Saturday, February 23, 2013

Warning! Cruising May Have Side Effects!

Click the pic to see it's origin
Expectations such as a more relaxed lifestyle, freedom, and adventure are common when contemplating the Cruising Life and whether or not it is right for you... However, there can be unexpected "Side Effects" that you may not anticipate.  Although we are still in the Cruisers-In-Waiting (read Liveaboard) stage, we have already begun to experience some of these...

Feeling Disconnected:
I've always felt that I was living in a kind of "Alternate Universe" when it comes to relating with neighbors, co-workers and people in general... but there has been an even wider chasm dividing "us" from "them" since we've moved aboard Dos Libras.  We are no longer traveling in the same direction... we've jumped off the merry-go-round... left the building.  This increasing rift was not expected.  Maybe it is just my way of disengaging so that the parting won't be as difficult when the time comes.

Increased awareness of our Global Impact:
I've never been much of a "Tree Hugger", but now find myself becoming increasingly aware of the environment and our effect upon it.  We live closer to nature and see the direct impact of the excesses we formerly gave no thought.  I search for ways that we can lessen the amount of garbage and reduce our use of harsh chemicals that will be introduced into the waters beneath us.  Everything in the US is so "instant", which is great, but it comes at such a cost.  We are soiling our nest and I'm looking for ways to keep from contributing to it.  I've found enjoyment in creating my own cleaning supplies from more simple and pure ingredients that we all have around our homes.  It just makes me feel better that we aren't leaving a dead zone in our wake.

Less is More:
I've often heard it said, but have never really believed it.  Why NOT have more?... I have spent years collecting all manner of things that I once thought I could not live without.  Since making the decision to cruise, we have given away or sold most of our "stuff" and I've hardly missed it.  In fact, I would be hard pressed to list the things we've left behind, with but a few exceptions.  This MUST be caused by some strange mind numbing Cruising Side Effect!

Becoming more self reliant:
We have always been able to "just throw money at it" when something breaks or we need a new whatsit.  Just order one off of Amazon and it magically appears.  Well, that gets to be EXPENSIVE!  Never a problem before, but when contemplating giving up my income... I've had to think about things a bit more.  I have surprised myself at how Bruce and I have been able to do a little research and then come up with a way to do things ourselves instead of calling the repairman or ordering off the Internet.  Now, don't get me wrong... the UPS man is still my friend!  But I see that lessening and feel pride when I come up with creative ways to DIY.  

These are the first of what I believe will be many unexpected, or even unintended changes that becoming full time Cruisers will bring.  Some will be good and others may be unfortunate... I look forward to realizing them all as we transition to the next phase and I would love to hear your comments.


  1. We've entered that liveaboard stage as well, and we share some of the same thoughts and side effects. Friends, co-workers, relatives all think we're nuts and going through a phase. I already went through a "phase", that's why I have a boat. They should get over it by now.

    We have always been tree huggers, but living in a small space has made us very aware of excess packaging. We have a tiny garbage can, and Floriduh does not recycle? Of all the states, you would think...

    We are relatively self reliant, but some things, like welding, and cabinetry I leave to the skilled. OK, there may be more things I leave to the skilled, or should leave.

    We do not miss our stuff. Well, most of it. I did run out and by a jig saw. I am going to attempt to work with wood. My co-captain will be amused, and then she will call for skilled labor to finish the job.

    It's been fun reading your posts. We found a Catalina Morgan 45 in Tampa, but it was out of our price range. My wife still dreams of that galley. Not sure why, as I'm in ours most of the time. :)

    SV Kelly Nicole

    1. Thanks for the words. It's always nice to hear that someone is listening besides my kids and Mom... It has been such an interesting process and we're not even gone yet! Time is running out and we soon will be however and I can't wait to see what else is in store for us.

      I wish we were more handy with wood and such. I'm still trying to master the sewing machine! It's so hard to wrap my head around all of the ways we will need to reduce our waste and use of resources. Little steps...

      Your wife would LOVE this galley. It was one of our favorite things about our boat. We got a REALLY good deal on it because it needed some things and my husband felt he could do them. We did just write a big check to the boat guy however... still smarting about that. I'm sure we will find it excessive in hind site, but I'm very worried that I won't have enough luxuries at this stage. Won't it be funny to read over that last statement in a year and learn that we could have skipped it and had the money!? Thanks again Paul!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! You gave me a reason to go back and re-read it and the things here still hold true these many months later. We are preparing to set sail in just a few weeks. I can't wait to see what new side effects are in store for us. Thanks for commenting and hanging out with us.