Jackie Parry – author

CRUISING CLINIC – What’s so great about cruising?

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This was my second question to Noel when we were searching for our first boat – (see the first question here).

At this point I hardly knew the front end of a boat from the back end. I also found the cruising world completely mind-boggling.

Noel’s response to this question, ‘getting to port’, holds a lot of truth (for us). I love being out there but with only two of us on board, after several days of a tag-team match (one is always on watch) it does become tiring. The constant demand on your body to move three-dimensionally, twenty-four hours a day, causes fatigue (the reason most accidents occur). Plus we are always looking forward to exploring our next destination.


What’s it like?

Sailing oceans is not like a plane or car ride. Nothing is certain except a vast puddle of water and a great stretch of sky. The days pass, measured not in hours but in distance. It’s dynamic, fantastic and petrifying all at the same time. There is rarely pattern or logic; you deal with what’s received, as it arrives . . . moment by moment.

Most of all, and from a personal point of view – cruising for years was an incredible experience – it changed me. It made me a better person, I saw the world, I learnt so much about everything – other people, cultures and most of all I learnt more about me.

8 months in Ecuador and our lines need some serious cleaning!

8 months in Ecuador and our lines need some serious cleaning!

  • Living aboard can be incredibly satisfying but also more work than you can believe.
  • Like anything, it is what you make it.
  • If you can’t imagine what it is like, have a practice run. The issues that may arise are sometimes not obvious.
  • If you run out of something in the galley, you probably won’t be able to nip out and pick it up.
  • If a fault develops do you have spares on board? Or are you able stir-up your creative juices, and make repairs with whatever you have at hand?
Finding and fixing a leak in a tight spot stirred up my creative skills!

Finding and fixing a leak in a tight spot stirred up my creative skills!

Some of the things you think will be wonderful might become a nightmare, conversely enjoyment will be found at unexpected times and places. It can be different to what you expect, but if you stick it out, you will start to love the life for other reasons. To grasp our meaning, check out our FAQ under SAILING STUFF above – and ask your questions. Down the line I’ll post an article called Pelagic People, detailing a day in the life of being on board.

Also, check out Ecuador Expenditure (also under FAQ on our website), which includes details of what we did and spent for a month.

Some cruising highlights:

  • Joining an amazing community, the fraternity of boats on the move
  • Helps you find who you are and the cruising life shows you how to take time to live
  • You are in command of your time, not someone else, weather becomes your dictum
  • You are at the helm of your life, not someone else – take charge!
  • You meet incredible people
  • Your geography improves
  • You will learn a multitude of good skills, mechanic, cook, electrician, cleaner, painter, carpenter, machinist . . . . etc, (the list is endless!)
A chore? Not really in beautiful Aitutaki

A chore? Not really in beautiful Aitutaki

More help

1) The idea behind Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen) our book for cruisers, is to help you go cruising now, answer all your questions, and help you to create happiness on board and in your life. As you read through these posts (and our book), you will figure out what does and does not work for you in order to step closer to a contented life. Most importantly, remember that you will not have the time to take on everyone else’s opinions or ideas – do what is right for you. It is all about your adventure and the self-discovery your journey will bring. Do write, we would be interested to know what you discover.

2) Read Reality Reflections of Sailing here.

Next time: Calculating your cruising costs


Author: jackieandnoel

Author and Traveller

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