03 Dec 6 Things We Learned In Year 1 of Cruising Outside the USA
1. It always rains when you leave your hatches open!
Never leave your boat without closing the hatches and windows. It is inevitable that it will rain if you leave them open. It only took us one soaking wet couch to learn this.
2. Get the best refrigerator/freezer system you can!
Boat refrigerators may work great in the states, but the tropics are the real deal. We wish we would have spent as much time before we left on refrigeration as we did on sails and rigging.
3. Expect the Unexpected!
Go with the flow. Something breaks, the weather turns, the mail is lost, or a pandemic locks you down. Sometimes you have to “embrace the suck.” All of the little annoying things that happen usually lead to some really awesome unexpected new experience.
4. Go where the tourists don’t go!
You need to get off the beaten path if you really want to engage the local culture. In most tourist places you are seen as a walking dollar bill. If you get beyond that you will experience the country’s real life, not a glossed over souvenir strip.
Although sometimes it can be intimidating to wander outside the safety of the main drag, we have found most of the locals to be just as interested in learning about you as you are of them. It makes for some great times and excellent memories.
5. Don’t bring so much s@#t!
You know what we are talking about here. All those things you think you need…you don’t need it! We are glad for all of our spare parts, but you really don’t need a favorite shirt number 10 or that extra pair of shoes. We are racing sailors, so we like to travel light, yet one year and multiple purges later, we still have too much stuff!
6. Just go for it!
It is hard to leave the comforts and easy life of what you know. Be it your house at home or the dock in a foreign port. The unknown is always intimidating. At every turn there is another crossing to make, just take the leap. Trust yourself and trust your boat.
Oh, and remember to close your hatches!