8.20.2014

On Cruising Friendships



Some people need to have friends around almost all the time, and almost everyone needs friends at least sometimes.  The cruising lifestyle provides lots of opportunities, but are those friendships in some fundamental way different than friendships made when you live on land?

6.07.2014

Guests Aboard--a survivor's manual



Great guests fit in small spaces, and stay endlessly cheerful

There is no greater bonding experience among cruisers than sharing a survival story. Dock talk revolves around these tales; like the time you dragged in 50 knots and nearly landed on a reef, or when that fishing boat missed crushing your hull by inches, or the week you had three landlubbers aboard.

Boat guests seem to come in two forms: the ones who adapt seamlessly to the rigors of life aboard (and who you invite back again and again), and the ones who don’t.

Over the years we've tried many techniques for training boat guests. We’ve drafted letters explaining the boat in detail, sent it out ahead of the visit, and followed-up to clarify major points. We have held pre-departure orientations – naming the parts of the boat, “This is a boom, it will kill you if it hits your head.” and describing in detail how things work. We have left notes on the head, faucets and lights, and explained which food is available to eat on which days. And we have learned that some people just make bad guests.

A group of bloggers share their expertise: How have you trained up your guests? Who has visited you? Have you had younger guests visit (aka kids)? What have you learned along the way?  Or maybe you've discovered having guests isn't your thing? 

Topic Coordinators: Diane, Evan, and Maia (Ceilydh Set Sail

5.14.2014

What Makes A Great Anchorage?

A beautiful anchorage at Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, as seen from the top of Mt. Hobson (photo by The Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick)


One of the best parts of cruising is dropping the hook and enjoying some time in a fabulous anchorage. It seems like everyone has their favorite anchorages. Places you dream about returning to one day. Places that you excitedly tell others about when you hear they’ll be cruising there. Places whose pictures make you smile each time you see them.

It doesn’t seem like there is a simple rule which defines what makes an anchorage great. It might be the rich, vibrant colors of the sunset or the silhouette of the hills against the water as the sun comes up in the morning that you can’t forget. Or it might be the incredible wildlife you had the privilege of seeing. For some, it might be the interesting characters you met at a cruiser’s potluck on the beach. For others, it might be the opportunity to enjoy the solitude of an anchorage all by yourselves. Or maybe you just had so much fun that every time you reflect back on that particular anchorage, you can’t help but laugh to yourself about the craziness you got up to.


Topic Coordinator:  Ellen from The Cynical Sailor & His Salty Sidekick

5.07.2014

End of Cruising

(Sign available for purchase here, just in case you need to sell your boat)

The cynical joke is that the two happiest days in a boat-owner's life are the day s/he buys the boat, and the day s/he sells it.  Cruises end for many reasons.  A cruise can end as a kind of "mission accomplished" or completed -- a circumnavigation ends when the boat crosses their outbound track, or a trip that was planned as a one-year sabbatical ends on Day 365.  Or a trip can end in horrific unplanned crisis -- the boat breaks or sinks, health fails or funding runs out.  Or there can be not so much a point or event that ends cruising, as a realization that this isn't the right path anymore.

A group of bloggers honestly tell how their story ends.

4.09.2014

Taking Kids Cruising

In the wake of the rescue of a young family stranded at sea with a sick toddler, there's been a media brouhaha about the decision to take their children on a sailboat.  Numerous articles have been written already about risks and rewards, like this beautiful one about raising a child dangerously. All the parents who have brought their kids on boats have had to think hard about what that means, whether they are living aboard in a marina, day sailing, coastal sailing, or crossing oceans.