How Living on a Boat Should Reflect Life

In the past week or so on living in the confinement of a small boat with as many as 20 people, I found myself contemplating how we could use some of the lessons of boat life in living in the confinement of planet Earth. Here are some things I think translate well .. my apologies if they aren’t fully formed.

  • Wake up early, go to bed early. With limited lighting we found ourselves using the sun’s natural clock to wake up and go to bed. I found the routine of it refreshing. As the saying goes: “Early to bed, early to rise makes us happy, wealthy and wise.”
  • Before you have seconds, make sure everyone else had firsts. Lesson: don’t hog all the resources, make sure you share.
  • Share everything. If you came on-board with something someone else needs (e.g. sunscreen), share it, and you will receive reciprocal benefit even if it is the satisfaction of helping someone. This is a great life lesson.
  • Lead by example. If there is a hierarchy on board it would have to be between the captain (top), crew (middle) and passengers (bottom). I find it strangely wonderful that the captain and crew wait to eat until the passengers are done. In our society, it would be the other way around, those on top get things before those on bottom. Great example to live by.
  • Don’t waste anything. Nothing goes to waste. Leftover food from dinner is transformed into a lunch soup. Plastic bags, if used, get saved and reused often. Nothing goes to waste. We repurpose and reuse everything.
  • Be a good neighbour. In small sleeping quarters it is always best to be aware of other people’s space, comfort … etc. Same is true in the real world.
  • Speak to and try and understand a different point of view. Our crew and passengers speak a mixture of languages. Portuguese is the most popular, then probably Spanish (or SpanishPortuguese), then English, but we have many other languages. It is great to see how people can find common ground and ways to communicate even if they don’t speak the same language. Can you imagine if the world was like that?
  • Don’t wait to be told what to do. If there is something that needs to be done, do it.
  • Leave things the way you found them.
  • Stay loose and keep calm. Okay, I’ve run out of ideas.

About the Author

Mark Poesch

University of Alberta

My research focuses on freshwater fishes and biodiversity. My research focuses on three general areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms relating to species loss, especially in relation to anthropogenic disturbance like land-use change, hydrologic alteration, climate change, invasive species and their impacts to freshwater ecosystems; 2) developing better aquatic assessment methods, including how to measure global change; and, 3) developing methods to improve restoration and reclamation. As a member of Tracking change, I provide support for graduate students and community researchers in the project.

Website:http://poeschlab.ualberta.ca/

Email:poesch@ualberta.ca

Phone:780-492-4827

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.