Do you live aboard your boat?

    02/2011: Not yet. In June 2010 we purchased our sailboat, a Fuji 40 we named Del Viento. She's waiting for us in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In April 2011 we will put our Washington, D.C. home up for sale and as soon as it sells, we'll pile into the car and head to Mexico to start our new lifestyle.
Why are you guys going cruising?
    Michael: In short, because we’ve done it before and know we like it, because we think the girls will really benefit from it; because it beats working. For a better answer, read our post: Why the radical life change?

    Windy: In 1996-97 Mike and I spent 7 months cruising from Ventura, CA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Since then we have remained determined to do it again, someday. Having kids caused us to reflect on our life and lifestyle. We were working too much, missing too much. Moving onto a boat was the obvious solution for us.

What are your cruising plans?
    02/2011: Starting from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we intend to head north, slowly, and eventually make our way at least as far as British Columbia, perhaps Alaska? From there, we don’t know. Stay tuned.
How much does it cost to go cruising?
    Michael: This is the mother of all questions from non-cruisers, whether asked or not. I know it is a question pondered by all folks preparing to cruise. The question is akin to asking how much is costs to live on land. All we know for sure is how much we spend in our cruising lifestyle. Accordingly, we set up a separate page on this blog where we detail all of our expenditures, beginning with our transition from the land-lubbing life to the cruising life. In our 20's, we cruised on about $500 per month, not including a $600 charge to transit the Panama Canal.

    Windy: In 1996 we cruised on a $9000 boat. I had a passport and $700 in my fanny pack.
What about pirates?
    02/2011: When I first started SCUBA diving, I was amazed at the number of non-divers who asked, “What about sharks?” I know some people ask campers, “What about bears?” We will avoid areas (Venezuela and Somalia) where violent attacks on cruisers have been reported. That’s really all.
What about storms?
    02/2011: We will pay attention to the weather forecasts and do our best to avoid storms. In the event we get caught in something, we and our boat will be prepared to take an awful lot. Our Fuji 40 is a heavy-displacement vessel designed for ocean voyaging.
What about schooling for the girls?
    02/2011: No change. The girls are schooled at home today and will be schooled aboard while we cruise. Their education will continue to be largely based on their changing interests.
What kind of boat do you have?
    Del Viento is a Fuji 40, built in Japan in 1978. Very few cruising boats were built in Japan. She was designed by Sparkman & Stephans. She was previously named Dream Catcher and Texas Swan, and Second Wind. Read more about the Fuji 40 on this page. See pre-purchase pictures of our Fuji 40 in this post.
How will you stay in contact?
    02/2011: Probably via the Internet, email and Skype. We may someday have a satellite phone. We will communicate with other cruisers mostly via VHF and SSB radio.
What about safety at sea?
    02/2011: We will all wear life vests and tethers when appropriate. We have two EPIRPs aboard, a ditch bag, spare water, and an extensive first aid kit. Windy completed a NOLS Wilderness First Responder course in 2010. We have numerous medical reference books aboard and an electronic copy of the Merck Manual on our iPhones. Our dinghy will be outfitted as a life boat. We will install netting on the lifelines to further help keep little people aboard. We will wear sunscreen. But above all, the singular most important safety step we will take is to use good judgment.
Won't you get bored?
    02/2011: No.
What will you do all day?
    02/2011: We're not totally sure. Isn't that great?! Our current life is pretty intensly scheduled, by our standards at least. The day we look around and think, "Hmmm, what should we do?" is eagerly anticipated. That said, we get this question often and I think it comes from a vision of us bobbing around in the middle of the ocean, possibly with the added excitement of two children throttling each other out of boredom, and circling sharks. In fact, ninety percent of our time will not be spent sailing, but at anchor, someplace. How we spend our time will largely depend where we are anchored. From our previous trip we do know we can count on plenty of time spent doing laundry, fixing broken stuff, and doing laundry.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking about doing the same thing?
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