Susan Travers and Elba Borgen are two women who have been cruising since 2005 aboard SV Mist, a Cape George 40 hailing from San Francisco, CA, USA. Over those years they have cruised more than 20,000 miles offshore through the US Pacific NW and West Coast, Mexico, the Marquesas, Society Islands, French Polynesia and Hawaii. They can be found on their website or reached via email (SV_MIST@yahoo.com).
What (if anything) do you wish someone had told you before you started cruising?
If it were easy, anyone would do it.
What piece of gear seems to break the most often?
It is usually a chain of events. Everything breaks eventually.
When have you felt most in danger and what was the source?
Most dangerous to us is getting eaten alive by vendors in the major cities and in places like Port Townsend. Those places will clean out your cruising kitty in a matter of days.
While cruising, what do you do about health & boat insurance, medical issues, banking and mail delivery?
No mail. Email only or items shipped FEDEX or UPS if there is a reliable receive are in the country or just do without until we reach an area that has a reliable delivery system or where we can purchase what we need there, or have a fellow cruiser bring ‘something’ back from the States for you and pay him/her with a fine dinner upon delivery.
Why did you decide to cruise?
To travel at our own pace with our home to exotic lands.
Describe a perfect cruising moment that will make cruisers-to-be drool with anticipation
Sitting at a quiet anchorage with maybe one other boat (or not) in crystal clear water, swinging in the hammock, sipping on a cold juice, watching the sea life swimming below you (giant manta rays, sharks, puffer fish, whales) on a warm (slight breeze) sunny day in the tropics.
What has been the most affordable area to cruise and the most expensive? What was affordable or expensive about each area?
The most affordable is to be at sea or at anchor in a remote area or Mexico. Most expensive is in any marina, anywhere.
Over the years, how much time do you think you spend at anchor, at marinas, sailing and motoring?
80% at anchor 20% at marinas. We sail 90% of the time and use our engine only as a means of charging our house batteries and running our electronics, navigation lights, occasional refrigeration as well as to get in and out of difficult passes, atolls, river mouths, narrow entrances, etc. Our vessel moves best and travels most comfortably while strictly under sail. There is nothing as wonderful as a sail boat moving with the elements of nature.
What is something about the cruising culture you like and what is something you dislike?
Self reliant, thrifty, caring group of people who are independent and not afraid of the unknown. The part of the cruising culture I don't like....I can't really say that there is much if anything I do not like about the cruising culture other than some folks can surely tip the bottle a bit too frequently for taste, but what 'culture' doesn't have that potential?
What question do you wish I would have asked you besides the ones I've asked you and how would you answer it?
Any regrets about living on a cruising boat or do you miss your former lifestyle?
Answer: HELLO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This life is the most difficult and the most rewarding of anything we ever did professionally at land.