Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MORE Answers to Common Questions

Okay, okay - we've been preparing for our trip for over a year now - and we have been fielding a LOT of questions.  Some good, some ridiculous, some that make us go "hmmmm....".  Earlier in this blog we did a post on "Common Questions", but we've gotten more since then, and I'd like to tackle them here - because, to be perfectly honest - we might just go numb from answering them over and over and over again...

1)  What will you pack?...This one makes me laugh because it's like asking,"if you were going to move your life out of your house and onto a boat, what would you bring"?  Where do I begin!?  The packing list is too long and boring to list - but it will include: clothes suited for the tropics (all casual, lots of cotton, swim suits, flip flops, shorts, tanks...etc.), sailing gear (our 'foul weather' gear, sea boots and polypropylene under-layers from our racing days), two computers,  lots of dual purpose gadgets like Velcro and various sizes of zip lock bags, a medical kit, sails, a sail repair kit, engine spare parts kit, kitchen stuff (minus the coffee maker, kitchen-aid...etc), sunglasses, hats, books, hundreds of feet of spare line, tons of tools, sunscreen, charts, batteries, flashlights, a Barnes and Nobel "Nook", our iPod's....I could go on, but you get it the idea...

2)  What!?  You don't have a refrigerator!?  What on Earth will you eat!?!...Refrigeration is a relatively new thing people.  Humans have survived (and thrived) for pretty much the last millennium without it.  We'll make do, don't you worry.  Canned food, fresh caught fish, fresh baked bread, pastas, lentils, beans, fruits and vegetables will all be a part of our diet.  You would be shocked to find out how much food you currently refrigerate that you actually don't have to.  Mayonnaise? Yeah.  Don't need to refrigerate it.  Eggs?  Nope.  Not those either. Butter, margarine, jelly?  Nope. There are precautions you have to take - but where there is a will, there is a way.  However, will I miss chilled Sauvignon Blanc?  More than you know.

3)  What are you scared of?...For me - rogue waves, direct hit by lightning, one of us falling overboard and the other not knowing.  For Scott - afraid that the constant researching and deciding will never subside.  Afraid we won't be good at stretching our dollar enough to make our trip last a few years.
We are both afraid we won't want to come back.

4)  Where will you go first?...hmmm....probably Milwaukee, WI.  We are told the first leg of the voyage should be a short one.  Haha...but we will be headed down to Florida once we get out to the ocean and will be stopping along the way.

5)  Where are you most excited to go?...We don't know.  Honestly, we don't.  There are so many places.  We just want to go!  There is no single destination that tickles our fancy more than others.  We think having less expectations will make for a more enjoyable experience.

6)  Will you ever go ashore?...Yes.  We will not simply be floating around on the open ocean indefinitely.  One dude did it for over 1000 days.  I'm pretty sure he's insane.  If he wasn't before, he most certainly is now.  We will be on anchor 90% of our time and will have to take our inflatable dinghy ashore, but trust me, we'll go ashore.  A large part of why we are doing this is to explore new places and people!

7)  Have you ever sailed the ocean before? ...This is one of our favorite questions, and it usually comes from a cruiser who asks us this to try to make us feel intimidated or inadequate. We are onto them and know what they are really saying with that question is; "I'm not sure you should sail the ocean unless you've sailed the ocean before."  Now there's a mind bender. We just laugh at them.  Sorry, but we do.  In our opinion, you gotta start somewhere.  People blow our mind with the excuses they come up with for not doing things.

8)  How will you stay in touch?...We are still working this out.  We have a Single Side Band (SSB) Radio aboard which can transmit halfway around the world.  We will also have a satellite phone and will, most likely, have some remedial Internet connectivity so we can keep updating this little bloggy blog when we are near a port.  If not, we'll just schlep ourselves ashore and find a good, old fashioned Internet Cafe.

9)  Which "way" are you going?...We have Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" and we are going to count on him to tell us where to go and when.  You can check our initial plan here.  We plan on heading West to the Pacific.  But we might just get stuck in the Caribbean for a while.  Who the heck knows.  We sure don't.  And you know what?  We don't care!

10)  Are people going to visit you?...We have lots of awesome friends who say they are going to visit us, however, our research indicates that this probably will not happen much, if at all.  Safety at sea is determined by the weather and only travelling when that weather is right - making it almost impossible to say we'll be at 'x' place at 'x' time, especially months in advance.  We've read that if guests do come to visit us, they get to choose where (among the list places we're planning on going) OR when, but not both.  This obviously makes it really hard for landlubbers to plan a vacation.  That said, we WELCOME our friends and family to join us for a stint here and there if possible!

11)  What if you get into a fight?...Scott will go in the dinghy and I'll let out about 100 feet of line, of course.

12)  Is someone awake all the time?...There are two parts of 'cruising' - time at sea (sailing to places - can be anywhere from 1-30 days at a time or more if we are reeeeaaaly unlucky) and time at anchor/in port.  When we are anchored we will be in what can be compared to a floating trailer park.  Glamorous, I know.  When we are voyaging, however, yes, someone will always be awake and on "watch".  We will do this in 3-4 hour shifts unless weather is bad or we need to do a sail change or some other two person maneuver, at which point we will both be on deck to help each other.  Under normal circumstances, when one person is on deck, the other will most likely be getting rest.  Being well rested is the #2 most important safety precaution after diligent weather monitoring.

13)  Are you scared of sharks?...in a word.  YES.  I am shark-phobic.  When I was a kid my family watched "Jaws" like some families watched "Jeopardy".  It scarred me, and I deal with it.  I still dive and snorkel and all that jazz.  Scott is less scared than I, but the idea of running into one is not appealing. That said, sharks are probably not going to be a problem.  Someone once told me you are more likely to get struck by lightning then attacked by a shark, which would at least be quicker I presume.

14)  Are you sure you're ready?...in the words of Captain Ron, "Well, if anythings going to happen, it's going to happen out there!"  I love this question, really, I do.  It is almost always followed by a sideways glance and a hint of doubt.  Here's the thing: Is anyone ready for anything?  Are first time parents "ready" for a baby?  Is a recent college graduate "ready" for the real world?  Is a budding entrepreneur "ready" to quit working for the man and go out on his own?  No.  They are prepared as best they can be, have the tools they think they need and everything else they simply FIGURE OUT.  We will do the same.  If everyone waited until they were "ready" to do things, I'll bet a lot more would not get done.  I can guarantee we'll leave with at least 25 things on our "to-do" list.

15)  What about babies?...Yeah, we want a few.  We'll cross that bridge when we come to it though.  They would, however, be really useful to hoist up the mast and get into all those tight spaces on the boat...hmmmm...Maybe we'll have a baby in Mexico, maybe another one in New Zealand and one in Europe.  Then we could be like Brad and Angelina.

So that is it for now.  I think I have adequately covered the top 15 we have been getting lately.  Hopefully this helps paint a clearer picture.  If not, well, I don't know...I guess just ask us!


Brittany & Scott


Darwin Grenwich said...

Hi Brittany & Scott,

I like your blog. I found it on some sailing blogs site some time ago. Anyways, it is good to hear you are getting out. Rasmus looks ready for the job. My girlfriend and I are heading out this fall too - currently residing in Western Canada but headed for Maryland to buy the boat and then headed South. Perhaps we'll see you out there!

Darwin Grenwich

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

We get a lot of the same questions, and agree that although we're new to sailing we're not going to wait 10 years to get experience. We'll get the experience WHILE we're cruising. Can't wait for your big day. I'm sure you'll be having a huge Bon Voyage party!

Lisa Hanneman said...

#8: You forgot that I can read your mind... That's a form of communication, no? (sniffle, sniffle, imagine a tear silently rolling down my face)

Amanda said...

7, 11, and 14 are priceless. I can't count how many times we were asked "Have you ever done anything like this before?" and then saw frowns of concern when we said our total ocean experience consisted of a four-day, forty mile trip. Can't know unless you go. And we are learning every day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...