Saturday, October 30, 2010


Cruisers in our world are not people who go to bars looking to get picked up, as my dear girlfriends who visited this past summer thought. Cruisers are people who have chosen to live and travel aboard their boats (both sailing and motor).

The average cruisers, in my experience, are retired couples living off their retirement incomes.  Many are single men (I have met not a single single woman).  There are a smattering of young cruisers (again single men or couples) taking some time off from ‘real’ life before starting families and/or becoming gainfully employed.  And another smattering of families, who, like us, will likely be working into their retirements when their landlubber friends reach retirement and begin to enjoy their lives. 

Cruisers' boats come in all shapes and sizes.  We do not count the mega-yachts as part of our circle as these  yachts are in a category of their own:  usually owned by the uber-wealthy from around the world with full-time crew aboard keeping the boats sparkly clean awaiting the rare weekend when their owners plan to take ‘er out.   In the cruising community, the boats can cost as little as, well, nothing – perhaps salvaged heaps that the owner spent years to rebuild and make sea-worthy – and as much as several hundreds of thousands of dollars, particularly if you count all the fancy equipment one can technically have aboard. Some cruisers pick up odd jobs along the way to keep the cruising kitty alive, while others go back to the US or Canada for more extended periods to build up their savings once again.  Regardless of boat size and value, everyone shares – parts, advice, meals.  The key is not have ‘boat envy’, as my friend Sarah aboard -----One says.  And regardless of a cruisers' age, background and education, everyone is a potential friend, sharing this common experience we call 'cruising'.

There are those who have come down to Mexico on their boats or bought them here.  There are also those who, once here, simply stay tied to the dock or on the hook (sailor-speak for ‘anchored’).  These folks are no longer ‘cruisers’, however.  They are simply ‘live-aboards’, and have, perhaps, fallen back into that state of inability to cut the lines, as is the case with many would-be cruisers who spend their lives getting their boats ready but never feel they’re ready enough. Not that we can blame them.  Certainly the hardest part to getting our boat ready was not the physical labor or the system equipping, but rather the mental self-talk most of us have had to do to actually leave the dock.  In other words, we have realized that your boat always needs work, so that as long as your boat is sea-worthy, it’s ready enough.  You can get your work done along the way.  The hardest part is actually cutting the lines and sailing off the dock that first time.

And so what all these cruisers have in common is, in fact, the cutting of those dock lines, and the anxiety-ridden but exhilarating love-hate relationship one has with sailing into the unknown, enjoying a simpler life in many ways, and the take-it-as-it-comes attitude that is required for making all this work.  Not a bad crowd to run with.

-Barb in La Paz 


  1. I can't wait to go cruising with you real soon!!!

    Michael -- in California

  2. Hi Everyone on Watcha Gonna Do - Including Michael who is not on there right now!

    It is so wonderful reading all the comments...and I must Harrison, I don't like doing chores either. Perhaps ou and Rebecca can automate some them in the future.

    Glad to hear everyone is back and well on the boar. It sure sounds like Barb is themost capable mom/wife/cruiser/teacher in the world now! I really enjoyed reading her latest blogs and the only thing is that I wish I was still across the table at Starbucks taking with her about all these life issues.

    We are doing fine...miss you guys. and HAPPY Halloween!

    x0x0x0Will write soon again...Glad all is well. Sharon

  3. Well, there's an additional role you can add to your resumee - CRUISER... Hope it helps when you choose your next "profession"! HIRED!