I know this is against the norm in the blogging world but, I try to keep the site clean and easy to read for our reader’s enjoyment. For this reason, I opted to keep comments to one page. We would love to hear from you. Do not let my wacky thought process deter you from expressing your feelings regarding our postings or another items of interest you want to share.

  • Thoughts on the cruising lifestyle?
  • Do you have an favorite sailing destination or a place you think we should avoid?
  • Send us your favorite recipe.
  • Have you read any good books lately?
  • What would you like to know about us?

Please include your e-mail so we can write back to you (email addresses are kept private)

Thanks for connecting to us!


Mark and Cindy


437 thoughts on “COMMENTS

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  1. Vicki Lathom


    I discovered why I couldn’t get all your text on my screen. It’s Gmail’s “Easy Mail” display format. When I go to Google’s regular email display, it’s fine. Why on earth would they all it “easy mail”? Love your photos. What version of Coolpix do you use? What blog template are you using?

    • Hi Vicki,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Glad to hear you got the bugs worked out so you can read the blog better. I hope by posting this it will help others too.
      Thank you for the nice comment about our pictures on the blog. We have always been avid photographers and enjoy sharing photos. We both have Nikon SLR cameras and we pick photos from both cameras to post. For times when we do not want to carry the SLR camera around we share the smaller Coolpix. The Coolpix we use came from Costco (of course). We love it. I do not see a version on it. It is waterproof and shockproof which is great for our lifestyle. We have also used a FujiFilm XP that is just as good.
      We use WordPress for our blog. It was not very hard to set up.
      I hope this helps. Sorry for the delay responding.
      Have a great day!

  2. Gregory Kampenga

    Hi Mark,
    Glad to see you’re still living the life of a Caribbean pirate! Getting set to retire next month and considering a blog. Yours is great, and your photos are wonderful! What camera do you use?

    • Mark

      Greg, It’s about time you grew tomatoes full time. Let us know what your decide.

      We have a whole slew of cameras. We mostly shoot with Nikon. I have a D700 but often just use the Coolpix.


  3. Marie Holmes

    So, did you like the sparkling Prosecco?

    Here’s a great sangria recipe if you can locate the ingredients.

    Marinate any fruit (I use pineapple & peaches) in 1c Passion Fruit Rum, 1c Pear Vodka (although I think any fruit vodka would be good.) 3-4 hours is good. Overnight the fruit tends to get transparent.

    Serve a big scoop of fruit and juices in a wine glass with ice. Top with Prosecco or Moscato. Yum, yum, yum, YUM!

    • Hello Marie,
      The Sparkling Sangria was pretty good. We still like Costco’s Kirkland brand best (both, their prosecco and sangria). It is always fun to try new things.

      Thank you for the recipe. That sounds pretty awesome on a hot day. I will give it a try.

  4. Paul Stascavage

    Mark and Cindy,

    We knew if you kept trying you would eventually catch a fish. Can’t begin to tell you how excited Anna Marie and I were to read this most recent post. The first one is the hardest one to get. So happy for you! It’s amazing how exciting it is to hear the sound of the drag and then actually land the bounty. Time to empty the freezer and buy some more taco shells… There are more to come!

    Happy and safe travels.

    Paul and Anna Marie

    • Mark

      Hi Paul and Anna Marie,
      Thanks! I almost lost my pants in the excitement of reeling it in 🙂

  5. I’ve been enjoying your Turks & Caicos posts. It does look like a lovely area. I’d be curious to know if after having been there you think it’s worth the clearing in fee, which I know puts some cruisers off of going there.

    • Mark

      IMO – it is well worth the fee, although we think the fee is a little steep. We paid $430 in custom and immigration fees. I wish we could have stayed longer. This would have softened the amount. It’s really not that much more than the Bahamas fee but cruisers seem to really complain about this one. I think it is because they view this as a transient stop rather than a destination. If we could have stayed and had planned more time, there are plenty of anchorages and places to explore. We could have easily spent 2-3 months island hopping. Groceries are much higher quality, fresher and cheaper here than the Bahamas. One trip to the grocery store will offset the TCI fees compared to the Bahamas grocery prices. Restaurants are also much better and cheaper than anything we experienced in the Bahamas.

  6. Marie Holmes

    Your description of getting into the Turks and Caicos sounds harrowing. It’s awesome that there is a pilot available. When you go to leave; will you use the pilot again? Or just follow your track back out?

    We took our shrink wrap off the boat this weekend! (Michigan temps of 70-75 in April are lovely) If our small fiberglass repair goes well; we’ll be launching on May 11! Can’t wait to be back on the water…..

    • Mark

      Hi Marie,

      We will definitely use the pilot on the way out. It isn’t horrible, but it could be. I think the track would be fine but better safe than sorry 🙂

      Good luck with the launch and repair. We hope you get a good sail in that day.


  7. There’s so much in this short post! The ‘get going when the going’s good’ advice, the talking to strangers and connecting with their world briefly, the 2 degrees of separation that is suddenly in focus. Good stuff. Mike and I were just talking about the whole ‘talking to strangers’ thing. I kind of look forward to feeling freer to do that. Since I talk and listen and strategize for a living, I realize that I have learned to avoid talking to people I don’t know, unless they make an appointment with me; a sad side effect of the work I’ve done for almost 30 years. I look forward to stretching my wings a little on that. Love that picture of the smiling foursome in the cockpit! That kind of says it all!

    • Mark

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Sometimes when we are a little bored, we will hop in the dinghy and randomly visit other boats to say hi. We can tell pretty quick if people are standoffish and move on. By doing this, we have met so wonderful people. Give it a try sometime when you are feeling like stretching the wings. You’ll be surprised with the results. The worst that can happen is… well not much. The best that can happen is a couple of new friends.

      I understand the whole thing about not wanting to talk to strangers since it was a job for you. I traveled a lot in my job and was rewarded with tons of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. The irony being that the last thing I ever wanted to do in my time off was to fly somewhere and stay in a hotel. I still hate hotels and flying.

      This is a fun life. It can be very hard some days and I’m sure you have read some of our posts where we show frustration. But for the most part, the good days far outweigh the bad. We are both so glad to see you and Mike just a few days away from the big plunge. The first year is the hardest.


  8. Dan and Angie

    Mark and Cindy,

    We have been following the Amel site for awhile now, and noticed your blog site, and we have been enjoying your comments and humor. We sold our HR 42 5 years ago and have been land sailing in a RV off and on from Spokane WA to Arizona. Sometime in the fall we are going shopping again for another boat, and we have decided to follow up on the Amel’s for all the same reasons, safety, comfort, fun to sail, good follow up from other sailors and the factory.

    Full time sailing, well somewhat, we have family back at home, so we will probably go on and off the boat. Most of our sailing has been in the Pacific NW, where the water is black, more rocks than Maine, and crab pots, lines and old logging cables every other harbour. By the way, I can’t catch fish either, but Angie throws her line in, snags a fish and brings it in, no kidding. I spend all my time cleaning.

    Your solar panel and arch looks great, we used the same on our Hallberg, and we also had one other item my wife loved, a “instant flywheel driven Hot Water tank, fired by our propane. When ever we wanted a hot shower, we just turned on the shower value, and without seconds we had hot water. Ours was ventless, so we opened the hatch above the shower when we used it, (no holes in the deck) but we never ran out of Hot water.

    Write when you two can, but we’ll watch for your blogs.

    Dan and Angie

  9. Marie Holmes

    Our grandson calls Lowes the “blue” store. And Home Depot is of course the “orange” store. I used to be a BIG milk drinker. Then some IBS issues kind of pointed out that milk might be the problem. I buy very little now. Which really kind of sucks when you want to make mac & cheese or milk gravy. Kind of have to plan ahead.

  10. Nice blog. We just wrapped up a 3 year cruise of the Caribbean and South Pacific on our Super Maramu (1994 SM#128) and sold her in Australia after owning her for a bit over 4 years.

    I read your reasons for buying an Amel and couldn’t agree more. The one thing you’re going add to the list as you get to do more downwind sailing is the pole system and twin headsail arrangment. It is an AMAZING system. When the conditions were right for either the twin headsails or the Mizzen staysail you knew it was going to be a great day (or days with the right conditions!).

    I must say that the boat in stock form is spectacular, but the single best mod we did was an arch with 825 watts of solar. At anchor in the tropics, the generator would start to think I’d forgotten how to start it, and I loved the redundancy it gave us for the South Pacific.

    Safe sails,

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