This article was also published in Cruising Outpost Magazine. See it here.
There is a stereotype that says that most cruising couples are out cruising because the male instigated the lifestyle. On our boat this is not the case. I am the instigator of our current cruising life but in actuality it was the male in my family that started this whole thing.
Back in the late 80s my dad got the cruising bug and over the course of a year my parents and I sailed from Germany to California as we immigrated to the US (more on that here). This ruined me for a “normal” life… no longer would I be able to happily hold down a 9-5 cubicle job with healthcare and a retirement plan. A life of quiet desperation would not do for me. So when I met Mike I started telling him about sailing and cruising. After some adventures aboard our pocket-cruisers we started saving to make full-time cruising a reality.
I imagine preparing for cruising was easier for me than for someone who has never been. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect and what the lifestyle entailed. What I didn’t expect is how much the cruising community had grown. There are cruisers everywhere! With the advent of GPS, global communications, solar, watermakers and the like, this lifestyle has opened up to any adventurous soul with some money in their pocket.
Long gone are the days of listening in on people calling home over the VHF* (via the marine operator), asking big ships to confirm positions and weeks spent without any news from home. With up-to-the-minute updates via blogs and Facebook some of the allure of cruising has gone missing.
Of course we revel in all of this luxury ourselves. We have 3 huge solar panels to keep the gadgets going, a watermaker to take daily showers at anchor, 6 or 7 GPS units, a sat phone and countless toys. But our boat is also ready to run without all of these things – comfortably – just like we did it in the 80s.
|Heading out to cross the Atlantic aboard Joy in the late 80s.|
|Camille at anchor|
* After crossing the Atlantic we tried calling my grandma in Germany via the Marine Operator. The operator asked my dad with whom he would like to be connected. Rather than giving the phone number my dad simply said: “My mother-in-law”.
This post was written as part of a blog-hop. Visit the Monkey’s Fist website for posts about this topic written by other cruisers or check out these topics:
Pink and Blue Jobs Aboard
Leave it or Bring it: Stuff
Swag and Approaching the Natives
Clothes and Laundry