Thursday February 27, 2014
I've recently read and reviewed a couple books that may be of interest to you if you're considering living aboard a boat and/or going cruising long-term. Both target readers who have not yet firmly made that decision, and both are very good at exploring the many variables involved to help you reach a decision and then start firming up your plan. They don't, however, offer a lot of practical advice for those who are already living aboard or cruising. "Gently with the Tides" by Michael L Frankel is a collection of articles from Living Aboard magazine on all dimensions of life on a boat. "The Cruising Life" by Jim Trefethen analyzes his own family's 4-year experience cruising full-time and offers solid advice on how to make the decision and how to afford it.
Sunday February 23, 2014
Cruising just about anywhere on your sailboat is great fun, of course, but for us northern types who suffer a wintry off-season, the lower Florida Keys and Key West are great fun if you can get here. I'm writing this now from the 75 degrees and clear water of Bahia Honda, where I trailered our smaller sailboat, a West Wight Potter 19, down from New England. In the boat basin nearby are a MacGregor 26 down from Montana, an older O'Day 19 down from New Hampshire, and a 28-footer with an onboard diesel just arrived (2000 miles by trailer) from Colorado! Just call us the cult of trailer-sailors in the know. I hesitate even to write this, worrying the crowds may discover our little piece of paradise and fill the place up. In a day or two I'll sail down to Key West for grins and fruit punch drinks. The couple in the larger cruiser is headed for the Dry Tortugas. Ah, it's a tough life!
Sunday February 9, 2014
It's 20 degrees here in New England with a foot of snow on the ground, and I'm ready to head south for sailing. Our cruising boat will be under shrink wrap for another 3 months, but we picked up a trailerable West Wight Potter 19 a couple years ago for just this purpose, and very soon I'm headed for the Keys and one of the best small-boat sailing areas around: Bahia Honda. I've just dug the trailer out of the snow and can only hope now the roads stay ice-free long enough to get way south where there is no ice!
Friday January 31, 2014
This is a time of year when lots of sailors from colder climates are heading out for bareboat charters in the Caribbean or other warm waters. (If you're thinking about it and aren't sure where to start, here's an overview of possibilities in the Caribbean and Bahamas.) Most sailing charters are great fun and easy to handle, since the charter companies know the area so well and can give solid advice for anchorages and destinations. One issue that can disrupt the fun, however, is getting seasick. Some sailors (or more usually, their family or friends with them) report seasickness happens more often on charters - possibly because they've been off the water a long time and need to get their sea-legs back, and partly because of more obvious factors like more drinking, spicy or different foods, and other abrupt climate and lifestyle changes. In any case, don't forget to have some seasickness prevention or remedy at hand if you're heading to a charter, and just as important, don't forget that with many of these meds, you need to take them before any symptoms first arise!