[BlueJacket Sailing] My Definition of "Cruising"

Geoff Schultz geoff at geoffschultz.org
Fri Feb 22 14:15:37 EST 2008

In one of the on-line forums that I follow, someone asked the
question "What is Cruising?". Here's my definition:


Cruising is about the journey and not the destination.

It's the people that you meet along the way and places you visit.

It's getting to know an area by sticking around after you find that
you're drawn to it.

It's fixing complex systems in exotic locations.

It's knowing that you can maintain your vessel because you have to do
it in places where there's no one else who can do it.

It's carrying more spares than you could possibly have imagined
before you started cruising.

It's turning your sleek, beautiful boat into something less beautiful
as you load it down with a wind generator, solar panels, fuel jugs, etc.

It's visiting local markets and hauling groceries down dusty roads.

It's doing your laundry in little laundromats and catching hell when
it gets wet on the way back to the boat in the dinghy.

It's having your boat look like a Chinese laundry when you do laundry
at anchor.

It's dealing with officials in foreign countries where you may not
speak their language.

It's beautiful sunrises and wonderful sunsets enhanced by good
friends and cocktails in the cockpit.

It's catching your dinner off the back of your boat.

It's potluck dinners on the beach with groups of cruisers that you've
never met before and it's having your (new/good) friends over for dinner.

It's days when you wonder if the wind will ever stop howling and
other days when you can't wait for a breath of air to appear.

It's lovely nights on a satin anchorage and other nights praying that
the anchor holds.

It's the days that you always dream of as you're flying along on a
broad reach behind a reef and it's bashing your way into seas and
counting the hours until you find shelter.

It's 99% tedium and 1% sheer terror.

It's huge learning curves and wondering how you ever survived when
you first started.

It's keeping up with friends that you met along the way and sharing
those common bonds.

It's desolate anchorages and pulling into a marina where you're stuck
among all of the pretty boats that never leave the dock and having
those people look at you like you're the Beverly Hillbillies because
you're a cruising boat.

It's day hops along a coast and multi-day passages.

It's lots of stuff that I forgot to put in here or haven't experienced yet.

The vast majority of cruising has very little to do with moving a
boat as most of your time is spent at anchor. It's learning to live
on a boat in a foreign location.

Cruising is lots of things to different people. Have an open mind
and go experience it for yourself.

-- Geoff

-- Geoff

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