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The following list, copied from the excellent website Morgan’s Cloud, struck me as “almost” perfect so I saved it:

What Really Matters

  • Keep the water out
  • Keep the crew on the boat
  • Keep the keel side down
  • Keep the mast up
  • Keep the rudder on
  • The rest is small stuff.

All I would add to this list is that if you’re cruising with your “significant other,” make sure that he/she is happy!

On that note, I hope that Rebecca and her family are making out OK back in Canada. Later today I’ll be attending the wedding* of Josh and Jenn on s/v Sheliak. We all wish that my lovely wife was here to share it as well.

*This may not be a legal wedding, but the two plan to have a ceremony on the nearby “secret sandbar.” Party and Bonfire to follow this evening. Legal ceremony with family to occur upon their return to civilization.

PS: If there are any grammatical, punctuation or spelling mistakes in what I post while Rebecca is away, that is because I sorely miss her proofreading skills!


  1. I believe you can thank John and Phyllis of Morgan’s Cloud for those words of wisdom. They’re great sailors and great writers, and thirty years from now will probably still be quoted as gurus.

  2. That is from John Harries and Phyllis Nickel on Morgans Cloud, Here is their website

  3. Matt, Mike and Chris are correct. I came up with and first used the list of What Really Matters in an article for Cruising World Magazine titled “Taming The Wimp Within” that was published in their July 2000 issue. You can read an updated version of that piece in its entirety here.

    The list has become a bit of a mantra for us and in fact appears in the side bar of every page of our web site.

  4. Thanks John, and Matt, Mike and Chris. I amended the post to give credit!

  5. I just joined Networked Blogs, thanks for that idea!! (I saw it on your sidebar).

    Although now I see you don’t follow mine, and I thought you did! 🙁

    Have fun at the wedding!

  6. Those words were the mantra of my ASA sailing instructor 22 years ago. I still remember him repeating them daily before we left the dock, and often during the days of sailing! Keep the water on the outside, keep the slimy side down, stay on the boat, and keep the stick in the air! I expect they’ve been around in various versions for long time. 🙂

  7. PS Mike, Rebecca will be home before you know it! Hang in there!

  8. Nice – I also like “pointy end forward, stick side up” and we use “Rule #1: stay on the f@#! boat. Rule #2: stay on the f@#! boat. “

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