A big thank you to Amy and David of Out Chasing Stars for putting our blog on the Liebster Award** list. As newbie bloggers and soon to be live aboard cruisers, we appreciate the hat tip from our fellow Texans, and are happy to answer their questions.
David and Amy on the right.
1. What first attracted you to the cruising lifestyle? Frank caught the sailing bug at a camp he attended when he was about 10 years old. He also has fond memories of racing at the New Orleans Yacht Club under the direction of George Sladovich, who Frank still quotes today! My introduction to sailing was much less promising and included being dumped into a cold Texas lake when the boom ‘came about’ and knocked me right off the boat. Fortunately, my sailing language and skills have improved since then. Water sports, a simpler lifestyle and a desire to explore from our own home are probably the key attractions of cruising for us. We are still wading into cruising, but the few weeks we have managed to spend on Let It Be have shown us we sail well together and enjoy focusing in the same direction.
2. What has been the best day you had on board? This is a tough one, because the variety has been so great! From a sentimental point of view, the best day was during Christmas last year when we had our sons, Hunter and Clayton, with us and Frank’s mom, Jackie, was on board too. There was something pretty special about sitting in the cockpit reading a book while under sail, listening to one son grabbing beverages for his dad and grandmom, the other son reading next to me. At the same time, I was half listening as Frank taught his mom how to helm the boat. Then Hunter, Clayton and I shared a smile as the bow began swinging from side to side while Jackie got a feel for the helm. The three of us agreed, it’s kind of nice to have a 180 degree view without turning your head. 🙂
3. What is your favorite go to recipe while on board? We eat pretty simply and one of our go to meals is all prepared on the gas grill. I marinade chicken in Grill Mates Montreal seasoning most of the day then grill it for dinner. Close to dinner time we slice sweet potatoes about 1/4″ thick, add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, greek seasoning and grill it. We like our sweet potatoes pretty well cooked so the outside is a bit blackened and the middle is soft. Next up is asparagus which we rinse and pat dry then put on the grill for a few minutes. After it is cooked, add a bit of butter and whatever spices hit your fancy. Quick preparation, healthy, and all cooking is done on the grill, so the galley stays cool!
4. What skill do you wish you had picked up before you lived aboard? The list of what I would like to know before I move on board is so long it is overwhelming! Probably top on my list would be a weather course. My weather skills are fine for the BVIs, but I am not knowledgable enough to “read” the skies and know what to expect. I would really like to take a course early in 2015, but I think we will have to read books instead of taking an actual course.
5. What do you want for Christmas? Ha, the perfect, most impossible Christmas gift would be for elves to enter my house, sort my photographs and digitize all of them so I don’t have to do it! Then if those elves would stick around long enough to organize our belongings into “boat,” “store,” “sell,” “give away” piles, I would be very thankful! However, if the elves are too busy, they could just buy me a water-maker for LIB. Or I can dream really big and ask for a water maker and an ice maker!
6. What was your scariest sailing moment? Well, I can’t say we have had a really scary sailing moment ~ yet! But I do have a favorite panicky moment…. Frank, Clayton and I were on LIB. This was my 2nd time on board and Clayton’s first time on a large sail boat. Frank was our voice of experience, but he was distracted by the fishing lines we were trolling. We were all sitting at the helm when suddenly there was a “fish on!’ Frank raced to the back of the boat and Clayton and I stayed at the helm. All was well until a squall suddenly appeared and brought some serious winds. Frank was so engrossed in reeling in his fish, he didn’t pay attention to the weather and was telling us to “slow the boat.” Of course, we couldn’t find the brakes and the wind was kicking up seriously. Finally Clayton used some rather strong language and was able to get his Dad’s attention. Alas, the fish was lost, but Clayton and I learned how to slow a sailing vessel!
7. What is the longest passage you’ve ever made? Well, here again, our inexperience shows. Our longest sail has been about 8 hours all during daylight. Stay tuned though as we hope to make some longer jaunts in the next six months.
8. Tell us one personal item you have aboard the boat. Personal items are minimal because LIB is still in charter, however, we have already had some discussions about what should or shouldn’t move on board. Let me state for the record, that I think a kitchen-aid mixer is very reasonable, especially if the crew wants homemade bakery items. As for my most frivolous item? I’m thinking about smuggling on a couple of crystal wine glasses instead of banishing them all to storage.
We would like to take this chance to pass along the Liebster Award to Carina of Devon , Astrolabe Sailing and LAHOWIND. These blogs are very different and are excellent reads. I know you will enjoy reading them as much as I do!
To Carina of Devon, Astrolabe Sailing and LAHOWIND, I tried to search your blogs and make sure you have not been nominated before, so I hope this isn’t a duplication for you. It’s your turn to answer questions and pass along the Liebster Award.
Here are our questions:
1. What first attracted you to a cruiser lifestyle?
2. What was your biggest concern before moving on board?
3. Now that you live aboard, what is your biggest concern or adjustment?
4. What did you do for recreation/hobby before you became a cruiser and what do you do now?
5. Has your initial estimate of how long your would cruise changed from your original plan?
6. What is one unusual or surprising thing you have on board?
7. What is the most surprising/rude/absurd or annoying question you have been asked?
8. Name something that is better about living aboard than living on land and does it surprise you?
9. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your boat right now?
10. Can you name one thing that is a favorite part of your “normal” day?
**When I first saw a Liebster Award, I thought the blog I was reading had won some sort of internet blogging award. However, the Liebster Award is virtual recognition from one blogger to another in an effort to express appreciation for writing efforts. It’s sort of a cross between a pat on the back and a chain letter; more interesting than a chain letter with encouragement to keep writing rather than a threat of dire consequences if you break the chain. We are happy to have been recognized by Out Chasing Stars for the Liebster. It is nice to know someone “out there” is reading our small entry into blog land.