05 September 2016

Tired Of Politics? Talk Controversial Boat Stuff Instead

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of over the whole American presidential election cycle. I can’t seem to get away from it – bumper stickers on cars, people posting their thoughts on Facebook, television coverage and ads etc. This is the first presidential election I’ve been in the States for since George W. Bush vs. Al Gore in 2000 (we moved to the UK in 2001 and then to New Zealand).

Having been an expat for so many years, I’m not sure if this is a normal cycle. It’s hard to imagine it is normal considering many Americans are planning on voting less for a particular candidate and more for a candidate who they don’t really like, but think they can stomach better for the next four years.

I try to avoid discussing politics with other folks, unless, of course, I know in advance they share the same views with me. Then, I’ll happily chat for hours about it because there’s nothing better than hearing other people tell you your views are 100% correct. No one really wants to hear that someone disagrees with them. Especially, when disagreement can get so disagreeable, as it has during this cycle.

So, if you’re tired of talking politics and want some surefire ways to change the conversation, give these boating scenarios a try and see how people answer (some of them work for RVers too). Although, be warned, some of the discussion may get really heated, possibly even more heated than talking about who’s running for office.

Folding Someone Else’s Knickers | Laundry Etiquette

Imagine you’re doing laundry at the marina. You’ve put a load in the washer, sat by the machines with a book and waited for it to be done. The spin cycle finishes and you go to put your laundry in the dryer. Except there’s a pile of clothes already sitting in the dryer. They’re completely dry and nobody has come to claim them in the thirty minutes you’ve been sitting in the laundry room. Do you:

A - Wait patiently for the person to come back and take their clothes out of the dryer.

B - Take their clothes out of the dryer and put them in a heap on top of the machine.

C - Take their clothes out of the dryer and fold them neatly, including their knickers.

D - Save some quarters - take your wet clothes back to the boat and hang them on the lifelines to dry.

Too Much Noise, Not Enough IPA | Generators

Imagine you’re anchored in a lovely spot, sitting in the cockpit of your boat and indulging in a particularly hoppy IPA. Another boat anchors nearby and cranks on their very loud generator. After your third IPA, they’ve still got their generator running. When you get up in the middle of the night to go pee (perhaps too much IPA?), they’re still running their generator. It’s so annoying that you’re thinking about having another IPA, but you’re all out. Do you:

A - Shrug your shoulders, put ear plugs in, go back to bed and dream about IPA. It’s a free country and they can run their generator if they want.

B - Shine a spotlight on their boat and blow your air horn over and over again. Two can play this game.

C - Go over the next morning in your dinghy and politely ask them if they wouldn’t mind turning the generator off at night.

D - Move your boat to another anchorage to get away from the noise.

Is Two Of Something Better Than One? | Catamarans vs. Monohulls

Your friends have decided to buy a boat and ask you whether you think they should get a catamaran (a boat with two hulls) or a monohull (a boat with one hull). Do you:

A - Tell them catamarans are definitely the way to go. They don’t heel over and get all tippy, they’re generally more spacious and they’re called “cats” for short. You’re a bit of a #CrazyCatLady, so anything related to cats is the way to go in your books.

B - Tell them to get a monohull. Catamarans are for sissies and if something bad happens and it turns upside down in the water it won’t turn itself back over, unlike a monohull.

C - Tell them to get an RV. Why would you want to live on anything that might turn upside down in the water?

D - Tell them to get a trimaran. They’ve got three hulls. The more hulls the better.

Fun With Furry Creatures | Pets On The Loose

People at your local marina let their cats roam freely. Sometimes the cats get onto your boat and start poking around, even occasionally jumping down into your boat through the open hatches. Do you:

A - Pet them and give them cuddles.

B - Run out to the store and buy cat treats to feed them.

C - Clear off a spot on the settee so that they can take naps.

D - When the cats’ humans come looking for them, hide the cats in the v-berth and pretend you haven’t seen them. When the humans go away, let the cats out and give them more treats and pets so that they never want to leave your boat.
 E - All of the above.

What answers would you pick? How do you change the subject when someone is talking about something you’d rather not discuss?

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  1. We haven't seen a tv for many months, yet they are still playing the exact same stories! I really cried with laughter at the knickers! I go through them and swap out their nice clothes for my dirty ones. Saves me the quarters and the shopping! (Kidding!)

  2. B - Take their clothes out of the dryer and put them in a heap on top of the machine. They're clods!

    D - Move your boat to another anchorage to get away from the noise. They're bigger clods!

    E - Tell them I'm sure they will make the right decision. They won't really listen to what you have to say anyway. We both know they will decide what they want. It might be the RV too.

    A - Pet them and give them cuddles. Don't feed them or they will move in. They will head home when they get hungry.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. I think your answer for the mono vs. cat question is spot on. They'll decided for themselves.

  3. I haven't done a laundromat in years. I don't know if I can stomach that discussion yet. I'm going to be in grief for awhile
    First I swim over under cover of darkness and cut their rode. Then we leave the anchorage, destroying any evidence our path. (Kidding? Maybe not..)
    Look at them judgmentally but say nothing.
    Pet them, cuddle them, then take my antihistamine while wishing they could stay.
    Thank god I found your post before I read the news. Seriously.

    1. Great answers, especially the one about cutting their rode :-)

  4. Geez, all you needed to add to this list was what kind of anchor to have...... talk about controversial!

    B, but I love my Spendide onboard.
    A and D
    We have too many cats now.... chase them off. Seriously, we have had a new cat show up at our door almost every year. It's insane. Someone in our household is a huge softy when it comes to animals, and insists we keep them. When the 4th one showed up, I said: "no, no, no." It was sad really, he ended up living in the garage, and just wanted attention so bad, he would put his paws around your neck and hug you till you pried him off. We took him to the "cat lady", no kill shelter to find a new home. My daughter took one with her, (thank you), and now we have 2 left.

    Did you know that when the hobos roamed, they would leave rock cairns that left messages, like this home will feed you, this home will shoot at you, etc. Well we must have a rock cairn for cats to know that this home will take care of you, and now that the house is sold, I need to find it and take it down. Otherwise the unsuspecting new owners will end up with more than they bargained for.

    1. We're all jealous of your Spendide!

      I love that you have an invisible rock cairn for cats. That means you're good people. All of those cats wouldn't show up if you weren't.

  5. Lol funny I was going to say add your choice of anchor to that list too! Another controversial topic! Great post. I love a good debate, but then I work in politics. In fact I love it when people actually have an opinion about something - that they are willing to stand up in the face of adversity and express that opinion even when everyone else disagrees with them. People are fascinating creatures! :)

    1. I had written this before I read your recent anchor post and thought about adding an anchoring question in, but that would have been way too controversial :-)

      Politics in New Zealand are so much more civilized than in the States. The differences between National and Labour aren't nearly as polarizing as the differences between Republicans and Democrats and the debate is polite. We could learn a thing or two from the Kiwis.

  6. I'm tired of this political situation too. If I could, I'd move to New Zealand.
    1 - B
    2 - D
    3 - C I get seasick (don't ask me about the romantic (first and last) date on a sailboat in Santa Barbara where I got very sick all over the deck, jumped overboard, and swam home) I'd vote for the RV but I really want a vintage trailer.
    4 - F none of the above. I'm a dog person.

    1. New Zealand knows how to do politics in a much more chilled out way. But, then again they do everything in a much more chilled out way :-)

      I definitely want to hear more about that romantic date - sounds like quite the story!

  7. I love the DVR. No commercials of any kind! As to the generator, I sure can relate. I have no idea what my crazy neighbor had running in his backyard yesterday, but it was very loud. My whole house generator does not make that much noise. I was trying to grill outside and lucky my guests all wanted to eat inside because of the humidity. That stupid thing was still running at 10 PM and I had to move to the opposite side of the house to read. As a former boater, I would really be upset cause why should I leave my berth?

    1. Hmmm...makes you wonder what your neighbor is up to. That's awful when noise ruins the peace and quiet outdoors :-(

  8. What a fun post, Ellen! And, you summed up the political situation here in the US up very well. We don't have TV, but are still surrounded by the news wherever we go.

    There isn't much I don't discuss if given a chance, so changing the subject has not been necessary... :-) The last couple of years, I did laundry by hand on the boat. But, before that, when faced with a laundromat situation like yours, I would pile the dry clothes on top of the machine and use the dryer. Of course, anybody should choose a catamaran above a monohull, no question! :-) The generator one is a toughie, since they obviously disturb the peace and should be the ones to move, be more considerate or deal with bad karma. But, I hate confrontations, so instead of asking them politely to turn the generator off at 9pm or so, I might move myself to find peace again. And for the last one: F - none of the above. My husband is allergic to cats, so I would visit the cat boats instead and pet them there. :-)

    1. I don't have a TV either, but it seems like every time I'm in the common are at the marina, there are political ads showing on the TV there or they're talking about the election on the news or a talk show.

      I'm allergic to cats too, but that doesn't stop me from wanting one :-)

  9. I also do not own a TV but I'm sick of politics on social media. However... folding someone else's knickers? I don't think I'm quite there yet.

    1. Yeah, I'm more of a put the clothes in a heap on top of the dryer kind of person myself too. They can fold their own knickers.

  10. I love these glimpses into life on a boat! I've run into that problem in laundry rooms before. I think I used to put their clothes on top, dry mine, and then throw theirs back in the dryer...all the while hoping I don't bump into them!

    I can hardly wait until the U.S. Election is over too--it's dominating our airwaves as well. I've seen enough of Trump to last me several lifetimes.

    1. It's crazy how much coverage of the US elections there is overseas. I find it fascinating to check out the British and New Zealand papers to see how they're covering it.

  11. Ok bearing in mind I'm not a boat person and I think I can count one one hand the number of times I've used a laundromat:

    I'd take the washing out and probably fold any top clothes, underwear would just get piled on top.

    I'd definitely cuddle the cat but would be happy to give it back.

    The noise - I might start by asking them if they realised they had a problem with their generator because it was sure making a weird noise???!! and the nighttime automatic cut out didn't seem to be working.

    Hulls? My vehicles need wheels. Preferably four (oh and a spare of course!)

    Politics. I'm in the UK and I'm fed up with your politics. But then I'm also fed up with my own.

    Enjoy the rest of the week.

  12. You just hit on one of my biggest pet peeves -- people who leave their laundry unattended and hog the machines. I definitely fall into the B category when it comes to that. Generators don't bother me much, so I ignore the noise (a necessary evil). When it comes to buying a boat, I always say, "buy Cambria, she's awesome!". And all pets are welcome aboard, except mice. I don't like them.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

  13. The washing-in-drier question also applies to Guest Laundries in hotels - we have recent experience! We did B of course.

  14. You are so lucky to have been out of the country during election ads, which start immediately after the vote. We could take a page out of Canada's book and have 6 weeks to run for office. I have a good friend whose political leanings are exactly opposite mine. I told her that we had to agree to disagree and not talk politics. I'm for putting the laundry on top of the dryer--no folding.


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