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While some prefer the term yachties, most people would probably describe Rebecca and I as cruisers, people who travel from place to place on a boat. Our internet friends, Livia and Carol on s/v Estrellita 10b, feel that the term cruiser is a bit too restrictive and choose instead to call themselves vagabonds, opening the door for them to travel any which way they choose, by water, land or air. I do like that.

‎”Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

There are numerous other people, including many back in Canada, who live on the water and call a boat home, but yet never really travel anywhere. They would typically be referred to as live-aboards. For the first year that Rebecca and I owned our boat we would have lumped ourselves into that category. We worked on land, had our boat in a marina and only ever made short trips out on weekends (more than most other live-aboards to be honest). I suspect that many cruisers start out that way before officially “cutting the dock lines.” One thing that I’ve noticed though is that quite a few seem to go full circle and end up that way too!

How long does someone need to remain stationary before they move from the cruiser category into the live-aboard category? Of course, it doesn’t really matter but it’s something that I do think about. In numerous places, often hurricane harbors such as Trinidad, Grenada and Luperon (DR), we have run into people who may have initially stopped to wait out a storm season but ended up never leaving. Often they are single men but that is not always the case; we’ve seen couples and entire families too. Some have since acquired jobs on land and vehicles to get them to and fro while others continue to get by the same way they did while they were traveling. Their boats, however, while once fit for passages, are now better suited for comfort in quiet harbors.

Will Rebecca and I end up that way? Who knows. I can’t see it for us but then again, I’ve never been all that great at predicting the future. If these people have chosen to remain stationary because it makes them happier than traveling did, then kudos to them. If they’re making money so that they can continue to travel in the future, that makes sense to me too. At the present, remaining stationary for anything more than a couple of weeks starts to drive us crazy. You never know though.

Entirely unrelated to today’s post, a kind family that were fishing on Chacachacare Island gave us these two fish for dinner the other night. How awesome is that?


  1. I’ve pretty much referred to myself as a “successful bum” most all my life.

  2. Welcome Back…..They all work for me as it means you are on the water!

  3. And then there are CLODs . . . like us. Cruisers Living On Dirt. We think we still have the cruiser mentality, but for one reason or another (usually relating to money or health), we’re now back on land. But our hearts are on the water.

  4. Talking about cruising boats becoming more suited for live-aboards, I heard a story once that in a marina where there were a lot of live-aboards, occasionally someone would run down the dock screaming, “Live-aboard race, Live-aboard race,Live-aboard race.”

    Everybody would scramble to clear their decks, stow everything below, take in the laundry, etc., etc. First one to leave the slip was declared the winner.

    (former cruiser, current CLOD – Vero Beach)

  5. I’m not sure what we call ourselves at this point, just happy to not be tied up at our old marina!

    We left Kemah, Tx. ten days ago, and are hangin out in the “Big Easy”, as New Orleans is known. Still heading to Florida, and on to the Bahamas. The 350 miles in the Gulf Intercoastal Water Way has been a challenge, and fun too! We still hope to meet up with you guys eventually. It has been great following along with your cruising adventures.

    We have a really simple blog for friends and family to follow –

    Ralph and Beverly

  6. Although our boat is on the hard for 4-5 months, and we’re staying with family and friends, it still feels like vagabonding to us 🙂

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