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:
- Spending more meaningful time together as a couple.
- 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?
- 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.
- Falling asleep with hatches open and a sea breeze pouring in.
- 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:
- Longer offshore passages. 10 hours is just too long to do anything in my opinion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You salty, the boat salty…everything salty.
Top 5 things I’ve learned so far from cruising:
- 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.
- 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?”
- 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.
- 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.
- It isn’t all beaches, blue water, and smooth sailing. But the times that are make the rest seem worthwhile.