Last week one of our boating friends stopped by Harpswell asking for directions. This person had made an appointment with someone in the area who was selling some boating gear and our friend couldn't find their home. When I was told that the folks doing the selling had left Maine in 98 and sailed for ten years, going around the world, I decided to show my friend how to get to Bailey's Island and hopped into the front seat.
Thankfully, the couple selling a few things (things they don't need to cruise Maine) are truly sailing folk and delighted to talk with both of us. I love listening to folks who have lived the dream to remind myself that someday EW and I are going to set sail on our own journey.
We spoke for less than an hour. Our friend ended up talking with the husband about boat parts while his wife graciously answered any question I could think of. They are going to be around a while and as we get closer to setting our date, EW and I will invite this wonderful couple to visit La Luna. In the meantime, here are a few practical tips from a woman who has sailed around the world.
Here's what "M" said:
- After we left Maine I never wore my foul weather gear. In fact, I had purchased new jacket, pants and boots and never wore the pants and boots in ten years.
- You will want a hard dodger. If you have a fabric dodger, be prepared to repair the stitches as the sun does a number on the thread.
- You will get used to not wearing shoes. You will take too many shoes. I couldn't give Tevas away in the islands.
- You will trade clothes for hand made goods.
- If you want to give things to folks in remote areas, take cheap reading glasses, pads of paper, pens, and "penny" candy.
- Kids love balloons. Take lots of balloons.
- Learn dominoes--every cruiser in the Caribbean plays dominoes. Purchase the game and learn it.
- Take UNO, of course. You don't have UNO??? It's a great game for all ages. One of my favorite memories is playing UNO with a group of teen boys in the Pacific Islands. You don't have to speak English or know the game to pick it up quickly.
- We had a lot of book trades. Take paperbacks and trade them. But I'm not sure how the Kindle will make a difference. We traded a lot of books with other sailors.
- We didn't do much with DVD's until we got to Malaysia and other places where they were cheap. When cruising boats were watching DVD's they didn't interact as much with others.
- You will need a lot of swimsuits. And sunscreen. Wear a shirt when you snorkel.
- You don't need a wind generator. You do need solar panels.
- Take a few of your favorite cookbooks and get ready to learn new recipes with new foods. Enjoy that.
- Just go.
Thank you. Thank you very much, "M". You made my week.