French Kissing the Wind - Cruising Styles

Trip Start Mar 09, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Observation: Cruising Styles

I notice we've had about 1100 hits on this blog - far more than the 20 or so people we've set it up for.  So if any of you are considering doing this but not sure if you've got it all together - here is a small observation I've made so far from the people we've met:
We have quite a collection of boat cards now and have practically gone through all of ours.  It's interesting all the different boats and types of equipment they carry.  Everyone has their own idea of what it takes to cruise - and it does not take much.... it takes what you're comfortable with!  There are a lot of older, 1980's decade down here.  Point one:  You don't need a new boat.
Moondance is the "Lynn Pardey" style of cruising.  It is a 27' Vega very basically set up.  Carolyn wanted more storage space so Robert took out the head and converted the space into drawers and cabinets.  They use a porta potti.  They don't have a refrigerator - it's an ice box if they want to use it as such so their energy needs are minimal.  They have a small inverter for their lap top and a small shortwave receiver, like us, that picks up very little.  They have been on their boat one year - brought it down from Kemah, Texas to Marathon - not necessarily on the ICW but out on the Gulf of Mexico.  They sold their home and live on the boat.  They are headed for the Dominican Republic to leave the boat there.  The previous owners of this boat had just finished a circumnavigation.  ArCas is a 29' Dehler.  They are a young couple (look to be under 30) and headed for the DR and points beyond.  Point two:  You don't need a big boat or a lot of equipment!
Lizard is a Baba 35.  I looked for a Baba when we were movin' up in size.  They are good, strong and reliable boats.  Jim & Denise do not have refrigeration either - simplifies their energy needs.  Denise is a teacher and spent the morning at the All Grades School in Black Point.  I would bet she will do that as they travel down.   They are sailing from the DR to the panhandle across the Gulf of Mexico - about a week they think it'll take. 

Spindrift is a 36' Catalina MKI.  We have radar and a wind generator because of our refrigeration.  We also have a shortwave receiver that doesn't receive much!

Windarra is a 42' (I think) Sparkman Stevens.  They are traveling with their two children. It's a three cabin because their parents come down and sail with them.  They are heading for Georgetown to meet Karl's parents then Becky's parents.  They probably are well equipped but they don't have a watermaker.  They spent three months anchored out in Rock House Creek so we probably admired their sailboat from Fred & Marti's house!  In fact we probably anchored near them when we were in Rock House Creek.  After Georgetown they're heading to Trinidad for hurricane season.   Point three:  You don't need every piece of equipment!
Then there are the highly equipped boats.  They have the radar and the AIS which, when you are traveling and a ship is in the vicinity, it will tell you the name of the ship so that you can hail it by name and also gives you the MMSI so you can telephone the bridge if they don't answer the radio! 
Some boats have it all - SSB, Radar, AIS, Watermaker, refrigerator, freezer, Satellite capability - you name it!  (They probably also are running a genset.)
We've seen all kinds of boats equipped in all kinds of ways.  The one thing we all have in common is that we're here, lovin' life, French kissing the wind!  On the beach we're just cruisers having a great time!
A message to those who are interested : To anyone who wants to get out and do this, you don't need to be equipped like the Queen Mary!  All you need is a good sound vessel and the ability to figure out how to do the rest!  Just let go of those dock lines!  It is soooooooooo worth it!
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