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Way back in the before time, before Rebecca and I set off cruising and perhaps, even before we had a boat, I remember the disappointment I would feel when the Slapdash blog which we followed religiously would go dark for a period of time. Surely Seth and Jaime* knew how many regular readers they had. How could they forsake them? Now, I find myself in their very shoes, having gone without posting for more than a week and for no more reason than, in my opinion, I just have nothing of worth to write. Could it be that this blog has run its course?

In the sidebar to the right, the text in blue says:

“Have you ever dreamt of running away to live on a tropical island, spending your days basking in the warm sunshine while sipping piña coladas? We have. In fact, our dream included running away to live on a sailboat in the tropics, even though when we started we had never even sailed before! Zero to Cruising is the story of how we took that dream and made it a reality. Follow along… you can do it too!”

Has this story not already been told? I think so, by us and by many others.

My dilemma is that I do enjoy writing, with the following caveat: I write when I’m inspired to do so by some unique event. But these days, it’s not like we are undergoing any super unique challenges on a regular basis. Certainly nothing more than any other boat owners. So what to write about?

Do we continue to post pics of sunsets and pretty beaches? Of jungles and mountains? Surely I could do that but really, who cares? It’s been said over and over by our own very readers, while nice to see, that’s not why they come here.

That in a nutshell is my present quandary, without an immediate answer. Until I decide what to do, you can find me posting regularly on our Facebook page. It’s a bit easier for me to pull that off from a mobile device than it is to update this blog.

For those of you visiting this blog for the first time because you’re really serious about packing up and setting sail, I invite you to start at the beginning, at a post that I wrote just shy of six years ago! In summary, it is possible! You can do it!

*We have met Seth and Jamie, formally of Slapdash, in person several times and interestingly, the subject of their blog has never come up.

34 Comments

  1. You can always continue to post pics of Rebeccas working out, hiking, swimming, and boat cleaning/repairing in her bikini. You don’t even have to write any text with it. That’d be easy, no? 😉

  2. Mike & Rebecca,

    So what if there is a slow down in your postings. Write when you are inspired to do so! We will all continue to read when you post. We will enjoy the pictures, however redundant they might seem(to you, not to us). And most importantly…we will continue to dream about living the reality that you have put in place. Keep up the great work!

    Dan

  3. I do miss those daily posts here on the blog. I have you in my facebook feed, but it frequently gets mixed in with the rest of junk. The downside to FB posts is that they are just short status updates and don’t have the deep detail and insight compared to your blog posts. But, I understand the convenience and will continue to “stalk” your world with envy and anticipation of the day I can join the cruiser life.

    ~Tim

  4. I have read this from start to finish and appreciate so much the time and work you guys put into this. We just finished getting diving certified and next March will be in St. Thomas for 1 week at Blue water sailing school and then the second week renting a condo close to two of the diving facilities. The plan is to retire in 2017 and leave in November 2018. No idea what kind of boat yet and March will be our first time to sail on anything over 20 ft. Husband used to race engine boats when he was young and he sailed small boats. I have printed out most of the posts that I thought would be valuable to him in regards to maintenance.

    Wanted to point out that the pictures are really what keep us dreamers going. We appreciate the maintenance info, as we know we have to deal with that — but it is not what keeps us going.
    Just knowing in January when it is -0- degrees out that we only have to put up with 3 more winters and then we can be in the picture we are looking at –helps a little.

  5. Mike – Your transparency and candid, honest posts like the one you just wrote are a big part of why we’re readers and fans of ZTC. We’ll miss reading here on your website if you decide to “retire” from blogging, but you’ve already gone above and beyond in terms of the content and resources that most bloggers provide during their “careers”…so THANK YOU!

    Have you considered a blogging sabbatical? I took a few months off a couple of years ago and came back recharged and armed with a list of topics for new posts.

  6. Update when it feels right for you. I’m cool with that.

    I’m not on facebook so this is how I follow you guys.

    All the best!

  7. Yours is the only blog online I have read from start to finish. I have learned a lot. Though it would be sad to see you stop writing, I would understand if you decided to end the blog. Three months ago I was at zero. In one month I will help crew a boat from Plymouth, MA, to Tortola!

  8. Sounds like it’s time to start your circumnavigation.

  9. Every dream escapes what’s familiar. Is it possible you’ve traded the challenge of the unknown and settled where you are at? When the road to challenge becomes familiar, a rut may soon follow. Are the fair winds of the unknown calling you over the horizon? Gather no moss…or barnacles as the case may be!

  10. Stay with it, even if you only update weekly. Your posts about boat issues, sailing tips and tricks, maintenance, jury rigged repairs, etc are very useful. You could even create your own Eastern Caribbean Cruising Guide, post by post, then someday publish it when you have covered sufficient anchorages. Yes of course there are a few good guides out there already, but your perspective would be useful too.

  11. “As long as it is fun” applies to the blog as well!

    Sincerely, a regular reader

  12. I followed Slapdash as well and still checked their site well after they stopped posting…. Just in case haha. It was awesome hearing a few updates about them on your site. I do still check your site almost everyday and love reading the updates. In the end it’s up to you if you continue…. As long as you continue the One Love updates!! Haha. I’ve gained an incredible amount of knowledge through your site and will miss it if you stop…

  13. Although I’ve a mere fraction of your audience, I struggle with the same thing.

    When we visit someplace we sometimes stay there for weeks. A remote atoll in the South Pacific is lovely and you can spend lots of great time there. But how many posts about the snorkeling, the food, the dancing can you do? We’ll do some special things, hikes, walks, tours and all that but still each is really good for about one post each, or less…which leaves you with three or four posts to cover two weeks of time , because some days we’re doing boat work, school, provisioning or other life tasks that you can’t write about over and over again either.

    You really want pictures of those vegetables and baguettes we bought at the market this morning?

    I’m way out of date and a few friends and family have scolded me for it, but it is hard to get inspired to post frequently when you are writing about more of the same, even if it is wonderful and special mixed up with the routine of life.

    Part of the problem is that “the lifestyle” as you know isn’t all tours, play, and watching sunsets on a beach with a rum drink in your hand. A lot of elapsed time spent on the tasks of living sometimes passes between the “adventures” that are more interesting to blog about.

  14. completely understand, you have got to enjoy the writing. I must say that I for one, enjoy all the posts, the instructive ones, the exploration ones, the ones where you are simply hanging out enjoying the beauty around you.

  15. “Has this story not already been told? I think so, by us and by many others.”

    Yes, it’s been told many, many times…ad nauseum.

    “Do we continue to post pics of sunsets and pretty beaches? Of jungles and mountains? Surely I could do that but really, who cares?”

    Well, I’m sure there are many who care, I’d speculate most are fairly young but, no offense, I’m NOT one of them…one of the reasons I very seldom comment on any blog. Blogs are funny little buggers. I can certainly appreciate how people (all people, not just those who sail) are proud of their children, proud of their wife or husband, or simply proud of what they are doing. But, their children are never as cute to others as they are to the parents…wives/husbands may be the bomb to their lover or spouse but, understandably, seldom so hot to others…boating, sailing or power, is just not that difficult to do for anyone with half a portion of common sense…and, sometimes a sunset is, well, just a sunset rather than an existential experience. Personally, when I open a blog page and immediately see yet another set of baby pix, a posed spouse, a boring movie of a several hour “passage”, or more photo edited sunsets…I leave.

    The above is almost an inconvenient truth to those engaged in the hive mind of the so-called
    “cruiser’s lifestyle.” I think people relate to real and genuine people. I’m good with most blogs as long as they don’t scream “HEY!!! LOOK AT ME.”

    I like your blog and agree with what someone posted on you folk’s Facebook page. Write when you want, about what you want…or not.

  16. Yours is the only blog I look to on a daily basis. For me it’s not about the sunsets & scenery, rather I’m always interested to see how you work through the problems, and handle the complexities of the cruising/charter business life.
    As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m impressed with the large array of skills and energy that you bring to your projects. It’s interesting to ‘look over your shoulders’ and get the opportunity to learn what you learn.
    Obviously, as a very independent person, you’ll do what works best for you. I did want you to know that so far as I’m concerned you have an appreciate audience!

  17. I get it. Without a focus a blog (or life) is banal. I started my blog because I was contemplating writing and selling a guide. Then there were new expereinces, with a new boat. Now many of my posts are ticklers or brainstorming that later grow into articles. My blog has always been a tool for me. I don’t do Facebook.

    I think your blog has served you well on several fronts, and still serves an advertising function; while your charter site provides pretty pictures, the ZTC site adds depth to the story and characters, and thus draws business. Even sporatic postings would maintant that life. Something to consider.

  18. My husband’s and my goalin 1976, was to set out sailing, maybe around the world, maybe not, sail wherever we wanted, mostly Eastern and Western Caribbean, Bermuda, Central America, Windward and Leeward Islands, Haiti, the DR, PR, Bahamas, did it all for years– and NOT write about it ! It’s has been done over and over. You can do it. Tens of thousands of miles sailed and not a picture posted or a blog or book written. It was all ours. We have it always.

  19. Got really tired of reading of “the clear, azure waters of the______(wherever)”! Read all of that stuff. Just live it. But now with computers and such we do admit to liking to look at pictures of where people are these days and how they are handling their boat life.

  20. First of all please accept my heartfelt thanks for all you have written to date. It represents a significant investment of time and effort. Having said that, let me say that you don’t owe it to anyone to write another word. If this blog has become a chore rather than a joy then by all means stop. I will certainly miss reading your posts but having more than 60 years behind me I can tell you without hesitation that life is too short to spend doing something you don’t want to do if you can possibly avoid it. Whether you post or not I wish you fair winds, calm seas and much joy.

  21. Things change when you change from cruising to full time working which it seems y’all have done. The surroundings are the same and things aren’t quite as exciting as before. Plus not so much of a need monetarily or phsychologically for the $’s the blog may have been producing. I’m sure once y’all are back to cruising full time and finding new places and meeting new people your blog will once again come alive with new material as y’all will be excited with the new adventures and it will give you a reason to pass this excitement on. Work is sometimes an evil necessity!

  22. Your blog has been a great motivator for me, and I used it many time to answer people when they ask “why do you want to go cruising?” I would say, have a look at what this couple are doing. I now have a friend who is also planning the escape, so I know the inspiration that your writing has created in people.
    The dream has been realized for you and Rebecca. The journey along the way has been very interesting for all those who have been following.
    If you retire/semi-retire from the blog, it will be missed, however you have inspired many other people, and I am sure they will create blogs to cover their journey.
    Once I am out there, I will keep an eye out for you either on One Love or ZTC, and will say hi, and thanks.

  23. We’ve enjoyed your blog and admired the tremendous dedication to get it out blog posts so frequently! Congratulations!

    Paul Shard
    SV Distant Shores

  24. Just write when you have something. We’d even subscribe. Facebook posts are easy to miss.

  25. Why not post a question or quick survey to see what your readers would like to see more of and pick things from the responses things that interest you to write about when you are looking for inspiration.

    For example, I’d be interested to know which of the many upgrades you did to One Love you would have done if she was your boat and you weren’t planning on chartering.

    The occasional post on what’s involved in chartering would interest me. How hard is it to find ingredients for the meals you post pictures of, how do you juggle planning upcoming charters while out with another group of charters. How do you get free time to yourselves during charters. Etc. etc. it’s a whole different lifestyle and type of business that I know nothing about and am mildly curious about.

    …and sunsets and gorgeous views never hurt when it’s crappy here and I’m dreaming.

  26. Mike – Many thanks for the past few years reading. It has inspired me and many others as well. I agree with the comment above about “if it has become a chore, stop doing it”. Will miss your blog, but I understand. Perhaps all you need is a good sabbatical, maybe not. I don’t know, I’m not in your shoes (or sandals). Regardless, fair winds to you and Rebecca. You two have made the world a little more tolerable and I’m certain you will continue to do so.

    Dale Roberts
    S/V Chelsea Marie

  27. Mike – do what you want to do. That’s how you ended up living your dream, isn’t it? You certainly don’t owe your longtime readers a thing. It is we who owe you.

    Thanks Mike. Jess and I are hoping for a week on One Love soon – I’ll pay you back when we tip out.

    Mario

  28. I like many other followers appreciate and look forward to everything you share. To me the time lapse just makes the next post that much more to appreciate. Keep up the work at what frequency you need to work at. You won’t disappoint me.
    Bill Creadon
    Cruisin Hardtops
    Water Racket 1995 CatalinaMorgan 38 cc #45

  29. As a lurker who has been reading your blog from the very beginning to learn about your journey, As a fellow dreamer who has been inspired by you guys, As a rookie who has learnt an immense amount from your mistakes, I plead with you to not retire from blogging. You don’t have to write every day, or every week, or even every month. I just like hearing from you guys every now and then, and learning about what you are up to. Go ahead and just post pretty pics of mountains, jungles and beaches, if you like, I for one, do care. Write whatever you want to write about, whenever you feel like it. 🙂

    I hope to one day meet you in person, hopefully in some beautiful caribbean anchorage. Unlike so many people who have dreamed about or started out on the same journey as you, what makes you interesting to me, is that you stuck to it. You made it real. You made it happen. For me at least, that makes you guys worth learning about and, if I am lucky someday, I may become like you too.

  30. I have been an avid sailor for my entire life and grown up around boats so when i walked into Martial Arts Planet years ago i never would have guessed you would end up here. It was a joy to watch as you tackled sailing like with the same intensity and passion that you taught martial arts with. I am a firm believer in doing what you love and if you find yourself forced to write just to keep posting regularly then i would say it may be time to take a break. Though i know that you will have stories to tell, explanations/advice to give and photo’s to upload and i know that we all appreciate what you have to share and wish you the best in whatever you choose.

  31. Keep writing!! I wrote a similar post to yours on my own blog a few weeks ago and I’m nowhere near as far along the adventure of sailing as you are 🙂 You write great posts and inspire people like me. I don’t think the frequency of your posts matters as much as wanting to share the amazing thing you’re doing with other like minded (and maybe not so like minded) people. As I said in my own blog post, if just one person learns something from what you write and enjoys it, then it has to be worth it.
    Happy writing:)
    Lynn

  32. I’ve enjoyed every one of your posts since catching up while you were on your way south down the ICW in Georgia.

    It’s understandable that you’re ready to take a break.

    One thought, since the blog is Zero To Cruising, you could finish it up for-good when you sell ZTC. That’s one thing Seth and Jaime didn’t do. We watched them buy Slapdash but never got the update on the sale.

    Just an idea…

    Dave

  33. Thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone, and the support. As you can see, I’ve managed to post a few more words on the blog since this one was published. Not everyday, but still posting. 🙂

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