Friday, September 7, 2012
Questions on Cruising
A couple of weeks ago, Dani from Sundowner Sails Again asked me a whole heap of questions in the comments section, and I thought they deserved a full post rather than just a quick response. So, in answer to Dani's questions . . . .
Would you have departed home when you did and taken the route you did?
We had planned on waiting until after hurricane season to leave Texas, giving us more time to work our way down through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal, but instead we decided to go early. On the one hand, that decision was costly because we had to hurry through places in order to beat the heavy part of hurricane season beginning in August. On the other hand, had we stayed, we might have wasted our money on just one more thing (or 20) for the boat or other unexpected expenses and been stuck at the dock for another year or two. We decided that it made more sense to just go, and even though there are downsides to that decision I don't regret it for a second. As to the route we chose, I think it would be fantastic any way you sliced it or diced it - down the Central American coast or through the thorny path and the Eastern Caribbean - either way is pretty incredible. A couple of articles on SailFeed just tackled top cruising destinations - here and here.
Have you had any experience so far where you felt you or Vlad may have gotten hurt or killed?
Not really. Vlad's pinky finger did have that unfortunate encounter with the windless that one time, but other than that we haven't had any really perilous moments. We've been in a few squalls, and we've run aground in sand and mud twice, both of which aren't fun but generally aren't the end of the world either. Obviously, you can get hurt while sailing, and we do take precautions like clipping in when offshore. But I haven't found it nearly as scary as people make it out to be. Then again, we haven't been in a major storm, and we work hard to keep it that way! I would also like to note that we don't take many risks with the weather or sail close to reefs in uncharted water. If it looks at all dubious, we don't go there. Perhaps this limits us, but I would prefer to keep our boat afloat, hole free and out of stormy weather.
If you could redo one part of your journey down there what would it be and how?
I would stay in Providencia longer. Best island ever.
After cruising for four months, money aside, do you feel now that you want to stay cruising longer than originally planned, shorter, or the same?
Definitely longer! Hands down. We just haven't seen all the stuff we want to see yet. There is so much more to explore, so many more people to meet, weird animals to watch, reefs to snorkel, those gorgeous, picture perfect anchorages to snuggle down in that it's hard to say when we will be ready to move on from this life. Undoubtedly, there will be a moment in the future when we both look at each other and say, that was fun but I'd like to live on land again, but if money were not an object I think that point would be a long time coming.
If anyone else has any questions on the cruising experience, feel free to send them my way.