This Cruising Information section is still evolving. Its purpose is to provide cruisers following in our wake, including folks wanting to go cruising, with some more cruiser-specific information - stuff that casual readers of this site would not be as interested in. Because of the interest this section has generated, we've decided to expand it and organize it better. We moved our Cruising Recipes and Provisioning pages here from Sue's area and we've recently added our Equipment section, so we currently have 6 sections, with a handful of pages under each:
|General Information||Equipment||Pacific Ocean||Indian Ocean||Provisioning|
The Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Andaman Islands and Madagascar Cruising pages are highlighted because they contain detailed descriptions of virtually every anchorage we visited in those countries, with Lat/Lon positions, anchoring depths, and photos of the anchorages and/or their approaches. Other countries we sailed may not be covered so completely, but we've written about what we thought we would have liked to know before going -- so we hope it's of some benefit to you, too.
Weather is a huge subject that we'll explore in more depth Real Soon Now (see our Pacific Ocean Weather page for a first cut). We generally rely on GRIB files, but they're completely automated (no human input) so subject to interpretation, with a bit of a learning curve. But there are companies that provide more comprehensive sailing wind forecasts.
What is Cruising?
This is the term we sailors use to describe the lifestyle of living aboard a sailboat and traveling, by sailing ourselves over the sea, to all parts of the globe. It has nothing to do with being a passenger on a cruise ship! "Cruisers" are the people who embark on this lifestyle. We also fondly call ourselves "yachties" although many of us would refute the word "yacht" to describe our sailboats. The term "yacht" somehow implies mega-fancy, expensive toys belonging to billionaires who don't work on their own boats (which all of us certainly do!) Humorists Henry Beard and Roy McKie, in their delightful dictionary "Sailing" define the term yacht, in part, as a word used "by many boat owners to describe their vessel to persons who have never seen it and are never likely to do so."
Cruising as a Family
If you're a sailing family, or thinking of taking your family cruising, you might want to read Sue's article on Cruising with Teens, as well as what Chris and Amanda wrote about this lifestyle. Chris has a big section with many pages on all aspects of the Cruising Life (written when he was 16‑18 and not edited by adults). Amanda writes about her feelings about life on a sailboat, written when she was 18, looking back on 6 years aboard. For us parents, we feel that this lifestyle turns out wonderful young adults, and we don't just mean our own, as we see it over and over. Cruising kids are usually given many more responsibilities than shore-based kids, and the vast majority of them rise to those responsibilities, becoming more responsible themselves. They tend to become a bit precocious, but that's not unexpected, given that they're living in an adult world. But that interaction also makes them more used to dealing with adults in mature ways, becoming more mature themselves in the process. Also, the opportunity to be with our kids so much of the time has been an absolute god-send to us. It also limits a lot of the peer-pressure that kids are exposed to (for drugs, sex, alcohol, etc) in most high schools.
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