05 April 2010

10 Questions for Sereia

Peter, Antonia and Silas Murphy have been cruising for 5 years aboard Sereia their 1979 36’ Mariner ketch hailing from Richmond, CA through California, Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, Pacific, and New Zealand. You can read more about their travels on their website.

What is something that you were dreading about cruising, when you were dreaming about cruising, that is as bad or worse than imagined?
Seasickness. I managed to keep this in check with Scopolamine patches, but once I got pregnant, I couldn’t take them. Twenty-seven days across the Pacific is a long time to be throwing up!

Is there something from your land life that you brought cruising and feel silly about bringing now?
I didn’t need 80 different kinds of spices. They have spices overseas. Likewise, beans, pasta, and rice are all readily available to human beings who live in other countries.

Can you think of a sailing tip (e.g., sail trim, sail combination) specific to offshore passages (e.g., related to swells)?
Sorry, can’t give sailing tips, because I don’t sail. I am sailed, by my husband Peter. However I do seem to recall him saying something about steering away from breaking waves.

What (if anything) do you wish someone had told you before you started cruising?
Don’t get so worked up about bureaucratic regulations. In third world countries, a little patience and a smile go a long way. Also, I wish I’d learned how to fish.

Is there a place you visited wish you could have stayed longer?
The Galapagos islands were fascinating, and we could have spent a good deal of time exploring them. Unfortunately, they are hopelessly corrupt. So unless you enjoy smoking hundred dollar bills, you’ll probably have to limit your stay there.

Share a piece of cruising etiquette
I can think of about twenty, offhand. But the most important one, and the most critical one, is that cruisers help each other out. So if you hear about someone in trouble on the radio—whether they have run out of diesel or parmigiano reggiano—you go out of your way to help them. Besides, this is ultimately selfish. You never know when you’ll be in the same position.

Tell me your least favorite thing about your boat
She has no private submarine. Or maid.

What do you do about mail?
Who uses mail? Everything is electronic. For the IRS and other irritating pests, I just give them my mother’s address.

When you are offshore, what keeps you awake at night (that is, what worries you most)?
Those goddamned whales, always beeping and sighing around my boat. They sound like a New Age self-help CD.

What question should I be asking other cruisers besides the ones in this list and how would you answer it?
The two questions everyone wants to ask, and everyone is reluctant to answer, are: how did you afford to go cruising, and how much did it cost? If you can the cruisers to answer that one, the dreamers will definitely log on.