Honestly, I can't think of a single crew member that I wouldn't love to have back on the boat in a heartbeat. Ok, there might be a small difference between a mouse heartbeat and a human one, but still - I've really enjoyed meeting and knowing all of the lovely ladies we've had here.
When was the last time you were in an all-girl environment? (Let's be honest, Brian counts as an old lady because he paints his nails, gossips like the rest of us, Mr 'I-don't-repeat-gossip,-so-you'll-have-to-listen-well-the-first-time' and has hair on his chin). I went to an all-girls school, and I think I'm pretty unusual in that. Although school was supposed to be a boy free environment, it never was. For sure, any drama that the cool kids at school had involved a boy, somewhere along the lines. For me, my boy free education changed as soon as I went home and met up with my family: three brothers, not including my dad (who's probably the most immature), innumerable cousins and whoever else was hanging around at whichever activity I was being ferried to.
The reason that we all get along so well on the boat? Because we rock. (Boat...rock? Geddit?) Apologies, that was lame.
Seriously? It's just an idea, but maybe it's because we're all kind of the same, even though we're completely different - to be this far from home (like most of us are) you have to have a certain degree of adventuresome spirit; the strong desire to travel the world and the independence to make it happen. Plus an open mind for new experiences (definitely useful here!). That's where the similarities pretty much end. We represent a long list of personality traits - some of us are bold, others are shy, most are intelligent (I'm probably the exception to prove the rule) and not many are serious. Everyone who's been here has enjoyed having fun and has hopefully found a situation where they're able to do that.
And please answer me this: where else in the planet would you find this kind of solidarity between females? Typically when we think of our relationships with other women, it's the one at work we hate, drives us crazy or is stupidly incompetent. Maybe she's the one that we're secretly jealous of, although we'd definitely be the last to admit it. Perhaps we're paranoid that the unknown 'other' has an eye on our man? For whatever reason, girls have never got on so good as when they're on this boat. I suspect the biggest reason for this is because there is no competition. And therefore, no jealousy. Nobody is getting dressed up for a night out, so there's no desire to find the smallest thing you have in your wardrobe, or spend ages perfectly applying your makeup.
The other thing is this: maybe because we know that we're living on a small space, we HAVE to get along. There's no point in being bitchy because, guess what? You're stuck with that person whether you like them from the beginning, or not. In general, I think that people who travel have given up the way of life that they might have led at home: like catty remarks and back stabbing. People who travel don't have time for that shit, because they're too busy doing cool stuff instead.
On the boat we can be as weird as we like, and have fun with it too. No one is judging. Nobody is thinking: 'I'm not gonna have a solo dance party, butt naked, on the roof tonight in case some guy walks by and thinks I'm strange.'
Here's a list (in order) of all the wonderful women that have been on this boat and a very short description of why they're great.
Julie: Fantastic Latino temper, makes brilliant cocktails, is a great going-out buddy and always a laugh. PLUS a great dive buddy.
Anya: Sings like an angel, accompanied by a Ukelele. Seriously, the world needs this album. Plus your great party poses in every picture!
Rosie: Team GB! It's always fun to have another Brit, especially one that vigorously debates proper English usage with Americans. Good luck on the rest of your one man crusade! PS any mistakes were just a test for you! We had some good days and even better nights :-)
Laura: Truly an inspiration to me that you can have your cake, eat it, travel the entire world before you're 30 and still be skinny. I wish I were even half as cool as you are.
Venus: Happy tea. What? More proud of your antics than I can even say ;-) Also playing 'computer music' at 8am...Err thanks!
Sandra: Can you just come back already so I can look at you in a bikini?
Anna: Excellent bread/pizza making capabilities, good to chat with, incredible sleeping abilities (ok I know it was seasickness, but still, three days - WOW!)
Pelin: Belly dancing on a random boat full of Chinese tourists, ohmygosh!DOLPHINS!, talking love, boys, hair(!) and the magical coincidences of the Universe.
Mercedes: A super sexy, interesting French/Spanish businesswoman, always up for a drink, laugh and a seductive dance.
Kitty: I don't understand why you're not married yet. Thai cooking AND massage AND being super cute AND hilarious. Someone propose to this girl and give her some babies!
Hannah: So laid back, she's basically horizontal. Another super strong, inspirational lady who's already done so much and I'm sure - so many more interesting projects to do.
Rachel: Resident whale expert extraordinaire, consistently suggests good movies to watch and generally one very hip lady. WITH A FIRE STICK!!!!!!
Bri: Great photographer with some interesting stories.
Renie: Super awesome diver, wish I'd learnt more and very useful around the boat!
Kate: Beautiful, funny, intelligent, friendly and energetic craziness (well I've got good taste in Besties) but very amusing co-ordination (no one is perfect, but Kate comes close).
Delina: Good 3D design skills (Thanks Jeff!) and a fantastic eye for a picture. Also a great translator (a thousand thanks for that miserable job!).
Ronnie: I love UNIcorns, UNI-uni-UNI-corns. I love them! They love me! They're so LOVELY! UnNNNNnicORNS! LAlalala-laaa U-NI-CORNS! Uni-UNI-uni-CORNS! i LOVE UniCORNS!
Siem: The only person on this boat that's ever given me the physical beating I deserve. Although it's a bit dangerous at that age to be so violent! ;-) My most favourite older brother in the world.
Lo: A lady I have massive respect for, because you're just as sensible and down to earth as my mother. Plus, very good at riddles.
Emily: Pretty calm in a storm, as long as there's wifi in range! Also very brave/and/or/stupid - Enjoy Madagascar (you MUST be there by now!?)
Linda: What's not to like? A very wise and kindhearted lady, who is in such a cool place right now with her choices of everything.
Petrina: Dancing naked on the roof? I won't tell anyone if you don't!
Wanda: We didn't have you for long enough! Come back and tell me more about Canada!
Madara: Patience of a saint, poor Madara is in a situation which I know is incredibly uncomfortable for her...having to sit back and accept help from others instead of being able to give it. If only she realized we're only too happy to fulfill her needs. Best wishes for a painless recovery! :-)
Harpa: The coolest and most inspirational Icelandic person that's ever been on the boat. Even though you're the only one, you're supercool, incredibly interesting and so creative sometimes it hurts my head to follow your insightful thought processes.
Jof: I'm holding your batik to ransom until you come back to collect! Oh yes, you know it. Plus please come and make lots more delicious Philippino food :-)
Matilda: A very sleepy arts-and-crafts-angel who unfortunately suffered a severe head injury as a small child which explains much. But not everything. Unknowingly hilarious, very good company and a motivation to the rest of us!
I'm not a lesbian, but I love these girls!
Plus a quick shout-out to the three 'boy crew' we've had in this time:
David: A super help with the mechanical stuff when Brian's mechanics (his back) failed to do the job. Very interesting guy and quick to develop a 'bromance' with Brian.
Alex: A quick learner (on the intricacies of 'girl talk'...hair and make up and other stuff) with a very funny sketch of Austin Powers and the downsides of living with Bieber hair.