“The trick is to both talk at once.” Says Kimberley Pollock, having just finished a lightening fast reunion with a girl she once shared a cabin with for two years, thought of as a sister, and hasn’t seen in two relationships, three boats, four vacations and 214 sheet days.
“I have no idea what Jen said, or what exactly I told her, but I think we covered the basics and mostly just laughed. I hugged her six times and my goal was five so even though it was a quick hello, and we didn’t have time to get drunk and tell the real dirt, I’m happy we can go another four years without seeing each other, or ten if that’s what it takes.”
Easy to spot from a distance, there is a particular gait unique to someone coming down a passerelle to see an old friend who has just texted, “I’m outside your Mfing Boat!!!!🤗🤗🤗.” It starts as a skip, turns to a run, and ends in a half-step, half-leap into a hug and semi-twirl on the dock that often topples both friends over.
So common is this matey tumble it’s become a source of injury referred to amongst safety officers as “Bestie Bruisings.” Risk assessments have been done and familiarizations in proper reunion hugging conducted, but the problem persists, with many captains resorting to laying out padded floor mats on the dock in an attempt to avoid more broken elbows and ankles.
As both crewmembers had guests onboard and one of their yachts was about to depart, the visit only lasted two ignored radio calls – saying the one boat was getting ready to pull away – before it was time to say, “Great seeing you write more often we should FaceTime where did you say you’re going to be in October ok go go go.”
Watching her friend run down the dock to rejoin her boat, Kimberley admits that it was all a bit of a tease. But one that she’ll take.
“That’s the business, share a toilet for two years and then live on opposite sides of the world for four. We’ll catch up again, maybe in months, maybe in years, and maybe be lucky enough to have a night in the same place. If not, we’ll just have to meet up when we’re old and been fired for having wrinkly knees and no one can stop us from drinking gin and tonics at 10 in the morning, and then I can tell her what I really meant when I said that boat I got off was bloody crazy.”
“But,” she says, turning to go back to work, a little gingerly as she climbs the steps onto the passerelle she just half-fell off, “Until then, a quick hello in uniform will just have to do.”