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


731 thoughts on “COMMENTS

  1. Love your ‘first world’ post. I find myself squirming more and more under the regulations we have in the US. Then we go to Mexico where regulations are either tightly managed or nonexistent (curbs that differ wildly in height, wheelchair ramps no wheelchair would ever be able to use, the entire TIP fiasco people are dealing with which could be solved in a moment if there was the will to do so). We met 5 boats in San Diego who had been turned back from entering Mexico because there was an open Temporary Import Permit on their boat (from previous owners) and no one could seem to do anything about that and cancel the permit, giving them a new one. Anyway, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, my body knows exactly how big most curbs are, allowing me to be almost unconscious about stepping up or down one. On the other hand, I really learned to look where I was going in Mexico and be responsible for my own safety. Imagine. I’m looking forward to unrefrigerated eggs again. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. Larry Brown

    Hi Mark,
    I’m working on 3d modeling various pieces of an Amel 54. I came across your site while searching for layouts and found the image you have here.
    Would you happen to know where the source of that layout image is? I’m hoping to find a vector or 3d model that I can leverage.
    P.S. you site is amazing. I really enjoyed reading The Downside of Living on a Boat. Very thoughtful and well written.

    • Mark

      Larry, thank you for the kind words. The image was used by Amel to market the 53 in their sales brochures. I do not know if if a 54 image exists. You might try posting a question in the Amel Owner FaceBook group or perhaps asking Amel:

  3. Adrian Phillips

    Just picked up on this website as your boat happened to be moored in front a good friend in Whangerei last week and they know I am interested in buying an Amel. There are two more in front of you! Anyway curious to know why you “thought 45’ would be ample enough. Boy, were we wrong.” Did you need to go to 53 when you could have bought a Santorin or Marimu, both Amels with all the benefits but perhaps a bit easier for the two of you to handle? Could you sail a 53 single handedly? I would imagine all other costs go up on the bigger boat.

    • Mark

      If you world cruise, you need storage space, a washing machine, water-maker, large battery bank, an engine and genset you an access without trouble, good size freezers, a comfortable quarters. Most 45′ boats don’t offer all of this. The Maramu was the first boat we found we both agreed would be comfortable and checked a lot of the boxes for us. And yes, it is easily single handed. IMO – The upkeep cost of the boat between 45 – 55 ft is really dependent on the condition and age of the vessel when you buy it and not so much the size. If you are in the area, say hi. -Mark

  4. Paulo António Seco Moreira da Fonseca

    Hi Cindy and Mark, many congratulations on your life project and also on the way your blog is organized and the various topics you share with those who view it. But I’d like to ask you a question related to the choice of the Amel, which although an excellent boat, there are others that rival it, such as the Hallberg-Rassy. Is this the case, or is this brand still a few steps behind your Amel? Thank you very much. Best wishes for continued good winds and seas.

  5. Toby Younghans


    I hope all is well. My kids (twins now 12 and in 7th grade) and I have continued to follow you guys throughout your journey. They have often spoke of your adventure and still tell their friends they know actual “Pirates’ that are sailing the world ha. We are curious if you have a map on your site that gives a visual of where you guys have sailed throughout the world? If not no worries, this isn’t a homework assignment, just curious if one is available. Thanks for all of the updates, we enjoy them very much. Safe travels.- Toby Charlotte, NC

    • Hi Toby,
      This is Cindy. I sent you a private message through gmail.
      We hope all is well.
      Best wishes,

  6. Chris Sheldon

    Hey Mark and Cindy,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and appreciate the different approach you take to cruising. We plan to emulate your approach when we get out there in a few years. I’m curious why you decided to go from FP directly to Fiji, bypassing the Cooks and Tonga — not to mention the smaller attractions like Niue or Beveridge Reef.


    • Mark

      Hi Chris,
      A good question.
      When in this area of the South Pacific, cyclones are a very real concern. Much like hurricanes in the Caribbean. Because of this, we are limited to winter sailing. So, we need to make decisions on where we want to go and spend our valuable time.
      In French Polynesia, we had ample time to read about places to stop. And frankly speaking, Tonga and the Cooks really don’t have much appeal to us. We felt they really don’t offer anything we can’t find in Fiji. In addition, The Cooks have some issue with boats checking in. We would be required to ask in advance to go there. Many boaters say the government does not respond. The best check in point would be Suwarrow. However, the main island says this is not a legal check in point although boaters on Facebook report there are no issues with going there first. In addition (not that it matter to us) there is a daily fee for us to stay there.
      Personally, I am of the mindset that I ever have to stand in front of a magistrate and explain why I broke the law, using the defense that someone of FB told me it’s okay probably won’t go well. This is going to sound horrible, Suwarrow is just another atoll. How is it different to the atolls in French Polynesia.
      Tonga is not really high up on many people’s list of places to visit. They have issues, most recently the massive earthquake. They had another one shortly after we arrived in Fiji and the tsunami alerts went off. Besides that it is really a bit of a third world country. Facing the decision of spending extra time in Fiji or going to Tonga, Fiji easily wins.
      As for Niue or Beveridge Reef, this is not our cup of tea. They are fun for the first few minutes and then boring as heck. That said, I can see why some people might enjoy spending some time there but, it is certainly not us.
      Also, we figured if we feel like we’ve missed something. We can always go from New Zealand to the Cooks next season by taking a southerly route. But, I doubt if we’ll feel that way.
      I think that most cruisers tend to favor stops on a passage to break it into shorter segments. We would rather bang out as many miles as possible in one go. Once in our routine, it’s easy to tick off the days. For us, the stopping and starting is not very desirable.

      Hope this helps.

  7. Bob Norton, Jr.

    Some of your best writing. Can’t wait to buy the book, color pics and all, but not until you start riding the train. Super glad you made it through that tough passage and you speak volumes of having a great boat, well stocked, with a well-trained and sensible crew. Be safe, enjoy!

  8. Matt Curry

    Hi Mark and Cindy,
    I have a few friends that are frequent sailors and really enjoy the wander. I occasionally forward the post, because at my age, I forget who I’ve copied on this blog. To a person, they thank me for having sent it previously and tell me they are still enjoying it!

    All the best to both of you! Saw KVR in Florida last week, we were down for a trip in WaterSound with our oldest and two of the grandkids; and got to see the ‘compound’ she and Randy are building in Santa Rosa Beach. Very impressive.

    May you find welcoming seas and following breezes. Zephyrs forever!
    Matt and Kathy

  9. Love your posts and been following for many years! We loved French Polynesia so I can see why you would consider staying.

    Would you mind sharing what underwater camera you use? The pictures are brilliant and so vibrant.


  10. Michelle Fanwick

    I’ve really enjoyed all you’ve shared during your time in French Polynesia. You certainly made lemonade out of lemons during COVID. I learned a lot about this beautiful country. You are both so resourceful!
    All the best,

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for the nice comment. We feel very fortunate to have been in French Polynesia and especially Tahiti during the pandemic. It was such a longer stay than in past countries. It gave us the rare opportunity to not just go to a place once but go over and over. At one point we said we could almost live here. 🙂 But, we think 3 years is plenty. We shall move on. 🙂
      Thank you again for your comment. We wish you the best.

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