Begin as I mean to continue

Calypso, sailing off the Venezuela coast, 1995.

Calypso, sailing off the Venezuela coast, 1995.

When we left the first time, in 1994, the internet was not a thing. Not the way it is now, anyway. So how did you learn about things like going cruising and sailing and living aboard?

You read books. Magazines. Talk to people. Stalk boats by sneaking around security at marinas and catching lines.

My favorite book (and one I still have) was The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew by Lin Pardey (now revamped and called The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew). A daily "this is what we ate" recounting of their 50 day crossing of the North Pacific, this book has invaluable information about provisioning, boat galley tips, propane sourcing, local markets, and more. Prices may be outdated, but the premise remains sound: prepare well and be flexible.

The first time we left, I stocked the boat for the apocalypse. Whole canned chickens. Canned potatoes and peas. Canned corned beef. I was sure I'd learn to cook a whole different way than I did ashore.

Birthday cake aboard, 2015.

Birthday cake aboard, 2015.

12 years later, when we were finally cleaning out the boat in preparation for leaving #2, the rusted cans got pitched. Turns out, we didn't eat those things sailing any more than we did before we left. Lesson 1: try food before buying a ton of it.

The second time we left, on a more limited scope of time and with 4 crew instead of just 2, the storage lockers were just as crammed, but this time with cereal and crackers, macaroni and cheese and canned tomatoes. Things I knew we'd eat, and (maybe more importantly) things I knew were way more expensive where we were going. 

There were no rusted cans to throw out when we returned this time.

Our food preferences continue to change. We're more aware of the need for fresh food. Cognizant of the need for vitamins, and color. Sensitive to the packaging or space or need for refrigeration. As we plan for leaving #3, I'm watching for new products (like single serve thai curry flavoring) that we can easily take and store and pull out for awesomely different dinners.

As we get older, our food needs have evolved.

Cabbage lasts forever. Texture, color, AND vitamins. Win win win!

Cabbage lasts forever. Texture, color, AND vitamins. Win win win!

Same is true for fitness.

When we left the first time, we were in our early 20s. Fitness? The second time, we had kids. Fitness consisted of running around after them - even when they decided they needed to sled in the cockpit. Now? Fitness is all about flexibility, balance, and strength. If I get myself used to exercising and being intentional about that work, it'll continue in the same vein on board.

Dock fitness on board.

Dock fitness on board.

Cruising has changed in some fundamental ways since we first left in 1994. There is more technology, more availability of things. There are good aspects and bad to this "MORE", of course. But as a real basic, the need for preparation and flexibility is still there.

I'll be talking about my journey back to the cruising lifestyle through the lenses of food and fitness. Won't you join me?