Saturday, July 19, 2014

In Between Beautiful Sunsets and Umbrella Drinks

Non-cruising friend or acquaintance - "Oh, I would love to do what you are doing?"
Me - "What exactly is it you want to do?"
Non-cruising friend or acquaintance - "You know.  Swim with dolphins, sail to exotic islands (in perfect conditions is implied), walk on sandy beaches and drink rum drinks with little umbrellas."
Me - "Oooh-kay....and in between?"
Non-cruising friend or acquaintance - "In between?????"

There are many rewards to the cruising life.  However there are also some realities as well.  If you dream of cruising and want to make that dream a reality, by all means do it.  Just know it's not all umbrella drinks.  These realities can sometimes be pretty far from the palm tree lined beach postcard in your mind.  

Our Realities to date
1.)  We walk everywhere.  When we aren't walking, we are generally riding in an overcrowded mini van that doesn't have air conditioning.
2.)  We walk to the grocery store, which may be more like a small mini mart with a limited selection.
3.)  We can only buy what we can carry which means no stocking up and more frequent trips for provisions.
4.)  If we run out of milk, coffee, or whatever, we can't just dash out for more.
5.)  Laundry is done either by hand aboard or in a very small laundry facility where most certainly one or more machines is not working and all washers only work on cold water.  
6.)  Most of our clothes have permanent stains and all are wrinkled.
7.)  We wear the same clothes for several days before putting them in the laundry.  It doesn't matter that we might see the cruising friends day after day.  They are wearing their same clothes day after day as well. 
8.)  Most showers are taken in the cockpit or off the back of the boat.
9.)  We don't necessarily take showers each day.
10.)  Land showers are few and far between.  The few taken are generally taken in marina showers aka semi- public showers.
11.)  When we are in a marina, we use the marina toilets.  This means walking up from the boat, remembering the key card, AND they are public.
12.)  If something breaks on the boat, we Tom must fix it or come up with an alternative until we can get somewhere to have it fixed.
13.)  Everything on a boat is trying to breakdown ALL the time.
14.)  Boat maintenance is non-stop.
15.)  While sailing, things always seem to break at night.
16.)  When sailing, even with an enclosure, you will get a wave in the face or down your back or both.
17.)  Dinghy rides usually involve salt spray of some sort, even if minor.  
18.)  Ice is a luxury most of the time.
19.)  Cooking involves propane.  Refilling propane tanks may or may not involve a cab and a long walk.
20.)  We are together 24/7!  Okay, 23.5/7 in a very small space.  

Now I am not complaining.  I am just stating the facts (at least as we are living them to date) for those who think they might want this life.   

If you've read this blog at all, you know there are many, many up sides to this unique life.  There are dolphins (however, we DO NOT swim with them), crystal turquoise-blue waters, lovely sandy beaches, exotic islands with wonderfully warm people, beautiful sunsets and oh yeah....rum drinks with little umbrellas in them.  We love it even with the realities! 


  1. Great post. People tend to have rose-colored glasses on about any lifestyle that involves palm trees and warm ocean breezes. The reality is that there are plenty of negatives of any lifestyle, and a "tropical" one, on or off a boat, is no exception. Been there, done that! And you didn't even mention mosquitoes and no-see-ums!

  2. So perfectly true! (But it doesn't stop us boat-crazies, luckily!)

  3. As a guest on your boat, I brought what I thought as a semi-experienced coastal cruiser what I thought I would need. I wound up not using 2 of my five shirts, 1 of my two swim suits, 2 of my three pair of shoes (I did back on land, going back home). If I had to give advice....QUICK DRY clothing, I love mine, and I am stocking up on mine..when it is on sale of course.

  4. Just reading the "realities" made me tired and want a drink! Where is Tonic Jesus when you need him!!!