Saturday, May 28, 2011

Papillon Crew vs The Tourists

Summertime is rapidly approaching, even in the waterlogged depths of Ontario.  Many of you will travel during this time – north into cottage country, south into even hotter weather.  But wherever you go, are you prepared?  When you strike up a conversation with your neighbour on the beach, do you even consider he or she might be... a boat person?

To avoid any social embarrassment as you traipse through your vacation, here is my handy guide to distinguishing cruisers from the land-based pack.

Regular tourist
Hello, my name is Generic.
Hey, you live on that Bill Tripp yawl, right?  Oh, that’s a nice boat.
Small talk

Where are you from?  Where are you staying?  What do you do?

Is that a CQR anchor?  Heck, no, you should really get a Manson instead.
Clean and varied.
Usually, yes.  Do the holes show?
Handheld VHF
It is no secret that your average pale person views the sun with a terror more appropriate to an imminent apocalypse.  Ugly hats are a must for the sun-fearing tourist.

Erik wears an old straw hat he found floating in the water.  Enough said.
Swimsuit style
New, brightly coloured and fresh from LL Bean or similar.
Also new, but faded and shapeless due to constant wear.  Bought cheaply from the tourist shack at the last port of call.
Swimsuit I – family time
Coverage is key.  SPF 5000+, and long sleeved, especially for kids.
Sole criterion: comfort.
Swimsuit II – party people
Go small and show it off, baby!  How else are you going to get a brutal burn on your milky-white shoulders?
Either bright white sneakers or new flip-flops.
Flip-flops of indeterminate colour, barely held together with epoxy.

Burnt.  Cruisers wince as you pass, imagining the pain you will be in this evening.

Tanned.  Tourists shake their heads and hope you’ll enjoy having skin cancer in later life.

Well-mannered and well-controlled.  Close to the parental units at all times.  Eating and sleeping schedules scrupulously adhered to.

Somewhat feral, but happy.  Possibly filthy.  Someone made them peanut butter on a playing card a few hours ago.  And I’m sure I saw them around here, somewhere.
Kids’ greeting
Hi.  Do you want to play?
Hi.  Do you live on a boat?
Where is that sushi place that Christine was telling us about?
I'm looking for the laundromat and the book swap.
Beach umbrella
Yes, please!  I'll have a bucket of cervezas and some nachos and a pineapple juice and...
Pfft.  Pay for something?  No.  I’ll dump my stuff in a pile here on the sand, thanks.
Arriving at the beach

By taxi, or on foot from the road/hotel.

By dinghy - preferably with a motor issue - or on foot along the beach.
Beach stuff
Bathing suit, sunscreen, beach cover-up, towel, novel, sunglasses, new sand toys, flip flops, camera...
Bathing suit and scavenged sand toys
Clean, polite, and clearly away from home.  Determined to maximize the value of their precious vacation days.
Faded, a little bit dirty, friendly, and (perhaps overly) relaxed.

And there you have it.  You will know within mere moments whether the creature in front of you is land- or water-based.  You’ll be the envy of your friends and neighbours!  I’m so happy to help.

1 comment:

Patent Attorney said...

Haha, some quite astonishing differences there!