16 August 2010

10 Questions for Kalaerin

Jim Carey and Joy Carey have been cruising on and off since 1979 aboard Kelaerin, an Omega 45 (Cutter) hailing from Bellingham, Washington, USA. Their travels so far include the West Coast of the US, Mexico (Baja), more W. Coast US, Canada (Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound), Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Azores, Med, Red Sea, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan. They can be reached by email (Kelaerin@yahoo.com). They have sailed with their children when they were infants, then again when they were 6 and 8, and again when they were 11 and 13. They add: It’s been a good life so far. Joy is partially disabled.

Of the changes, choices and compromises you had to make along the way, which were you happiest and most satisfied about, which do you wish you had chosen otherwise and why?
On the one hand, I wish we had started our world cruise while we were younger and the girls were still with us. Although they got to do a lot, still, this circumnavigation would have been a load of fun with them along. On the other hand, if we had started younger, we might still be having to work to fund our cruising. As it stands now, we do not have to if we watch our pennies. Also at first, we were looking at a 40 foot bare hull back in 1978. The mantra that got started around then was “go small, go now” (I think the Pardeys are responsible for that one) so we dropped the size down to a 32 foot model. We realized within a few years that we had outgrown the boat and had we built the 40 footer to begin with we would probably still have it to this day.

Describe a "typical day" on passage on your boat
Jim and I have a loose watch schedule that works for us. One of us takes approximately 2100 to midnight shift, then the swing from midnight to 3 or 4 a.m. and then the 3 or 4 to 7 or 8. I get breakfast, Jim checks over the boat a little and then we spend a good part of the day napping and reading. Not too exciting but mother nature usually provides the excitement for us anyway.

When have you felt most in danger and what was the source?
When we made a quick stop at Swan Island off the Honduras, we were hailed on the radio by the young military men ashore. We anchored in a small harbor and the men beckoned us to come up and tie to the quay wall, but it was too surgy and we didn’t think deep enough anyway. Jim rowed over to explain that to them. In the meantime our two young daughters were topside and the men noticed the girls. Pretty soon after that the radio was a constant chatter of them making randy and lewd comments about the girls. This was followed by them firing their rifles over the top of Kelaerin. We quickly put the girls down below and into the walk through area while Jim got the anchor up (no electric windlass for us in those days) and I put the boat in gear and motored over the top of a reef to get out of there as fast as possible. Jim says that was the scariest part of that ordeal!!

Can you think of a sailing tip (e.g., sail trim, sail combination) specific to offshore passages (e.g., related to swells)?
Keep the shiny side up J!! Sorry, we can’t think of anything in particular at this moment that would be general enough to suit everyone.

Where was your favorite place to visit and why?
This is always asked and it is so hard to answer. Truthfully, my favorite place is usually where I’m moored at the moment. I always fall in love with a new place for a little while, at least, and then the wanderlust hits again and it’s time to move on. One of the most exciting places we’ve visited has to be Yemen. We had such bi-polar experiences there and it was like being back in the medieval ages.

Across a year, what do you spend the most money on while cruising?
Maintenance, for sure.

Finish this sentence. "Generally when I am provisioning..."
There just simply isn’t enough room for all the chocolate ;). I usually overdo it if anything on the provisions. Until now we really have not needed to provision for a long period as we are in ports so often. Of course, now that we are moving into the South Pacific, that will change.

Are you attracted more to sailing itself or cruising-as-travel and has that changed over time?
To be truthful, I love the cruising as travel more than the sailing. In the beginning (now, that goes way back 30 years or more) I used to hate it when the sails went up as the feeling was so foreign to me. But now I’m anxious to get the motor shut off and the sails up as soon as possible.

What is something that you read or heard about cruising, that you found particularly accurate?
Someone once said that you pack way too many clothes and never enough money.

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

How about “Has the character of cruising/cruisers changed over the years you’ve been out?

I would answer yes to that. We’ve discussed this with other long time cruisers and we agree that GPS has gotten a lot more people out there who maybe would never have considered this before and that combined with rallies, we think, has provided a false sense of security for a lot of people. There are so many people we meet now who go from rally to rally and in between have a secure pod of friends they cruise with. A lot of these people can’t be bothered to mix with the locals or go off the beaten path. Which in a way is good for us, as when we go off the beaten path, which we do often, we have the place to ourselves. We recently gave advice to a cruising couple who were going up the Red Sea from Thailand. They were with a large group and we suggested to them to take it slower, enjoy the Red Sea, there were loads of places to explore. Instead, they did what a lot of people do when transiting the Red Sea, go as fast as possible and take advantage of every weather window to make more progress. To explore at all meant they would have had to break away and they obviously weren’t comfortable doing that.