is a common mistake to believe that sailing the oceans is a privilege to
the rich and/or accomplished sailors.
You would be surprised of the vessels out there, and the
people sailing them. We have encountered all ages, from toddlers to
80-year-old veterans. The boats varies from fancy kevlars with
impressive satellite antennas towering on deck, to shabby wooden
"projects", assembled by coincidental bits and pieces of varying
sailors are sometimes geared in white suites and golden brim captain
hats, but more often in weathered T-shirts and worn shorts. There are
entire families living on the oceans, getting by on garlic, local fish
and second hand parts. Their kids jump on bronzed legs between boats,
chasing fellow peers, their hair sun bleached, flying in the wind.
There are leather-faced seniors, entering just another
harbor after 20 years or more of random cruising and unimaginable
In fact, one could sail for 50 years and still not cover all there is to
do and see on our majestic oceans.
are all kinds of folks out there, but you'll find them all leasurely
enjoying simple, wonderfully smelling meals on their decks, quietly
chatting away with their companions. Or worryingly revisiting the harbor
office to check if some crucial spare part has arrived yet. Yet always
happily waving at you from aboard their dinghies, their faces smiling in
the slow pace of life, and a dream come true of enjoying life at itŽs
fullest, starting today
Sailing tends to bring out good qualities in most
people. Even charter-boat renters are at their ease, only occasionally
perhaps disturbing a peaceful anchorage with a wild late night party and
find that people are very sociable, youŽll get invited onboard
everywhere and especially single-handers will be happy to find a fellow
human to chat away with.
There will be all sorts of flags around you, the
Americans, the French, the Australians, the Scandinavians, the Italians.
You will be told the wildest tales, most unbelievable but often true.
You will encounter lifestyles at which you will marvel, ponder or
disapprove - but you will be touched more than countless times.
You will broaden your vision at life in ways that will
stay with you forever.
You will share a lobster, a fresh fish, a bottle of wine, or some
incredible ingredient that someone has stored for special occasions. The
air will be
balmy, the night velvety and you will share with new or old friends the
hazards of the latest passage, ending in pondering about relationships,
lifestyles and the whole meaning of life itself.
And just then, right there, youŽll feel like the
luckiest person on earth.
Relationships on board
Provisioning in the Canary Islands one day, an incoming
boat caught our attention. A senior couple, both in their seventies,
were ready to dock, she steering the boat into the harbour, yelling at
her hubby, himself ready to tie up, to JUMP for Christ sakes!
After 20 years of continous ocean going and countless round-the world
crossings, he now wanted to settle down in an apartment. She however,
although still slightly limping from braking her hip in Australia the
previous year, wanted "just one more round the world cruise, PLEASE".
Men are WIMPS - she adviced the female part of us, while her husband,
showingly madly in love with her, made himself ready for some more
it or break it. That is the cruel truism for many ocean-going spouses.
Sailing the oceans puts every relationship to a test. The factors
involved are often lack of funds, giving up a normal life, becoming ill
and vulnerable on unfamiliar ground, terribly tired and stressed in a
storm, afraid, hungry and wet to the bone.
While friends at home are having respectable careers, you guys travel in
threaded clothing, bargaining for 5 dollars.
YouŽll watch their comfortable, classy homes and
lifestyles in every magazine, yourself patching another wet blanket
aboard. What title do you put on your business card? Will your kids be
unable to adapt to the normal upon their adulthood, turning into
criminals or aimlessly wandering psychopaths and it will be all your
fault? How come you never noticed back home that your husband is a loud
beast, now yelling his lungs full at the first hard storm? And what
happens when she decides that she has had enough - just as youŽve
discovered that this is just the right thing for you?
It is not going to be easy, but you will definitely get
to know the true eachother. Perhaps youŽll part with that, it does
happen. At least you will have discovered the differences now instead of
later. There can be hell in relationships onboard a boat just as in the
routine life of home. At home, a bad marriage might carry on longer,
disquised in the every day routines. He has his life, she hers. On a
boat however, youŽll be together and differences will become obvious.
But you will also talk to each other, explore together, marvel at the
stars, the oceans, the flowers and share dreams with each other and your
children. Every moment will count, every day bring something unexpected,
every harbour pose new friends. The sky will be your roof, a turqoise
sea your fancy carpeting, vast white sands and sparkling reefs your
garden. Every meal will be shared and freedom will be written in your
book of days.
could then bond into full trust and great love in each other, this from
being seriously tried together and have made it. We have seen many
couples on the oceans tied to each other by the golden love that movies
are made of. Keep your fingers crossed that this fate will be yours.
We donŽt know how ocean cruising affects kids, but we
know what we have seen of them on the boats. They are wild, happy, open
and intelligent. The parents teach them classes, preferably connected to
the sailing and the foreign countries they encounter. As far as we can
tell, ocean going is simply very good for kids.