Reflections on Cruising The A to Z Challenge
A is for AnniversaryFriday, April 01, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA
May 01, 2001
David and I boarded a plane bound for to start a
new chapter in our lives: living aboard and travelling the world by sailboat. That
was fifteen years ago. It’s a big anniversary, one that should be celebrated in
a big way. So, to help mark the occasion, 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 and cruising –
things we’ve learned along the way: our thoughts, reflections, and tips for
those starting out or are interesting in this lifestyle. Auckland,
A is for Anniversary
The months preceding our departure were stressful and hectic: We had two houses to sell, five cars to get rid of (four of which were not mine!), a business to close and hundreds of other trappings of land to free ourselves from. We were on track to start a new adventure – purchasing our first offshore sailboat and cruising the world. And not just anywhere. In
– 6,700 miles away. Auckland, New
It’s a good question, one that boils down to money. In 2001, the exchange rate was $2.50. That meant for every US dollar we converted, we
received NZ$2.50 (the current rate is NZ$1.50 and it went as low as NZ$1.14).
Coupled with the boat market at the time, our money was going to buy us more
boat. Equally important, New Zealand received a lot of
attention during the 2000 America’s
Cup: ESPN televised the races live. All the sailing magazines were
highlighting the country as a cruising destination. And Tourism New Zealand
aired promotional segments during the coverage that showcased the country’s
beautiful attractions. Simply put, we fell in love.
A little more than a year later and we were strolling the docks at West Haven Marina near downtown
with a list of requirements in our hand and a boat broker leading the way. Within
the span of a month, we found our boat (though it had very little in common
with our list) and were moving aboard to start our new lives. It was a very
Our overall plan was simple: We’d go down to
Zealand, find a boat, outfit it and sail off
into the sunset. We naively expected to be there six months. But six months
turned into six years and one (partial) boat refit became two.
Fast Forward to 2016
We’ve learned a lot since that day, a lot of it the hard way. And the 25 blogs that follow will give you some insight into who we are and what we’ve gained from cruising: We don’t claim to know everything, far from it. But we have picked up some useful information along the way.
It may get a little chaotic and messy (it’s harder to organize alphabetically than you’d think), but I’m confident we can pull it off thanks to a lot of advanced planning. Most of the posts have been written especially for this series, while others are “oldies but goodies”, but all of them are ours and unique to us and our experiences. So, sit back, hold tight and join us for the next month as we look back and celebrate the last 15 years.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.