Lists from a Cruising Newbie

Lists from a Cruising Newbie

My friend Chris and I have had several conversations about A and B-type personalities and have ultimately decided that we are AB combinations.  However, one of the more A-type traits that I possess is my love of making lists.  At any given time, there are at least 5-7 lists going on my phone’s notepad app. I make grocery lists, books-to-read lists, bucket lists, a variety of teaching-related lists, to-do lists, etc. Since this Thursday marks my first two weeks of living the cruising life, I thought it might be pertinent to detail some of the things I’ve learned.  So, here goes.

Top 5 things I like so far about cruising:

  1. Spending more meaningful time together as a couple.
  2. Being closer to nature. I saw a loggerhead sea turtle the size of a snow saucer the other day in its natural habitat.  How cool is that?
  3. Living at a slower pace and having time for hobbies. In two weeks, I’ve finished three books that had nothing to do with my teaching curriculum.
  4. Falling asleep with hatches open and a sea breeze pouring in.
  5. Seeing and trying new things. Highlights: eating fried key lime pie at Burdine’s (Thanks Megan!), walking the old 7 Mile Bridge, visiting the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, and anchoring in the pristine blue waters by Rodriguez Key.

Top 5 things I do not like so far about cruising:

  1. Longer offshore passages. 10 hours is just too long to do anything in my opinion.
  2. 5-6 foot ocean swells on 10 hour-long passages. Even if you manage not to puke, you’re probably still not having fun unless you are a born sailor like my husband.
  3. The oppressive heat/humidity. I know, I know: it’s summer in Florida. What did I expect?  But hey: as a teacher, my cruising timeline is limited.  Beggars can’t be choosers.
  4. Having to apply sunscreen religiously every day; true, you don’t get burnt, but between the sunscreen and sweat, you feel slimy most of the time.
  5. You salty, the boat salty…everything salty.

Top 5 things I’ve learned so far from cruising:

  1. The cruising community is made up of some of them most friendly and generous people you’ll ever meet. Everyone waves, smiles, and offers experience or advice.
  2. For someone who is used to working full-time, the transition to full-time living aboard/cruising can seem weird. Free time was a novelty; now, it’s life. There have already been a few times I’ve found myself feeling guilty because our daily plans are based on the following question: “So, what do I/we feel like doing today?”
  3. Cruising is basically like camping on the water. And I don’t mean RV camping.  If you don’t like being at the whims of nature, or having to plan around storms, this isn’t for you.
  4. Patience is paramount; most things take longer on a sailboat and in the sailing community. This one I actually learned in our marina back home, but it especially holds true down in the Keys.
  5. It isn’t all beaches, blue water, and smooth sailing. But the times that are make the rest seem worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *