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Alcohol. I’m not sure how long it’s been a huge part of the cruising lifestyle but it is in no way a new addition. You’ve probably heard that sailors of old were given daily rations of Grog or other alcoholic beverages, and virtually any movie filmed on or around the sea will show significant quantities of rum being consumed. This is not just old news though. Much like our land-based social scene, alcohol continues to be an almost integral part of cruising. The proverbial sundowners which sailors reverently speak of enjoying in their cockpits do not typically refer to lemonade or iced tea. No, although not regulated like the Grog rations of days past, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is, for most cruisers, a daily occurrence.

Almost a year ago I wrote about the subject of alcohol abuse. That problem is no less evident this year. Fortunately there is an AA group which has been meeting here weekly so hopefully some of those who need help are able to get it.

Additionally, some comments on that post voiced concerns about not fitting in because of abstaining from alcohol. Well, purely for health and fitness reasons, beginning on September 11th, Rebecca and I decided to take a 1-month hiatus from alcohol. It just so happens that the three nights immediately following that decision we attended a going-away party at a marina, a beach get-together and then just last night, a trip with some friends to the Fish Friday festival in Guoyave. At each of these events alcohol was consumed by our friends. In spite of that, Rebecca and I opted to stick with Ting or other non-alcoholic beverages. The concerns about being shunned for not imbibing can obviously be put to rest both by our own recent example and by that of our friends who do not consume any alcohol at all.

As any reader of this blog can ascertain from my photos and entertainment descriptions, Rebecca and I love to party. And in most cases this includes alcohol. Although we do not typically drink to the point of intoxication, in certain situations, it has been known to happen. 😉 I point this out as evidence that this post is not to pass judgement on those (of us) who drink. Rather I’m simply making some observations. Oh, and where are we going later today? It’s Saturday, so to a Hash of course. For those who haven’t yet heard, a bit of beer consumption has been known to occur before, during and after the Hashes. True to our goal though, we’ll be sticking to water and Ting, and I guarantee it will not affect the amount of fun that we’ll have.

The girls in our group at Guoyave last evening.


  1. So, instead of Ving, or Ting and Sting, you’re sticking with Ting for a while. Good on you. I found myself doing a lot of Ceaser’s with Clamato on my boat. It seemed like that was an everyday occurance. Maybe that’s because everyday seemed like a holiday when we were living on the boat. At home here, I found I was getting into the habit of drinking wine every evening while I was writing. For some reason the words came easier when loosened up by a bit of the grape. However, since I come from a line of genes that have a hard time recognizing too much of a good thing, I decided that limiting my alcohol to weekends only seemed to be a reasonable compromise. I’m going to start doing that pretty soon too! 🙂 Take care and enjoy the alcoholiday!

  2. Its been 18 years clean and sober , and I have
    Way more fun these days. No hangovers , and
    I know where I was the night before :).
    Definitely not a moral thing for me , just my
    Off switch doesn’t work like most peoples.

  3. I am 90% on Raw foods did the change almost 2 years ago, (would never go back to a standard SAD, or anything out of a box, can, or processed)what a great lifestyle you should try, all the fruits you have acces too, AMAZING. Actually I’m a frugivore
    and I always wondering when I see your nice lifestyle, how unhealthy it is to drink in paradise you should follow Dr. Robert Morse on youtube, Dan Mc Donald, Dara Dubinet and regenerate your body and your cells, a month is not going to cut it, your social lives will be changed but nothing wrong in becoming a Buddha 🙂 Sending love and light to a beautiful couple. Frank
    PS. Good luck on the Detox!

    • Hi Frank

      We do love fruit too and you’re right, there are some delicious varieties available in the islands. Sadly they don’t grow apples here, which we love. Intrigued by the name, we actually just purchased some Ugly Fruit for the first time.

  4. I started my “hiatus” on Aug 30th with no “resume” date planned. Along with going gluten-free, I’m feeling great. Be strong!

  5. As a brand new liveaboard cruiser – we have been out for about six weeks – my main problem with alcohol is it’s cost. Hanging in bars anywhere near the water can put a serious strain on the cruising kitty.

    I guess aside from that it’s to each his own although I do agree that if you need to drink in order to have fun or enjoy yourself something is probably missing.

    I enjoy your blog.

    S/V Sweet Escape

  6. Having had family members living in the Keys for almost 20 years now, that’s something that we noticed when visiting, and it’s easy to jump on that holiday train. Nothing happens down there without a cocktail. The alcohol abuse rate in Key West is extremely high. It’s life consuming and quiet expensive. Just one more expense to add to an already expensive lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle choice, and it’s your lifestyle so you are allowed to choose. I don’t think you’ll have anyone ‘preaching’ to you about not drinking, just as any of the drinkers wouldn’t want someone ‘preaching’ to them about their choice to partake. Detox is a good thing!

  7. Good luck with your venture! I’ve been living aboard for about two months now and the lifestyle has definitely affected the amount of alcohol I consume. My marina has a couple nice waterfront restaurants that bring in bands Thurs-Sat during the summer. It’s been a blast but I am looking forward to it calming down and taking a hiatus myself this winter.

    • As I said, we love to party too. We’ve found that there are opportunities to consume alcohol no matter whether you’re in a marina, on a crowded island or alone at anchor.

  8. What a great idea if for no other reason than getting a chance to how it plays into your life.

    I once went several years w/o alcohol. At first I was concerned that it would be problematic in social situations but quickly realized that so long as you’re holding a glass in your hand (ie. – Diet Coke, etc.) no one notices.

    I also found that in these same social situations one’s perceptions of ‘how much fun we’re having’ are often different w/o the drink.

  9. There’s nothing wrong with not being drunk- anyone who’s genuinely fun can have just as much (or more) of a good time without booze as with it. It just means your parties have to be better, since you’ll actually remember them in full detail!

  10. Good timing Mike and Rebecca!

    We’ve just spent the days with friends at the Southampton Boat show in the rather chilly UK. We had a couple of glasses of wine at lunchtime and are drinking more now (after getting back home). We keep saying we must cut down and our plan to start being more sensible tomorrow might just be kick started by your good example. Thanks!

    BTW we quite liked the look of the Beneteau “Sense” series of yachts. Monohulls with the sort of living space you get in a catamaran.

    Jane x

    • This morning I had a nice talk with our cruising friend who organizes the AA meetings here. He told me that he very much appreciated this post.

      Our friends Wade and Maureen have a Beneteau 47 and it seams HUGE down below.

  11. […] and choose healthier snacks in between meals. In addition, we recently made the decision to take a 1 month hiatus from drinking any alcohol. We drink a lot of water throughout the day and limit ourselves to consuming other types of […]

  12. Since we started spending more time in SWF with retired folk I’ve really noticed the consumption levels of social participants; personally, while witnessing a few family members struggling with alcohol issues, I stopped using in 1997 and never looked back. I too seemed to have inherited a shut off switch that was unreliable at best;). I did worry at first what friends would say or think but as others have noticed, it was all for nothing. Just using the former time spent planning a toot, being tooted or recovering from a great toot…for being a better husband, father and friend, I believe I made a wise choice. Wishing you continued good health and happiness! Cheers. Jamie

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