cramped, but private, space to change clothes.

In the tropics, nudity on board is very common. We haven't done it but we read about it. Nudity does not make you cooler, but it does help prevent soiling all your clothes so quickly. When the next laundry may be far away, that's a serious consideration.

Sometimes, privacy is only illusory, as we learned today in a most amusing fashion. This morning on the VHF cruisers net, someone got on the radio with a complaint. "The people on mooring A5 were having loud sex at 0300 ...", then the net controller got on the radio and said, "I heard that too. I thought she was having her appendix out." Then, our neighbor Sandra and Libby both said "I heard that too." Since we're more than 1/4 mile away from A5, she must have been loud indeed.  What an embarrassment for the A5 lady! I'll bet she'll be quiet as a church mouse next time.  My friend George said that half of the harbor is likely to be hanging around A5 tonight :)  Oh God, too too funny. Do you remember the movie Porky's?

1 comment:

  1. Gee, that sounds like a great practical joke to me.


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