Marlin’s Lessons

The first cruisers we hung out with, was a German boat called Marlin. Beautiful red sailboat. Met them in A Coruña. They kind of stalked us to the next place we went. Shout out to Ellie here 🙂 Together, we hung out with Marlin for the next week or so. And in a Galician Ria, we learnt some valuable things from Marlin. Here’s a summary of our experience:

  • Lesson number one: Always use ice when you hurt yourself on a boat.

I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. This lesson was painful. It happened when little Lulu fell out of Marlin’s swinging cockpit hammock – did I mention Marlin was made from aluminium – and fell smack onto her right ear on the metal floor. Now, Marlin’s mama is a surgeon. I know, right? Whilst never good to hurt yourself, make sure you do it on a surgeon’s boat. Marlin’s surgical missus came over, calm as the sunset. Had a look at Lulu’s ear. It was as big as a horse’s at this point. I was thinking hospitals, taxis, ambulances, anything.

She said, ‘We need some ice on it.’

I turned my head, mouth still open. Lulu was whimpering with that terrible, kid-in-pain sound. ‘Do you have any pain killers?’

The doctor got even calmer. ‘No. There’s no medicine on this boat. Just ice.’

We went for the ice. And damn straight, the surgeon called it. Ice is amazing for injuries – particularly trauma-related ones. I mean, I knew it already in vague theory but I really learned it that night. And this was especially useful since a lot of boat injuries are trauma-based. Fingers and toes stuck in winches, or hatches, or both. Luckily, after a couple of days of consistent icing, Lu’s ear got slowly better.

I did ask whether the doc thought she should have an x-ray.

Another sage shake of Marlin’s mama’s head. ‘Even if she’s broken a bone, there are so many small bones in that location.’ It was just behind her ear. ‘They’ll be nothing to do to fix it. It’ll fix itself. Just keep icing – and regularly.’

So we did. Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Phew! Ok, back to number two.

  • Lesson number two: Where to get your boat fixed.

Marlin had been bought from up a South American river. The owners told us how she’d lain unloved for some time. The family had needed to revive her, to strip her out and give her a major re-fit. Particularly her insides. And boy, was she was pretty when we visited. Wood and wood – all cleverly put together for maximum, elegant function. That was a boat you could live on and never not be smug about your minuscule carbon footprint.

On the same evening we learned about boat (and non-boat)-derived injury treatment, we asked Marlin where she got her amazing re-fit. The captain was as calm as his wife. These guys were super calm. And they’d sailed all over the world – like twice. At least. Right, El?

‘Trinidad,’ the cap replied. ‘If I ever need any work done, I always take my boats to Trinidad. It’s the best work in the world, at the best price.’

End of speech. Really, there was nothing more to be said. Just that we never forgot it. The photo above is from the mechanic, Falco’s apprentice, yesterday spamming Jack’s phone. Isn’t it cool? He managed to get Santa right between his fingers.

Fair winds, Marlin.

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