Life afloat poses some unusual challenges. Not the least of which is trying to remember the names of the many people with whom we cross paths. Usually we can remember the boat name and characteristics: oh, ya, the people on the catamaran called Fearless. What are their names again. Bob and Mary? Peter and Lori? Laverne and Shirley?
If only we had a way to catalog our personal encounters…
Enter boat cards. Like the calling cards of the Victorian era, they announce the the name of the person with whom we visited. And provide a lasting cheat-sheet for us. We have amassed a fair number of these reminders and have referred to them as we see a familiar boat as we (or they) enter a new anchorage. Ah, yes! It’s Doug and Mary on Zipporah! They taught us to play Farkle in Antigua.
Boat cards run the gamut from plain white name, rank and serial number simplicity to two-sided, color photo bearing mini-books with every possible mode of communication listed. Ours falls closer to the latter. It’s helpful to see photos of the boat and the owners. Email address and phone number also come in handy. Got a blog? Excellent! We’ll check it out.
We flip through our pile periodically as a way to refresh our memory and relive moments past. We had occasion to break them out recently when we received news of the catamaran Paradox, owners Mark and Amy (a pair of doctors, get it?). Mark and Amy are much like us, of a certain age, eager to see the world before age becomes a hindrance. We met them in Antigua and spent some quality time with them. The highlight, a trip to Shirley Heights for the weekly BBQ and steel band party. Sadly, while in St. Martin, Mark contracted COVID-19. He was returned to Miami where he passed away, after he seemed to be improving. Looking through the pile of boat cards we notice we don’t have a card for Paradox. I don’t think we need one now, their story is forever etched in our memories. A tragic ending to a life well lived.