Midlife Cruising

Mid-Life Cruising posted on their blog about discovering other good blogs. Rain Dog’s blog was mentioned (thanks MLC!). Here is a cut and paste of what they wrote, and my answers, as best as I can, to the 10 questions posted. 🙂 

Midlife Cruising wrote: The Liebster Award is a project that promotes the discovery of new blogs. If you’re selected for the “award”, you must answer ten questions given to you by the blog that selected you, and then also choose other blogs for the award and give them ten questions to answer. Thanks to this project I’ve already come across a few blogs that weren’t familiar to me, and I’ve also learned a few things about the folks I’d already been following”. I have no idea who started this and what a Liebster is, but it’s a great idea!… and the 10 questions that I have for these bloggers:

QUESTIONS:

Other than leaving family, what has been the most challenging part of this lifestyle?

We are not cruising yet so will answer more about concerns I have of leaving. Leaving family is hard, my sister was just diagnosed with cancer so our departure date will be about 3-4 weeks later then we planned in order to see her through her big surgery and most of her final round of chemo, and that is riddled with guilt! Other than family….I think my health limitations will be challenging. Not exactly the health part, but setting limitations of what I cannot do and stick to them. I’m a very hands on person with experience in boat navigation, repair, sailing. I owned a yacht maintenance company in my twenties and also delivered sailboats through out the Caribbean. Taking a back seat to the more demanding tasks will be hard.

What are your favorite things about this lifestyle?

Well, our lifestyle right now is living aboard, at marina, with twenty projects going on at once :-). My favorite? Sitting in the cockpit in the cool of the evening. Also, love it when storms come rolling in, running about the deck getting things secured, standing in the companionway waiting for the front to hit. Then that tell-tale puff, a wall of cool wind hits and shifts from another direction. Halyards start clanging, boats start bobbing about restlessly. So many nuances to see in those moments, weather is so awesome. Especially tucked up safe in an anchorage or marina, or way offshore. I also love to do boat projects, rebuilding windlasses and winches, splicing, knots. I love it all. I guess it would be easier to say what I don’t like (having the boat on a deep heel).

What has this lifestyle taught you about yourself and/or what have you experienced that you’d never have known as a landlubber?

I’ve lived aboard since I was 19. I can tell you back then it was an awakening, and introduction to the world. I did a lot of deliveries, 20,000 plus miles. The biggest lesson of living in that beautiful big blue world, with whales, dolphins, sunsets, and fierce storms is that it ruins you for a “normal” life. I am restless when on land, unsatisfied, lacking. A part of me is always on the sea. So when I go inland, part of me stays with the sea. When I got sick three years ago and I had to have brain surgery I could not stay on the boat. As hard as everything was, when I was on the boat, I felt calm. During my hospitalizations, what drove us, my husband and I, what kept us strong and determined, was the call to be back on the water.

As far as an experience that I’d never have if I stayed a landlubber. Too many to tell, but my favorite is the whale in the wave. Once, offshore, my captain and I were huddled in the cockpit watching a rather blustery sea swirl around us. Every few waves, which were mainly on our beam, would break over the boat soaking us with cold Atlantic seawater. The waves were pretty high, almost to our spreaders, so about 20-25 footers I’d guess. My captain was sitting with her back to the breaking waves, I was facing them to port. At one point we were deep in a trough, blue wall of water towering all around us, beautiful!! Anyways, while we were deep in this trough I saw a whale swim along side us. He was in the wave, up above us, almost parallel to the cockpit. Big eyes peering down at me. A pilot whale about 15-20 feet long looking right at me, gorgeous!! Never in all my fantasies of sailing offshore, never in all my wildest imaginations, did I ever expect to see a whale above me, to have to look UP to see the whale. The wave rolled under us and he stayed along side for another few minutes. I felt a deep connection to him, so cliche but true. He saw me, looked right into my eyes, we connected. Pretty cool.

I hate to cook, so what’s your recommendation for a “must-have” galley item that I should have on our boat and an easy dish to make?

My hubby does most of the cooking (read all the cooking 🙂 ). But deep pans are a must, and I love to use a pressure cooker while on passage. Cooks fast, tends to get the ‘canned’ flavor out of our canned food.

[Brian] Must have galley item is a Dutch Oven. I use one of these. Turns the relatively poor boat oven into a much better one and key for braising, which is my favorite cooking method. Also super easy to clean. More about this when I publish my free, on-line, cookbook soon.  Best easy dish: Pork with Sweet Potatoes

What (if anything) has caused you the most anxiety about the cruising/traveling lifestyle? Does it still?

A boat I don’t know, crew I don’t 100% trust to keep a good watch. Knowledge dispels fears. My biggest fears are of sinking and being run down. Knowing the state of the through hulls, that they are sound and we have an emergency plan in place in case of through hull failure. This dispels my fear of sinking. Knowing the person on watch, seeing them scan the horizon properly, 360 degrees every ten minutes (max) is how I learn to trust the watch keeper and this dispels my fear of being run down.

Have you ever seriously considered ditching this lifestyle sooner than later? If so, why and are you glad that you haven’t?

No. I’ve lived aboard boats since I was a teen, I don’t see that changing. My hubby may want a tiny home to ride out hurricane season, we will see.

Do you feel that your health has improved since leaving the landlubber life? If so, how?

Yes. At least, it has greatly improved my recovery. When my heart is where it belongs, good things happen 🙂

What do you see in the future for cruisers and liveaboards regarding its population, costs, regulations, and crime?

I’m not sure, it seems the world is less and less accommodating to the gypsy lifestyle, the nomad without a permanent land based home.

What is your favorite past time while on the boat? (or for Emily … off the bike?)

Reading, splicing, snorkling. My hubby loves to tinker, I’ve never seen anyone get so much work done at anchorage! He also loves to entertain, cook, snorkel, read.

What part of the boat has caused you the most headaches/repairs? What has made life aboard easier?

Love our Engel, nice to have refrigeration!! Our head was the biggest obstacle for making Rain Dog a home, after three new heads within a year (really it was a holding tank problem) we converted to dry desiccating head (also known as a compost head) and absolutely love it. So no headaches now, just lots of projects :-).


My iPad erased all my bookmarks a month or so ago, so right now I only have a few favorite blogs. But here are a few of my favorite, along with Brian’s complete list of favorites, minus Mid-Life Cruising who nominated us.

They are:

For fun technical stuff:

  http://biankablog.blogspot.com

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Hands down, the best blog I’ve ever read:

http://empiricusembarks.wordpress.com

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A sistership to Rain Dog

http://www.swancruise.blogspot.com

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BRIAN’S LIST IF FAVORITE BLOGS:

For those who have not been nominated already by another blogger, and would like to participate, here are your questions 🙂

  1. When did you first catch the sailing/cruising bug?
  2. What are the top 5 items you would not want to cruise without?
  3. What is you favorite moment offshore?
  4. What type of music do you love and on what media? 
  5. Of all the sailors, past and present, who would you most like to share a sundowner in the cockpit with?
  6. What is your greatest fear when heading offshore?
  7. Has there ever been a destination you couldn’t wait to arrive at only to be disappointed when you got there?
  8. What part of cruising do you dislike the most?
  9. What is your Favorite source(s) of weather information?
  10. Since sailing/cruising, what have you learned about yourself that surprised you the most?

Edited with BlogPad Pro

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