The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers in an effort to draw recognition and give appreciation to blogs they enjoy reading. It’s a super nice way of connecting blogs that you love, and the idea is that if you get nominated you answer a list of questions and then pass it on by nominating a few other blogs with new questions.
Sailing Wanderer super kindly nominated us (Me: “Jonathan! Jonathan! We’ve been LIEBSTERED!!!”… Jon: “what’s a Liebster?!??!”) which is awesome because if there’s anything I love, it’s Q&A posts 🙂 Not that I’ve ever done one before…. but I love reading them!!
So without further ado… the Q&A:
Why the heck do you want to live on a boat anyway?
Oh geez, living on a boat was pretty much pre-destined from birth for me. My parents had a sailboat when I was 3, and I’d sit on the galley counter in the really big seas and laugh and laugh and laugh as I watched waves break over their heads. Then we lived on a bigger sailboat from the time I was 8 until I was 15. And now Jon and I have lived on Brio part-time for the last 3 years. So I’ve lived on a boat for 10 of my 27 years 🙂
Why do we want to *keep* living on a boat? Well that’s a different question. For the freedom. The simplicity. The lack of crap. The possibility. The ability to change scenery and neighbours without a moment’s thought. Because sailboats are freaking beautiful and there’s nothing like falling asleep to a sky full of stars through the hatch.
What is your favorite meal onboard?
Oh, chile-rellenos for sure (stuffed and battered poblano peppers) or maybe chiliquiles… and freshly caught tuna-sushi, and mujadara and… hmm… too many to name!!! Jon learned the secrets of chili-rellenos in the desert work-yard in San Carlos, and now when he’s feeling really fancy he’ll make these for breakfast or dinner. I love Mexican cuisine 🙂 But there are too many great meals to choose from so I’m giving you a slideshow.
What is your dream location to cruise?
So there’s this castle in Sweden (“Vadstena”) with a moat that you can tie up inside of… Spending a night in a castle moat is pretty much at the top of my list 🙂 But the canals of Europe are a close second. And I’d tack Tasmania on as number three — I visited that beautiful island as a backpacker and it’s a place that calls out to be explored by sailboat!
What’s been the funniest moment onboard?
Oh boy. My reaction to this was “I’m not good at funny”. Funniest moment just makes me think of all the near-misses… like me using the pressure cooker for the first time and not knowing that you have to put water in it (oops), or trying to ask if the fisherman on the beach had shrimp available (“camarones”) and instead asking if he had trucks available(“camiones”). When he figured out what I was really asking he laughed pretty hard 🙂
If you could give one piece of advice to newbie cruisers, what would it be?
Don’t set goals.
By which I mean, do not rush.
See, I have this thing that once we’ve told people we’re going somewhere (ie “we’re sailing to Panama”) WE HAVE TO DO IT. Like, no matter what. Oh, the HAM radio decided to quit working? Doesn’t matter, we have to go. Oh the rudder has some funny play in it? Doesn’t matter, we have to go. Oh, the engine is jumping off it’s mounts? Okay fine, fix it real quick and then let’s get out of here.
(I wish these were all exaggerations, but shamefully they’re all true — and it was always me saying “WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING”. Jon is the much saner half of our relationship :P)
Add my need-to-do-what-we-said-we’d-do to the whole weather / hurricane season / needing somewhere safe to leave the boat / wanting to leave Mexico thing, and you pretty much have a recipe for, you guessed it, rushing.
Now, I’m not saying that I regret the decisions we made — our ultimate goal was to get the boat to Maine, where we could love on her for a solid amount of time before continuing our cruising, and we did that — I’m just saying that as I sit here on a snowy Maine night, looking at pictures of tropical anchorages and SERIOUSLY tanned Leah & Jons, I do feel a moment’s twinge of nostalgia… Like, damn, I really wish we stayed in Big Corn Island for another week. Or, geesh, we had no idea how beautiful Providencia was when we were there.
So maybe my advice is two-fold: DO NOT RUSH, and, simultaneously, remember to appreciate every single moment (good and bad!!!) while you’re out there. Because this too shall pass, and we all need awful / wonderful / ridiculous / adventurous / crazy memories to look back on. Especially on cold wintery nights 😉
Okay, now for the fun part! I get to nominate some of MY favourite blogs:
Life on Water – We metChristian in Mexico in 2012, and have followed his (somewhat insane) journeys. He’s sailed his Cal 27 ALL OVER the west coast (up to Alaska, out to Hawaii and back, etc, etc), and is now on his way back South again 🙂 His photography and his videos in particular are AMAZING. Christian was the one to teach us how to do the GoPro-kite thing.
Twice in a Lifetime – I’ve never met these guys but Mike has been blogging for a long time and they have now crossed the Pacific twice with little babes. Mike’s a great writer & I loved his book too.
Harts at Sea – I’ve also never met these guys, but found their blog when I was googling “living aboard in Maine”. They did it for YEARS! So apparently it can be done 🙂 Anyways, they are cruising in the Azores right now and keep a great blog of their adventures.
Estrellita 5.10b – Livia started the “Interview With A Cruiser” project (a fantastic Q&A site!!) and they’ve been cruising the Pacific in a unique way for the last couple years. Livia’s blog is a great resource and their kite-boarding photos are awesome!
Daybreak – Matthew and Megan have the same kind of boat as us (yay for sailboat-sisters!) and have been wonderful about sharing parts & tips with us (e.g. they sent us the burners from their stove when they heard ours were all dying :P). They’ve just started their cruising life so it’s great fun to read about their adventures!
- Why are you cruising wherever its is you’re cruising right now? How did that become a destination?
- How’d you find your boat? Have you had other boats?
- If you weren’t sailing/cruising, what would you be doing?
- What do you love the most about this lifestyle?
- What’s your big-picture plan? Where do you hope to be in 5-10 years?
- What’s the most challenging repair you’ve had to make to your boat?
- How do you keep yourself entertained on long night watches?
Great answers! Your food slides how has me hungry for sushi at 8am. I love your advice about not rushing. Getting over the whole timetable thing was difficult for me for the first few months of cruising. To just be able to spend as much time as you want someplace takes some getting used to.
Couldn’t agree more Bill!! We’re definitely still working on this one 😛
I Love the answer to your questions and seeing you as a little girl. You are a great writer Leah and I hope you win the award.
Thanks so much Jeanne! It’s always fun to do these things 🙂
You deserve the award! I always enjoy your blog whether the topic is land, air, or sea. You and Jon where a few of our favorite finds on our adventure :-).
Bonnie you’re the sweetest!! Hope you and Kevin have had a wonderful Christmas!! You should know there was a LOT of catchphrase played around here 😛 I think that might be your legacy forever 😀
Ha! Next time you are in Vancouver let us know. We’d love to see you. We might even be able to find our catchphrase game ;-).