Kirk, Catherine & Stuart began cruising in 1994. They have cruised in two vessels since that time: Polly Brooks, a Worldcruiser Pilothouse 37 and Gallivanter, a Hylas 47 they turned into a 49 by adding a new style transom. They started in Hawaii and sailed west on an "Orange Peel" course across four oceans. They have yet to cross their outbound track in 40,0000nm. Kirk’s former career involved manned submersibles.
What are some of your favorite pieces of gear on your boat and why?
Anchor Windlass, chart plotter, autopilot - like having a strong crew (physically & mentally) who are always eager to help, don't eat much, get in the way or complain.
What is your biggest lesson learned?
Make your own choices & decisions - avoid the "Pack Mentality".
Where was your favorite place to visit and why?
Caribbean, Fiji, SE Asia, Turkey, Malta, Spain - Interesting cultures, affordable, availability of services & supplies.
What do you think is a common cruising myth?
That it's always easy and cocktails are served at sunset every evening.
In your experience, how much does cruising cost?
It costs everything you've got.
How would you recommend that someone prepares to cruise?
Go now. One can never be fully prepared.
Describe a positive experience you have had with local people somewhere you have visited.
STARGAZING with traditional navigators on the beach of an uninhabited atoll in the Caroline Islands. Dancing with savages in Papua New Guinea.
With the benefit of hindsight, what are the boat selection criteria you would use to purchase a boat for long term cruising?
Choose a strong boat purposely built & designed by a reputable team. One-off racing boats do not necessarily make for a comfortable cruising boat.
What is difficult for the parents of cruising children and what is difficult for the children themselves?
Kids add another level of enjoyment. I have found no difficulty added when our son was born and joined the crew. Lego is his one best entertainment.
What question do you wish I would have asked you besides the ones I've asked you and how would you answer it?
What has been the hardest part of this lifestyle?
Having to learn how to say "Goodbye" in so many languages.