Frequently asked questions

  1. How could you leave your children behind?
  2. What about pirates?
  3. What about being caught in a storm?
  4. Will your cat come along?
  5. What is your planned route?
  6. How much does it cost to go cruising?
  7. What will you do with all your spare time?

How could you leave your children behind?

We have been planning this since they were born and it is no surprise to them. They have grown up to be very independent and self sufficient even at a very young age with no expectation that we will be around forever.  All three children were invited to come and be a part of our dream but they all exclaimed "what live with you guys in that small space- NO WAY.  They know that are welcome to join us at any time.  We have allowed within our budget an airfare for each of them for the next few years to come and see us at any of our destinations.  We left our youngest doing her last year of school and she has done very well without us, we are all proud of them and miss them dreadfully (especially Tracy) but we are in constant email and phone contact and really only 24 hours away in an emergency.  We both think it is important to follow your dreams and provide an example of possibilities to your children.

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What about pirates?

Pirates do exist, however, the risk is about the same as being mugged in the Australia.  And the pirates out there are looking for the large ‘booty’ to steal, nothing a lowly cruising boat has to offer.  Besides, we'll take every precaution we can not to attract attention, and won't carry (or won't flaunt that we're carrying) large amounts of booze, cigarettes, or money on board for anyone to steal.  If we lived our life because we were in fear of everything, it wouldn't be much fun. 

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What about being caught in a storm?

Of course, it’s a variable, just as being caught in a cyclone or earthquake.  We’ll watch the weather faxes, listen to the weather nets, and hole out during cyclone season.  We’ll take all of the precautions we can as we’re not in a hurry and want to have fun doing it.  Besides, I can only hope that Camus was right when he wrote that "what gives value to travel is fear".  I suppose that a little dash of fear gives value to more than just travel.  For one thing, it can teach us to be brave.   

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Will we bring our cat along?

We tried but it was just to hard on the Milo so we left him with the kids, and with hind site this was defiantly the best thing to do.

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What is your planned route?

We left Perth in Dec 2004  so check out our log to see where we are at the moment  but we intend to go around Australia Anti clockwise and then around the whole world, its taken us a Year to get to Tasmania so we envisage that it will be 3 to 6 years before we leave Australia

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How much does it cost to go cruising?

The short answer is: as much as you've got. we will be working at least every two years to help fund the trip. Part of how much you spend depends on what the cost of living is in the areas you cruise, but an even larger portion depends on the choices you make. Will you stay at marinas or anchor out? Eat at restaurants or onboard? Travel by plane to visit relatives or wait to see them until you finally sail home? Buy insurance for every conceivable threat or take your chances? Have a boat full of electronic gadgets that require frequent repair and replacement or become self-sufficient and choose only equipment that is essential and learn how to maintain it yourself? Will you buy imported foods that you are used to or learn how to use cheaper locally produced foods? Will you buy a new budget-busting inflatable dinghy every third year or knock something together out of plywood? The list of choices goes on and on, even to the little things like the crew giving each other haircuts to reusing washcloths for cleanups instead of buying paper towels. Mastering the art of frugal cruising means you have found how to live aboard independently and happily and perhaps even indefinitely.  You can do some reading to get ideas on how others cut their expenses. Pete and Annie Hill cover the subject in their book, Voyaging on a Small Income. Other books on the topic include, Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach by Don Casey, Cost Conscious Cruiser, by Lin and Larry Pardey and many others. It's great if you can help support these authors, but I suppose the truly frugal sailor just borrows books from friends!

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What will you do with all your spare time?

Some people wonder if we will get bored once we are out cruising and away from the frivolous distractions of the house-bound life we have created. At home we have been moving through our life at a frantic pace, trying to please our boss, family, friends and ourselves and accomplish a thousand tasks a day with an attention span that's shrunk to that of a chimp. Out cruising, we're going to let all that slip away in our wake. If it weren't for navigation concerns, we'd be better off dropping our watch overboard as well.

Actually, there will be plenty to occupy our waking hours. On long passages we navigate, read, cook, exercise, stand watch, & sleep when we can. Once we make landfall, there is the socializing with the locals and other sailors and exploring our new environment. We'll be learning new skills, maybe a new language or two. A surprising amount of time is taken up in the mundane tasks of boat maintenance, fetching water, anchor tending, dealing with the dinghy, shopping and cooking, etc. Even so, we'll want time for our hobbies as well; swimming, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, writing, sketching or painting, learning the guitar and ukulele, photography or whatever. Bored? Not possible unless we are utterly lacking in imagination.