October 11, 2014.
The Liebster Award is a way to promote other cruising blogs that you've enjoyed reading. We had The Liebster bestowed upon us and at first it was a little awkward for me. Since we've sold the boat and are in the process of gravitating back to land I didn't really feel as if I had the right to be involved but then I figured, what could it hurt. So here goes....
- When did you first catch the sailing/cruising bug? I can lay the blame squarely at the feet of the movie Captain Ron. A charter trip to the BVI's cinched it for us. We were surrounded by dozens of drunken charterers acting like frat boys at their first kegger and I watched a few cruisers arrive and anchor off to the side to avoid the masses. The cruisers just seemed more in sync with the moment to me. We spent the flight home seriously plotting our escape.
- Describe your worst repair or maintenance job on the boat besides the head. Everyone already knows that’s a shitty job. During our 8 years aboard the Veranda I'm pretty sure I've repaired just about everything on the boat at least once. Replacing the electrode in the LectraSan was definitely the most distasteful. I had to replace the dampner plate between the engine and the transmission only 3 months into our first year. It involved moving the engine with basic hand tools, a lever and a length of rope. At first it was overwhelming but I had to just settle in and get it done. That episode helped me to develop the attitude that “yup, its broken, just settle in and fix it”
- If you could turn back time just 3 years what would your cruising life be like today? If I could turn back time just 5 minutes I would have asked a different question because now I have that stupid Cher song in my head. Changing anything might have cost us the opportunity to have met someone that we enjoy. Cruising has been good enough to us that I wouldn't want to risk that. We're happy with where we are so we wouldn't change anything.
- Music soothes the soul. Do you listen to music onboard? What type of music and on what media? If it’s 70’s disco please decline the award and I’ll remove you from my feed. Just kidding. Feel free to add a mirror ball to the salon and dance all night long. I don’t judge. Much. Christy and I have very eclectic musical tastes. One of my favorite things about cruising was the live music we would run into just anywhere. The amount of truly talented musicians out there was eye opening. We had an Ipod wired to the ships stereo. I left with a taste for Blues and Classic Rock and along the way I added Bluegrass to my list of likes and Country no longer makes me vomit. Although I've decided that I've heard enough Jimmy Buffet to last a lifetime.
- Was there ever a time on the water when you thought "Oh shit!" and all the fun was over for that day? I think every cruiser has had that moment. Probably more than once. We left Beaufort, NC headed for Charleston. We were racing a front and the front won. The wind and waves were so big that when we diverted to Winyah Bay it took us almost 8 hours to sail the last 15 miles. So we spent a few days moving down the ICW and settled in Beaufort, SC to wait for the next weather window. A few days later we sailed out of Port Royal Sound headed for Saint Augustine. We left with 4 other boats and sailed straight into a nightlong gale. 45 knots with 15 footers made for a long night. It was the only time Christy ever complained and all she said was “I'm NOT having a good time”. It was brutal. We arrived in St. A at dawn and still have no idea where the other boats ended up.
- Wine, beer, booze or tea? Doesn't matter to me. I get high on life. Christy's a wino while I’m a rummy. She went from bottles to boxed while I went from beer to rum in an effort to save space on the boat.
- Has there ever been a destination you couldn't wait to arrive at only to be disappointed when you got there? For me it would be Rum Cay in the Bahamas. How can a place called Rum not be fun? For me the town was kinda sad and was bordered by miles of dead reef.
- What part of cruising do you dislike the most besides no flushing toilets or bloggers asking stupid questions? Leaving family and friends behind is the biggest issue. The rest is only minor inconveniences like doing laundry, powerboaters on the ICW, folks who need to talk politics at happy hour, the rare bad bridge tender or the boater who arrives, drops the hook, jumps in the dink and now his boat becomes your problem when the wind picks up.
- Describe the best time you ever had on a boat unless it
was illegal, then just email me. Check your inbox. But
seriously, there’s just so much joy, so many good times that its
impossible to pick a favorite. We've probably shared cockpit
cocktails a thousand times and spent most of that time laughing. The
people we've met, the friends we've made. The evening garbage burns,
the beach side “bring a dish to shares”, turning the corner into
an anchorage and running into someone you haven't seen in ages. Its
all so good. Helping someone cobble together a repair in the middle
of nowhere when they feared the worst is one of the most satisfying
things you can do. The excitement of your first gulf stream
crossing. Sailing across the banks at night and having the sun rise
allowing you to see the beauty thats been slipping under your keel
all night. The sharks, the lobster the Hogfish oh my. Having a cay
to yourselves for days at a time. The joy in recognizing a friends
sail crest the horizon. And the matching joy as you watch them pull
the hook once again leaving you to yourselves.
10. I was asked to answer 9 questions but one of my delightful idiosyncrasies is that I don't do odd numbers. So I wrote a tenth question to round out the list. So you spent 8 years living aboard the boat; did you learn anything? Thank you for asking. Actually we did. I discovered that my wife is a terrific partner in every instance. We've dealt with horrible weather, breakdowns, horrible weather, equipment failures, a refit, horrible weather, multi-night passages and Christy has never wanted off the boat. You can't expect to succeed if you are dragging your partner through an experience like this. She was as eager to start the trip as I was and she remained fully invested until we decided to call it a wrap. I'm truly humbled by her capabilities and no, shes not reading over my shoulder.
I also learned that a lot of people are really stupid. Common sense isn't so common. We've seen people do more stupid and downright dangerous things on the water than we ever could have imagined. Its almost as bad as stupid people driving except it happens slower so you have more time to watch. We've met the friendliest people while traveling by boat. We've also made new and cemented old friendships while underway. We can't imagine the people that wouldn't be in our lives and the memories we wouldn't have if we hadn't cut the docklines. The biggest fear when contemplating an adventure like ours was “Are we doing the right thing?, Can we do this?” So in conclusion, the biggest thing we learned was that yeah, for us, it was the right thing to do and yeah, we could do it.