During the month of April, we're participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge where every day (excluding Sundays) we'll be posting to the blog . . . alphabetically. The overall theme we've chosen to tie all the entries together is living aboard a boat and cruising – things we've learned along the way: our thoughts, reflections, and tips for those just starting out or who are interested in this lifestyle.
Okay, so this is kind of a cheat since we actually have a FAQ page on our site but it doesn’t see much action, so I thought it would be a good idea to list the questions we hear the most and answer them.
Did you sail from
Cambria’s home port is in the UK, people often ask us if we sailed her from England. The answer is no. The original owners commissioned her in 1998, launched her in 1999, and sailed her down to New Zealand where we bought her in 2003.
Did you sail from
? New Zealand
This question always seems to follow the previous one. And, once again, the answer is no. We had her shipped on Dockwise. Sailing back to the
US is something we both really wanted to
do, but after the pros and cons we decided it would be less expensive and
faster to have her shipped. We’ll never really know if it was cheaper, but
she did arrive in Ensenada three weeks later in the same
condition she left New
How long have you lived on a boat?
Fifteen years and counting.
Where do you live?
This is probably the most frequently asked question that we receive AND the most difficult one to answer.
our home and primary residence; so wherever the boat is, that’s where we
live. On any given day that could be our winter marina or a remote
Where are you from?
This goes hand and hand with “where do you live?”
Cambria hails out of because that’s the closest recreational
seaport to David’s birthplace, Whitby, UK Middlesbrough in Northern
England. I spent most of my life in but
met David while living and working in Wichita,
Kansas . We
spent six years in New Zealand, one year in Ensenada and San Diego, and have
been based in the Pacific Northwest since 2008 – take your pick! Las
Do you miss anything about landlife?
No, not really. But a long, hot shower is always a nice treat.
What do you do all day?
What don’t we do! One thing’s for sure, when you own a boat, you never run out of things to keep you busy. During the off-season, we try to do as much maintenance on the boat as we can and spend time visiting our families. When we’re at anchor, we spend a lot of time planning routes, checking the weather and exploring. If for some reason we get bored, there’s always a kayak to paddle, a guitar to play, a sweater to knit or a good book to read.
Was having a dog aboard difficult?
It could be. And I have to be honest, there were times when Sally was not only difficult, but a liability. But we loved her more than anything and enjoyed making her life a living hell, so it all balanced out in the end. Fortunately, as Sally grew up and settled down through the years, she became exceptional boat dog and it got much easier. As she got older and entered her final stage of life, having a dog aboard was challenging in ways that we never imagined possible but she was definitely worth it! We miss her like crazy and would love to have another dog aboard but are waiting until we know for sure where we want to go next.
What did you do with Sally when you were on a long passage?
When we sailed offshore while living in
Zealand, we left her there in the care of a
kennel facility because of quarantine issues. In the US and Canada she was able to cross borders with
only a health certificate and current rabies vaccination, so she was with us
all of the time. However, she refused to go to the bathroom on the deck,
so we had to plan all of our passages accordingly.
How did you get her to shore?
We got to shore in our dinghy, a small boat approximately 9 feet long. It’s basically our car when we’re at anchor and Sally loved to go for rides and feel the wind in her face.
How long do you plan to go cruising?
Our standard answer is for as long as it’s fun!
What will you do once you’ve finished cruising?
One day we hope to own a piece of land (presumably in New Zealand) where David can have a workshop/garage to restore classic cars and set up a music studio and I can have a vegetable garden with plenty of room for the pack of rescue dogs I plan to adopt one day! And, of course, a small boat for sailing the
. Bay of Islands
Where will you go next?
Now that we’ve made the trip to
it’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves a lot. We have a lot of ideas but
aren’t quite ready to make anything official.
How about you? What questions do you hear most often and how do you answer them. Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.