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Eleven days ago I started a masochistic experiment of potentially epic proportions. I gave Rebecca 100% control over my diet and exercise regime for an entire month. Why would I do this? Good question. Why do people climb Everest? Seriously though, I wanted to take my fitness level up a few notches before the charter season started, and shed a few pounds, and we all know how disciplined Rebecca is with her exercise.

To make this even more interesting (and effective), both Rebecca and I swore off alcohol for the month. Now, we’ve done this before, giving up alcohol for 30 days or more, and in truth we don’t find it all that tough. Others might though, especially given the lifestyle that we find ourselves immersed in.

Alcohol is such a huge part of the cruising social scene. Take this week for example… Wednesday night we attended a sunset dinghy raft up, last night there was a jam session at a local watering hole, and tonight there is a special party that we’ll be attending. Saturday is the Hash, and by now you may know that Hashers describe themselves as “drinkers with a running problem,” and Sunday there will be the usual afternoon beach party at Roger’s on Hog Island. While we never feel pressured to drink at any of these events, the consumption of alcohol is definitely a large part of them. I’m guessing those with less willpower may have a tough time of it.

What are the benefits of not drinking? Aside from the obvious health benefits which, especially important for me, includes lower blood pressure, we also spend a lot less money. Over and over people ask what it costs to go cruising and we generally refuse to answer as it depends on an individual’s circumstances and lifestyle, Well, this is an example of a lifestyle choice that would have a huge impact on budget. At least for us, it does.

Anyway, to make this month-long experiment worthwhile, Rebecca and I took “before” pics and measurements, and she has been recording my workouts and food for the month. We’ll see where we end up.

Oh, and on the subject of exercise, I should mention that in spite of what the above might seem to imply, there are a large number of cruisers here in Camp Grenada who do seem to be relatively fitness conscious. Every day several Yoga classes take place, and there is Noodling (water aerobics of sorts) by the beach. Volleyball is also very popular and in fact, a 4-on-4 multi-day volleyball tournament just got under way this week. I’m pretty impressed by the turnout to these events.


  1. I sailed the cruising life for 25 years. I absolutely had to stop drinking and I did it by taking advantage of a charter guest who traded a hypnosis session for the days charter.
    Result? Have not touched a drop for 27 years. Best thing I ever did.
    Imagine , I drank water at the hash meetings! hahahah.
    Anyway best of luck with everything.

  2. Good on ya Mike. Hard to have that kind of discipline in your environment or any social environment for that matter. Love that the two of you can do what you do and also have a healthy lifestyle! Very motivating. My philosophy, go large on the good for you stuff like exercising and eating right and moderation on the the not so good stuff like booze and dessert. Will look forward to hearin how the month goes. Cheers from Canada! Oh and Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

  3. Way to Go Mike!

    Sometimes we just need to recalibrate our baseline fitness level. At my gym right now, I have about a dozen or so working on the Whole Life Challenge, which last over 8 weeks. I’m giving up alcohol as well, my first week into it we had an ‘outing’ to local bar to watch our friends band. I was honestly a bit surprised at how easy it was to just drink club soda. While, I’m pretty fit to begin with, I struggle with borderline high blood sugar levels and my weight had crept up a bit over the summer. I’m curious to see how much my blood work looks after 8 weeks of cleaning up my diet!

  4. Now you’ll start offering Biggest Loser Cruises and really take it up a notch. Go Mike Go. Always listen to your lady….

  5. Perfect timing for your post. Yesterday, my wife and I walked through a boat show in Sarasota, FL. We started talking with a man on a Manta 42 named “Babe”. I mentioned that I was a follower of your blog. He said that he remembers seeing your boat Zero To Cruising in the Bahamas. Without any prompting, he said that he definitely remembers that both of the owners were “very fit”. Keep up the good work.

  6. Richard Pendergast (Hello Texas) - Reply

    I had to give up alcohol due to the allergic reaction that I developed over the years. It is cheaper and healthier. But, sometimes it feels a little socially awkward. When a friendly cruiser (and almost everybody is friendly) offers a drink, it seems unfriendly to turn it down and ask for something non-alcoholic. And, then sometimes people assume that I’m either opposed to consumption of alcohol or a recovering alcoholic, both of which makes them feel uncomfortable drinking in front of me. So, I must explain my physical situation. But, that’s just a minor inconvenience to being a cruiser.

  7. How is your challenge going Mike?

    • Not drinking? It’s really not much of a challenge. While Rebecca and I have indulged in the odd cocktail or glass of wine since that month ended, we have proven over and over that we can give up alcohol cold turkey when we choose to.

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