Sadly no champagne prize, not even any cake for this award, just the honour of answering some questions, nominating other blogs and setting some new questions. Hee hee thank you Boxing Kangaroo
for our award :-) The Liebster award is passed on from one blogger to another, in this case sailing bloggers, it's aim to let others know a little more about you and your sailing life.
The questions set to us:
1.Where did you start your trip, where are you now and where are you going?
We started our trip way back in Brighton in 2009 with 6 month voyages to the west Baltic and around the UK. We are currently in Sicily - we left the UK to head to the Med in 2013. The winter will be spent in Sicily before going on to Greece and Turkey next year.
2. If you could choose one, what's your dream boat?
Tricky one as I love Emerald! Spirit yachts are beautiful but maybe too mumaintenence to keep looking as beautiful as they deserve. Colin reckons a Najad 400 for him or maybe a Rustler 36 but that doesn't have an aft cabin. His money is no object boat would be a Force 50 with electric everything!
3. What is the biggest lesson you've learnt so far since you started cruising?
If the weather isn't good, don't leave.
4. Describe an average day of your cruising life near land?
The first thing we do every day is check the weather forecast as that has a big bearing on whether we can get ashore and be happy leaving the boat. If all looks good then I like to do some sightseeing or exploring or just walking around for exercise. There are always every day chores to be done that need a trip ashore - shopping, fetching water, getting rid of rubbish. Now we're in the Med we've had to match what we do to the weather as the afternoons get too hot for anything active other than a swim. Late afternoon and evenings are spent socialising with other boats or chilling onboard with a dvd or music.
5. Is there something you really thought you needed and turned out to be totally useless on board?
The extra radar display unit that we installed at the chart table and have never used. We have a small display in the cockpit which we rarely use - we have been lucky to have never been caught in fog and with the introduction of AIS our NASA AIS receiver unit provides much better information on ships than the radar does.
6. What's your favourite dish discovered while cruising?
I found Portuguese food fairly bland so nothing from there I can think of as a favourite although Colin loved the pastel de nata pastries. I loved the tapas in both Galicia and southern Spain as I enjoy having a little of lots of different tastes. The mussels in Galicia are the tastiest I've eaten. I'm really enjoying Italian food and am currently going through an aubergine faze, they look good as well as taste good. Hmmm so I haven't picked just one dish have I? Well I like food so much I can't decide on one!
7. Tell us about your boat name.
We gave Emerald her name as her previous name didn't really suit us. Three reasons why she became Emerald: she has green canvas and upholstery, Colin is from Ireland and it is my birthstone. We also wanted a name that was simple and easy to spell out over the radio.
8. Any advice on good cruising stories/books/movies/apps?
The best gadget we have is an ipod onto which we loaded both our huge cd music collection which freed up 3 lockers. Colin loves 'Captain Ron' as a sailing movie but I wouldn't recommend following Ron's sailing advice ;-) We have so many books on board - my favourite sailing one is 'Voyage for Madmen' by Peter Nicols about the first non-stop round the world yacht race. For Colin it is Tania Aebi's 'Maiden Voyage' or any of the books by Eric Hiscock or Bernard Moitissier. We use an app called Plan2Nav for a chart plotter which works ok but has some negatives, there are others available.
9. If you could give newbies three requirements for a cruising boat, what would they be?
- Something less than 39ft as many marina fees jump up significantly once you go over the 12m length - although this is only based on European sailing. At anchor we're very happy with Emerald's 44ft of space and comfort in big seas. Maybe a better size criteria is to be sure that you can do the sail handling in tricky conditions.
- When buying an anchor go a size larger than the manufacturer's recommended anchor size as a cruising boat will spend many days at anchor and carry more weight (extra water, fuel, food and all your belongings) than a weekend cruiser.
- eeesh a third requirement is tricky as we can think of many such as encapsulated keel, skeg hung rudder, don't go for a flat bottomed boat (skittish at anchor), a dinghy that isn't too small (ours is at 2.3m). I better stop now!
10. What are your dreams for the future?
We hope to make it around the world some day but we try not to be too specific as we just don't know where might turn our heads. My dream location would be Antarctica, Colin fancies the North West passage. More realistically Canada appeals and if we make it to New Zealand we might never leave.
And here are our nominated blogs:
Spirit of Argo : four legged tales from our sister boat and the inspiration for buying Emerald here
Riverdancer : running (and dancing) their way through the Med here
Scrabbler : Scrabble challenging their way along the Algarve and southern Spain here
Morven : heading across the Atlantic here
1. What got you into the liveaboard life?
2. What is your favourite sailing book?
3. What is the worst experience you've had onboard?
4. What's your favourite board game or card game or such for playing onboard?
5. What is the make of your boat and why did you choose her?
6. What is your dream sailing destination?
7. What do you miss the most from a land based life?
8. How did your boat get it's name?
9. What is your favourite food discovered on your travels?
10. What is your top bit of advice to newbies?