18 April 2011

10 Questions for Moorea

Kelly & Kelly cruised from 2005 to 2009 aboard Moorea, a Dufour, 35’ hailing from Everett, WA, USA. They completed a circumnavigation including 31 countries and 35,000 nautical miles (West Coast USA, Mexico, South Pacific, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives, Red Sea, Turkey, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, then back to Washington). You can read more about them on their website, via email (kk_moorea@hotmail.com), or their site Yachtie Track.

How would you recommend that someone prepares to cruise?

• Know your boat
• Equip with essentials (extra sails, spare parts) and safety gear
• Tie up all loose ends that would keep you ashore

There was always a list of equipment we wanted, like a water maker and a long list of maintenance “to do’s”. We realized we could take care of those things along the way and decided to that these lists should not keep us at the dock

Share a piece of cruising etiquette

This occurs in over crowded anchorages….
When hailing another vessel, if they do not respond, stop calling every ten minutes (even every fifteen or twenty minutes). The friends that are not answering are doing what cruisers are supposed to be doing, getting away from it all and they may not be back on to the boat for hours. Or they may have turned off their radio since they were tired of hearing to many boats needlessly hailing each other.

In your own experience and your experience meeting other cruisers, what are the common reasons people stop cruising?
1. Money runs out
2. A spouse or the kid(s) want to stop
3. Only wanted to cruise for a short time (1 - 1 ½ years)
4. Responsibilities back home call them back

In your first year of cruising, what transitions did you find the most difficult?

Fortunately living on the hook wasn’t a big issue since we lived on our boat at the dock for a few years and were accustomed to living in a small space. But learning to live without a vehicle and getting around without one can be a challenge at times.

What is something about the cruising culture you like and what is something you dislike?

Cruisers have a great way of spreading information. But like the old child’s game of “telephone” the stories become exaggerated or distorted. Keep in mind that the experience of one cruiser will not always be yours and sometimes you need to discover the truth yourself.

How do you fund your cruise?

Sold the house to buy our older and affordable boat then lived frugally on her for over two years to save for the cruising kitty.

Do you have any specific advice for couples cruising?

Even with the freedoms found with cruising. It is easy to get caught up in the group mentality or stay in a pack. Break away from time to time and explore areas on your own.

What did you do to make your dream a reality?

Researched the life then decided to live it.

Describe a perfect cruising moment that will make cruisers-to-be drool with anticipation.

We were anchored at the atoll Makemo in the Tuamotus. The bay was so clear we could see our anchor 40 feet below. The coral popped with color as vibrant fish darted in and out of the reef. This island had some of the best snorkeling.

The small village contained a couple of one room stores selling canned goods and simple trinkets. Kids were fishing on the pier and some were hunting hermit crabs. I spoke with a few, but my French was as bad as their English.

Later that day, a man I had briefly said hello to on shore motored up to our boat. He was holding a Mahi Mahi, about 4 feet long, which he gave to us. Didn’t ask for money or a trade…just simply gave us a gift. This is one example of the many positive experiences we had with locals.

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

What is life like after cruising?

We have been back for a year and a half. We don’t mention our experience much to other people. When we have they are interested in it for five minutes, then tire of the conversation. It’s a life we love and plan to get back into when we “really” retire. Next time I can see spending six to eight months on the sea and three months on land.