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At least one less-than-enlightened fellow apparently fails to grasp the fact that Zero To Cruising is a blog about cruising, not current events. I base this on his recent Facebook attack, chastising me for my lack public acknowledgment of the recent horrific events surrounding the Boston Marathon. In his words, it was “shameful” that I continue to post about boats instead of following the herd, reposting a blow-by-blow account of the news like the rest of the world. I will be honest, that’s the kind of remark that might have netted him a slap across the face if it were issued in person and for the record, I can slap pretty hard. Was I pissed? Yeah, that’s an understatement but instead of worrying about it, I simply banned him from our Facebook page and moved on.

It’s likely that I would have let his comments slide entirely without mention if I hadn’t received a certain email from our good friends and fellow cruisers Kirk and Donna. Donna wrote…

…one of the runners in the Boston Marathon, Carol Downing, is a long ago friend of ours. Unfortunately, both of her daughters and her son in law were waiting for her at the finish line. Erika, a Towson preschool teacher, lost her leg below her knee and Nicole, a strength and fitness trainer, athletic director at Charlotte Athletic Club and also her mother’s coach for the marathon, had both of her legs broken and her Achilles tendon severed. Both girls are still in the hospital and facing huge medical costs. Erika will need a prothesis and Nicole has had multiple surgeries. I do not know many details but from what I understand, both girls will be in the hospital for a month. If you google ‘Erika Brannock Boston marathon’ you will get tons of info, or boston marathon maryland victims.

Do things like that bother us? We wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. I can’t even comprehend what inspires such craziness!

Funds have been set up to aid both of these victims. For those who have the resources, donation’s to assist Erika can be made on the Erika Brannock Fund website and the Charlotte Athletic Club, where Nicole works, is apparently accepting donations on her behalf:

It case it’s not entirely obvious, and apparently to some it is not, just because I don’t write about something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us, and sometimes closely.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. Dalai Lama


  1. I can’t see what his problem was, can’t he read, although I sympathise with the families and Americans involved with the bombings, I fail to see what this has to do with boats.The news coverage throughout the world was on tv, and I can’t see how you could cover it on a boat with limited wi fi connection, what about the rest of the cruisers out there?

  2. I struggled with this too…….Where does one stop with current events/political views/Etc. when writing a specific topic type blog….I totally understand and I am not offended and quite honestly it was nice not watching and/or reading about the bombings for 15 minutes during the day. I am from Boston and devastated by the events and at the same time overwhelmed by the incredible “ONE” we became. People said I was crazy for going to the Bruins game the next night, but what an incredible 2 hour diversion it was and the ceremony and singing of the national anthem was something I will never forget. This is what I did to acknowledge the event/deceased/first responders/etc..

    • Let me add one comment….As writers, we must also be able to accept constructive criticisms and opinions of others as it will “make us think outside our box” which in turn will make us all better writers….My guess is his debate was less than constructive….Good job guys…

    • I saw your post and have no problem with it being included in YOUR blog. As someone who gets most of his news from internet feeds, I simply did not feel it was appropriate for me to post on it.

  3. As a Boston resident, I was grateful for the diversion of your postings, and probably would have been annoyed had you posted something about our problems. Media coverage of the events in Boston this week have been extensive and my Facebook newsfeed was inundated.
    There was no need for it to be mentioned here.

  4. Hmm if I want the news I’ll read the newspaper, if I come to this blog I want to see what you guys are up too and not hear regurgitated information about something that has nothing to do with this blog! So keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. Mike and Rebecca,
    Heartfelt thanks for this wonderful post. Certainly there are too many crazy events in this world and help is, unfortunately, needed in too many places. Your support here is greatly appreciated.
    And with respect to the detractors comments, it seems that education, in any form, is one of the best weapons we have against misguided evil on this planet. And isn’t education what your blog is all about? The sheer numbers of followers that you have obviously are a clear indication that something good is going on here. Maybe the poster in question could have put a little more thought into their comments before hitting the send button. At any rate, don’t let it get you down. As they say, keep on keeping on. K&D

  6. Mike & Rebecca

    I don’t see much about boats on the “current events blog” (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, …), so I really don’t expect that much about current events (not related to you and Rebecca) on your blog.

    • Merci!

      Zulu Tango Charlie

      That doesn’t have anything to do with your comment but it is the one bit of the phonetic alphabet that I have been required to use (HAM radio). 🙂

  7. I don’t know who the jerk is that complained but I can guarantee he has never even attempted to create an interesting and/or informative and/or entertaining blog post on a daily basis. For him to criticize your blog content is ridiculous. Keep up the good work and don’t let the idiots get you down.

  8. Once again someone caught up in their own view of how everybody should be, should act, talk, eat, dress, travel, feel, etc.
    Even when they don’t know anything about anything.
    Like all the other posts, we have been inundated with every possible nuance that is possibly related the Boston tragedy and we still have not gotten to a trial yet!
    I send my prayers to the great city and people of Boston and also to you and Rebecca,
    Thank you guys for being our “Time-Out” from the everyday..

  9. Mike, your blog is my “happy place”. Like many others, I have been glued to the news reports covering the horrible events of the Boston Marathon. Fortunately, I have your blog to read when I need a break from all the bad news. Your blog takes me away from here and allows me to dream about the day I am living the ZTC way of life. Keep up thee great work!

  10. Yup, I would be totally disappointed if you started using up pixels that could have bikini pictures , on stuff like world news……….CNN allready has a web page .

  11. Well said. It’s a pleasure getting your latest posts in my RSS reader precisely because they are focused on something that keeps me focused on my dream, now a little more than two-and-a-half years away.

    I hope my blog about my cruising adventures are half as entertaining and informative as yours.

  12. Hey Mike,
    Like many of your current followers, when I check out your blog for the day, I expect to see you and Rebecca hiking, fishing, fixing or mechanicing (is that a word?), not commenting on the Boston tragedy that you really have no knowledge of, other than what you have read.
    I thoroughly enjoy seeing what you guys are up to and often imagine being there with you guys to enjoy the islands. Depending on how long you guys will be cruising, (I see you just passed 1000 days) I might be able to catch up to you guys one day and maybe I can buy you guys a beer as payment for all the entertaining stories you have written to your followers.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  13. I was afraid that in my blog post today people might end up focused on whatever small slight was dealt to us rather than the real issue of the injured women. That was not at all my intent. Like the Bruce Lee quote from the movie Enter the Dragon, “Do not concentrate on the finger (pointing to the moon) or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!” Please focus on those hurt in the blasts, not on us. Thanks.

    • Hey, they caught up with the kid… a boat (sorry, just being a bit of an ass). If you made a post about Boston, someone would have bitched about that. Obviously, you have to be a bit thick skinned if your posting everyday and have the amount of followers you have, if you weren’t and you fought back, it would change the whole dynamics of your blog and a whole different crowd would swarm in for the confrontations. Keep doing what your doing, your doing great. This has got to be one of the most “visual” sailing and hiking blogs with consistent updates every day. It’s a great blog!

      To be honest, after following you for a couple of years now (every single day), there are a few little nit picking things that annoy me (but would never stop me from following) sometimes but shit, everybody has issues like that with their friends. Maybe that guy used that word shameful, from one of those little nit picky annoyances that he might of been holding in and the Boston deal had him on edge. I know I was all week, pissed, angry and sick of all hate.

  14. What angers me mostly is that people like the guy who criticized you doesn’t give 2 cents when 17 people die in a suicide attack in Pakistan not so long ago and doesn’t bat an eyelash when syrian people die by the hundreds.

    But somehow when it’s in his backyard the whole world should take notice and talk about it.

    Sure, it was a great tragedy … but there were a lot of tragedies in the last week (14 dead in Texas) – doesn’t mean everybody needs to talk about it.

  15. While I agree that not everyone needs to comment on world tragedies, after your FB post regarding the mayday that ran for several days, I can understand why someone may perceive you as insensitive. I for one did not understand that these were recordings on loops and your comment was addressed to an obvious recording and not a current mayday. Perhaps a bit more explanation about your comments would help readers understand your point other than a perception of your insensitivity to a maritime mayday.

    • A man overboard being announced for SEVEN DAYS… what more needs to be said? I don’t know about you but I can’t tread water for that long. IMO, that isn’t being insensitive.

  16. Mike,

    I worried about this same issue as well… being down on the islands with limited internet, we didn’t even know about it till much later. And here we were posting on our facebook all kinds of happy pictures and thoughts. It wasn’t until we found out about the bombing that we felt a little saddened that we had posted all the happy thoughts. But we cant stop the world from turning and freeze frame until the saddness goes away.

    So we understand and can relate to your thoughts and your not blogging about it.

    Keep it up you two… you inspire me and Sherry a ton.

    Jim and Sherry

    • We don’t have limited internet, as evidenced by the fact that we post on our blog daily. I bet I knew about the events via Facebook before many in the US did. That doesn’t mean I have to play amateur newscaster. Countless others took up that role for me.

      And why feel saddened because you try to bring some brightness to others lives? Ceasing to do would be another tragedy IMO.

  17. I completely understand your post. When I had no TV for more than 10 yrs. as a liveaboard charteryacht owner, I knew blissfully nothing. Your ban of this yayhoo is all you can do. Keep up the good work. Fair winds.

  18. As a Boston native for decades whose kids were born there I can’t rant on your Facebook page but will here. I am bothered by this idiot who joined the 1000s of other helpless Bostonians in a torrent of fear expecting everybody else to join in. Yes tragedy struck, a few were killed and many more were maimed horribly. The FBI knew of and interviewed the older brother and that didn’t prevent this horrendous act. Does this idiot chastise you when 3 are gunned down in gang violence a few miles away, what about when a drunk driver kills an entire family which happens far too often in the US. In reality one 19 yr old, as his brother was dead, wreaked tremendous havoc instilled by fear. Which ended when a civialian found the suspect in his boat (can I talk about boats ?) not the 1000s of law enforcement officers. What does this say for all the other wackos out there, wow just one idiot shut down several towns imagine what 4 could do. Massachusetts is not Alaska, nor is it those cruising the worlds oceans, or partaking in any other adventure where self reliance is paramount because help just isn’t readily available. And who knows that help might not be there next time when it’s 4 wackos.

  19. As many have said, I go here for my escape moments and look forward to your adventures. There are bad things happening daily. Your blog is where I know my happy place is. It is to be counted on for just that.

    Stay the course….


  20. Wow, what a lot of comments. I’m with you guys. Keep up the good work!

  21. Michael,

    The world is full of clowns and morons as you know. They all have to put in their .02 worth and most of us can ignore ’em.

    This clown deserves what he got, ignore him.

  22. Something will always piss someone off. I blog about yarn and knitting and even that fetches negative feedback. Seriously if they only let knitting needles in prison I’d likely kill the negative commenters.

  23. I started a new job on September 11, 2006. While years after the horrible attack on US soil, many people said, “wow a new job on that day?” My response at the time — “The best revenge is living well.” The same goes for your post. Terrorists want to disrupt our lives. They want us to be afraid. They want us to spend our entire day thinking about what has happened or may happen next. We win when we celebrate life in spite of the horrible things in the world.

  24. Great post! As you well know, when writing a blog there always seems to be someone that isn’t satisfied. We’ve had our share. Sometimes people need a break from the “bad news”, which has been on the television non-stop. While there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging it, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to post “good news” instead.

    You’re lucky to be able to live in a way that allows a “brighter world”. Being able to “escape” the constant terrible news is one of many things we look forward to. It can be downright scary and depressing!

  25. I actually appreciated your posts – they were a wonderful distraction from the tragedy and a reminder that there are still calm, peaceful places in our world. Thanks!

  26. Thanks for your blog! I left Facebook several months ago for the same issues, it is not worth raising your blood pressure.

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