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10 Things I’ve Learned Since Cutting The Docklines

Some truths from my first couple of months of cruising.

These are my opinions and only mine.  

Our Kids Can Entertain Themselves: Yep, there’s days when the kids just can’t charge iPads or watch a movie…and amazingly enough they find things to do.  At first I thought they would just read until they were pure bored then put up a fuss, but they actually haven’t melted down like I thought they would.

Sunsets ARE Better When Cruising: I’m totally not sure about the “why” on this one, I just know it’s true.  I wanted to say “sunsets are better when out of the US and cruising”…but you can certainly do some great cruising in the US and have good sunsets.  We’re had some of our best sunsets underway and some pretty good ones sitting here in Marina waiting on repairs.  I know….cause I’m watching one now with a glass of vino!

In Mexico, Stop Signs Are Optional: Once you ride in an Uber or Taxi here, you’ll know I speak the truth.  Just be ready for this and take it in stride…they don’t get in accidents much.

Me and Michelle Are More Competent On the Water Than We Thought: Me and Michelle had plenty of ocean time before starting the Ha-Ha and cruising….but certainly not as much as others.  Me and her had to work prior to cruising and we worked hard…so we didn’t get to weekend race or go crewing on deliveries and such.  But we have other experiences that feed into our confidence level and we’re learning that we can trust our own judgement.  If you’re in the same category..don’t discount your own experiences.

Jerry Jugs Still Work Fine: I was amazed to hear folks on the Ha-Ha asking to buy Jerry Jugs cause they needed fuel and had no way to haul it. Then I got to La Paz and found out there’s only 1 working fuel dock (not at this marina) and you better have an appnt to get on that fuel dock or you’ll be waiting in a small area without much room to maneuver. But, the Repsol across the street has diesel, but you’ve got to get the diesel from there to the boat. Jerry Jugs solved that problem….and 4 trips across the street and 110 gallons of diesel later….Tulum was good on fuel. Pays to have jugs!

Vegans/Vegetarians/Foodies/Gluten-Free Folks Won’t Starve: That’s right people, Mexico has stores with options for every diet! Bring it on…you can find whatever you need and more! 

Some of The Things I Remember As a Kid Are Still Here: As a kid, I grew up on a 41-foot sailboat that cruised these same waters through to Panama and the Caribbean for five years.  I have fond memories of great Mexican ice-cream and bacon wrapped hot dogs cooked perfectly and piping hot.  AND…they’re still here.

Collecting Experiences Instead of Electronics: The kids have iPads and a TV with a DVD Player.  But…they have few of the other electronic distractions normally found with a family in the suburbs (of the US) and instead are being forced into experiences that build character.  I didn’t think either of my daughters would go into the water with (fairly large) whale sharks, but they displayed courage by quietly slipping into the water and LOVING it.  I didn’t know how the kids would do on their first long paddle by paddleboard and kayak…but they took direction and they applied some of the techniques and tactics we talked to them about…in order to paddle to a white sand beach and observe turtles right under the water in a crystal clear bay.

Agua Potable Doesn’t Mean Drinkable: Did you read that clearly and comprehend? You get to a fancy marina and they tell you the water‘s potable.Make sure to ask if it’s drinkable! We’ve learned and had to invest in a fresh water filter in addition to our water maker. No, the West Marine hose attachment isn’t going to cut it!

Racers Ain’t Cruisers:  I’ve learned this lesson in the last couple months.  Cruisers want to get places without breaking shit and they don’t always care when they get there.  Lots of folks started out racing and now cruise.  But racing isn’t a pre-requisite to cruising/sailing like we’ve been told several times.  We’re just NOT as good at “trimming” sails and knowing the exact names of every single sailing thingy (terminology) as someone with a racing background.  Gotta admit this isn’t helped by my climbing and rescue background..where a rope was a rope!  And sometimes we just don’t care.

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