“You have gone very boat”
“That was a very boat thing to do”
Like everything else, these sentences only make sense if you too… are boat.
There are a couple of interesting principles in genetics. One is the bottleneck effect; where a small group of individuals is isolated. Their particular quirks, rare in the larger population, are now over-represented in this small group. Another is drift; where this isolated group intermingles and starts to drift further and further away from the norm of the larger population. In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins suggests that there are memes as well as genes; little packets of social and cultural information and are passed down and behave very much like genes.
I am going somewhere with all this. This is my attempt of putting some scientific relevance to the fact that we have all gone strange. Oh, have we gone strange! Twelve personalities (not what you would call the norm anyway, having chosen this type of life) have lived in a confined space for four weeks. In-jokes have been built upon in-jokes, references are now several layers thick. The end result is that we would now make very little sense to anyone on land. Jokes we find hilarious are just odd.
Without the deployments to keep us entertained and add meaning to our lives, there is a bit of boredom going around. Boredom has bred creativity, or, maybe just oddity. Heather surprised us all by showing up to breakfast in a Wonder Woman costume, complete with caped socks. Not for any particular reason, but it’s been appreciated.
It has been decided that Thom sounds like a German Sheppard barking underwater when being seasick. This dog is called Sasha; she is a Russian police dog.
Wearing our best clothes, lava-lavas (a kind of sarong) and sitting on a strip of Astroturf is a big night out. Deploying gear on deck while in a pretty dress is also perfectly normal.
Spontaneously singing a full verse of Lonely This Christmas is appropriate at the dinner table.
You can whip marmite until it turns white (you can’t but that will keep someone busy for some time).
An Ikigun (a spring-loaded bolt for humanely killing fish), an egg and a camera capable of high-speed recording is all that’s required to spend an afternoon watching eggs explode.
The number of straight-leg pull-ups is the true measure of a man.
Peeling sunburn is a communal activity.
“Would you rather” questions can become increasingly elaborate, requiring at least 20 minutes of conversation to establish a set of convoluted rules.
During transit sleeping for up to 20 hours a day is acceptable if not encouraged.
People we are communicating with back home via email are politely laughing along but are no doubt quietly worried or putting it down to a lack of sleep. This will go on for some time once we are back. Tales retold in the pub will reach the punch-line and only we will be laughing.
We are legion… we are boat.