Living Aboard a Boat Reflections on Cruising
X is for (e)Xceptional: Things We Love About Living-Aboard and CruisingThursday, April 28, 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.
We’re down to the final days of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and I wanted to use the last letters of the alphabet to reflect more on our 15 years of living-aboard and cruising rather than pass along tips from things we’ve learned. I’ve already written about how we became regional cruisers, some of the difficulties I faced when transitioning to living-aboard, some of the side effects of cruising, and what cruising means to us. And now I want to get down to the specifics. Like everything else, living-aboard a boat and cruising has its pros and cons. I’ll address both, but in this post I look at some of the things we love about this lifestyle that’s captivated us for so many years.
We love to sail. We love to travel. We love new experiences. But spending time at anchor is where all of our hard work pays off. For us, it doesn’t get much better than swinging free with million dollar views all around. And the best part is, if we get tired of the neighbourhood (or the neighbours), we can up anchor and move.
Exploring New Places
We love to travel and cruising has allowed us to visit so many new places over the last 15 years, many of which can’t be reached by land and look like they’ve never seen the touch of man. It’s been extraordinary.
We have no phones that need to be answered, no lesson plans to be made, no clients to please, no alarm clocks to set. We are our own bosses now and that’s been a liberating experience.
Kayaking is one of those things I hadn’t realized I loved until we based ourselves in the
Pacific Northwest, and the Inside Passage
is the ideal location for it. Honestly, it’s hard to beat the feeling you get
from the seat of a kayak when you’re surrounded by 6,000-foot cliffs or
following bears as they forage along the shore.
Living off the Grid
Living on a boat requires a simpler way of life, there’s no way around it. Limited space means we had to downsize and get rid of most of the things that weighed us down on land – TVs, cars, houses, furniture, appliances. Now that we carry everything we own with us, we cook and eat more simply. We walk and take public transportation (except during the winter months when we have access to our truck). We rarely have phone coverage or access to the internet. Basically, if we don’t have it aboard, it’s likely that we don’t need it.
No Lawn to Mow
This is a favourite of David’s, but I’m not sure why. When we lived on land, I mowed the lawn (he says he did, but he’s wrong).
The People We Meet
You hear this a lot from just about everyone who lives on the water, and it’s true. The people that we’ve met over the years are from all walks of life, but have one thing in common: openness. Friendships form fast and are built to last.
The Perspective from the Water
The world looks different from the water and we can’t get enough of this unique perspective, especially sailing up narrow fjords where the mountains rise straight out of the sea and tower overhead.
Quality Time Together
When travelling at the neck-breaking speed of seven knots, there’s one thing you have a lot of and that’s time to spend together . . .and that’s a good thing.
Travelling in our Own Home
Both David and I are homebodies and cruising allows us the opportunity to travel in the comfort of our own home with everything we own and need within arm’s reach. There’s no longer a need to pack a suitcase or hop a plane . . . we are where we’re going.
One of the best things about living on a sailboat is that you can go sailing any time the wind’s blowing.
Something New Every Day
As long as we’re open to the experience, there’s something new to discover every single day. Sometimes it’s on a personal level, like a previously unknown talent or learning something new about ourselves and each other. Sometimes it’s being faced with a problem and finding a way to solve it. And other times it’s an encounter with wildlife or a walk on the beach. Whatever it is, big or small, our days are filled with new experiences and opportunities to learn. And for me, that’s one of the best things about this lifestyle.
Sunrises and Sunsets
It’s hard to beat a good show put on by Mother Nature and sunsets rank up at the top. Not only does cruising give us a front row seat, the lifestyle allows us the time to slow down and enjoy them.
My love of animals is nothing new. When I was young, my dream was to be a veterinarian (until I heard I had to dissect a cat in physiology class). Whales, bears, wolves, sea otters, eagles, dolphins – are all wildlife experiences this lifestyle has opened up to us.
What do you like best about living-aboard and cruising? Or if you don’t live-aboard, what do you think you would like about it? Join the conversation below in the comments section or on our Facebook page.