Life Lessons


Life works best in a pair.

For anything else 

To give real satisfaction 

Is really decidedly rare. 

Sailing alone can become habit for some 

Who started out with a partner but now have none. 

No sooner though do they reach the next landfall 

Than they search for another to answer the call…

Tension arises in every port, 

When sailors seek company other than where they ought. 

Disillusioned crew who find themselves stuck
With a partner they have grown to find boring 

Can only escape to retry their luck 

when their once-dear skipper starts snoring. 

And what if the fateful decision is made

and the leaving home card is pulled out and played? 

Perhaps the grass will be greener indeed 

but more likely, it seems, will be: different trough, same feed …


Reflection and resilience can be enormously helpful in defusing conflicts between social
beings without lasting repercussions.


Where better for two sailing lovers to be 

Than away from the public together at sea?

A trusted Windpilot for direction and speed

Means both can relax – and go wherever their thoughts lead…

And since silent self-steering is sightless to boot, 

They can both cruise in comfort 

In their birthday suit! 

I do beg your pardon 

If you find me impertinent 

But experience tells me 

these things are important!


Playing with words is my private hobby. 

It helps me to process my life. 

It’s my self-service psychotherapy, 

My cure for trouble and strife. 

Typing things out, exploring ways with the wording

Draws out the sting, releases the burden.

My mind runs over with thoughts to share. 

To keep my bluewater insights concealed would be unfair.

But simple fact upon fact upon fact can be dry, 

So whenever humour is an option I feel I must try.

If I didn’t enjoy sharing, 

I would never have begun. 

But now that writing has become habit 

It is my duty – and my pleasure – 

to try to make it fun!

Jedenfalls ist alles klar auf der Andrea Doria …
wir werden gemeinsam älter und schlauer,
haben ein wenig mehr Aua,
meist nicht von Dauer,
denn sonst würden wir sauer …
weil wir hoffentlich noch lange nicht am Ende sind …
ich … jedenfalls, hoffe das für mich … bitte nicht!


There’s No Panic on the Titanic at least (to borrow a phrase from Udo Lindenberg – look it up). 

We grow older and wiser together. 

A few more aches and pains but nothing too bad. 

Nothing that would spoil things and make us sad. 

Hopefully we still have a long way to go. 

Am I anywhere close to finished? Absolutely no!


Sailors sharing recommendations with sailors turns out to be the key. It takes many long years of hard work before the sweet words begin to flow but when they do, it’s like being given a free pass for the VIP lane. All those lovely expensive marketing professionals become quite superfluous: there is no need to line their pockets generously in exchange for the comparatively meagre returns promised by contrived press coverage, boat show slots or advertorials when satisfied customers are apparently happy to promote my products proactively and sincerely for free.


Retired visitors can occasionally be hard work. I mean the sort who have time on their hands and like to pass it by stretching out their visit as long as possible. Looking after guests should be a pleasure for both sides: hospitality is not an elastic band to be stretched as far as it will go. The gifts we receive from guests coming to stay can silently betray the real level of their esteem for us. Without wishing to cast aspersions, it is difficult not to notice if the pleasures we have lined up for arriving guests elicit from them a gesture of no more than, say, a no-name bottle of rum or some generic calendar on sale for a song at the local shop. The non-appearance of a return invitation also tends to point to certain conclusions that cannot always be explained away by reasonable frugality.


I still have grim memories of boat show parties following my Bluewater Seminars at which I was hunted relentlessly – by people I had invited into my own house – because they found the company not to their taste (not up to what they considered their social level) or because they didn’t like the choice of music or because they had stripped the buffet table bare or drained every last drop from the liquid tongue-looseners I had laid on or perhaps just because they were not receiving the dedicated attention they felt someone of their importance deserved. Once, I even had a complaint about the poor quality of the service. My wife had decided – quite rightly in the circumstances – that the gentlemen concerned needed to be escorted to the door and ejected through it without delay and, baby clutched to her waist, had taken the task upon herself. The complaint, which came in writing, targeted the “foreign kitchen staff”. That being my wife. It makes a good anecdote once enough years have passed but at the time I was just dumbfounded.

People can be strange beasts. Bring too many together under one roof and there is sure to be trouble: sabre-rattling, name-calling, back-stabbing and more using all the verbal and nonverbal weapons at our disposal. Venture too far out into humanity and it is a fair bet that whatever sense of the world one has made in the comfort of one’s own head will be reduced to rubble. We find our own answers – and rightly so!

Peter Foerthmann

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