Living Aboard a Boat Reflections on Cruising

T is for Travellers Who Sail or Sailors Who Travel?

Saturday, April 23, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

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.

Are we travellers who sail or sailors who travel?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a thirst for knowledge and a need to know what was beyond the boundaries of my neighbourhood, my town, my country, my world. Anything new, anything different, I wanted to learn about it – through books, through school, through experiences. Once I started discovering, I couldn’t stop. I lived for it. And travel became my vehicle for exploration, opening up the world to me, both past and present.

I love sailing. I love the balance and beauty of perfectly trimmed sails. I love the feeling of electricity that runs from my feet to the helm – the excitement, the energy, the perfection of it all. I love the perspective of the world from the water and the opportunity to experience it slowly, at seven knots, savouring every morsel as I do. I can’t imagine a life without the possibility of sailing, nor do I want to. But for me, sailing is secondary . . . a means to an end.  

It’s the same for David, though I’ll admit this came as a surprise to me. Sailing has been a part of his life for more than 50 years and I’ve seen it transform him. I’ve watched him become completely in tune with the wind, the water, the boat – melding together as one. It’s a magical sight, one that caused me fall deeper in love with him. But it was his desire to travel that brought him to Cambria.

We are travellers. And we are sailors.

For now, the two are irrevocably linked and the ideal way for us to experience the world. Sailing carries us to the edges of wilderness and allows us to live there in our wandering home, experiencing nature in ways not possible on land – for there are no roads where we travel. It allows us to follow in the footsteps of history’s greatest mariners: Cook, Bligh, Vancouver. And opens a door into their world. It gives us freedom and independence. It is a constant learning experience, one that challenges and satisfies us in ways that no other form of transportation has or can.

So, yes, we are travellers who sail, but we are also sailors who travel.

To read more on this subject from other bloggers, you can log on to the Monkey’s Fist, a site where cruisers share links to blog posts on topics about living-aboard and cruising.

Do you travel? What’s your favourite mode of transportation? And what sort of places do you like to visit (for us, it’s wilderness and historical sites)? Join the conversation below in the comments section or on our Facebook page. 

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  1. I think I must be a sailor who travels, since no other mode appeals to me! I love to travel and be at home every night. RVing is out since I despise driving, hiking is fun, but I miss my home bed, etc! I love quiet, solitary places and ancient places with cobblestone streets and old churches where you can imagine 2000 years of history. - Lucy

    1. D and I spent 7 weeks in Northern England visiting family and touring every ruin in the area we could find -- churches, monasteries, castles. We loved it so much that our next adventure will be on a narrow boat on the canals of England, Scotland and Wales (possible across the Channel to France). It'll be a big change from wilderness cruising but another great way to experience things we're interested and still go home to our own bed at night. Better still, I can have a dog aboard! Possibly two!!

    2. One of the women in the WWS group, Jackie Parry, is selling their beautiful barge that they only very recently finished refitting. In a perfect world I could buy this boat, put Galapagos on the hard, and go barging for a while before sailing south! I would so love to do that. I'm a traveller who sails, but i also like sailing when the sailing is good. Last year and the year before I went to Scotland and spent weeks driving around the countryside, pulling over and exploring every ruin I could find. I just do not get tired of that. Both trips were terrific. I would dearly love to do the canals of the U.K. as well. Scotland is breath taking.

    3. I didn't realize they were selling the barge, that's interesting.

      We took a trip over to Seattle on Thursday to take a look at the Clipper Around the World boats. Neither David nor I could see the appeal. Sailing can be an amazing experience, but 30 foot waves and 60 -70 knots of wind in an open boat doesn't sound like much fun to us.

    4. We recently watched the Distant Shores episode where they went on a narrow boat in the UK for a week. It was very inspiring! My mother actually lived on a narrow boat for a little bit in Somerset. And yes- perfect for travelling the countryside and having a dog or two. Oh, the possibilities! - Lucy

  2. Oh, was going to give you the link for the barge, just for drooling purposes, you know:

  3. Amazing photos yet again, Stephanie! I used to be the traveler and my husband the sailor, but towards the end, I liked being on the boat more than him. Now, both of us are travelers first and sailors second. Although, without a boat, we are not even sailors anymore! My favorite mode of transportation is my own camper and my favorite places are nature reserves and quiet surroundings with a lot of intriguing wildlife. And, once in a while a quaint, historic town.

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    1. We enjoy camping as well and camped our way back to the boat in March. We stayed at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for a week and I absolutely loved it. The hiking was really good but the landscape was what really captured me.

  4. I'd love to go barging sometime as well! I sense a WWS group charter thing in our future :-)