Category Archives: The Big Picture

How much does it cost to sail around the world – Sue

One of the most popular posts on the blog is about money.  How do people do it?  I know the amount people spend on the high seas differs greatly depending on how much you are willing to rough it, but online there are precious few resources online that can give you actual numbers.  Obviously, finances are a very personal thing.  I’ve asked fellow bloggers who are out there doing it.

This is from a cruising couple from the UK.  They sold their home, and cruise with their savings and income from rental properties.

I think the reason people don’t post info about money is because it’s fairly personal and different people have different ideas on ‘how much does it cost’. For instance we didn’t go into any marinas in Australia because it was way beyond our budget but here in Malaysia it’s much cheaper so we do.  

Again in Australia we didn’t eat out very much but here we do.  We live roughly on a £1000 +/- a month which covers food, marinas, fuel, occasional car hire (again not always in our budget), entrance fees, laundry, custom fees, small hardware bills, that sort of thing.  It doesn’t include big jobs on the boat, flights home (which we don’t go very often) and expenses at home ie management fees for the flats.  If we go on any land travel the boat budget pays for the marina while we are away and eating out, etc but I have a small personal income that we use for the flights and hotels for land travel.  

We know some people who think £1000 a month is a lot of money and others who have pensions, 2nd incomes etc who live on £2500 a month so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer as to ‘how much does it cost’ but I hope that helps.

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Hurry On

Her name is Hurry On.  A C&C 27 who didn’t make it into the water the last few years.  A fixer-upper with good bones, a large wardrobe of sails, and headroom enough for 3/4 of our family to stand up in the cabin.  Between now and the Spring of 15, there is a lot of work to do.  It has also given me the opportunity to learn about marine diesels, which I’m somewhat uneasy about, knowing pretty much squat about engines in general, diesel or otherwise.

Projects I hope to tackle in order of importance:

Re-seat chainplates – a bit of water getting in there, but wood seems good.

Engine tune up – having sat idle, it could likely use some attention.

New companionway door – Hey, I’ve done this before!

Replace Windows – Scratched, foggy and leaky

Replace floor – Its pretty spongy down there.

Re-seat traveler – pretty leaky down below

Change name? – Not sure about this yet

C&C 27 MKV named "Hurry On"

C&C 27 MKV named “Hurry On”

Inches to spare on either side.

Inches to spare on either side.

Her mast is much heavier than Indy's!

Her mast is much heavier than Indy’s!

Cockpit

Cockpit

old-world charm

old-world charm

needs a good scrub

needs a good scrub

safety equipment inspection

safety equipment inspection

Our ladder is just long enough!

Our ladder is just long enough!

Comes with a free oyster shell!

Comes with a free oyster shell!

MAst/Rudder balance test

Mast/Rudder balance test

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Indefatigable has a new owner

Its been four great summers.  She was always a patient and forgiving teacher, but in order for us to move to the next phase of the journey, we had to part ways.   Congratulations Gavin, you have a great boat.

Taking suggestions on names for our next vessel, to be introduced next week!

May-31Mom-11 096picnik

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The Leibster Award

This is my first blog.  I started it back in 2011 when we hatched this crazy plan.  Since then I’ve detailed our adventures, projects, warm evenings, and scary square waves.  I’m not sure why I started it.  I think it was because blogs are such a valuable tool in getting ready for such an undertaking.  There are several that I follow that feature people in the same part of the process as we are.  There are some that have left, and are out on the water as we speak feeling the sun hot on their faces as it reflects off the Aegean Sea, or slowly navigating their way through the fog of the Northwest Passage.  There are others who have been gone for years and are taking in the cultural highlights of south-east Asia.  I didn’t start writing this for general consumption.  I never share a new post on social media, mainly because I thought it would be a pretty specific reader who would find any of this stuff interesting.  So I have relied solely on people who land here from a google search, or a link to a “how-to”.  Now, even we have a small following too.

One of the blogs that I reciprocally follow is Viki Moore’s Astrolabe Sailing.   If you drilled a hole straight down, through the earths crust and its swirling molten core, you would come out not far from where she sails in New Zealand on a similar quest as us.  It was Viki who nominated Long Blue Road for  what is called the Liebster Award.

liebster-award1Basically, the award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.  It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward.  You are nominated by a blogger who enjoys your blog, they pose some questions, you then nominate a blogger you you enjoy.  Here are Viki’s questions:

1. What sort of boat do you have? What do you love about it and what would you change if you could?

A Tanzer 22.  A Canadian-made 22 footer with a great reputation for being well built and a trusty steed in a chop.  When shopping for our first boat, we looked specifically for a Tanzer 22.   What I like the most about Indefatigable is that she is a rock.  Solid.  She is 32 years old, but in excellent shape.   It is peace of mind that whatever happens, she is ready for it, (if we are is another question!)  Sadly this was our last season with Indy.  In order to one day cross oceans, we have to slowly move up to something bigger (more exciting developments on this later!).  Indy was the first sailboat either of us have been on, her job was to show us the ropes and teach us the basics of sailing, and in that, she was a trusty steed.

2. Are you and your partner both as passionate about sailing as each other?

We are!  This has been the topic of a few conversations with some of the more seasoned sailors.  I’ve been told on more than one occasion about how lucky I am to have a partner who enjoys being out on the water as much as I do.

3. What are your future sailing plans?

The reason we started this journey was because we wanted to cross the Atlantic in a sailboat.  The more we looked into it, we thought, why not make it a round the world trip!?  That’s where we stand at the moment.  With years to go before we leave, I couldn’t close the door on changes to that plan.  Just this summer we raced with an wily veteran who suggested that Europe-Canaries-Caribbean-US would be a much safer route, so who knows.  Our hope is to build enough enough experience, cash and seaworthy vessel by 2020.  The kids would be 10 and 8, from what we hear is prime cruising time.

4. Where is the most amazing place you have visited?

Our sailing travels have been limited to Cape Breton Island.  There is some great sailing here.  I’ve heard the Bras D’Or described as “islands within a sea, within an island, within an ocean”  which, believe it or not, is geographically accurate!

cb2

5. What do you love most about the sailing lifestyle?

For me its the speed and silence.  The low speed that is.  A beautiful sailing town called Baddeck is about an hour away by car.  By boat, it is 8 hours.  8 hours of beautiful scenery, packed lunches, trip planning, and conversations with teh one you love.  And also the silence.   Because we were sailing newbies, a lot of our friends had never been on a sailboat before either.  One thing I never get tired of is the look on their face when the motor is shut off, and they realize we’re now being propelled by wind only.  Or when racing as crew on larger boats with light wind.  Inches in sail trim make a difference.  You could be only feet away from a 27 tonne vessel, you are racing, and there is silence.

6. When were you most frightened?

Easy one.  While trying to enter the Bras D’Or channel with opposing current, winds and waves picked up, Erika was 7 months pregnant, and we were still pretty new.  The whole saga is detailed here.

7. Do you have any plans to go back to dry land at any stage?

We will likely have to return to land.  What we will do, who knows.  Perhaps we will be able to settle back into our old jobs?  Or maybe try something new.    I’ve been in radio or 10 years.  I like it and would like to keep doing it.  If that’s not possible, hmmm… I always wanted to be a sustenance farmer.

8. What is the biggest mistake you have made?

I would have to say not racing our own boat sooner.  This either means that we haven’t made any moves that were obvious mistakes, or that these moves haven’t YET presented themselves as dumb moves.  But we have learned more about sail trim, and what boats are capable of in 6 weeks of racing than a year of casual sailing.

9. How do you afford your lifestyle?

At the moment, owning a 22 foot sailboat in a rural area of Eastern Canada is not too much a strain on the pocket book.  Part of our prep time is saving and putting the machinery in place to generate a small income when we are at sea.

10. What is your favourite book and why?

Because the rest of the questions are in a sailing context, I’ll assume this one is as well.  Although any reading you can do about Alexander the Great, I find is time well spent!   I’ve read several books about cruising, but I have to say my favourite sailing book is Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor .  I used to read it in Frances’ room while waiting for her to fall asleep at night.  It sounds pretty dry, but I found the evolution of hulls over the last few 100 years and the sacrifices for speed for the sake of stability very interesting.

Now it’s time for me to make my nomination.  When I first decided to blog, I went looking for similar bloggers.  I was lucky enough to stumble onto the Venture Minimalists very first post, just hours after it was ‘pressed’.  Sarah and Andrew come from a landlocked state, but took relatively no time to get out on the water!  Theirs is a great story.

Some questions for you:

1. What were the ‘must haves’ on your boat before you left?

2. Which do you prefer?  The sailing or the traveling?

3. What are your future sailing plans?

4. Favourite place you have visited so far?

5. What do you love most about the sailing lifestyle?

6. When were you most frightened?

7. Do you have any plans to go back to dry land at any stage?

8. What is the biggest mistake you have made?

9. How do you afford your lifestyle?

10. What is your favourite book and why?

 

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Essential Navigation and Seamanship

Over the last number for weeks, when rambunctious toddlers konked out upstairs, Erika and I would break out our charts, plotter and dividers, and settle in to do the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship course.  It’s designed for the complete beginner, starting with nautical terminology, and advancing to calculating the best place to moor with 10kt winds from the north and a 2kt ESE current because of spring tide.

It was a fun and informative way to spend the cold wintery evenings, and kind of sad that it is all over.  Our new education has given us the renewed confidence to try another trip to the Bras D’Or this summer which didn’t go too well back in 2012.

It also got us thinking about other educational options available.  The next step, through RYA, would be the Dayskipper courses, which come in a shore-based theory portion, and a five day liveaboard practical section.  Through Discovery Sailing on the mainland, (one of two RYA training centres in Canada),  we had the option of taking the practical portion in August of this year.  As tempting as it was, with Charlie still nursing,  five days ( plus a day travel time both there and back) was a bit too long to be away from the kiddos.   By June 2015 we should be ready to roll.

Since we’re looking ahead to next year, why stop there?  In 2016, why not charter a boat in the Caribbean?  From the limited amount of research on this, the British Virgin Islands seems the place to start this adventure, because of the many harbours, great weather, and mostly all line of sight navigation.   Never too early to start planning I say!

Essential Navigation Seamanship

The New Navigators

 

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Cold Island

After so long without a post, I almost feel that a state of the journey post is in order.  It is strong.  It is strong.  One could say it is stronger than ever as we continue to endure what could only be described as a winter hand-painted by Satan himself.  I was thinking about what to say in this post, and the original plan was not to bitch about winter , but then this came in yesterday, ( a full week into spring now)

WEATHER

Cape Breton’s winter of 2013-2014 is certainly one for the books.  It was the coldest since 1986, and we had already more snow than all of last year by mid January.

The winter started much earlier than usual.  Indy was barely in the driveway a day or two last November before she was buried in snow.  In such a rush to get her home, we chucked her bits and pieces into the cabin, and haven’t ventured out to check on things for some time.  In advance of the blizzard, I went out to fetch the battery powered radio, it wasn’t pretty.  Mold growing on the table, bilge full of ice, and general unpleasantness.

These two were here in Cape Breton for the blizzard, experiencing first hand the fury of Les Suete wind phenomenon

 

We sally forth.  A ll indicators, however, do signal that there will be a summer this year.  I am basing this on the fact that there were summers each year for the last 80,000 years or so.  In preparation, we enrolled in an online navigation course through the Royal Yachting Association.  It’s very informative, and a lot of fun.  So far, we’ve learned how to read charts, buoyage, and different navigation methods, like plotting a course, finding your location, and finding your bearings.

 

RYA Navigation Course

The last few nights, Erika and I put the kids to bed, got some snacks, broke out the plotter, charts and dividers (that comes with the course by mail) and learned the ways of the mariner.  This is one of a number of courses offered by the RYA through Canadian sailing schools.  We signed up for this one through Discovery Sailing on the mainland.

Coming up on the weekend, there is talk of mucking out the boat… it may even get above 0°!!!

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Indefatigable… for sale?

I wake up at about 3:50am to go to work.  I don’t have to get up that early, I usually leave the house at 4:45am, but I have a ritual.  Alarm goes off, I get some clothes on, get a banana, peruse the top stories online edition of the Cape Breton Post before heading straight for the letters to the editor, check email, check facebook, and then hit up Kijiji for any new local sailboat listings, because you never know right?

Back when we launched Indy, the crane operator deftly plopped her in the water and we putted of to our finger pier.  The crane then made its way over to pluck another boat out, a Contessa 26.

A few weeks later I noticed a sign on the bulletin board “Contessa 26 for Sale”.  Immediately I was reminded of the adventures of Nick Jaffe who crossed a few oceans (including the biggies A&P) by himself in a Contessa 26 named Constellation.   When you get out and take a look at a CO26, the first thing that jumps out at you is that massive keel.  It’s meaty.  It looks ready for anything.

This nameless  vessel was listed at $8,000 which was more than we had, so if we were going to move up, Indy had to go.  We shined her all up and posted the ad.

Laying out the welcome mat

Laying out the welcome mat

Charlie pitching in on the cleaning.

Charlie pitching in on the cleaning.

Frances helping to display the cavernous V berth.  Tip, if you are selling a boat and want to make the cabin look huge, put a three year old in the shots!

Frances helping to display the cavernous V berth. Tip, if you are selling a boat and want to make the cabin look huge, put a three year old in the shots!

The gourmet kitchen

The gourmet kitchen

The guestroom

The guestroom

The dining room

The dining room

Over the next few days we had a few tire kickers but nothing solid.  It was after showing Indy a few times I got to realize how great a boat she is.

In mid August, we did some more number crunching and decided that the timing was not ideal, and we would take Indy off the market and put the Contessa out of our minds.

That worked somewhat well, until the owner emailed me about a month later to tell us that if we were still interested, he would accept a multiple payment scenario.  This peaked our interest.  The For Sale sign is now back on Indy.

It’s strange how the interest in buying a sailboat plummets in the fall.  (actually it’s not strange at all, it’s obvious) There was very little action generated by our ad.

The owner had emailed me a copy of the CO26’s three year old survey, along with a list of the deficiencies that had since been remedied.  Surveys are like home inspections, the inspector can be very vigilant to make sure all items are covered, mainly to cover his own butt, which can make them quite a scary read.  What I needed was some sort of perspective.  I needed to gauge how serious these problems were.  This evening, I enlisted my friend W, who has been sailing for decades, to join me crawling through the boat looking for areas of concern.  There were plenty of those.  The main ones being deck saturation, and leaky chainplates.  Erika and I visited the boat earlier this week while it was raining, and unfortunately there were leaks everywhere, stanchion bases, chainplates, the forward hatch being especially bad.

So now here we are again, a month later putting the CO26 out of our minds, but you never know what may pop up on Kijiji tomorrow morning!

contessa26-lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

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