There is truly something special about the friends I have made over years while at sea.
You have to imagine that you are stuck in a floating house with people you don't know. People from all over the world, many whom have never met, are brought together to achieve the same objective. It's kind of like the TV reality show "Big Brother," but without the backstabbing, cunning alliances, or a big cash prize at the end.
Emotions run the gamut out here, like the longing as a result of being away from the ones you love for a long time, or a hard-to-ignore urge of wanting to wring a shipmate's neck because they got under your skin. People fall in and out of love. And at times, the Capitan may even get to perform a wedding ceremony. But above all, the friendships that are forged seem to be the overall winners.
So, why did I call this "temporary lifelong friends (a true oxymoron)"? Because when you find someone on board with whom you really click, you usually hangout with them and learn all you can about each other. You'll eat meals together and spend time together. In short, a strong bond is created in a relatively short period of time. However, when the project is finished everyone goes back to his or her own part of the world. Business cards, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses are exchanged. Hugs, tears, and salutations are shared with a friend you may never see again. However, you know deep in your heart, that if or when you meet again that the friendship will pick-up where it left off, with hugs and that warm fuzzy feeling. Therefore, this flash-in-the-pan friendship will kindle throughout your life.