I’m Nica Waters. What makes me qualified to talk about this cruising thing?
Short story: my husband and I have owned our 28’ Bristol Channel Cutter, Calypso, since 1992. We’ve extensively cruised her twice, from 1994-1997 and then again (with 2 kids on board) from 2009-2010). We’re currently doing a complete interior refit as we prep to sail off again in the late fall of 2019, after both kids are in college. I’ve cruised as part of a young couple and as part of a family. You may well be planning to cruise on a larger boat; my advice will pertain to you no matter the boat size.
Longer story: Spring, 1991. College graduation looms in a couple of months. My then-boyfriend (now husband) turns to me and says, "Hey, I want to buy a boat and go sailing." I've sailed before. I've even taught sailing before. But buy our own boat and head off into the wilds of the Bahamas and the Caribbean? "Okay." Lin Pardey's book, "The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew" (now called The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew), becomes my dog-eared bible, as does the "Cruising and Food" column in Cruising World magazine.
Spring 1992-September 1994: Buy a boat. Learn everything I can about cruising, and living aboard. Somewhere in there (Fall 1993) we move aboard Calypso, after installing a head and hooking up the water tanks.
September 1994-August 1997: Sail from Houston to Venezuela to Virginia, via the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean.
August 1997-October of 2009: Settle into life ashore. Have kids. Decide we're not going sailing any time soon. Decide within an hour of that decision that we're leaving in 9 months for the Bahamas. Spend the next months planning, provisioning, and convincing the kids that it's a good idea. We head off again, this time with 4 humans aboard instead of 2.
October 2009-June 2010: Sail to the Bahamas and the DR and back again.
June 2010-present: Back into the world ashore, with kids and school and jobs and all. Meanwhile, kids are getting older. One even graduated from high school already and started college. And we are planning and prepping and reorganizing/redoing the interior for the next cruise, all on that same 28' boat.
I've cruised with 2 aboard. With a dog. With kids. I've learned a lot about cruising and prepping and provisioning. I've gotten passionate about fitness. And right now, I'm in the same stages you are - the "getting ready to go in the next couple of years."
Owned same 28' boat since 1992. Hazard a guess that if I can do it on my boat, you can do it on yours.
Nobody has gone hungry on board. We've eaten weird things, yes, but we've eaten.
My Tasty Thursday video series on YouTube has been running without pause since October of 2012 - almost 6 years of weekly videos.
And when I’m not sailing, reading sailing books, lusting over sailing videos? I'm inspiring people to squat while they pump gas or making them rethink how hard it is to cook (hint – it’s not), or I can be found endlessly scrolling on Facebook, sneaking bites of the Peppermint JoJos I hide in the freezer (better than Thin Mints!), or reading Nora Roberts romantic fiction.
1) My best friend from high school is a 2-time Olympic sailor. She and her skipper came in 4th at the Atlanta games. When we were in 9th grade, we made a Sony Walkman as a Halloween costume and paraded around in it. Yes, I walked around in a grey spray-painted freezer box and thought I was cool.
2) You can read all about our 10 months living on a 28’ sailboat . . . with my husband AND 2 kids. We are, in fact, still speaking to each other. All of us.
3) I miss my dogs and cats something fierce.
4) If the bed is not made before bedtime, I will make it and then directly crawl in.
Getting ready to go cruising isn't only about the boat. It's about you, too. Let me help.