Tuesday, January 19, 2016

One Order of Reality and Hold The Sugar Coating

I recently saw a comment somewhere about how some cruising blogs "sugar coat" the cruising life. And while some cruisers probably do focus only on the gorgeous beaches, perfect sailing weather, and idyllic anchorages, that's not the reality of living on and cruising a boat 24/7/365, and that's certainly not what we do here on Fortunes Afloat.
I once posted a video of us sailing into Bahia Banderas in perfect conditions and said something about how if it were like that every day, then everyone would be cruising. One commenter said, "I don't understand, that's exactly like cruising."
I nearly spewed my coffee reading that comment because cruising is RARELY a smooth daysail in 15 knot winds. And when it is, we celebrate it. We mark it on our calendars. We bore people to death talking about it. I could count on one hand the perfect daysails we've had in our 15 months and 6500 miles of cruising.
Mainly long distance cruising is like this: not enough wind, too much wind, rain, squalls, thunderstorms, adverse currents, headwinds, big waves, washing machine waves, salt everywhere, and trying to sleep while rolling from side to side. It's the ocean for goodness sake - it's lumpy! If you're having pleasant, smooth daysails, please tell me where you are because I need to go there!
There are also anchorages so rolley stuff flies off counters, nights when the wind shrieks through the rigging, bugs, heat, humidity, thunderstorms, lightning, unlit fishing boats, rocks, reefs, and missing buoys.
Sure, I show you some beautiful places and interesting shore excursions, but I also show you water pumps being rebuilt, heads being repaired, and leaky hydraulics because maintenance is a fact of life on a cruising boat. It's a constant, ongoing process to keep the ocean from destroying your boat. There's always corrosion to fight, filters to clean, varnish to touch up, oil to change, stainless to clean, canvas to mend, and salt to wipe off. And you know what? That's not very exciting to read about, so normally we just do the maintenance without comment and move on to the fun part.
Because honestly, that's why we're out here! To have an adventure, visit foreign countries, meet new people, and see new sights! We may not show all the nitty gritty realities of cruising life in every post, but you can be sure it's happening behind the scenes. You'd probably get bored anyway if I posted about changing the oil again, filling the propane tank again, jerry jugging diesel again, schlepping groceries and laundry again, doing paperwork again, and cleaning the strainers again. So, yes, we sometimes focus on the fun parts, but isn't that what everyone does?
Doesn't everyone look forward to their vacation as they slog through their daily grind?
Doesn't everyone anticipate a lovely weekend away from their humdrum routine?
Don't we all want to see something new now and then?
I know I do, and I hope you do too.

ps: We spent several hours in the Princess Margaret Hospital today getting the Captain's gallbladder checked out. (He was awake all night in excruciating pain.) They ended up giving him some pain meds, doing some blood work to rule out liver and heart issues, and recommending an ultrasound to see if he has gallstones. And then they charged us four times what a Dominican citizen would pay. Sugar coated? Not this blog.


Anonymous said...

It's what you do for you daily dose of nature. Remember living the dream is Hard work. I admire your courage & strength in traveling your own path. I'm sure all your family back Ca.are excited to see your posts. P.S. Capt'n Malcolm GET WELL SOON!

Laura Fortune said...

Thank you for the comment. Malcolm felt fine today; well enough to go snorkeling at "Champagne Reef". This geologically young island has several places where hot gases come to the surface creating bubbles under water, hot bubble baths at the shoreline, and sulpher springs. So neat.