Let’s be honest, it is quite unusual for Katia and me as a colored couple to be sailing the world. Other global cruisers we do meet in the Caribbean but colored sailors? At best we might sometimes encounter a Frenchman with a local girl or a local crew member but that’s about it. A colored couple though, we have yet to encounter in the more than three years of sailing the world.
Crew on own boat
Because it´s so rare, other sailors can respond somewhat surprisingly. When we had our Brazilian friend Vini sailing with us earlier this year (he is milky white), it was not me but he who was always addressed as being the captain. People automatically assumed he was the Dutch skipper and we the local crew. Kind of funny as he as a beginning sailor would determinately point to me and say: “he is the captain!” Baffled faces was the result.
My African family thinks I have lost it
But also my African family has a hard time getting used to the idea. My dad is Dutch and visited Uganda in the eighties after travelling Africa extensively. He married my mother and I was born. Because he had yet to complete his thesis we all moved to the Netherlands. I regularly fly to Uganda and this summer I took a photo album with me. Despite the fact that my family is really modern, it is a public secret that after completing my studies “I have lost it and engage in life threatening activities”. Fear of the unknown I suppose.
British disdain is hard to get used to
I am entirely used to people thinking I work for the owner, thinking sailing the world is very dangerous or that I come from the Caribbean. I would possibly think the same. But it is hard to get used to the disdain with which some British folks continue to treat us. I love the Netherlands because people are warm regardless of our background. Some British though are still living in the classical class society. The disdain these folks continuously treat us is quit unpleasant and hard to get used to. But anyways, you cannot change it and above all we also have really good British friends!
Popular among the locals
In the Caribbean we are admired on the other hand by the local people. Africa to them is the mother continent and the fact we are born there gives us big time credits. It implies (sometimes) free beers, lower prices and very good treatment. So that’s in the pocket. Anyways, it is kind of funny to see what a color invokes in people. Meanwhile the preparation work for the Pacific Ocean is on schedule and soon we will have the pleasure of inviting you on board. Once all the work is done, we give you a video tour of our floating home. There isn´t much time left for that in any case as we set sail in about 4 weeks bound for Panama. See you again next week!
Hope sails with Carl Stahl Yachting rig
This blog is sent from my Xtreme Districts Iridium Go
This blog is a translation of my Telegraph blog