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The other day I posted about all of the crap, I mean non-essential items that we carry on board ZTC to add to our enjoyment. My tongue-in-cheek title for the post was Go Fast or Have Fun, implying that they were mutually exclusive. A couple of people commented that going fast was what sailing was all about and for day sailors, and in particular racers, I have no doubt that this is true. It’s common knowledge though that the actual sailing part of cruising is a very small percentage of what goes on in this lifestyle and I thought I had a way to prove my point.

As most of our regular readers know, we have a very extensive list of cruising blogs linked on our site. Taking advantage of the good Wi-Fi signal that we have here now, Rebecca and I spent some time this morning visiting each of the links for cruisers to see what their last post was about. I know that this is in no way a scientific study as, unlike us, most people don’t post on their blogs daily. They also typically only post about things that they feel are of interest which, again, could skew the results of my study. That said, ignoring any blogs which were seriously out of date or had posted about things unrelated to cruising, here is what the cruisers are up to:

  • Repairs/Maintenance: 41% (27)
  • Socializing/Exploring: 38% (25)
  • In Transit: 21% (14)
  • Total: 100% (66)

I am positive that the “in transit” category is still way higher than what it should be in reality. I would also suspect that for those not in transit, even their maintenance days are probably filled with at least a bit of socializing, or at least their evenings are. Anyway, I think we’ll still forsake a bit of speed to keep our toys on board. We’re also pretty happy that, knock on wood, we selected a boat which does not require that many repairs!

A thought just occurred to me… as we do post daily, someone could go through our blog (perhaps only the last year or so of posts?) and figure out the stats for how we spend our time. I’m not about to do it but it would be interesting. 🙂


  1. You’re a regular Huck Finn aren’t you?? 🙂

    • You think? 😉

      Huckleberry “Huck” Finn is the son of the town’s vagrant drunkard, “Pap” Finn. Sleeping on doorsteps when the weather is fair, in empty hogsheads during storms, and living off of what he receives from others, Huck lives the life of a destitute vagabond. The author metaphorically names him “the juvenile pariah of the village” and describes Huck as “idle, and lawless, and vulgar, and bad,” qualities for which he was admired by all the children in the village, although their mothers “cordially hated and dreaded” him.
      Huck is an archetypal innocent, able to discover the “right” thing to do despite the prevailing theology and prejudiced mentality of the South of that era. The best example of this is his decision to help Jim escape slavery, even though he believes he will go to hell for it (see Christian views on slavery).
      His appearance is described in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He wears the clothes of full-grown men which he probably received as charity, and as Twain describes him, “he was fluttering with rags.” He has a torn broken hat and his trousers are supported with only one suspender.
      Tom’s Aunt Polly calls Huck a “poor motherless thing.” Huck confesses to Tom in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that he remembers his mother and his parents’ relentless fighting that only abated with her death.
      Huck has a carefree life free from societal norms or rules, stealing watermelons and chickens and “borrowing” boats and cigars. Due to his unconventional childhood, Huck has received almost no education. At the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck is adopted by the Widow Douglas, who sends him to school in return for his saving her life.


      • I was really just talking about his ability to get people to do things that he didn’t want to do, like whitewash the picket fence! Or, go through a year of posts and calculate how you spent your time!!

  2. Maybe there’s an app for that 🙂

  3. You’re right it was Tom Sawyer, same book. It’s been a while since I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer so I was mixing Tom and Huck! That should be a free download on Kindle, I might need to re-read it!! Loved it way back when!!

  4. Is the other 34% for laying around, reading books and drinking Stag?

    • The numbers on the chart are not percentages. From the post:

      Repairs/Maintenance: 41% (27)
      Socializing/Exploring: 38% (25)
      In Transit: 21% (14)
      Total: 100% (66)

  5. It would be interesting to analyse your spot data which should show transit vs at anchor. At the end of the day, I am sure it will show that ZTC is a house far more then it is a sailboat…

    • We don’t always have spot tracking so that wouldn’t be accurate. I bet it would show that we are in transit about 1-2% of the time.

  6. Hey Mike, I’m proud of you taking time to do all these research!
    I got 2 bicycles, roller blades, hard dinghy, and other toys and she still goes fast 🙂

  7. The internet is a wonderful thing. I do though find it curious that once ensconced on a sailing vessel, a sector of the human race appear to require the vessel then to get them from the life they, we presume, rushed away from, drive their craft as fast as they can to a region of the world that is similarly inhabited. Life is a journey, not a destination as they say. You are blessed to do what you are doing….. don’t rush. We’re a long time dead.

    • I hear you, Jack, but in your own words… “we presume.” That kind of sums it up. Everyone is on a different path and has different needs, goals, desires. Who are we to guess what they are? For example, I know a lot of people who require the internet to earn a living out here. Is it wrong for them to thus cruise only in areas where that is possible? I know that you’re not judging but we try to avoid being too critical of other people’s agendas.

  8. Good post , but if I remember correctly, reality is like you said, less traveling and even less repairs if you have a simple boat. Now if you have a wood boat as we did with lots of bright-work, you need to add a new sub category in the repairs/maintenance section, our hobby!

  9. Man, I’m not sure what we are doing out here!? It changes on a pretty regular schedule. Either we’re hell-bent on getting somewhere, or we find ourselves lazily hanging out someplace. We left our home port in Kemah, Texas, on November 15th, and still haven’t made it to the Bahamas! We are close, though. Hangin out in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, Florida. For the first time, we really are doing a lot of boatwork. Better to do it here, than in the Bahamas. We are also having a great time here, and in no hurry to leave.

    Like you and Rebecca, we don’t have any place that we have to be, so cruising takes some twists and turns along the way. What could be better?

    I’ve said it before, and will say it again….you guys rock! I don’t know how you blog every day, Mike. My hat’s off to you, because it is really alot of work. Keep it up, and we still hope to meet you and Rebecca out there somewhere, sooner or later.


    • Keep having fun, Ralph. Have you thought ahead to H-season?

    • Ralph, would love to have a chance to chat with you. We live in Colorado now and we will probably be moving to Kemah, TX in about a year while we wait for our daughter to finish college. This way we can live aboard while working in Houston. Have really wanted to talk with someone about the area.

  10. I don’t know if you create tags for each of your posts, but if you did you should be able to find out that way. For that they would have an app for!

  11. This really made me laugh. I’m pretty sure that sums up the percentages of posts on my blog :-). Darn that maintenance!

  12. I bet you are not far off…..Like you said I would say in Transit is in the single digits and you could throw a higher number into Socializing/Exploring (anchor/dock)……..Good stuff

  13. Where is the wedge for blog posts ;~) ?

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