What sort of cruisers are we? I think that’s changing…
Enjoying the waterway at 5 knots…
If you’ve never thought about it – or done it – you might think that there’s only one sort of folks living and traveling by boat, and they’re all called “Cruisers”, but it turns out that’s not the case. I think the first time I encountered the difference was in a book by Lin & Larry Pardey – the Grand Masters of long-distance cruising. During their first circumnavigation of the globe, they found themselves half-way around, needing to either hustle to make it across the Pacific ocean before the winter gales began or stay put for six months and wait for spring. They decided they wanted to get home (Vancouver) sooner, rather than later, and so began a completely different style of voyage. Rather than having no plan, and staying in an area as long as it was fun, they now were making calculated stops to re-provision the boat quickly and keep moving. “Cruising” had become “Voyaging”, and the journey had become the point of their days, rather than the things they saw between each sail.
When we were considering this cruise, my mind was full of the places we might stop and the things we might see. Mystic Seaport, Assategue Island, Smith Island in the Chesapeake, Shackleford Banks, NC… All could be a multi-day stop, maybe a week or more.
But as we actually started the cruise, I began to feel a tension and a discontent. Each potential stop became less and less attractive as we approached it, and each departure became more rewarding. I was in “Voyageing” mode, and hadn’t realized it. Getting south had become the point, and the driving force of each decision.
And so our trip has become a journey, rather than a series of destinations. The journey is the point, and its own reward. Will we be missing something? Absolutely, and we’re keeping track of things to do and see “next time”. But in the meanwhile, we’re getting an overview of the US East coast that few get to experience, and we’re doing it at a comfortable pace that we choose each day.
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