most of it in the Exuma chain. It was magic
exploring the clear water and white-sand
beaches. Mary and I caught fish for lunch
from the dinghy. Was that great or what? We
met people the first year in the Bahamas
we’re still friends with today. We only went
aground once. We were getting better.
With Sea MileS
CoMeS Kno Wledge
Do you see a common thread here? Mary and
I started as every boater does, at the beginning. We made plenty of mistakes, learned
from them, and kept pushing our comfort
zone. But we never felt at risk. This discipline
of learning continues to this day. With sea
miles comes knowledge. With knowledge
comes physical and mental comfort. Your
comfort level at sea is a constantly moving
target, increasing by the mile. Directly associated with comfort and your natural desire to
expand your cruising territory is your boat.
There are as many different personal situations as there are boats, so no single boat,
brand, or size is perfect for everyone. We
bought a boat that could “do it all” in case
we wanted to head offshore. For us it was the
right decision and there’s no boat we’d rather
have than Egret. Her 130-horse “Happy Little
Lugger” main engine has never missed a beat
in more than 11,000 engine hours and more
than a few miles. She’s a fine little ship, and
takes good care of us.
Now for more good news. If you’re wor-
ried about sticking your precious in the
mud, getting lost, or doing something silly,
Identification System. All commercial ships
at sea and many pleasure craft these days
have AIS, including Egret. It once saved us
from a probable collision with a high-speed
ferry off the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
And yes, of course you’ll stick your pre-
cious in the mud if you live on the U.S. East
Coast. It’s inevitable for us all. In fact, last
year Egret was a mud puppy twice in the
ICW. It’s no big deal. We all do it. Everyone
thinks the world is watching your mishaps.
Get over it. It’s no biggie. You can’t compare
an occasional bit of embarrassment to the
freedom you enjoy. And while we’re roll-
ing along here, here’s a pet peeve. Don’t
Yell. Yelling at your significant other isn’t pro-
ductive. Squinty-eyed hate comes to mind.
To this day, I drive while docking and Mary
runs the deck without help, even if we have
experienced boating friends aboard. Just
develop your own routine, stick with it, and
it will work every time.
a PreCioUS MoMent
in CrUiSing tiMe
In 2007, Egret spent a year on the Beagle
Channel separating Chile from Argentina
in southern South America, about 80 miles
north of Cape Horn. As foreigners, we’re
allowed 90 days in each country, so the routine for the handful of winter-over cruisers is
to trade one country for another every three
in grand Canaria.
right, Egret anchored in golden
Bay, Stewart island,
left to right:
Walvis Bay sea-birds, namibia.
with her famous
catch in Chile.