David & Marcie Lynn have been cruising since 2000 aboard Nine of Cups, a Liberty 458 cutter - 45'/14M hailing from Denver, CO, USA. Since 2000 they have cruised the East coast US and maritime Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean, 2 Panama Canal transits, circumnavigation of South America including Patagonian canals, Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn, etc., Cape Town, South Africa and two trans-Atlantic crossings, South Atlantic islands of Tristan de Cunha, St. Helena and Ascension, trans-Pacific from Puerto Montt, Chile to Opua, NZ with ports of call at Juan Fernandez Island, Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, French Polynesia, Cook Islands including Suwarrow Atoll, Niue and Tonga. You can find out more on their website, blog, or through email (email@example.com).
Over the time that you have been cruising, has the world of cruising changed?
Not considerably. For instance, internet and ATMs were available back in 2000 which are two big pluses for cruisers, but sometimes access in remote places was very limited. Access has improved over the past few years. We've still found places without ATMs (e.g. the Gambiers, Tristan, Pitcairn), but wifi seems available about everywhere now, even on the boat.
What is your favorite piece of boating related new technology?
Chartplotter...It's not all that new as far as technologygoes, just new to us as of 2 years ago and we love it.
Is there anywhere you sailed to that was a disappointment?
No. Some places are not as fun as others or as interesting, but each place has its own charm and allure if you take the time and effort to find it.
When have you felt most in danger and what was the source?
We feel uncomfortable during storms sometimes. We hit a rock coming out of an anchorage in Tierra del Fuego, far from any other boat or port and felt some concern. Though we've had our share of mishaps and bad weather, we rarely feel we're in extreme danger. We work at staying calm and coming up with solutions and ways of handling the situation.
What type of watch schedule do you normally use while offshore?
3 hours on/3 hours off from 9pm-9am, then a loose schedule during daylight hours with someone always in the cockpit.
With the benefit of hindsight, what are the boat selection criteria you would use to purchase a boat for long term cruising?
We've lived aboard for 11 years and not regretted buying “Nine of Cups” after 60,000 miles of sailing. Heavy displacement (she's 20+ tons); modified full keel; 45' is roomy enough for two people and can still be handled by two people without extra crew; lots of lockers and stowage space; easy access to engine;
What do you miss about living on land?
Proximity to relatives and old friends; a garden; space for more “stuff”
Have you found "trade goods" to be useful on your cruise? If so, what kinds?
Depending upon where you sail, different items are of interest to the locals. In the San Blas Islands of Panama, for instance, reading glasses and sewing needles were of particular interest. In the Cook Islands, “Crocs” were a hot item, along with fishing hooks and gear. Cigarettes, wine, liquor (small bottles of rum purchased in Central/South America) are always welcome trade and gift items with fishermen. Children's clothes are always welcome. Typically, we received fresh veggies, fish and local crafts.
Was there anywhere you visited that you thought was overrated (not as good as you had heard)?
Again, a place is what you make it. Things change; places change; people change. I think we don't go to a place with high expectations. We make our cruising itinerary choices carefully based on what we're interested in doing and seeing and we do quite a bit of research in advance using lots of different sources. We particularly like the SSCA Bulletin for real cruiser stories versus sailing magazines which tend to glorify experiences.
What question do you wish I would have asked you besides the ones I've asked you and how would you answer it?
Why do you cruise?
Because we can. Because we love to travel and experience new countries and cultures. We'd never have the same experiences if we just flew to a place and stayed the usual couple of weeks. Because we think cruising affords us the opportunity to experience one of the last freedoms available to people. Because we like being off the beaten track. Because we like being more conscious of nature and our natural surroundings; Because we like being as self-sufficient as possible. A perfect day for us is catching a fish for dinner (sushi...so no propane-use/cooking required); enough wind on a broad reach to sail in the right direction; enough wind and solar so we don't have to start the engine to recharge the batteries.