Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of owning a boat shop is getting to meet a wide range of people from all over the world, especially since their presence in the shop just about guarantees that there will be a shared passion for boating that creates an immediately strong bond. While I have met all kinds of different people from all sorts of places over the years, I simply cannot recall a more enlightening and enjoyable conversation than the one I recently had with Dr. Raouf Farag.
Dr. Farag was here in Galveston all the way from his home in New South Wales, Australia, where he is an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in IVF. He walked into the shop hoping to find out about the safety regulations for operating a boat in Galveston, correctly assuming that there are some slight differences in the requirements when compared to those of Australia. After going over the rules and regulations with Dr. Farag, the doctor and I had a lengthy discussion in which we exchanged boating stories from the waters near our respective homes.
The IVF doctor from Australia was quite an experienced mariner and told me all kinds of stories involving his frequent encounters with sharks in the waters of the Australia’s Central Coast, and I was surprised to hear that many scuba divers and surfers had taken to wearing wetsuits featuring tiger stripes with the goal of warding off the sometimes unpredictable predators. After an hour or two of exchanging our sea stories, Dr. Farag set out for an afternoon on the water, promising to send me some pictures from the Sydney Harbour Regatta along with pictures of the boat he keeps docked near his home in New South Wales.