What I Miss
I was never the sort of person for whom sports are the point of life. Aside from little-league teams years ago in both soccer and baseball, the only competitive activity I really liked was tennis. I mostly preferred the solo or family activities like skiing, hiking, biking, swimming, and so forth.
Unfortunately, the only one of those that is easily available while cruising is swimming. Down here, swimming can be a lot more than simply the pool or the beach: snorkeling, Scuba diving, and other ways of exploring underwater add excitement that is not easily available back home. There are also new water sports such as windsurfing and dinghy sailing.
All of these are fun, but I still really miss a few of my favorite activities back home. I have been skiing every year since I was three years old, but I missed the 2001-02 and 02-03 ski seasons because we were on the boat (I did get to go skiing a few times back home in the 03-04 season.) I don't (officially) race, and have not yet gotten into the season passes and top-notch gear that some people go for, but I'm considering it. However, such thoughts are pretty irrelevant on the boat.
Biking is perhaps my favorite way to explore ashore (with the exception of horseback riding, but I've only done that a few times in my life.) Hiking is all right, but I really prefer multi-day backpacking trips over day hikes. Unfortunately, bikes and horses are uncommon (and usually expensive) options. Some cruisers have bikes on board, and take them ashore to explore, exercise, or just have fun. Sadly, our bikes are a few thousand miles away, and I don't really know where we'd put them on board.
As I mentioned above, I am not usually (officially) a competitive sportsman, but I really do miss tennis (and the occasional game of soccer, ultimate Frisbee, or something like that.) Tennis requires a court, but most of the other games I like can be played on any open, flat space. For that matter, some islands have public tennis courts. It would be great to have our own equipment on the boat; even something as little as a baseball and two gloves would be a lot of fun.
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