Is Cruising Really Healthy?

                                                               Salad by the water

                                                               Salad by the water

I’m a member of Women Who Sail, a Facebook group for women only where topics related to boating are the name of the game. We have cruisers and racers, dreamers and planners and wistful rememberers. The subject of how to exercise on board comes up frequently, and there are often answers along the lines of, “Oh, it’s so healthy! You’ll get all the exercise you need! Just go swimming and walking and you’ll be fine!”

 

Sure. There are aspects of the “cruising is so healthy” which are true. There’s swimming to do – if you’re in a place with clear water. There’s walking to do – if you’re in a place where you want to explore, or the roads are good, or the hiking is fabulous.

                                         Yes, I sometimes wear shoes other than flip flops.

                                         Yes, I sometimes wear shoes other than flip flops.

And as to the general question of whether cruising is healthy or not, just as with the exercise part, there are aspects of it that rate high on the health scale.

 

For starters, you’ll likely spend a large part of your day outside. Even if you’re choosing to cruise at higher latitudes, where you think of clothing in terms of multiple layers and socks are standard, chances are you are in the cockpit or on deck a lot. I’ve seen some fabulous photos lately of people sailing their dinghies with icebergs in the background. Brr. But I digress. Being out in the fresh air, even if you spend a lot of that time sitting in the cockpit, has got to be better for you than breathing in the recycled air in most homes and office buildings.

 

Cruising is, in general, more physical an existence than land dwelling. The movement of the boat, even in a marina, is constant, and your body will be making small adjustments all the time just to stay stable. Lack of space makes for tetris-like storage challenges down below – and the number of times you need to move cushions or settee backs to access something critical has to be experienced to be believed. Laundry generally means either bucket washing (and wringing. Oh the wringing!) or schlepping to a laundromat. Bringing provisions on board usually involves at the very least a whole lot of walking, if you’re in a marina, or a combination of walking, back-pack hefting, dinghy loading and unloading, then storing it all away. Life is more physical on board, just with day to day activities. 

                                                            See the laundry hanging?

                                                            See the laundry hanging?

As far as the food aspect of health is concerned, this one can be a bit of a tossup. If you’re cruising in places where fresh food is scarce (say, the out islands of the Bahamas, many of which are uninhabited and prime places to tuck into an anchorage for a week at a time) or very expensive, you may find that you’re relying on your long-range provisions more than you’d like. The bonus, from a health standpoint, is that you’re likely cooking all your own food. There’s no pizza place on speed dial, no drive-thrus, which means you get very familiar with exactly what you’re eating. You can control the amount of salt and excess “stuff” all you want. As I’ve gotten accustomed to cruising and cooking as if I were cruising, I find that the “packaged” food I keep on hand tends toward things like tomatoes, beans, and pineapple, along with the occasional package of Thai curry mix. Sorry, Chef Boyardee canned ravioli  . . . Mostly, though, I prefer to create my own chili out of those ingredients rather than have endless cans of Hormel chili aboard.

 

For all of the aspects of cruising that rank high on the “healthy living” scale, there are those that tip it in the other direction.

 

Here's the thing, though. For all the movement you’re doing on a boat, you’re also doing a heck of a lot of sitting. It might be sitting outside, bracing yourself as you sit on the high side of a heeled sailboat. Sitting in the dinghy on the way to shore. Sitting on the beach with new friends, chatting away. Sure, it might be bursts of energy as you deal with a dragging anchor or digging out a can of tomatoes from under the bunk or diving in to check on the anchor, but there is a WHOLE. LOT. OF. SITTING.

There’s also a whole lot of socializing, at least in our experience, socializing that frequently involves food. Share an anchorage with just one other boat, and there’s likely to be at least one evening of shared sundowners. More boats? Maybe a beach potluck or a dinghy drift. You might get lucky and find your soul mate boat companions, with whom you loosely travel in company, popping back and forth for dinners and appetizers in the cockpit. A favorite memory of our last cruise, where we took the kids and went to the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic for 10 months, is sitting in Calypso’s cockpit with Wendy and Lizz, washing dishes from dinner under a star-studded sky. The 6 grownups had gathered on the smallest boat in the 3-boat flotilla for dinner while the kids whooped and hollered and settled down for a movie on Osprey. It was the 4th time we’d had dinner all together in the 2 weeks we’d cruised in company. Boat size is not an obstacle for entertaining . . .

 

Even if it’s just you and your partner on board, hanging in the cockpit with a nibble and a libation (alcoholic or not) at sunset every night is definitely a thing. It’s relaxed time, connection time, appreciation and gratitude time, all of which is great stress-relief, but it’s food intake time nonetheless.

 

Ahh, stress. Possibly the biggest health hazard of life in modern society, triggered by everything from terrorism and politics to unreasonable demands from a job to not enough sleep to eating junk food because you don’t have time to do anything else. Hop on a boat and sail away to the sunset and that all goes away, right?

 

Not so fast. The thing with living in “the world” is that a lot is taken care of. You flip a light switch, the power is there. Your toilet just flushes. Turn on the faucet and water gushes out. Need food? Hop in a car, drive to the store, and buy whatever you’ve decided you want. Your house doesn’t move, the weather is just an annoyance. On a boat, you’re responsible for so much of what we take for granted on land. Electricity. Waste. Water. Stability. 

                                                                Projects abound.

                                                                Projects abound.

And communication can be really, really tough. I’m not talking about communication with non-cruisers, or even other cruisers, but with your partner. The conversations you’ll have to have on board about things like safety, privacy, boat maintenance, anchoring, weather are different and deeper than any you’ve had to have on land, with more at stake. It’s an unexpected stress.

 

All of these “less healthy” aspects of cruising can be helped a lot by a regular, disciplined exercise routine. This can be spending 20 minutes a day on the foredeck doing yoga. It can mean anchoring somewhere where you can get in your run or walk every day, rain or shine. It can mean creating (or following!) a circuit routine that encompasses cardio and weights, all taking your special on-board circumstances into account.

 

Yes, cruising can be a healthy lifestyle. Being physically fit allows you to maximize the health aspects of it, and minimizes the challenges of the less healthy parts. Don’t diss the exercise routine just because you’re living on a boat!

 

                                                       Me, I like my video workouts. 

                                                       Me, I like my video workouts. 

How do you decide to go cruising?

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There’s something magical about going cruising the first time. There’s so much loaded into that journey, so many nay-sayers and personal doubts. So many boats sitting on the dock, while owners spend weekend after weekend getting “ready to go” but never actually leaving the dock with the lines kept aboard.

When you head off (and I don’t care if it’s for a week, a month, a year, or “forever”), you’ve joined a special club.

How do you make a decision to go cruising anyway? The decision we made to go the second time, to take the kids and a year and head south, was made, at least on the surface, over the course of one very memorable dinner out.

Sometimes all it takes is a shift in how you ask a question to open it all up.

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It was December 28, 2008, our 15th wedding anniversary. For once we got a babysitter to hang with the kids. We opted for eating outside, next to a loud propane heater thing on the patio covered with a plastic-looking canvas tent with plastic-looking “windows” designed to look, from the outside, like some floppy house. It was not the most auspicious beginning to dinner – we’d been counting on being indoors next to the Tulikivi fireplace on this cold December night, complete with freezing rain and a chilly breeze. But reservations are not normally a part of our vocabulary, so when offered the choice of waiting for 2 hours to sit inside or sitting outside, we shrugged back into our coats and went for the outside.

Drinks ordered, we settled back into conversation. When we did get to eat somewhere without the kids, the conversation was usually about the boat or about sailing. Our first wedding anniversary was spent on Bimini, after a really really awful Gulf Stream crossing, and the tradition of talking about “where do you see us in xxx years” and “what was the best part of the last xxx years” started even then.

“Best part, hands down, was going cruising.” That had been the standard answer since 1997.

                                             Sailing the offshore islands of Venezuela

                                             Sailing the offshore islands of Venezuela

“Why was it so good?” I asked. I had my own reasons, of course, and I’d heard Jeremy’s a few times before, but I love seeing him light up when he talks about sailing.

“Freedom. Being in charge of my own choices. Spearfishing. Sailing. Geez, I wish we could go cruising again.”

“Yeah, but that’s not happening again any time soon,” I responded. “We’ve got too much to do here.”

“You’re right.” Jeremy paused. “Let’s put an air conditioner on the boat. It’ll make it more comfortable for weekends aboard. This Chesapeake weather is rough for sleeping when it’s summer.”

We talked about the kind of air conditioner to get, how expensive it would be, what other projects we wanted to do.

I took a sip of wine, then blurted out. “Wait. Why NOT go cruising again? We’ve always talked about wanting to take the kids . . .”

“Why not? Umm, school.” He looked at me like I had 2 heads.

“Homeschool. I'm a teacher, remember?”

                                                                     Boat schooling.

                                                                     Boat schooling.

“House.”

“We’ll rent it.”

“The boat needs a new engine.”

“Really? Does it?” I was getting into the argument of it. Tell me not to do something, and generally I get fired up about doing it. Contrary nature, I suppose.

“Hmm. Maybe not. And the economy stinks. You’ve already quit your job. I’ll just quit mine.” Jeremy was starting to warm up to this whole idea.

And the conversation continued, getting more and more animated as every objection we could mount became an exercise in figuring out ways around it. We’d stopped asking why we should go – instead we were asking why NOT. It was a challenge. A defiance.

Three little letters.

By the end of that dinner, which had begun in an almost mournful way on an outdoor patio with zero ambience that somehow seemed fitting for a discussion about how everything was better once upon a time, we were casting off our lines in the fall.

Yes, leaving the first time is unbelievable. It shows fortitude and adventure. Showcases a mentality of independence and a little bit of “I don’t really care what you think.” It’s a great dismissive gesture at a society that can’t understand anything different at all. It’s a time of unreal learning, abject fear and terror, and indescribable beauty.

Leaving the second time somehow feels even more momentous. Somehow it means, to me, that we’ve really proved we can do it. Not just once. Bring on the next time.

                                                         Sailing into Warderick Wells 

                                                         Sailing into Warderick Wells 

Provisioning Practice for the Land Based planner

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When we first decided we were going cruising, I was a newly-minted college grad, playing house with my boyfriend in a 2-bedroom apartment that split the distance between his work and mine. What I knew about cruising was learned from 2 summers of teaching sailing with Sail Caribbean, plying the waters of the BVI and the Leewards on 50’ sailboats with a crew of teenagers. Food was provided, along with lists of what we were supposed to have, what we were supposed to make, and recipes to follow. Those boats had huge freezers and larger refrigerators, and one of the worst jobs was cleaning the charter juice out of the bottom after a 3-week program ended.

 

Our boat would have a refrigerator the size of a small cooler and no freezer. Nobody was going to magically appear with a few boxes of food on a regular basis, along with a plan of what I was supposed to do with that food. I better learn what to do now, before we left.

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It was the early 90s, before the internet made everything accessible at the tap of a few fingers on a keyboard, so my main references were books, mostly purchased from the Blue Water Bookstore. There was the tried and true Joy of Cooking. A book by Michael Greenwald called “The Cruising Chef”. A couple of pressure cooker and bean cookbooks. And the book that would find a priceless place on my bookshelf, a place it holds firmly today – Lin Pardey’s The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew (it’s since been renamed "The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew", and that's what the link is for.)

I have a fondness for Lin and Larry Pardey for many reasons, but chief among them has to be that we own a boat designed by the same guy who designed both of theirs. That I’ve since gotten to personally know Lin still feels like a bit of a pinch-me-now situation. When Lin talks about how to organize a galley (which is really like organizing your boat, because the food winds up in lockers all over), it’s like she’s standing in Calypso’s salon, directing me. She’s almost never steered me wrong when it comes to food stuff, although I’m far less of a fan of corned beef than she is.

                                             Lin and me at the Annapolis Boat Show, October 2017

                                             Lin and me at the Annapolis Boat Show, October 2017

She taught me the importance of trying canned goods at home before stocking up. The importance of learning to create meals out of items you’d have left after 2 weeks or longer since you saw a grocery store. And the importance of using leftovers so you don’t waste food.

There may be those reading who are in the planning stages of your cruise. I’ll offer three tips for provisioning practice that you can work on right now, before you move aboard.

1.     Observe the kinds of food you like to eat. Be a student of your preferences as far as food goes. If you like it on land, you’ll LOVE it on board. Understanding what you like to eat is critical to making an accurate list when it comes time for provisioning.

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2.     Start thinking about food that lasts a long time, and how to use it. Sure, there are fresh staples like cabbage and onions and garlic, but there’s also some really fabulous stuff in the packaged section you might like to try once to see how you like it. On my list in this category is jackfruit, some of the Thai curry options, and even powdered hummus mix. Will we like it all? Maybe, maybe not; but if we do, we have expanded our options for eating well when we decide to stay an extra few days in that perfect anchorage. I spend an extra few minutes in the sections of the grocery store that are dedicated to my favorite kinds of food (see #1!) and if there is something that catches my eye, I either buy it on that trip or make a note to pick it up next time.

                                                                  long-life cream!

                                                                  long-life cream!

3.     Pick ONE thing to learn how to make from scratch that right now you buy as a matter of course. Maybe it’s queso dip. (no judging – I have teenagers) Maybe it’s fresh bread. Maybe it’s salad dressing or spaghetti sauce or yogurt or hummus. It’s a whole lot easier when you’re cruising to carry ingredients you can use to make a lot of different dishes rather than just buying the specific dish. If you’re so inclined, check out Tasty Thursday, my YouTube playlist, where every Thursday I share a simple recipe or tip designed to make you think, “Hey, I can do that!”. The show’s been running weekly since October of 2012 – there’s a lot there! And if you don’t have a copy of The Boat Galley cookbook yet, what on earth are you waiting for!

                                     homemade pizza

                                     homemade pizza

Provisioning can feel daunting, especially when you see pictures of boats piled high with canned and packaged goods that need to be stored in every conceivable cranny. A little forethought, planning, and understanding can alleviate that feeling. Start practicing now!

                                                           loading up for the Bahamas

                                                           loading up for the Bahamas

 

Side note: If you’re planning to be at Cruisers University at the Annapolis Spring Boat Show in April of 2018, stop by and say hi to Carolyn and me. She’s teaching a class on hurricane prep, and I’m sharing more provisioning tips plus offering a class on the dreams vs realities of cruising. We’d love to see you.

When does cruising really start?

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from cruising, and some I hope I’ve learned. The importance of being present to what’s happening, even while deep in the midst of prepping to leave, is one I’m still working on.

I was 21 when Jeremy said 4 words that would forever change my life.

He waited until the waiter at the pizza place had left the menus, then leaned in.

“I’ve got something to tell you.”

I stared at my hands. At him. At the menu. It’s likely there were tears in my eyes. Was this the break up talk? At College Inn pizza, on a Friday night, surrounded by strangers? My brain raced with the what ifs. Am I the only one whose brain goes immediately to “what did I do wrong” when someone says those words? It feels like being back in the principals office.

The waiter came back. I’m pretty sure I ordered something – that is, after all, what you do when you’re out for dinner. The waiter went away and my fear rushed back in. My mouth went dry and my hands got clammy.

The words came as if from a far distance. “Let’s buy a boat.”

Jeremy, walking down the Lawn on graduation day.

Jeremy, walking down the Lawn on graduation day.

I can still vividly remember the almost levitating feeling of relief. “Is that all?”

 

“I want to go cruising.”

 

He’d been sailing and talking about sailing for as long as I’d known him. We met on the sailing team at the University of Virginia (we sailed on a man-made inland lake about 25 miles away), and he’d been teaching sailing on big boats in the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean during spring break and summers since his first year at school.

 

This wasn’t that big of a surprise. How hard could this cruising thing be, anyway? It’s like a fulltime vacation, right?

 

So we graduated, landed jobs, and moved to Texas (in 1991, there were not many options for a non-US citizen in a really awful job market) with this goal in our heads. The apartment was chosen because it had the all-important second bedroom – not for guests, or for a kid, but for the wooden dinghy he started building even before we unpacked all the boxes. Evenings were spent eating rice and beans (to save money), poring over cruising guides and boat magazines, endlessly discussing the kind of boat we should buy and where we should go. By the following spring we’d found the boat, the 28’ Bristol Channel Cutter we still own, adopted a beagle, and began the cruising prep in earnest. 

Toby the boat beagle

Toby the boat beagle

It was decided. A 2-year cruise was what we could swing, we thought, based on a pulled-from-thin air budget of $1000 a month. Our destination? The Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean, though the idea of a Caribbean circumnavigation was entertained more than once. Every instant was spent talking about the boat, working on the boat, or discussing the cruise. Was there anything other than the future?

 

Cruising prep involves a lot of projects, a lot of lists, and a lot of learning. I remember certain moments about those 3 years, but mostly I remember worrying about what was next. A project was finished (putting the head on the boat, building the galley) and immediately the next one started. Enjoy the process? Who has time to do that, when the TO DO list was longer than I am tall. I think I took maybe 3 pictures the whole time, mostly of the mess or of the dog curled up in some corner.

 

Questions swirled. Would we be able to get the finished dinghy out of the room it was being built in? How would the dog do on the boat? What would life be like in such a small space? How could I cook aboard? Could I get tired of beaches? What actually do you do on a boat all day?

 

The next three years flew by in a blur of endless boat work and more endless driving (my commute was 70 miles each way, and we carpooled together to save money), and on September 10, 1994, we slipped under the Kemah bridge and into Galveston Bay with enough gear on board to put us down an extra 2 inches on our lines, towing that dinghy (it came out of the room!) and followed by a few friends on their own boats cheering us on as we headed off for our adventure.

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I found one of the log books we kept during that first cruise, a map-decorated hardbound journal. Here are some of the entries.

 

July. We leave in 2 months to go cruising. It’s starting to be real. We’re prepping now – we’ll really be cruising once we leave the dock.

October 10: One month in. We need to find a place to tuck the boat while we head back to Houston for an appointment. When we get back from that, we’ll really be cruising.

November 25: Thanksgiving tied to the dock at Dotty and Waldy’s, finishing up the dinghy seats. They loaned us a car for easy provisioning. Next stop, the Dry Tortugas. When we get there, we’ll really be cruising.

December 25: What a crappy Christmas. It's dumping rain and howling wind. We're all alone in the anchorage, with canned ham, canned peas, and canned potatoes for Christmas dinner. We leave for the Bahamas tomorrow. I can’t wait to really be cruising.

May 1: We leave for Rum Cay tomorrow, then on to the Turks and Caicos. I think this is where we really start cruising, when we leave the Bahamas. I wonder who we’ll see there.

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When I re-read logs from the first year, the “we’ll really be cruising when . . .” line is repeated over and over again. It almost makes me sad to go back and read it. Not for the adventures and mishaps that are chronicled, and not even for the sense of nostalgia as I read the words written by 24 year old me. But the constant looking ahead, FOMO even then. That was a lifetime ago. Have I learned anything since then?

How much cruising, how much life, did I miss wondering when it was going to start?

 

We are less than 2 years out from our next cruise, this time with a timeline of  “as long as it’s fun.” There are lots of projects. Incredible lists that now have titles like “selling the house” and “getting the kids settled in college” and “MUST DO BEFORE WE LEAVE”. The learning feels just as steep, though a few of the worries are just not there any more. There’s no dinghy being built in a spare bedroom, no concerns about “what do you do out there all day?”

 

I’m trying to be present, to focus on what’s happening now. I know that this part, the prep part, is as valuable and as valid a part of cruising as any of those perfect sunsets or incredible beach walks.

 

It’s all cruising. No waiting required.

 

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Fueling the dream - and facing the reality

At anchor

At anchor

About a year and a half ago, our friends on S/V Totem (check their website!) came for Thanksgiving. Behan and I had "met" while serving as admins together on the facebook group Women Who Sail, met in real life at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October of 2016, and when it became clear that they'd still be in the US (and even in the relative geographical area to our landlocked Charlottesville) we invited them for Thanksgiving at our house.

Hanging out with cruisers is a joy. The vocabulary, the shared experiences, even the sense of flexibility in space-sharing and cooking together is something that is hard to translate. Behan and I have the kind of friendship that feels effortless in many ways. It's hard to believe we haven't known each other forever.

Movie time!

Movie time!

During that visit, we casually talked about their plans to go through the Panama Canal and joked about coming down to help them transit.

That joke solidified into something approaching a plan. We've purchased plane tickets, told work (and school) we are taking 10 days off in February to go through the canal with friends, and started assembling the stuff we need.

There's an old adage that cruisers and schedules don't mesh well. Trying to get somewhere on a schedule can mean making poor decisions, ignoring weather, or pushing past discomfort in ways that might not be safe. We get that, of course - it's far easier for us to be flexible than it is for them.

Part of the challenge with a canal transit for a sailboat is that you're dependent on the canal authorities for everything, from getting measured to getting a transit time and even getting a (required) pilot on board the boat. There is just no way to say, "Hey, let's go through on xxxx date" and have it magically happen. This makes it tough if there is crew flying in, with the need to get airfare at a decent price but not knowing when the transit can happen.

The phone call came in this morning (could well be the first time we've talked on a satellite phone!). Canal transit lag time between measuring and locking in is running an average of 15 days, not the 7 days that's a traditional average. The weather is crap, making movement difficult and uncomfortable. If Totem was to move as quickly as they comfortably can, they'll get to the marina in Colon to be measured no sooner than this Thursday, and with the 15 day lag time that puts a transit right at the tail end of our current flight schedule.

So we've got a choice. Change flights (which may or may not be possible). Or fly in on our already-booked schedule and figure out getting to the Guna Yala (San Blas islands) where we can play with the Totems on board, in cool islands with amazing culture but miss a transit. 

Bahamas cool islands. Not the Guna Yala.

Bahamas cool islands. Not the Guna Yala.

Both are options. Both require more planning than either of us had anticipated.

But this, when it comes down to it, is sort of a cruising reminder. Best laid plans need to be cast in sand on a tidal beach, with flexibility required for all involved.

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Whatever we do, the crews of Totem and Calypso will be together again soon, this time in Panama. Stay tuned!

The kids are all taller now. The next picture will be an interesting one!

The kids are all taller now. The next picture will be an interesting one!

Flex Friday, December 15

Flexing. 

You want your plans to flex, but not your hull.

You want your muscles to flex, but not your head.

If the word "flex" can mean twist and turn, how is it that sometimes that's good and sometimes it's bad? 

We're working on changing the interior of Calypso, moving where we sleep from the v-berth area to the main salon, putting in a pull-out pilot berth like is on factory-finished boats. It is requiring flexibility in thinking, and flexibility in maneuvering. Flexibility in sourcing a mattress.

Where there's no flexibility is in the need for 4 berths, even if those berths aren't always available. I know we're going to want our kids to visit and stay on board.

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?