Wednesday, 14 March 2012

in hindsight

‎'Rely not on the teacher, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory but on experience.'
-Siddhartha Gautama 

I'm turning blond, and his hair
is getting very curly.
Mazatlan, Mexico

Take two people who get along rather well. Put them on a 36 foot boat. (Let’s say it’s an old wooden boat, just to make things more interesting.) Stuff it to the gills with provisions, spare parts, tools, charts, clothes, some art supplies, and odds and ends. (Let’s leave the waterline out of this discussion.)

These two people decide to point their bow west, and then south. After a while, they have reduced their latitude by 20-odd degrees, removed extraneous clothes, and found themselves in a country where they barely speak the language. Add some waves, saltwater and a touch (or a lot) of stress here and there. Six months go by. Have they learned anything?

    Sailing in San Francisco Bay

We’d like to think we have learned a thing or two:

  • Things break
  • It doesn’t matter how many spares you have, the one spare you don’t have is the one you’ll need
  • It may appear one way, but it is not necessarily so
  • It didn’t matter how much we read and talked with people about cruising – we didn’t really get it until we began our own voyage (Although, reading is worth it for the inspiration and planning)
  • We miss odd things from home. I actually caught myself missing wearing warm winter clothes… (Rick thought I was crazy. So did I)
  • We’ve sailed our boat in three countries so far, and every night we get to go home and sleep in our own bed – we like that
  • It’s amazing what you can adapt to
  • There are times when we just want to hole up with a book and talk to no one. And that’s okay
  • Communication takes more effort: My partner sometimes looks at me funny when I’m practicing what I’m going to say in Spanish in a half-whisper, as we row to shore
  • A smile and a greeting, or a question can go a long way
  • Nature is everywhere. We absolutely cannot ignore it – we depend on it, and we are constantly amazed by it
  • We like cities too
  • It is fun but it can also be exhausting to meet new people. It happens a lot
  • It is mostly pretty easy to stay in contact with loved ones by Internet, until we go to more out-of-the-way places. Though it’s never quite as dependable as we’d like. And we learned that it was okay. (Our loved ones got used to it too.)
  • We spend a lot of time with each other, and occasionally, it’s too much
  • We have learned to trust each other with our lives – we are a team, and a damn good team at that
  • Things break (Oh sorry, did we already mention that?)

Laundry day in Bahia Tortuga
The days of the broken mast, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Getting to work, Ensenada Carrizal
Chacala sunset

This little guy has seen better days

Exploring nooks and crannies

Observing wildlife at anchor in Barra de Navidad
Loving it on the water
(Recognize the hippie hat Ali?)

Casa Etnika

Hanging out 


  1. Great post! Six months already ... wow! Looks like ya'll are having a great time ... congrats!

  2. I love reading your updates, both here and on Facebook :) So glad that you guys are safe and doing well. I hope things are less break-y for you in the future ;)

  3. Really well done. I'm hoping the fact that we already live on our boat half the week means that we will have only slightly less adapting to do...?

    Thanks for the wisdom,

    S/V Kintala

  4. Deb, We lived full-time on our boat for 4 years prior to our departure... But then, we sort of had one foot on land and one on our boat (what, with jobs on land, a slip at a dock, etc) It actually is very different to be transient all the time. (You don't have your regular social network, etc) We also anchor 99% of the time now. I do believe it is important to live aboard before travelling - that is one less thing to adjust to as a couple/family etc. So I do think you'll find that living even part-time on your boat is an added bonus. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing what you've learned. Just today we were working on our boat and I made sooo many trips down in the boat and up out of the boat for tools. Everything seems to take so long a boat.

    Tate and I would like to move aboard about 3 months prior to leaving. Hopefully transitioning onto a boat isn't that hard.

  6. I think it really depends on you - for us to move from land to the boat was pretty easy as far as our comfort level in a small space - however organizing and stowing is an ongoing challenge (but that may be that we are less skilled at it than we'd like to believe! :)



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