Newbie Cruisers: The First Three Months of Bimini Dream

When my wife and I first decided five years ago that we would someday go cruising as liveaboards in our own sailboat, we were keenly aware that neither of us knew the first thing about sailing. So we started the pursuit of this dream by throwing ourselves into studying the art.

Book learning. . .

We began with the books, learning from them what we could of the wind and the water, of the behavior of the boats that ride them, and of the vocabulary used to describe that behavior.


“The Complete Sailor” by David Seidman. One of our earliest. Still one of our favorites.

. . . is never enough.

Soon thereafter, we hit the wind and water we had been reading about. And in our first few years of struggling to get our boats to behave the way the books said they would, we began to learn a whole new boat vocabulary, much of it completely inappropriate for a family-rated blog. (Let’s just say we discovered that the salt in “salty language” comes from the sea.)

Of course, we could not expect otherwise. Books are a fine place to start, of course. But in cruising as in life, there’s just no substitute for going through a thing–the old chestnut eventually comes around to reassert itself: “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” And bad judgment is OK as long as you live to tell about it.


Of course, when possible, it is preferable to learn from the experience of others.

So far we’ve come

So, three months into the life we’ve been dreaming about for the past five years, it seems like a good time to take a look back at Bimini Dream and see what living aboard Meander has taught us so far.

It goes without saying, of course, that we’ve barely scratched the surface. And it’s just as well, at least until I’ve mastered snorkeling.

snorkeling guy

Actually, I’m not sure I can pull this off.

So far to go

If anyone were to ask about a newbie cruiser’s life on the water, I would sum up the first three months as follows.

All the things you will go through—the things that leap out at you from your decks, from the docks, from the marinas and the boatyards, from the supply stores and the chandleries, and from your own books and computers as you try to wrestle the rest to the ground—all these things might well conspire together to push the wonderful reasons you started this broad reach right out of your head.

Don’t panic, and don’t despair. The next time your sails take you out on the water, you’ll remember.


–Book: Mike Webster.
Ship aground on the beach of of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island by John Solaro, shared under a Creative Commons license via photopin.
Above the overworld from underworld by daveynin, shared under another Creative Commons license via photopin.
–Between the bridges: Mike Webster.

7 thoughts on “Newbie Cruisers: The First Three Months of Bimini Dream

    • However I imagine the final chapter, something in this new lifestyle of ours will come along to change it. So I’m committed to keeping it loose. 🙂

      Meanwhile, having both seen the clean, sharp writing on “The Poodle (and Dog) Blog,” Pam and I do not take compliments from its author casually. Thank you for the encouragement.


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