1. You can’t have too much money.
Both Slapper and I have found that every time our feet touch the land there are queues of people ready to bleed our wallets dry.
Landing in a marina incurs berthing fees, key deposits, laundry and transport to and from the many stores needed to be visited.
The stores for equipment, food and anything else will extract every spare cent and a little more for good measure.
Rather than bemoan the extent of the wallet lightening it’s better to just accept that the cost for living the dream is high but totally worth it.
2. Comfort is everything.
At night once a tiring day is finished its so important to be able to relax and recharge oneself for the coming days.
There is also the comfort of travelling to be considered.
Running with the swells rather than wallowing across them can definitely make for a comfortable sail even if it does require more changes in direction and also makes for a longer trip.
Sailing flat like you do in a cat is also far more comfortable than sailing a traditional mono and spending life at 45 degrees.
Sun protection is an important factor in comfort as being sun burnt will limit ones activity in very short order.
Don’t get sunburnt, I can’t stress that one enough, pity I fail to heed it.
3. Sea sickness is serious.
As a sufferer I can suggest that there are few situations worse than sea sickness as there is nowhere to hide and it can last for days.
Maybe food poisoning is just as bad but surely there is little else.
I have found that being sick takes away the will to live and makes even the simplest tasks insurmountable.
I dread sea sickness.
My solution is to take an avomine tablet on the rough days and also to spend less time navel gazing at all times.
Keeping an eye on the horizon is one solution with another being to focus on a part of the boat that is fixed in position.
When I have been feeling poorly at the end of a rough day I switch on the TV and wedge myself into the couch and focus only on the TV.
That and sleeping get me through 95% of the rough stuff, avomine does the rest.
4. The call of nature can’t be ignored.
While there are great toilets on board this cruising cat my hull has a pump out version not a storage type.
With a storage toilet you get 50L or so before you need to pump it or dump it.
This is enough for several days.
My toilet just pumps to environment and has no storage facility.
When one needs to obey the call of nature and you are in a river, close to shore, within a mile of a reef or in any of the designated effluent free zones you are in a world of trouble.
Like sea sickness you are in a situation where strength of will avails you little and things are going to happen whether you like it or not.
The only solution is to plan your way around the problem because you won’t master it.
5. Most of the stuff you packed you won’t need.
I packed a huge amount of stuff I still haven’t used and it doesn’t look like I will any time soon.
I could list all the unused things taking up space in my hull but I will leave that to your imagination.
6. You can’t know too much about sailing.
There was no chance I was going to know too much.
Every day I learn at least one new piece of information and revise other things I thought I knew.
I can see years of learning ahead just to be competent and many more to be a master.
7. Know your charts.
I wasn’t aware of the many varied zones up and down the coast until I started chart watching.
There are blue zones that allow regular fishing, with yellow, green and pink zones as well.
Yellow zones allow fishing with a limit of one rod per fisherman and or 3 if you are trolling.
Green zones prohibit any form of fishing but you can go snorkelling or diving.
Pink zones are strictly off limits with no boating, diving or fishing.
Failure to adhere to these requirements can see boats confiscated and huge fines applied.
These zones are all over the place and are very easily entered without any visual cues.
Knowing your charted zones is vital and then there is the sea hazards as well, they also need ones full attention.
9. Be nice to everyone.
So far on this trip I have made friends with unexpected people and have been shown much I had not known by these people.
Sailors are a friendly breed and no-one I have met yet has been anything less than friendly and helpful.
10. Don’t sweat the little things.
Things will go wrong and nobody is perfect.
Text and photos by Fingers 2015.