Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cruising Revelations

A pretty normal day on the move aboard Hullabaloo
The cruising world is jam packed with just about every type of cruising style from those that are 100% self sufficient and never step foot on a marina dock all the way to the marina hoppers that simply hop from dock to dock. Neither is better or worse and numerous factors, like budget, cruising area and pre-cruising preferences, certainly play into what one's cruising life looks like.

With all the research, blog stalking and first hand experience over the last few years, we had some fairly strong ideas about what we thought we would or would not want while cruising. And after so.much.research I never had even the slightest doubt about the accuracy of my preconceived notions. Oh, but I should have!

I had all these grand visions of every evening consisting of sitting peacefully in the cockpit enjoying a drink and a snack in a quiet, peaceful anchorage, being totally self sufficient and  never stepping foot in a marina. Yeah, I was wrong. That's all well and good for a weekend warrior, as we once were, but once this becomes your life and not a vacation, the importance of comfort takes more priority than pride, self sufficiency and, sometimes, even money. As it turns out, it sometimes rains or is cold or the anchorage sucks and the last thing you want to do is sit out in the cockpit singing Kumbaya 'til the wee hours of the morning.

We've learned somethings about ourselves as cruisers...

More power! I thought for certain that we would use very little battery, certainly not enough to have to watch our consumption very closely but apparently we I like power, when I want it I use it, and we use more than we anticipated so a level of battery awareness is necessary. And let me tell you, eyeing the battery levels like a hawk and worrying about whether I can turn on one more LED light is just absurd. And, darn it, some times (or more) I just want to watch a movie while charging my computer and getting online without worrying about the stupid batteries. I think I've become a bit of a power brat. Okay, it's not really that bad, as in we don't actually need more power, but we are definitely further than I anticipated on the 'power addiction dichotomy'.

Marina Mavens Pshhhh...marinas. Not in the budget, pointless to pay to stay when you can anchor for free. That's what we said. But you know what? Sometimes there really isn't another option. Sometimes the hot showers or laundry or the ease of hopping from the boat to the dock to get to shore is, well, blissful. Then there's times where it's necessary in case a hurricane heads your way and the boat needs to get pulled out fast. Or, when said hurricane system gives you a week of clouds and rain, sitting in a marina with unlimited power can help bolster morale. And sanity. Oh, yes, we've stayed in far more marinas than we anticipated but we're okay with that because, at the time, we needed it. In the future we're hoping to not get stuck in so many places without anchorages...and that maybe we'll toughen up a little!
We're not there yet, but it could happen!
Cash Kitty On land I was a real budget natzi, it was a very rare occasion that we would (or Ron could) purchase anything non-cruising related or that fell into the 'frivolous' category. If we weren't taking it with us, we weren't buying! And I thought I'd really go off the deep end when we no longer had money coming in. As it turns out, I'm the one with the smoking pockets! Not that we're living crazy extravagant by any means, but I don't struggle with spending money (small amounts) like I thought I surely would. I like to think it's because I've realized the value of enjoying our time cruising, but there have been times when Ron has had to reel me back in. That's scary.

Something else we've learned:
Ron will shower outside in 50 degree weather, Jackie will not 
It's been...educational so far, I just wonder what else we'll learn along the way!


  1. Sure enjoy reading about your experiences as I sit in my office! Go get'em :)

  2. As someone getting ready to take off on this cruising adventure, I appreciate knowing what you *thought* it would be like and how its different. Thanks for sharing. I'm trying to be realistic, but without bloggers like you, I'd be so much worse off!

    1. It's amazing how many blogs make it sound like paradise ALL the time. I like to think we're helping future cruisers have more realistic expectations by telling them all about our non-paradise days ;)

  3. You know you arrived to the right place when its too cold to shower outside...........and its 80 degrees! Thank you so much for bringing us along. Being stuck in the house all day makes life dull, but still better than in a nursing home! Reading your adventure allows me an escape. ken