With absolutely zero fanfare here is the accompanying 2nd Edition to the first must-have guide to understanding yachtspeak (Yachting Translations Vol. I). In this follow-up we veer deeper into the underpinning meanings behind some of the promises, threats, entreaties and casual swears often heard onboard.
You hear: “If you quit now I’ll make sure you never work on a yacht again.”
Spoken by: The captain
Means: “I have an inflated sense of my ability to influence a global industry. In addition I prioritize petty vengeance over good management practices, which is very likely what led us to this particular juncture in the first place. I would apologize but due to spending a large part of my professional life in an insulated echo-chamber lovingly filled with people who assure me I am absolutely correct at all times, I am physically unable and would likely collapse of a burst spleen were I to admit that you might have a point in wanting to seek greener pastures. I desperately wish I could bid you good luck but you have made me worried and a little sad and now I must yell at you.
You hear: “What do you think about sharing a cabin?”
Spoken by: Your onboard flame
Means: “Look, this is crazy. We’ve been drunk 80% of our time off the boat together. I think we’ve probably got something here but I can’t entirely remember. If I’m honest I think you’re pretty darn good-looking first thing in the morning, and if I’m really honest all this meeting on the high seas and shagging on deck under the stars meshes very neatly with the narrative of love and adventure that I am working on here. So I’d like to try getting more serious but only if you promise not to ruin everything and will disappear if it goes to shit. And I get the big closet.”
You hear: “Are you getting a break after this trip?”
Spoken by: A charter guest
Means: “Did we break you? I hope we haven’t broken you. We didn’t break you did we? That would be too bad because you seem nice and I’d like to imagine there’s fun in this for you too. Maybe just let me imagine that.”
You hear: “Who the fuck tracked muddy footprints up the passerelle last night?”
Spoken by: The bosun
Means: “I have very little control over anything in my life right now and I am trying to not let that get to me. One of the ways I do this is by working very very hard at keeping this boat very very clean. And one of you shitheads went out and had a good old time and came back and made a mess while I was sleeping and dreaming of Tahitian green rooms. Surfing. Barreling waves. Stay with me. Anyway I literally feel like you walked on my face and I want to know which of you did it so I can be mad at something in particular and exert some control in one of the few areas I am allowed to. Your feet.
You hear: “All the guests are up.”
Spoken by: Someone over the radio
Means: “Shit just got real.”
You hear: “Keep in touch.”
Said by: A departing crewmate
Means: “There is no reasonable way for me to tell you in the three seconds I have left on this boat how much all of the laughter and fucking blood, sweat, and – if we’re honest – tears we shared meant to me. Just listing all of the places we went would make me miss my flight, and if we start getting into the stories I might as well unpack. You have both irritated and impressed the hell out of me and I will never admit to either. As a rule I do not purchase flight insurance but if the airline sold keep-in-touch insurance I would buy the hell out of it. But they don’t so I’m just going to say it and that’s going to have to do. Good-bye my friend. You’re a shithead, and I’m going to miss you.”