A sailing tour group

1 July 2016
Femke Lobach

IDSC06012t takes a while for me to get used to a tour group. Imagine thirty-five yachts with around seventy people of which at least a third asks use-less and some use-full questions and you understand that even simple tour-meetings take ages.

We are in Cairns to join a rally. We are all sailors who want to sail through Indonesia safely. Indonesia has a thousand islands, lush nature, volcanoes, various cultures and more, that are unfortunately not so easy to access due to the Indonesian bureaucracy and corruption.

I know that I am not the most easy-going person of the fleet, as my initial Pavlovian reaction to a new group is introversion and observation. And if I am very frank with you, I might add a bit judgmental-ism as well. I try to put everyone in his or her own little prejudiced box: Aha, a typical Aussie, Kiwi or Dutch sailor, a cruiser or ‘pensionado’. Or as I figured it out: he is The expert-type or Know-it-all type, The joker-type who laughs the loudest, The talker, The atSchermafbeelding 2016-03-28 om 17.07.30tention-seeker, The question-poser or The silent observer.

I keep my distance. I observe human nature and do not want to be part of this tour group. And once again I seek security in sharp analyses, in trying to be different and not part of this group of security seeking travellers. But in the end I am not so different at all, as I am the cynical and the observer. That is the little box that they fit me into.

Yet at the end of the week when I drop my guard, I find sailors alike, I lose my distance and my quick judgements. I realize that I am just another human being with her own weaknesses and challenges. And from this bunch of sailors of different backgrounds and nationalities, the first seeds of a group grow.

And you know what? I am just another member of it.