|Via The Graphics Fairy|
Part of getting ready to set off cruising full-time is to read, read and read (when you're not sailing that is). And there is nothing better than reading other people's sailing blogs to pick up great tips, learn about the interesting places they have sailed to and share in their adventures (both the good and the bad). I love reading a wide range of sailing blogs - those written by people who are just setting out like us to those written by people who have circumnavigated the globe and have many years of experience under their belts. I read a lot of sailing blogs these days and I'm constantly finding new ones so its hard to pick just a few to highlight, but here are nine blogs that I have a bit of a crush on just now.
(1) More Joy Everywhere - This is the first sailing blog I ever got into. Scott pointed it out to me because he knew their sense of humor would appeal to me. And it did - you can't help but laugh along with Jane and Ean as they recount their adventures learning how to sail, buying their boat and setting off from the East Coast of the States all the way to Panama. Sadly, they've decided to call it a day on cruising and have put their boat up for sale, but I still love to look back on their adventures. They give me hope that even someone like me, who knows nothing about sailing, can take up cruising full-time and survive. And have fun doing it.
(2) Bailey Boat Cat - Seriously, who wouldn't like something that describes itself as "the adventures of a maritime moggy", especially when the moggy is so darn cute. Despite my mom's efforts to pack a little duffel bag for her cat and send her to live with us on our boat, we won't be getting a cat onboard. The idea of the litter box flying everywhere and being limited as to what countries you can easily enter because you have a pet or two onboard means that we will be kitten and puppy free. So the next best thing is to follow along with Bailey Blue. He is a far better sailor then me anyway, so I am always hoping to pick up some tips and tricks.
(3) Just A Little Further - Marcie and David have been living onboard their Liberty 458 cutter-rigged sailboat since 2000. They've been everywhere in their quest to sail around the world including the East Coast of the States, the Caribbean, rounding Cape Horn and sailing to Australia, where their boat currently is. Before heading to Australia, they spent time in New Zealand and, as this is where we live and sail, I've particularly enjoyed reading about their adventures here. Their posts cover a variety of topics which are mostly written by Marcie, but David does do posts on the "Blue View" from time to time. I like their approach in taking each day as it comes and just going a little further. They didn't have a master plan when they set out, but, by just going a little further, they've seen some amazing places.
(4) Lin & Larry Pardey - Although probably not technically a sailing blog, the Pardeys have a great website and newsletter which I check out frequently. I'm quite a big fan of theirs, in part because they are rock stars of the sailing world and in part because it is nice to see other North Americans settle in New Zealand and love it as much as we do. Their August 2013 newsletter profiles the family of S/V Wondertime who have sailed over to this side of the world from the Pacific Northwest and settled in New Zealand with their children which is worth checking out if you think you might want to do the same. Whenever we're in Kawau Island, I keep an eye out for the Pardeys (some might call it stalking) in the hopes I can get one of my books autographed.
(5) Women & Cruising - In addition to regular blog posts written from the perspective of female cruisers, this website is a great resource with information on a whole range of topics including provisioning and cooking, communications, laundry, learning to sail, and maintenance, to name just a few. In an attempt to learn how to make magical meals from what we have on our boat (without a fridge I might add), I've tried out some of their recipes. I've also gotten tips on galley set-ups which will come in handy when we look to upgrade out boat next year (complete with a fridge this time I hope). But perhaps most importantly, reading about what these women have accomplished is a great confidence booster for a newbie like me. The site is a great resource for women and men alike.
(6) Plodding in Paradise - Back in 2005, Tammy and Chip started out with their 5-year plan to go cruising full-time which involved selling their wine shop, selling their house, selling their current boat and buying a new boat. They ran into a few stumbling blocks along the way in part due to a little event called the GFC (the global financial crisis). You can read about how they describe it here. We can definitely can relate to this one, as I'm sure many others can. However, they kept their noses to the grindstone and by 2010 they were off cruising full-time. You have to admire their perseverance. Their website is chock full of great tips and insights, in particular about cruising in the Bahamas. I know we'll be referring to their experiences once we make our way down there ourselves.
(7) The Monkey's Fist - This is a great collaborative site which collects posts from various sailing blogs on different topics. It is a great way to check out different views and perspectives from cruisers all around the world on topics such as energy management, food and drink, tips for freshman cruisers, rubbish and living on board during the winter. They are very open to including people in their collaboration and they've even let us share our posts on the site as well (despite our weird sense of humor).
(8) Matt & Jessica's Sailing Page - Matt and Jessica are a young couple from Michigan who sold everything and have gone off cruising for the next several years (or as long as their cruising kitty holds out). Until a few years ago, neither of them had ever sailed but they bought a small boat to learn on and then upgraded to a Sabre 34 Targa. They sailed down to the Caribbean and are now spending hurricane season in Guatemala and have some great posts about their time there. It's nice to see young people with the courage to go off on a sailing adventure early in their lives and not wait until they're closer to retirement age. Wish we had done it earlier too!
(9) S/V Veranda - This is one hysterical blog! I think the crew of S/V Veranda and the More Joy Everywhere folks would get on together well based on how they both liberally use humor in their blogs. I especially like Veranda's new entries to the dictionary - words and phrases like "bitch wings". "Bitch wings" are an essential anchoring technique. Here's how you do it: "If you’re concerned about the new arrival into the anchorages obvious lack of anchoring skills you can go stand on the bow of your boat and stare. If your disapproval goes unheeded you put your hands on your hips with both elbows sticking out, these are your Bitch Wings. Upon seeing the Bitch Wings even the most oblivious weekend boater will become instantly aware of his boat handling shortcomings and remove himself and his vessel from your presence." I'm not sure why they didn't teach this on my sailing course. It is clearly a very important skill.
Of course, there are two really well-known blogs I haven't mentioned - Windtraveler and Bumfuzzle - which I read regularly as well. Although we don't have kids, it is fascinating to read about how their children are blossoming living a sailing life. I haven't put them on my list because I think most people have already come across them and there isn't much I can add that hasn't been said already about how great they are, but if you haven't seen them previously, they are very much worth a look.
So what are your favorite sailing blogs? What should I be adding to my reading list?
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