Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tips #1: Remembering your Swim Ladder

Last week I had a thought that Mark and I may have actually been at this long enough to have some little tips and tricks that might be useful to others planning or doing this (and some that might work on land too). At dinner I had Mark help me brainstorm and we actually came up with a decent list of things that I could start with. So for as many weeks as I can come up with a tip I'm going to try and post something every Tuesday. If any of my Raft-UP posts land on a Tuesday I'll move the tip to Mon or Wed.

Tip #1: Remembering your swim ladder

We’ve all done it. Started the engine, pulled up the anchor, started moving just to have someone start shouting and pointing because the swim ladder is still down. Mark and I came up with a quick easy fix to this problem. We sewed up a little flag that we put on the throttle. Unless you are one of those studs that sails off your anchor, you have to use the engine to move the boat so what better place to put the reminder (we tried the wheel first but somehow we did miss it there once.)

You can sew up a little flag like we did but almost anything obnoxious would work, an old scrunchy or sock would also be an easy fast solution. Although something that doesn't hold a lot of water is better.

This would work at home too. Trying to remember something for work or school tomorrow. Put a little flag on your front door or steering wheel. A little better than trying a string to around your finger.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I never thought I'd say this but I miss tipping. You heard me. I wish there was tipping in Australia. Without it you get no service and I don't mean bad service I mean NO service. Mark and I have eaten at  a number of restaurants that have required us to order at the counter. We've always thought it a bit ridiculous to have to go up when we are paying $20+ for an entree but it seems to be common here because of the no tipping policy and the high minimum wage.

Tonight however we hit the breaking point. We are on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. There are a number of restaurants and since we've been at anchor for over a week we thought we'd treat ourselves to a nice meal. We heard the steakhouse on the island was good so we decided to go. When we got there we were told there was a 10 minute wait for a table. No big deal we went to the bar to get drink. The bartender opened a tab for us. Okay, that's fine. We can have it transfered to the table right. Wrong. We got seated and were told that we had to go up to the counter to order. Not that big a deal at McD's but seriously they wanted me to pay $40 for a steak and $7.50 for my side dishes and I had to get up to order them. Oh and if I wanted another drink I had to go order that myself too.

There was a table of four ladies dressed to the nines for there big night out. They probably spent $15x2 (appetizers) + $40x4 (steaks) + $7.50*4 (sides) + $55 (bottle of champagne) + $45 (bottle of wine) = $320 minimum and they got no service. Would you do it? We just couldn't. Mark took his time to finish his drink because after all no one was going to come over to our table to take our order and we walked out. If I'm spending that kinda cash in your restaurant the least you can do is take my order and bring me my drink. So yes I now appreciate tipping in the US. Just another reason to love the red, white, and blue.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

and the fellowship has ended...

A few months ago Mark made a comment that getting to Australia was like the end of the first book of the LOTRs. Because of the way the wind and weather works many of the people that are sailing in Australia today are the same one's we sailed with in the Caribbean nearly three years ago but, Australia gives a lot of options as to where to go next and so this adventure is ending and new one's are beginning. Many of us have spent the last few years crossing paths and are now planning to go different directions. Some will stay in Australia for the year or more, some will go north to Indonesia and others south to South Africa, and then there are those that will end their sailing adventure all together and head home. Mark and I aren't sure what we are going to do with this year. We've decided to take it a little at a time with MM to make sure he is getting what he needs.

Some of those friends I'm speaking of are Frank and Karen on Tahina. Almost three years ago Mark and I sat in a restaurant in Iles Des Saints, Guadaloupe where everyone was speaking French. Mark and I were discussing the preparations we'd need to make for crossing the Pacific. At the table next to us sat Frank and Karen who were in the processing of planning the exact same journey and overheard our conversation. Over the last few years we have crossed paths over and over again. In the beginning it was by accident and eventually on purpose whenever possible. I've written a lot about friendships out here. They come and go very quickly as people move on. They are usually short and intense and then gone. This friendship has been anything but that. Little did we know sitting at that table how important they would become to our sailing experience. We've been lucky to have spent so many days exploring and nights playing Bananagrams with them.

We got lucky today because we got to see them one last time. They will be making the run to Indonesia next month and because most people who will be doing that have already moved north we've missed many of the other boats we know. I thought there might be a chance that Tahina was still in the Whitsunday's but didn't have e-mail access. I took a chance last night and radioed to see if I'd get a response and I did. I was excited but they were planning to head north today and we were a couple hours south of them so I didn't think we'd actually get to meet up. This morning Frank gave us a call and said they would come south to have lunch with us. They came two hours south just for lunch and added that distance onto the journey north they were already planning, turning a long day passage into a 24 hour overnight passage. Those are good friends and out here that's hard to come by. It was sad to see Tahina sail motor off into the distance knowing that we won't see them again anytime soon. We are all planning on making the run to South Africa at some point but since that is in the distance and things may change, they are headed for South America and we are trying to get to the Med, who knows. What I can say is that Tahina many not cross Northfork again but Mark and Dana will cross Frank and Karen again. Thanks for being there for the last couple of years. We're lucky to have had friends like you out here!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The newest edition to the NF

No we aren't having another baby and we didn't get a cat. We did however get a juicer. An extremely large contraption that takes up half a cabinet and is a much better use for the space than the pressure cooker that used to live in it's home. Mark and I are turning over a new leaf or should I say I'm flipping back a few pages in the way I eat. When I was a kid there was no junk in the house, well my dad couldn't resist potato chips and red vines so there was some junk but my parents shopped at the health food stores before there was a Trader Joes or Whole Foods in sight. We always had the weird peanut butter with the natural oils on top and forget about sugar cereal. Salad every night. College was probably my turning point. I tried to continue to eat healthy and mostly I did but it's when things started to creep in. Soda was the big one. I didn't really want to drink soda but the water in Fort Worth was so disgusting that I couldn't drink the tap. I still don't drink a ton of them but I do like to have a few a week.

While most people probably think that sailing keeps you in great shape and super healthy in reality it doesn't. You actually sit a lot. We just did that four day passage and we didn't move. We do do a lot of walking (and biking before MM) but that will only do so much. When we were home we were going to the gym without a problem and Mark was biking almost every day. We know we should be better about daily exercise out here but it's hard when you can't really get a regular routine going. The bigger issue for us is that we eat a lot of junk and in a lot of restaurants. We are so often in touristy areas that it is so easy to just grab something out and if we aren't going to be in a touristy place then I assume we aren't going to have good grocery options either so I pack the boat with tons of canned goods. None of it's really good for us but when you're crossing an ocean opening a can is really a fantastic thing. I've tried a few times to cook better but lets just be honest I hate to cook and I'm not good at it. When I was in college and living in NYC I would spend a whole saturday every so often cooking the few things that I can actually make and then freezing them in individual portions so I could just throw them in the oven when I got home. On the boat there are two problems with this. First is that freezer space is at a premium and it usually goes to having fresh meat on board. Second is that I fear a lot of energy (and money) would end up overboard. When we come into new countries customs will often take fresh items from you and anything that I cooked myself in the freezer would count. So if I filled it up with my cooking they may just take it away. They never do this with canned goods unless of course you can them yourself.

A few months ago I watched "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" like so many others have and decided that I really wanted to try and up my fruit and veggie intake. But how? Juicing didn't really seem like a feasible idea for the boat and I knew I couldn't switch to a juice only diet while being pregnant or nursing. I mentioned the idea to Mark but it didn't really take and I knew I wouldn't be doing anything without him. We eat all our meals together and I eat way more than I used to because of it. Before Mark I would eat some cheese and crackers and a bag of carrots for lunch. Now I actually eat lunch. It took me mentioning that I though we should start juicing a few more times and then all of a sudden a few weeks ago Mark agreed it was a good idea. I set out on a hunt to find a good but not Australian ridiculously priced juicer before he could change his mind. I was super excited when I found the one I had been looking at in a plastic instead of stainless version (better for boat corrosion) and even better was that it was on sale for a great price. I snagged it up and got to juicing. I'm now juicing a couple of times a day.   We have something in the AM and usually around lunch time. If we want something else we have it to but usually the juice does it for us (I had some cheese and crackers today) and then we have a full dinner. I tried to go vegetarian once and got super sick plus I'm still breastfeeding so I want to make sure that I'm still eating well rounded for MM. Sometimes we'll even have a late night juice snack.

It's been a great switch on the boat. Sure there are some issues, I have to turn the generator on to use it but we have more time because we aren't shuffling around trying to figure out what to eat or running out to get something. I have to clean the machine a few times a day but it really isn't that big of a deal now that I have the routine down. Grocery shopping is easy because I just have to hit the produce section for the most part and if there is something you can always get no matter where you are it's fruit. And of course the best part is that we are feeling really good and losing a ton of weight (that's right take that baby belly). For the most part everything has been pretty tasty but yesterday I did get a batch of "what the heck did I make?"

Next step: Try to reduce the canned goods we eat on board. I think it's gonna be harder than I think. I wanted to make tomato sauce for pasta the other night (I bought tomatoes) and almost every recipe I looked at told me to open a can of tomatos...why not just open a jar of spaghetti sauce instead? What's the difference. Anyone have any idea where to get some good easy recipes that I might actually be able to cook. Please remember that I am very seriously cooking impaired.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MM first crossing

We did it! We successfully sailed 500+ miles as our first crossing with MM. Since we've been back in Australia we've only moved the boat one time and if you remember Mark did it with a friend of ours and MM and I drove the hour north. Other than one quick half hour trip out into Mooloolaba Bay on our friend Mike's boat, MM had not been sailing.

MM's not even 5 months old and he's done over a five hundred mile, four day, crossing. My kid is a champ. It was not the easiest of crossings. First we started off with a bit of crappy weather. We knew that if we didn't head out it would be another week of waiting and if we left right away we could use the storm that was coming in south of us for some good wind to push us north. It worked. We had great speed the whole trip and didn't once think about turning on the engine. This also caused a bumpy first couple of days. All three of us were seasick. I got a little scared when MM got sick because I didn't want him to end up dehydrated and I'm really hoping his sea legs are better than mine. He ended up doing great and keeping down everything he ate after his initial upset. Mark pretty much ran the boat for the first couple of days (he's calling it single-triple handing) and I took care of the baby. MM and I cuddled up in the pilot birth and did the best we could. Even though his entire world was rocking, our "normal" (not that we actually have a normal) routine was shaken, and there was an entire new orchestra of sounds to be heard MM did pretty well. He obviously wasn't feeling well the first day and I could see he was a bit scared with all that was happening around him but he just cozied up next to me and hung on for the ride. By the end of the four days we were doing much better.

I have to say it's pretty hard to be the best mother when you feel like your head is about to explode and you're puking even though you haven't eaten in two days. I felt so horrible not giving him a bath for four days but I couldn't even give myself one on this crossing. It took everything in me to just make sure he had a clean diaper. But have no fear he was adequately fed. On the positive side I think I lost the last of the baby weight. Best diet ever, do a four day crossing, don't eat anything and breastfeed the entire way. My shorts are now falling off. I'll be digging out the scale tomorrow to see where I'm at.

So where are we? The Whitsunday Islands. So far beautiful and much better weather than we've had for the past two months in Mooloolaba. It should be a fun place to explore for the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Raft-UP Hobbies

Wow we've had a really great first month. Thanks to all the writers who have participated this month. At the bottom of this post you too can link up any posts you've written about hobbies on your own boat. If you are interested in writing a post for the hop next month or have a topic you'd be interested in having us write about fill out the form on the Raft-UP page. And now onto the hobbies on Northfork...

Sailing was never a hobby for Mark and I. We didn't even own a sailboat before this one and our sailing experience was limited. For us there was no transition from weekend boater to live-aboard cruiser. For me the boat is work. Everything about it is work. Cleaning, organizing, preparing to sail, fixing. The to-do list on a boat is never ending and that is that. Everything is harder, takes longer, and is generally a bigger pain to deal with than if we lived in a house. The boat is full-time work and the rest of the time we play. Someone who knew nothing about this blog-hop or that I was writing about hobbies this week actually said to me just a few days ago "Cruising is not a hobby, it's a lifestyle." I couldn't agree more.

When Mark and I decided to move onto the boat I had only one condition. I would leave all my books and momentos behind, stop dancing (I do have my tap shoes on board but they haven't gotten any use), quit soccer, softball, and football but my craft/sewing supplies had to come. That's right I brought all my scrapbooking, cross-stitching, knitting, quilting... supplies along, you name it I brought it. To live on a boat you have to leave part of yourself on land. It can't all come with you. I was willing to leave some of me behind just not the part that came with ten tons of craft crap.

At first I had everything nice and organized in the cabinets in the front of the boat but slowly things have gotten jammed into fewer and fewer cabinets as Mark's spare parts have expanded and my once neat set of crafting supplies is now a jumbled mess. On the boat it's so hard to do any of these hobbies. When I would work on projects at home (on land) I would pull them out, lay them across the floor (sometimes table, but mostly the floor) and stare at them. That's right, sometimes for days. I'd just move pieces around here and there until I was happy. On the boat I can't do this. Stuff has to be taken out in an orderly fashion, used, and then put away - causing me to spend more time setting up and cleaning up than actually doing any of the activities I love and therefore I rarely do them. We've been carrying around four, count them four, boxes of paper since we left the states and I have scrapbooked exactly once. Even I have to admit that it may be time for the stuff to go but now I have a baby and keep thinking that I might want to use some of those supplies for other things and for me there is something comforting about having these "things" in my life. Just having them makes the boat feel a little more like a home to me. So until the day comes that I actually have a craft room on land again I'll keep moving the stuff around trying to make it fit better. I guess you could say that reorganizing my old hobbies is my new hobby.

I have managed to work out how to quilt on the boat. It still isn't easy. I have my one small table that I have to cut, iron, and sew on and anyone who quilts knows that you rotate between the three so I am constantly pushing one step aside to work on the next and then moving everything back but somehow I've managed to make it work. But quilting takes up more space than any of the other crafts because I need a lot of fabric for one project and since I never really know what I'm doing I like to have a stash of fabrics to work with. I now have a few large buckets of fabric in our forward birth because putting it all into cabinets just seems silly.

Mark and I have a gazillion games on board but we play exactly one. I brought a bunch with us when we moved on the boat (including dominos which I love but Mark hates - so if anyone one wants to play let me know) and my mom bought us all kinds of travel games as an engagement gift but we play Backgammon. We play almost every night. Are we good? Probably not since we never play with anyone else we can however pretty much predict the move the other person is going to make since we've played so many games together. Backgammon has helped us through some rough places. Can anyone say Shelter Bay Marina in Panama...yeah, not a lot going on there. If you stop through and Robert is still waiting tables he'll probably remember us because of the backgammon set. Actually one of three backgammon sets. Yes, we are a boat of redundancy. We have two autopilots, back-up GPS and lots of spares so it only makes sense that we have back-ups (yes, plural) for our favorite game - One full size, one travel size, and one mini-magnet board that we've actually only used twice but I keep saying I'm going to put it in the diaper bag. Oh, I take it back there is one other game we added last year to the boat but it's an outdoor thing. For Christmas I got Mark a Bocci Ball set and we have a really good time doing that. It's a nice boat game because it is small and easy to transport, there is no set-up, and there is almost always a sand or grass patch no matter where the boat is. Plus we can play with just us or a whole slew of people.

Mark of course still programs. He says it's work but I say it's fun. True he has to do the work he has to do but no one told he he had to start the huge undertaking of writing a new iPad Navigation app - that he did because he wanted to and because he thought a nav app from a cruiser was just what the Dr. ordered. We watch a lot of movies, especially on passage. It's about the only thing I can do when I'm seasick (and sometimes I can't do that). I love to read but I never feel like there is enough time to read everything I think I should and I really don't get much done at all. We bought a guitar to learn. It's shoved in the back on my closet. Mark got a few lessons on it when I was home last year and hopefully we'll pull it out in the next few weeks when we really start cruising again but as for now it sits unused. I also got Rosetta Stone French last year and have worked my way through about a third of it. If you plan to do this route learn French. There are a lot more French speaking places than you probably realize. Of course now we won't be coming across another one for awhile but hopefully I'll have something to say when we get there.

Mark is the big water sports guy. I am not. He swims, scubas, and spearfishes. I stay on the boat and quilt. The water has just never been my thing. I'm a land lover. I know funny for someone that lives on a boat.

Off the boat we love to hike but I'm not sure how that is going to go with the baby on board. We have all our camping gear on the boat since we did a ton of back-packing in New Zealand last year and hopefully that won't be last of it. Of course site-seeing is a must, why else would we be traveling if we didn't want to do that. I like to take a ton of pictures of everything we see. It drives Mark nuts but it really does take a lot of bad shots to get one truly good one. I have my SLR with one additional lens and a waterproof camera onboard. I'd like to get a few more lenses but I don't really want to carry them. The old catch22. Up until about two months ago when we went to the museum in Canberra, Australia I was a big museum person but I think I'm museumed out for awhile unless there is a truly unique one I think I'll be steering clear.

I'm sure as Mini-Mark gets older our hobbies will start to change a lot as he begins to develop his own interests. We have already started to enjoy finding playgrounds and reading stories, playing games, and I think that I will enjoy homeschooling if and when that does happen.

The fact is that while most people think that sailing the world means long relaxing days lazing about enjoying the sun, cruising is actually a lot of work. We spend most of our days doing boat projects in some form or fashion and still treasure our lesure time just as we did on land. I wish I could just spend days quilting and scrapbooking but dinner has to be made, dishes and laundry need to be done, the floors scrubbed and very quickly the days pass. We enjoy as much of them as we can trying to see and learn about all the places we visit.

If you've written about the hobbies you keep on board link-up your post so others can enjoy learning more about the cruising lifestyle.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raft-UP Guest Blogger LeuCat

We are so lucky to have Dave Leu from LeuCat join in this month for the Raft-UP. He and his wife are lucky enough to be sailing where regular internet is not always available so he sent me his article in advance and I have it here for you. Happy reading...

Hobbies by Dave Leu of LeuCat

Dana has suggested that we write about the hobbies we have as cruisers.  Plus, she wanted us to address whether we ever considered sailing as a hobby and if it is now work since we are cruising 100% of the time.  We will address this issue before going on to the hobbies we enjoy while attempting to sail around the world.

To us, sailing was never a hobby.  It always has been an adventure.  It is a very real way to learn respect for the wind, the seas and the basics forces of nature.  It offers a special insight as to how to live with and enjoy what nature has to offer and takes you back what is really important in life: respect for the things around you, respect for the people around you, to appreciate what you have and the enjoy the simple things in life.

We have sailed off and on for the last 43 years.  Most of those years were spent sailing with Dave's Dad and Mom on their sailboats.  However, when we were first married, back in 1971, Dave introduced Mary Margaret to sailing at the University of Michigan Sail Club.  Since then she has loved it which makes Dave a very happy and fortunate person.  To have a life mate that feels the same way as you do about sailing is such a special treat.

Since we have starting cruising 4 ∏ years ago, we have never felt living on a boat as "work", although it does entail a lot of work.  However, that work is effort put into what you have embraced: living on a boat and learning to live on the seas.  Cruising is a very radical alternative lifestyle.  A lot of people dream about doing it but few people do it which is probably best since it is not for everyone.  You need to love change in your life since you no longer are anchored to a house or a car or those things that we have learned to take for granted.

For example, shopping for groceries is always an adventure for a cruiser.  You can't just hop into your car and drive a few miles to the nearest supermarket to pick up that quart of ice cream.  Instead, you have to lower the dinghy, motor to shore, beach the dinghy and secure it so the tides do not take it out to the ocean while you are on land.  Then you have walk to the nearest market or find a bus that will go by one.  When you get there, as in most of the small islands in the South Pacific, you find that the market is just a small one or two room building with shelves that are poorly stocked.  Most of the time, we would have to go to two or more markets to find the things we need.  Even then, many times we cannot find everything we need.  Then you have schlepped the groceries back to your dinghy, launch the dinghy through the surf and motor back to your boat.  When we shop, it usually takes all day and when we are done, we are exhausted.

Whenever we sail to a first world country, we are in culture shock when we go to a true supermarket that is stocked with the things that we were used to having when living on land.  Dave just loves to walk through and marvel at row upon row of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses and the shelves that are stocked up to the ceiling not with just one brand of an item but many brands of the same item.
While cruising, we have maintained many of the same hobbies that we had on land.  Dave loves to play golf whenever he can find a golf course; Mary Margaret loves to go to farmer's markets and enjoys talking and buying things from the various vendors.  She learns so much about the local foods, methods of cooking them, the local customs and people.

Obviously, we love to travel and enjoy learning about the history, customs and way people live.  Our travels have restored our faith in humanity and have time and time again demonstrated how friendly and generous people are in each of the 30 countries that we have visited during these 4 ∏ years.  Even in those countries which are highlighted in the news as not friendly to the US, we have discovered that the people there are welcoming and are sincerely happy that we have come to their country.  We never expected this to be the case.  It is the government that is anti US, not the local people we have met.

We also love to play games and have spent many an hour when the weather keeps us on the boat playing cards, dominoes, and board games.

Dave loves to putter on things and spends many hours "working" on boat projects.  He keeps learning how things work and enjoys "noodling out" ways to repair them since boat projects are always cropping up.

Mary Margaret loves to cook and she enjoys preparing new foods since many times the fruits and vegetable we come across we have never seen or heard of before.  It is a challenge that she embraces and she does an outstanding job even though she does not see cooking as a "hobby".  She has always loved doing handwork, specifically knitting, crocheting and crewel.  She finds the yarn very hot so she does not knit or crochet on the boat.  She does crewel however.  In New Zealand, she learned how to felt and also does this on the boat.  Her favorite hobby however is reading.  She has a kindle electronic reader.  Any electronic reader is a "must" if you love to read.  It enables you to keep all of your books handy and not mold on the boat.  There are book exchanges in most marinas but there is no guarantee that you will find anything that you like to read.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Raft-UP: Hobbies

I’m so excited that our very first Raft-UP Blog Hop starts today. When I came up with the idea of doing this less than a month ago I wasn’t sure how well it would go over or if anyone else would even be interested in participating. I was almost giddy when I started to get responses (just ask Mark).

I sent out an interest form to see what people wanted to write about and hobbies on board topped the list. I’ve always wondered about this myself. With limited space and often a lack of ability to get supplies what do different boaters do for fun? What do they carry on board? Are these the hobbies they had at home? Is sailing a hobby for them? I can honestly say that I probably have too many hobbies on board and don’t do any of them enough to justify the space they take up but I’ll be telling you all about them at the end of the Hop when you can return here and I’ll be opening up a linky where you can add your own blog articles about what you do onboard.

It’s been great reading through the responses I’ve gotten and the blogs for our writers. This is a great group of individuals who have sailed countless miles, crossed oceans, and spent many hours at sea. My short introductions here do none of them justice. You'll just have to hop on over to their blogs and see how awesome each of them is for yourself. I have the honor of introducing the seven writer (+me) that will be participating this month:

Boat: Cara Mia, 38’ Island Packet 380
Crew: Tammy has been a journalist for 17 years and has written for a few small papers, The Washington Post and New York Times, have your heard of them? Just kidding of course you have. She has a new regular column in Classic Yacht magazine . I was so happy to have such an accomplished writer want to join in the fun of my little blog hop party and am sure that she will have lots of great things to add. Tammy sails with her husband Chip who is a blues harmonica player and played professionally for 5 years. He was also in the wine business for 30 years so he knows a little something about a good vino (I wouldn’t mind stopping by that boat for a drink!)

Boat: More Joy Everywhere, 1993 42’ Fountaine Pajot Venezia catamaran
Crew: Ean and Jane set sail in October 2011 from Annapolis, MD with their three cats. They are in the Florida Keys getting ready to set sail for South and Central America. While they haven’t gotten very far Jane is no newby to the sea. She did a near circumnavigation as a child on her family’s trawler and then joined the Navy. I’ll bet she has a few stories and secrets up her sleeve. But you’ll have to wait to hear from her until next month because her awesome XO will be enlightening us this month.

Boat: 1977 Hallberg-Rassy 41’
Crew: After 24 years of moving around to accommodate the Air Force, Lynn and husband Steve retired to their 41' sailboat but continue to more. But now they get to do it at their own pace and to the locations of their own choosing.

June 5th: Stephanie @ sailblogs.com/member/nornabiron
Boat: 49’ custom steel cutter rigged sloop
Crew: Steph, an ex-military nurse, and her husband Andy, an ex-plasterer and trawlerman, sail with their two stray cats (Apparently I missed the memo that I’m supposed to have a cat on board. Is my son an okay substitute?) they picked up in Greece where they have been since 2008. They plan to circumnavigate eventually but for the time being they are enjoying exploring the area. I say good idea, spend as much time as you can because once they get to the Pacific it’s getting harder and harder to get into the Med.

Boat: 33’ Sailboat
Crew: Jaye and her husband Dan mostly cruise the US East Coast and Bahamas but plan to head south in the Fall of 2013. In the meantime they are enjoying the Chesapeake, which is bar far one of the nicest areas in the US to cruise. She is another accomplished writer that we are lucky to have on-board. She writes a sailing blog for non-sailors for an online newspaper in Annapolis, MD.

June 7th: Dave will be guest posting right here.
Boat: Lagoon 440 Catamaran Leu Cat
Crew: Dave and Mary Margaret are in their 5th year of sailing and have made it across the Pacific. They are currently sailing the Whitsunday Islands in Australia where they have spotty internet so they will be posting here but you should check out their blog where Dave or Mary Margaret puts up a tip every day.

June 8th: Behan @ sv-totem.com
Boat: Stevens 47
Crew: Behan has a busy boat with husband Jamie and three children, Niall (13), Mairen (10), & Siobhan (8) on board. They left Puget Sound in 2008 and have sailed through Mexico and across the Pacific to call a marina in Brisbane, Australia home for the moment. I can’t wait to here all the things they do on this fun-filled busy boat.

June 9th: Dana @ svnorthfork.blogspot.com
Boat: 53’Amel Super Maramu 2000
Crew: My husband and I have been sailing for 3 years, almost to the day, and added our son to the crew four months ago. So far so good. Mark writes computer software and is lucky to be able to do it on the go. I gave up my career in accounting just after finishing graduate school but who knows I may one day go back. In the meantime I'm enjoying the new joys of motherhood.

I hope you enjoy what all the writers have to say this month. They each choose what they wanted to write about and even I don't know what's coming. My only question to them is how they feel about sailing as a hobby. I can't wait to find out how all these boats have some fun on board.

Check back here on the 9th when you'll have the opportunity to tell us about your hobbies.

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