27 September 2010

10 Questions for Shiva

Jeffrey Orling cruised from 1990 to 1994, single-handing 90% of the time through Maine, Southern New England, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canary Islands aboard Shiva, a Contest 36 hailing from New York City. He can be reached by email (jsandero@gmail.com).

How would you recommend that someone prepares to cruise?
Begin by doing a lot of reading about cruising. You can learn a lot from the many books written by cruisers about their boats and what is involved. Nowadays you can find this info by "cruising the WWW including blogs of sailors who have done it and are in the process. There are sailing forums to learn all sorts of things. You take it in and then go for what suits you - your budget and so forth. Things WILL change so be prepared.

Is there a place you visited where you wish you could have stayed longer?
Most places offer more if you invest the time and penetrate into the culture and ... land. Hanging on the hook gives one a limited perspective on the place you are at. My favorite place was Antiqua and Guadeloupe. The Canaries were interesting (culture) by not the greatest for snug harbors.

Share a piece of cruising etiquette
Show respect and consideration. Anchor with lots of room and try to be invisible (audibly) to your neighbors. As you are part of the scenery, try to keep your boat in a good appearance.

How has cruising affected your personal relationships?
If you have a sailing mate, it's the cat's meow. Very close (working) relationship - mutual dependence. Landlubber mates simply don't get it nor care to. They prefer to let others do it for them.

Describe your first sailing experience
It came when I was in my mid to late 30s and I was fascinated by the clever little boats and how they were a world unto themselves. A world that intersected the world I lived in and most people do. These compact efficient, modern yet ancient vessels have the potential to take a single person anywhere on the planet that touches the sea - and that's a lot of the world. I sailed with a friend on my inauguration down Long Island Sound.

Are you attracted more to sailing itself or cruising-as-travel and has that changed over time?
Sailing can be many things. When you have time and money you are free to go explore and move about. When you are stuck on land it is a delicious escape you never tire of, despite the work required to maintain a sailing boat. Don't like planes anymore, and much prefer to sail if I could... Like a turtle who takes him shelter (home) with him wherever he goes.

Over the years, how much time do you think you spend at anchor, at marinas, sailing and motoring?
Over 25 years I have spent only a few weeks in total tied to a dock (except winter wet storage). A few days in Bermuda following the Marion Bermuda Race in 91 and one night in Portland ME when my wife took the bus up to join me for a ME cruise. I use a seasonal mooring when I am land based and when I leave it I am on the hook. Anchoring is where I spend most of my time when I am not making way.

How do you fund your cruise?
My 4 year cruising was funded by a combination of savings, selling my home and a small inheritance. When it was all spent I came back broke and began to work again. Kept the boat.

How did you secure your valuables (in and on your vessel) while going ashore?
I don't have anything valuable except money itself and the boat and gear. I don't lock usually (only the dink) and only sometimes. Only been robbed when I wintered in water in a marina and someone stole my running rigging. And your dinghy? We lost a new RIB and OB several yrs ago in RI. It was either tied to the boat, or not well tied as my wife probably assumed I would tend to this and I may have simply assumed she secured it. We don't recall. But it was gone in the AM and nowhere to be found in the area. If it was found the finder decided to keep it. And if it was stolen, that was the intent. We use a stainless steel chain and padlock, but anyone with a smallish bolt cutter could easily defeat this.

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

How do you get hands on experience?

I was sort of dumped in the water and forced to sail. I got the sailing bug from a friend who induced me into a partnership and then backed out. So I went to the broker and asked for a smaller boat.. after having taken a 3 day sailing course. So, in short order I purchased the boat I would cruise on, live and and still own 25 years later. I pressured my friend to help me sail the boat out to a summer mooring and then to come with me for the first few sails. Then I was on my own and worse I had a wife at the time who was not a sailor. So the first 5 years of ownership I sailed the boat as much as I could, even in the snow one Fall. During my learn to sail period I fitted the boat out with the gear and upgrades to go offshore and live aboard. My final tests were to sail to Maine (1000 mile trip) and to do the Marion Bermuda race with a crew of experienced sailors including, you guessed it, the friend who got me into it all.l Once I got to Bermuda I was ready to go. So the total learn to sail from absolute novice to sailing solo about the Caribbean was just under 6 years. Key to my experience was the notion that I had to do everything myself and alone if need be and that turns out to be the case 98% of the time. I've set the boat up for single handing and it's the only way I can imagine being comfortable on a sailboat - knowing everything about the vessel. Because... you never know when you need to know.

How do you know when you have enough?

When your confidence exceeds your fear you have reached the level where you can go for it, whatever that "it" is. You always need to be prudent and have a healthy bit of fear about what could happen and so running all the what ifs... book learning, some trials and so forth and preparation will give you the necessary confidence that dominate the fear. Fear is basically the absence of experience and so the more experience you have both practical and books the better off you are. But you can waste your life in preparation and there comes a time when you just have to go or it and accept the risks and that you have taken reasonable measures to mitigate risk.

How do you prepare for the bad stuff?

There's two kinds of bad stuff. Stuff you could have prevented by preparation and maintenance and the stuff that mother nature hurls at you. It's hard to practice hurricanes or lee shores. But you can read and apply lesser experiences to when the shit hits the fan. Each one of those build confidence and it's mostly in the boat which will take it a lot better than you will. When I think about the conditions I sailed in in my early years either weather has moderated or I am just not sailing in what I cut my teeth on back then. But every once in a while you find yourself in nasty weather and the only thing about it is, you've been there before and you know you and the boat can make it. So you need to go out in heavy weather close to shore if you plan to deal with it offshore... where at least there are no lee shores!

How do you cope with fear?

Experience is the only way. You need to fall back on your training and experience and the knowledge that others have faced far worse with far less. You don't dwell on it and instead take care of business and the mission to get thru to the other side. This keeps you pretty busy. Shiva's a great boat and a lot tougher than I am. I take care of her and she takes care of me. That's the deal.

20 September 2010

10 Questions for Final Straw

Clark & Suzy Straw with Kevin Straw in 2002 & 2004 cruised aboard Final Straw, a Mason 54 hailing from San Diego, CA, USA from 2001 until 2008 through Mexico and the South Pacific Islands including New Zealand & Australia. More information including contact info can be found on their website.

What, if anything, do you wish someone had told you before you started cruising?
I don't think you realize just how tough long range cruising can be on boat equipment.  As they say, the definition of cruising is "fixing your boat in Paradise."  And, it isn't a joke.  It's true.  Even after a thorough refit before our departure, we still saw the watermaker blow a circuit board 800 nm from land and 2000 nm to go.  Fortunately, we could still use it, thanks to a manual override toggle switch on the circuit board.  Our most serious issue was sucking water into the engine in Manihi in French Polynesia.  Turns out it was a plugged anti-siphon valve coupled with a design error that caused the drain for the anti-siphon valve from the engine and generator to be tied together.  The blocked valve allowed the generator to pump exhaust water into the engine's wet muffler.  After it filled the wet muffler, sea water made its way to the engine's valves.  Wow, what a troubleshooting job that was!  The good news is there's lots of talent among your fellow cruisers.  When a cruiser has a problem, almost everyone pitches in to help!  One Brit showed me how to remove the diesel's injectors and blow the water out by turning the ignition switch momentarily.  In kind, I fixed a  lot of radio and computer problems for others.

Is there a place you visited where you wished you could stay longer?
We tried to carefully calculate our time at each stop.  But, sometimes you like a place so much you stay longer.  That happened to us in Fiji and Vanuatu leaving a very short time in New Caledonia.  We have friends who have spent an entire season there and loved it.  After arriving in Noumea and  thoroughly reading the cruising guide, I know we missed a lot of nice spots.  The next time I would sail north and see more of the main island and then go to the Loyalty Islands on the east side.  I'd also suggest leaving the boat in French Polynesia and take a break back home for the holidays and then return for another 90 day visa and twice as much time in those lovely islands.

How often have you faced bad weather in your cruising?  How bad?
We watched weather very closely and avoided leaving when we saw a forecast of strong weather during the timeframe of the passage.  Of course, you can't do this if a passage exceeds a week or so because weather models are much less reliable after that.  For example, Tonga to New Zealand is very hard to time due to the frequent low pressure systems that cross the Tasman.  It's possible to let them pass by slowing down at latitudes above 25S.  We did sail through some of the unpredictable activity found in the SPCZ and ITCZ.  Normally, it was short lived and looked worse in the distance than it was when it actually hit us.  All told, I'd say we saw winds above 30 knots less than 10% of the time while on a passage.  Some of our worst weather was at anchor or in the harbor.  We saw 50+ knots while at our berth at Bayswater Marina across from Auckland.  The boat was healing in place!  We also saw 35-40 knots while at anchor at Whitsunday Island in Queensland, Australia.  It's very likely you will see bad weather some time on a crossing.  But, preparation will mitigate most real danger.  We carried a drogue and it was always ready to deploy.  But, we never had to use it.

What do you dislike about cruising that surprised you?
The bugs at some anchorages.  It was no-see-ums in the Sea of Cortez of Mexico and mosquitos potentially carrying malaria in Vanuatu that I remember particularly menacing.   We anchored at an island off of the Baja mainland and were literally infested by thousands of no-see-ums.  They were everywhere and came in a huge swarm.  They didn't really bite us as we went for bug spray almost immediately.  Then, we went for the anchor and raised it getting away as fast as humanly possible.  It was after that experience when we saw a note in our cruising guide to stay away from that particular spot.  The lesson was read the book before arriving.  In Vanuatu, we had to put mosquito screens up to keep those critters out of the living areas.  It was worse at sunrise and sunset.  The screens cut down on the breeze below and with the high humidity it was tempting to remove the screen.  Fortunately, we didn't get bitten.  But, at one anchorage north of Efate, we knew of three boats where crew contracted malaria.

Is there something you wish you had bought or installed before starting cruising?
One thing I found very helpful after we crossed to New Zealand was the installation of weather sat.  Capturing data from the NOAA LEO satellites when they passed over our area was very helpful when comparing GRIB charts to real weather pictures.  Fronts show up very well and you can compare movement in subsequent orbits.  The other item that wasn't available when we left in 2001 is AIS.  I have used it on other boats since and I would definitely add it in a future cruise.  There were many times when we were unable to contact a ship and understand their intentions or know if they were even aware of our presence.  AIS could have mitigated that problem.

Do friends visit and how often?
Occasionally we had family & friends visit us.  It was generally places where they could fly into easily.  It also appeared to happen earlier in our seven years of cruising than later.  Of course, we were getting farther away from the States as time went on, so, it was a more expensive trip for them and it took longer to get to us.  But, it was fun to share the experience with them when they did come and we enjoyed the little gifts they brought from the States that we couldn't get where we were.

Share a piece of cruising etiquette.
One thing I remember in Tonga was it was bad form to work on the boat on a Sunday.  You also should not wear hats and you should not show frustration.  That was very hard to do with customs!

Another pet peeve was to not anchor on top of another boat.  I can remember letting out more rode just so we wouldn't hear every word they exchanged and wouldn't have to inhale the exhaust from their generator or listen to the tedious sound of splashing water while it ran hour after hour.  This was a problem primarily in the more popular cruising grounds where weekenders or bareboat charters were prevalent.

How do you fund your cruise?
We had planned to do this over a long period of time and saved our nest egg.  We then invested it for a cash flow that covered our expenses to the level we could comfortably live without decreasing the principle amount we had invested.

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?

I was probably happiest about deciding to take extra crew on the very long passages (ten days or more).  From Puerto Vallarta to the Marquesas, we had four crew.  That meant one crew stood watch only one three hour watch every twelve hours.  That left a lot of time to read, fix things, improve the sail plan, fish, etc.  We made the 2800 miles in 16 days, 23 hours averaging 7 knots and we were all very fresh and, I believe, we enjoyed the trip more.  I also took extra crew on the Tonga to NZ and NZ to Fiji passages due to distance and possible harsh weather.  One warning, choose crew carefully.  It's best if you already know them and have been to sea with them in the past and you really like them!   

The one thing I would do differently is plan a slower cruise across the South Pacific.  The majority of circumnavigators I know say the best part of their entire trip was the South Pacific.  We made the crossing from Mexico to New Zealand in one season primarily to get there for the Americas Cup.  But, if I were to do it again, I would stop in French Polynesia and leave the boat there hauled out and protected for cyclone season.  Then, I would come back and do another season there.  I would spend almost all of the 90 day visa in the Marquesas and Tuamotus, arriving in Papeete just before the visa expires.  Then I'd haul out and return the next year to cruise for 90 more days in the Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, etc.) before going on to Tonga and the islands in between.  This maximizes your time in a true paradise instead of rushing through to get to NZ in nine months.

Question I wished you ask...  

What single piece of electronics did you find most useful besides the basic sailing instruments and GPS?
After the basics of wind/speed instruments, GPS and VHF, I'd probably pick the HF radio.  I actually had three separate SSB units on board.  It was our lifeline back to civilization.  We did our email over HF radio and could download valuable weather information for our area.  We could also exchange route data through areas where one boat forwarded to another the safe route into an anchorage by sending their track on C-map over pactor on HF radio.  We also talked nightly to the HF radio nets and made numerous phone patches back to family while thousands of miles from land.  This was incredibly comforting for our family and friends.  All of this was done for free as it was via ham radio frequencies.  I had a bit of an advantage since I first obtained a ham radio license at age 12 and have been active ever since.  But, after helping many others get their license, which is orders of magnitude easier to get now than when I got mine, I have been told many times how useful having a ham license was to their peaceful enjoyment of cruising.   I couldn't agree more.  In fact, it was a radio contact I made with a cruiser in the 60's that got me interested in doing this myself one day.  Forty years after I made contact with Danny Weil on the s/v Yasme arriving in Nuku Hiva, I realized my dream of sailing my own boat into that same harbor.  What a thrill to have my wife and son on board with me.

13 September 2010

10 Questions for Taleisin

Lin Pardey cruises with Larry Pardey aboard Taleisin, a 29'9" classic cutter custom designed by Lyle C. Hess, built by Larry and Lin of teak and bronze. Taleisin hails from Victoria British Columbia but her home port is Kawau Island, New Zealand. Lin & Larry began cruising in 1968 and their most recent voyage was from California via the Line Islands to New Zealand and Great Barrier Island in 2009. They have voyaged approximately 186,000 miles circumnavigating both east about and west about and hold the record for the smallest vessel to have circumnavigated contrary to the prevailing winds rounding the four great southern capes while flying a nylon drifter. For more about them, people can read Cold Hard Facts on their website. Lin & Larry also publish a newsletter and cruising tips on their website..

What (if anything) do you wish someone had told you before you started cruising?

When we first set off in 1968, there was almost no information available for potential cruisers, only a few books about adventuresome voyages plus Eric and Susan Hiscocks very matter-of-fact Voyaging Under Sail that dealt almost exclusively with boat gear and seamanship issues. I met maybe half a dozen folks who’d arrived back from offshore cruises and all they told me was, “Loved it, it was great.” In some ways I think the lack of information sources made cruising easier since I didn’t expect things to go to any set plan. I.e., I didn’t add other peoples worries about cruising to my already active imagination.

Is there a place you visited where you wish you could have stayed longer?
Southern Africa, San Blas Islands, Argentina.

Over the time that you have been cruising, has the world of cruising changed?
Of course it has. The most obvious change is – the world’s population has more than doubled and the number of people who can afford cruising boats and the time to leave their home port has gone up by a factor of 10 or more. This has created a large enough group of people to be worth targeting as a potential market for many marine products and services. It has become harder to separate advertising claims from reality, harder to resist adding gear that might not be necessary, will over load your boat and stress your cruising budget.

Fact – While we waited to transit the Panama Canal in 1970 we only shared the anchorage with 14 other boats.  Only 72 yachts transited the canal during that whole year.  I think that many transit in a month right now.

When we were in Mexico back then, the only marinas in the whole country were the newly built ones in Mazatlan, Guaymas and Acapulco. Everywhere else you anchored. In La Paz there were a only a few moorings available and those were often suspect. Contrast that with dozens of marinas along the same coastline today.

Fact – when we set off very few boats under 50 feet carried radio transmitters. The rest of us used battery operated shortwave receivers. Communications were confined for most part to letters and very occasional land-line telephone calls. Calls between Mexico and USA cost $4.00 a minute. There was no email, no electronic navigation systems. Loran was just being introduced for larger yachts. Safety gear included life rings, bulky life jackets, man over board poles and possibly man over board strobe lights. Heavy weather harnesses had to be home made and were used mostly for very rough weather. The medical kit we carried had to be assembled by us with help from our doctor and the only book we could find to help us at that time was one called, Being your own Wilderness doctor. There were none written for sailors or cruisers. Outfitting costs and operating costs were therefore far lower. Decisions were far easier.

There are two major changes in peoples attitudes toward cruising;

In 1970, 95% of those we met felt cruising was a grand way to get out and do a lot of sailing and have some adventures too. Though most of us back then liked turning in fast passages, we pushed our boats to gain bragging rights, not because we wanted to avoid spending an extra day or two at sea. Today when I ask seminar audiences and folks we meet while we are out cruising to describe their thoughts about sailing – very few say sailing in and of itself is an important reason to go cruising and most admit to feeling uncomfortable about being at sea. Very few understand how to keep a boat sailing in light winds, many do not have nylon sails on board.

Secondly, the word comfort was rarely part of cruising discussions. We were all eager to off cruising any way we could. Yes everyone wanted a good dry bunk, a nice place to lounge. But the search for accommodations to rival those we left behind on shore was much further down the line than good boat performance. I guess we all looked at it as an adventure rather than a lifestyle. Different mind set.

Describe your first sailing experience
I was five years old and sailed with my folks on a 14 foot Old Town sloop on a small lake in Michigan.I remember very little other than the chatter of water along the clinker hull. But I do know my father was in heaven when he was at the helm of that boat.  Unfortunately he had to sell it when the family moved to California so that was mostly the end of my family sailing memories.  Next first time sailing was with Larry on our first date. He was a professional by then, and had to deliver a boat from Marina del Rey to Newport Beach California (about 40 miles). He needed a ride back to his car and I was the answer. Fifty four foot ketch, beautiful down wind ride in 15 knots of wind, two nice men (he had another crew with him) treating me like I was pretty special. What a great introduction to the world of boats that could cross oceans.

What do you think is a common cruising myth

Myth 1 - That cruising is easy. That the cruising life is always fun.  Life on shore isn’t always fun, or easy.  Cruising is challenging, exciting, fulfilling but it is rarely easy.

Myth 2 – That an average couple can easily sail a 50 or 60 footer. Maybe they can in perfect or even average conditions. But Larry and I always take crew along when we deliver boats over 40 feet just for those times when we encounter less than ideal conditions.

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?
Best choice is still the one that became our motto, Go small, go simple but go now! By choosing to build a 24’4”long very seaworthy boat, Larry and I were able to set sail when I was 24 and he was 29. As you know, this led to an amazingly fulfilling 42 year long voyaging life – and we still love going sailing. Now that we are where we never expected to be, i.e. amoung those called senior citizens, I look around and see few couples our age where both partners still have the physical health and ability to get out cruising. We have watched too many people wait for the perfect boat, enough money in the bank etc. etc. and seen how they missed the wonderful opportunities that still are waiting out there.

Describe a perfect cruising moment that will make cruisers-to-be drool with anticipation
Where do I start? How about this paragraph from a story I recently wrote –

Taliesin runs along at six and a half knots, her working jib and main set wing on wing, the wind a steady 15 knots from the northeast. The decks are dry and warm. It’s day 14 of our voyage from Ventura Harbor in California to Kiritimati (Christmas island), one of the Line Islands. I have no way of knowing that this will be the half way point, but I do know I have fallen into the routine and mood that makes crossing oceans such an important part of my life. After more than 1800 miles at sea my body has adjusted to the motion. Now I automatically move about the boat in ways that keep me from adding bruises to the collection of black and blue marks I seem to gather along my legs and thighs during the first days of every ocean passage. Lunch has been enjoyed, the cabin sorted out and dinner ingredients organized to be in easy reach when the time comes to cook. Larry is taking it easy below decks, his thoughts far from sailing as he devours yet another of the stack of carefully chosen books we have been saving for this voyage. I relax in the cockpit ostensibly on watch, but in reality savoring the special feeling that only comes when I know we are a thousand miles away from every speck of land.

Then there are encounters on shore: I recall the sheer fun of an evening when a crowd of Argentinian sailors came to visit complete with nibbles, drinks and guitars to teach us Tango.  We were in the tiny yacht harbor at Mar del Plata.  Our goal was Cape Horn and we’d stopped here to do our final outfitting and provisioning. We didn’t want to tell anyone what we planned to do so we could back out if we sailed south and found it to hard for me to handle then sail on toward South Africa instead. So we’d told the sailors we met in the 20 boat marina that we’d come to Argentina to learn to tango. Now they’d brought along friends who sang the songs that brought tears to our eyes as music rang from Taleisin’s cockpit late into the night and the dock beside us became an impromptu dance floor. Sergio, a dark eyed tight bodied local pressed me tightly against his body and tried teach me Tango and show me how to intertwine my legs with his in steps that parodied passion and romance. Clapping and music range out and we managed to keep from falling in the water. Then Sergio danced the perfect Tango with Maria as Larry and I lounged back and savored the party that had happened just for us.

What is the most important attribute for successful cruising?
Flexibility and a sense of humor is my answer. But as Larry read my answers he asked me to say – Good fix-it skills.

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

Can you still have adventures and meet local people when you get out cruising?

Yes, but it is harder as the temptation to spend lots of times with other interesting cruisers may make it more difficult to get away on your own so you can meet local folks. Just as hard is avoiding schedules.  When we were exploring the west coast of Ireland we happened to sail into a quite isolated anchorage near Carrarow and came to anchor near a fleet of fascinating boats. We rowed over to meet the people who were racing these 150 year old Galloway Hookers (a type of open fishing sailing boat used around the Aran Islands of Western Ireland.) The skipper asked how long we were staying around. When Larry said, “No real plans, if we like it around here we may stay all summer,” the skipper said, “you are the first cruising folks I’ve met who weren’t in a rush to sail off the next day. Why don’t you come racing with us tomorrow?” Because of that lack of schedules we were able to join him and spent the rest of the summer sailing along with the Hooker fleet, joining races during six different festivals, sharing evenings of music and Guinness and Baileys Irish Cream with folks who are still our friends. (Editor's note: You can see video clips of the Galway Hookers from their DVD "Cruising Has No Limits" on youtube)

*Photo credit for first photo to M. Morris

06 September 2010

10 Questions for Mist

mist1 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.

mist2 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.

mist3What 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.