Cruising Life, What I Like About Cruising

What I like best about cruising? Passages and anchorages: a world of your own

Photo provided by Daria Blackwell
On the long passages, nothing compares to being completely and solely in charge of your entire world and in tune with the world around you – as long as it’s going well.

Alex and I sail double-handed most often, so only one of us is awake at any given time.

When you’re on watch, the entire world is right there in your ship and your responsibility. The rest of world consists of the shining eyes of flying fish all around you, the friendly chatter and vain performances of dolphins, the inquisitive visits of whales, the luminescent trails of fish making their way through the sea, the sparkles in the wake and the twinkles and shooting stars in the sky. Rainbows and moonbows, mesmerizing seas and painted skies, they are all things you would never experience if you stayed at home on the treadmill watching the reruns.

And if the ____ hits the fan, getting through it in one piece makes you feel more alive than ever before. It’s all part of the experience.

Photo provided by Daria BlackwellYet clearly, dropping anchor in a remote and idyllic harbour and stowing the gear before settling down for the evening is at the top of the list of all time favourites.

It’s my favourite time of day. There is a calming routine about it all. Find the right spot, drop the hook, set it well, and greet the neighbours. Stow the sheets, the halyards, the sails. Square away the dinghy. Get the cushions out. Make a snack and some drinks.

Enjoy the show in the harbour and wait for the sun’s daily performance. It’s never the same.

It’s always amazing as the vivid colours paint the sky then fade into shades of pastels until they fade to neutral greys as the world goes to sleep. The fish stop splashing, the birds stop singing, and the parties eventually subside.There’s a natural order and if you let it happen, it will make everything else go away.

About Daria Blackwell

Daria BlackwellDaria Blackwell is a lifelong sailor and passionate cruiser. She has completed 3 Atlantic crossings and spent years cruising the coasts of the Americas and Europe, as well as the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands, and the Atlantic islands, most recently double-handing on their vintage 57-foot ketch, Aleria, with her husband, Alex, and cruising kitty, Onyx.

HH-FC-for-webThe Blackwells are co-authors of Happy Hooking: The Art of Anchoring, which has received excellent reviews in the sailing press.

Their seminar on anchoring has drawn large crowds and delivered exceptional attendee critiques and comments (Reference: SailAmerica). Most recently, they have been delivering seminars (on anchoring as well as other cruising topics) online and live via the Seven Seas University of SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association), GLCC, yacht clubs and boat shows.

The Blackwells are also the organizers of the Seven Seas Cruising Association cruising station for Ireland.

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