Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Three Shades of Green

Marathon, FL

E.L. James became a highly successful author for writing Fifty Shades of Grey.   Let's see what I can to with "Three Shades of Green"

Newcomers to all fields are called newbies, or rookies, or greenhorns, or just plain green.  In terms of boating, we were all once green, unless we were born on board.   Recently, we have had some experience with two vessels with greens of the first kind.

1st order Green -- In Labelle, we encountered a sweet young (very young) couple who just decided on a whim to buy a sailboat and to live life as cruisers.  How green were they?  When they came in to the public docks in Labelle, they had no lines to tie up the boat with.  The girl even said that they were unaware that boats used ropes to tie up to docks.

Last week in Boot Key Harbor, some shouting and commotion was heard at 3AM.  It seems that there was a sailboat cruising up and down the rows in the mooring field, looking for an unused mooring (there are none).  Worse,  they ran out of fuel while doing so and their engine stopped.   Still worse, they had no anchor on board.  Still worse, the winds were too light to sail and the boat was helplessly adrift on the otherwise weak tidal currents bumping into other boats at 3AM.  That's pretty green.  Luckily, the winds and currents were light enough that all the bumping didn't cause great harm.

2nd order Green --  The other extreme are the fresh cruisers who rush to empty their bank accounts of any money that can be used to buy any product that claims to make their cruising life safer or more comfortable.

For example, I watched a 2nd order couple in City Marina earlier this season.  First, they opened boxes containing new pairs of his/her iMac Pros, new iPads, and new iPhones.   Then they used these to get online.  He went to westmarine.com, and started clicking BUY on everything he saw.  She went to amazon.com and started clicking on every BUY button she could find.  I confess to being so bemused that I spied over their shoulders.  I also swear that between the two of them, the spent $100,000 in just 90 minutes.

Another 2nd order couple rides in their dinghy wearing fancy life jackets, and with VHF radios, personal locator EPIRBs, and flashing strobe lights strapped around their waists.  After two days, they decided that their dinghy was just too slow for moving around the harbor, so they bought an enormous family size jet ski to ride to the dinghy dock (forgetting the strict speed limits we have in the harbor).

Boating magazines love 2nd order boaters.  They write articles telling everyone how much fun it is to spend money buying the products and services that the magazine's advertisers have to offer.  They hate articles by people like Libby and me who espouse a  simple, frugal life style.

3rd order Green -- This category includes ourselves and almost everyone else who tries to steer a middle path between these two extremes.


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