After graduating from college, Shelby Huff set out to explore the oceanic expanses along the coasts of South and North America as well as the Caribbean islands. Somewhere between 28 hours of bus travel, living on a boat and watching a starfall on a mountain top, she realized what she wanted from life: to protect and defend the pristine wilderness and teach others to live in harmony with nature. During breaks, she tries her hand at writing. For example, she describes her experience on the Matador Network.
1. A normal friend respects your right to privacy and space. A yachting friend is so used to being in close proximity that he never lets you go more than a couple of inches away from him. Not even on land.
2. A normal friend gives you a ride to school or work in his car. A yachting friend does not give you a ride: he comes, picks you up or, at worst, just swims up to pick you up.
3. A normal friend will watch a movie with you on a rainy day. A yacht friend will stop by to help you remove outriggers, antennas, running rigging, hatches, side holes and lockers. He'll make sure the drain holes and pump in the cockpit are in working order and the batteries are charged.
4. A normal friend does not attach much importance to talking about the weather. A yachting friend intentionally and thoroughly discusses the weather: after all, your accommodation tonight depends on it.
5. A normal friend won't let you drive drunk. A yacht friend will just make sure you stay on "the damn boat."
6. A normal friend will ask you about the bruises that cover every square inch of your body and show sympathy. A yachting friend will simply ignore them: he knows what a simple transition from stern to nose sometimes costs.
8. A normal friend will provide all the help you can after any emergency in your life. A yacht friend will prevent an emergency: he will guard the bay while you sleep, drop you off at the shore when you run out of fuel, dive to check the mooring or just drop off freshly brewed coffee in the morning.
9. A normal friend thinks you're crazy when he finds out you don't have electricity, running water, a fridge or a bathroom. A yachting friend lives the same dirty life as you.
10. A normal friend will ask you if you want to stop by the new restaurant in the centre. A yacht friend will catch a fish and serve it with half the pineapple he got earlier in the morning. And homemade garlic bread on the grill. And, of course, wine.
11. A normal friend will note that a comb is crying through your hair. The yachting friend will find your self-educated dreadlocks quite suitable for life at sea. If he even notices what's on your head.
12. A normal friend will ask if you're all right. A yacht friend thinks his mood is your mood. He knows exactly when something's wrong, and he wants you to talk about it. You're so close, sometimes you feel like he's reading your mind.
13. A normal friend slams the door and leaves for a few days after the fight. A yacht friend releases steam a few meters from you on the other side of the boat and avoids eye contact.
14. A normal friend is uncomfortable when he sees you naked. A yachting friend is not familiar with shame. He is completely calm about nudity in all its manifestations, whether it is friends, neighbors, beach vacationers or elderly yachtsmen.
His main asset is the opportunity to meet sunrise and sunset every day.