Thursday, May 21, 2009

Answers to common questions we get

1) Are you guys crazy?
Yes and no. Is living on a 35 ft. boat for a few years crazy to some? Yes. Does the idea of crossing a great big ocean on a tiny boat seem insane to others? Yes. Are we certifiable and taking medication? No. So you see, it's all relative really. We *love* the idea of all of it so while it might not appeal to you, it sure as hell does to us!

Can a little boat like that actually handle the ocean!?!
Yes people. Sailboats are designed to go to sea! Most can handle just about any weather thrown at them from squalls to hurricanes if the captain and the crew are competent. We are simply going to take our boat where she wants to go! Just because a boat is bigger absolutely does not make it better or more "seaworthy", in fact - often it is the exact

3) What if there is a storm in the ocean and you can't get to shore?

This might be surprising to some - but usually the last place you want to be during a 'gale force' storm is anywhere near shore. It's usually safer to be out at sea where you can batten down the hatches and ride out the storm with various
storm tactics. It might be uncomfortable, wet and miserable, but it's much better than getting pinned to a lee shore and having your boat smashed to bits by waves and rocks.

What will you do all day?
When you are living on a sailboat there is plenty to do to fill the time. From what I've read, a minimal time cruising is actually spent sailing - all the other time is devoted to upkeep, maintenance, and fixing whatever is broken (they say if 80% of your systems are working at any given time - you are in GOOD shape...meaning, at any given time - one can expect 20% of their systems to be in some form of disrepair). Not to mention the time that will be spend provisioning, hauling diesel and water aboard, exploring the local culture, reading, writing, figuring out boat exercises, etc. etc. You pretty much have to be a numb skull to get bored. We also plan on doing service work as part of our journey - so that will keep us busy as well! (Stay tuned for what that will be - we haven't figured that out yet!)

5) What is going to be the biggest challenge?

Hmmm. Good question. Probably just getting used to living in such a small environment with the bare essentials - but this is what we are most excited about! Getting back to basics! Making our money last as long as possible will also be a challenge. Learning how to properly
provision a boat is something that seems very daunting to me as well. I'm not too good in a kitchen, or a galley for that matter. Even though Scott tells me I am :)

6) Are you scared?

No! We are SOOOO excited!! Will there be "come to Jesus" moments?? Sure. But we have faith in each other and won't be making any rash or silly decisions. Plus, of all the cruisers we have met, heard, read and talked to - life at sea is "scary" maybe 5% of the time. If that. We're way more scared at the prospect of not doing this so it seems a fair trade to us!

7) What about Pirates?

Yes, there has been a lot of talk about pirates these days hasn't there? Well - typically these pirates do not target cruising boats like ours. They are going for the oil tankers - the big bucks. I say typically because at this point in 2009, there have been only 4 known
pirate attacks on sailboats. 4 boats out of the hundreds of thousands that are floating the world's oceans. So is it a risk? Yes. But there is probably a greater risk of getting getting attacked by a rabid squirrel here in Chicago. It's no different from visiting another city or country - know where you are going, know the risks and act accordingly. Despite the fact that the odds are in our favor, we won't be hitting any beaches off the coast of Somalia for sundowners...that would just be stupid.

8) How much is it going to cost?

That's a very good question and one that we're constantly pondering, considering we have limited fundage. From my research it seems it will cost
"whatever you have and more". Yikes. But here's the thing - so what? I have learned from my travels that once you are "out there" things have a way of just working out. I realize that might sound a bit cavalier and naive, but it's worked thus far! I went to Africa with $3,000.00 and a hope and a prayer. What did I do when I ran out of money? I got a job. Where there is a will, there is a way - and if we are resourceful I think there will be plenty of ways for Scott and I to "stay afloat" as it were. We'll probably be living hand to mouth a lot, but perhaps I'll finally learn the importance of budgeting - that all too important skill that my dad has been trying to drill into my head for the better half of my life. I find that when you don't have a choice, things really start to happen. It's good for the soul. But - to actually answer the question - we are trying to budget for about $1,000 -$1,500 per month, give or take a couple hundred here and there. That's what most people spend on rent here in Chicago. This is also why we are going with a smaller boat - the adage goes: "The bigger the boat, the bigger the bucks". Makes sense to me.

Will you get sick of each other?
What!?! Does the flower get sick of the sun?? Does the desert get sick of the rain? Does the skier get sick of the fresh pow-pow?? (I kid people)... OF COURSE we're going to get sick of each other! I mean, come ON. But, we'll also learn a lot about ourselves and one another. Thankfully, Scott and I are both social mavens (okay, that's a stretch) and we are hoping to make lots of friends along the way. In all seriousness though, spending that much time with anyone on a tiny boat for days on end in all sorts of crazy situations is sure to breed some interesting dynamics. We're realistic. But we also love each other a LOT, and gosh darnit, we like each other too so we are going to sail around the world together, for better or worse! :) At least we're not as nuts as
this couple!

10) How long will it take?

I have just realized that I have provided a bunch of vague answers to some legitimate questions, and I am sorry to say that I am going to spoon feed you yet another ambiguous answer. We have no idea how long it will take. Some people do it in 1 year some people have taken 10 years. Some people turn cruising into their lifestyle and live as aqua gypsies for the rest of their lives! It's the same as traveling abroad - I met people who did "around the world" trips in 5 weeks (I hardly feel that is a legitimate journey - this is what travelers call "passport stamp collecting") I have also met people who have spent 2 years or more just exploring South East Asia. We are in no hurry. We're not trying to set any records. We just want to see the world as much as we can! I feel that we will end up somewhere in the middle. To be specific, I think both of us would like to see our stint last 2 years or longer, but only time will tell (sorry mom and Lisa).

Do you have more questions for us? Feel free to ask them in our comments page!
Brittany (and Scott)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just started reading your blog and went back to the beginning. What did you do in Africa?

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