12 July 2010

10 Questions for Long Tall Sally

Greg Lynd and Penny Burgess cruise aboard Long Tall Sally, a Tayana 55 cutter hailing from Carson city, Nevada. They cruised in Mexico from 1999 to 2003, and then the South Pacific, North Pacific, Philippines, and SE Asia from 2006 to the present. They can be reached by email (svlongtallsally@gmail.com). Greg owned a yacht maintenance business and Penny was a physician (anesthesiologist) in their previous lives and they are both members in good standing of Pacific Mariners Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California.

What is your favorite piece of boating related new technology?
We have recently been introduced to a new software called Bungee invented by Greg Heppenstall. One can overlay previously acquired images from Google Earth with the information from your GPS- enabling the cruiser to see and track the land masses and shoals in real time along his/her route.We found it a great help in our trip from Palawan in the Philippines to Malaysia.

What do you think is a common cruising myth?
I think lots of folks have the mistaken impression that all we cruisers do is swim and frolic in the sun all day- when actually a good definition of " cruising " means "fixing your boat in exotic places"

Do you have any specific advice for couples cruising?
We both agree that it is good policy to have lived together on the boat for a significant amount of time before embarking on an long voyage together. Don't expect to pack your things, jump aboard and take off before you get the feel of your partners' idiosynchrasies and expectations. Also, it's a good idea to have done some dry runs encompassing such things as anchoring drills (i.e does the captain yell?-or better yet-who is the captain??)

Where was your favorite place to visit and why?
I think we are both agreed that Vanuatu is one of the nicest places we've seen-it has lovely people, good anchorages and great French food!

Have you found "trade goods" to be useful on your cruise? If so, what kinds?
Yes, especially in the Soloman Islands. We traded loads of things-clothing,shoes, staples such as sugar, rice, and coffee, and those electronics that we could spare (the young people loved Walkmans and DVDs). The Soloman Islanders are the best carvers in the Pacific-they gain access to goods that are difficult to otherwise obtain and you will come away with some lovely souvenirs of your cruise.

How do you fund your cruise?
We are both retired-we had been living aboard Long Tall Sally since 1994 and making regular forays out to Catalina Island and other places along the west coast of California. We sold some real estate assets and put the money in a stock portfolio. Luckily, we bought Apple shares! So far we've managed to live on the proceeds and my social security (Greg is still too young!)

What is something that you read or heard about cruising, that you didn't find to be true?
Somewhere I had read that sailing caused one to use a great deal of isometric energy and that one always lost weight when on a long cruise-i.e. constantly using muscles to maintain balance on a moving platform-Don't believe it!!

What is something about the cruising culture you like and what is something you dislike?
I love the fact that one is constantly meeting new and interesting people-often of very disparate ages and interests. The cruising family is replete with individualists. Many of these people become lifelong friends and one keeps in touch no matter in what direction you each head off. But sometimes, you say "so long"or "Fair winds" to someone that you never lay eyes on again for whatever reason and that is sad!

How did you secure your valuables (in and on your vessel) while going ashore? And your dinghy?
Boats have many "hidey holes" and most sailors we know secure their valuables that way. It seems that the poorer the country, the fewer the break-ins. Sometime other cruisers will warn people that such and such an anchorage is not safe and we lock our boats-but for the most part we leave the boat unlocked- as a really determined thief can get into most any boat. The dinghy is a little different -we look at it as our"car" and as such a very valuable asset. We lock our motor to the dinghy and try to secure the dinghy when it is ashore. At night we hoist it out of the water to deter thieves.

What question do you wish I would have asked you besides the ones I've asked you and how would you answer it?

Perhaps you might have asked "How long do you plan on being "out there"?

To that rhetorical question I would have to say-"Till it's no longer fun!"