It seems to me that anyone who has done any research on cruising has come across Patrick and Ali, the Bumfuzzles. I know when I first started surfing the net for info on cruising I quickly found them. Patrick and Ali started cruising about seven years ago, in their late 20's ... with no prior sailing experience. They purchased a catamaran in Florida, sailed to the Bahamas, then shot straight across to the Panama Canal ... to sail around the world! Whether or not you're familiar with them I suggest that you read their book, Bumfuzzle - Just Out Looking for Pirates!
Patrick and Ali documented their experiences on their web site, which I have been following for about 2 1/2 years now.* Even though I've read about their cruising experience on their site, I really enjoyed their book! It is very easy to read and is more about their adventure and travels than the techniques of sailing. It does include a lot of the same material on their site, but who has time to go through years of posts in a few sittings?! This book contains the most pertinent posts, along with some added thoughts about the different cultures, people and places they visited. Pat is honest in his writings, which sometimes seem to offend the cruising world. However, there is no right or wrong way to cruise, as long as it's your way. They basically had a simple "take it as it comes" attitude and did not give a lot of thought before acting. This attitude has been the topic of debate in many cruising forums. They also confessed to never having a love of sailing ... it was just a way to travel. Nothing wrong with that! I may be saying the same thing in a few years!
Although Pat and Ali were new to sailing, they didn't have any real horror stories and they survived to tell the tale. Since then they've lived and traveled in an RV for a few years, participated in a race with the family Porsche, had two kids, and recently bought another sailboat ... a mono-hull this time! They're currently living around Baja, Mexico with their two young children, Ouest and Lowe. I'm looking forward to reading about cruising in Mexico. We'll be there in our sailboat someday!
*That's about the time that Ken and I committed to cruising ... coincidence? Well, the seed of cruising had already been planted, but just weeks later I came across the Bumfuzzle site and they got me really excited about cruising. Reading their prior posts about cruising around in a beautiful catamaran ... I was hooked! Of course, it didn't take long for me to realize how much more expensive catamarans are than mono-hulls. A mono-hull would have to do for us to go cruising. (We do love our Catalina).
If you have an e-reader, the e-book is also available and it's practically free! It's available for both Kindle and the Nook, which I have and love! I mean, how cool is it have hundreds of books at my fingertips, and on the boat, in one tiny little device. Now I won't have to give up precious space in our boat for books!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!