Do you know what I love? Question and answer posts. They’re so simple. No trying to find out how to make your day sound exhilarating or exciting when it hasn’t been, no trying to think of topics that could in any way be exciting (we actually tend to sit around more than we get out), and they give you a glimpse into our lives instead of trying to pick through the hundreds of blog post that are already published to look for the information you really want to know.
I’ve done just a couple of question and answer posts on here before, and I’ll embarrassingly admit that even though some of you were kind enough or curious enough to go on our Facebook page and ask those questions, a few times I may have been left a little short and had to make a few up myself. I know, how lame. I had to ask myself my own questions in an interview.
So you can imagine my surprise, and my gratitude and pleasure, when we were nominated for the Liebster Award. Don’t worry, there’s no need for me to start thanking the academy yet. We’ve come a long way, but we still don’t have that kind of status yet. The Liebser Award exists only on the internet and is given from blogger to blogger. A fancy chain letter, if you will. Each blogger nominated for the award has the option to accept it or not, and if they do, they thank and link back to whom they were nominated, answer ten questions posed by that person, and pay it forward by nominating up to ten blogs of their own choice and asking those bloggers ten questions to answer.
Since I find it heartwarming that we were nominated, and now learning that the term Leibster comes from German roots meaning valued, endearing, sweetest, and kindness, I will be accepting this award.
Our nomination comes from Mark and Cindy of s/v Cream Puff (thank you for thinking of us!), and here are the 10 questions they have for us:
Meet the crew. Who are you? Each share something about the other (not on the blog).
We are Matt & Jessica, 32 years old, couple for 14 years, and married for almost 10. We started out sailing six years ago on Lake Michigan, and a year later, realized we wanted to sail off into the sunset, working very hard for the next three years to make it happen. So far we’ve been out cruising for two years, and have decided that we like this lifestyle enough that we’re going to try and stretch our dollar as far as it can go to ensure that it will be quite some time before we have to go back to the rat race that is our former life.
Jessica on Matt: Even though Matt’s pretty good about letting me watch chick flicks whenever I want without complaining (he usually just busies himself on his computer) there are a few of them that he can not stand to have playing if he’s anywhere around. I had to leave The Notebook at our hostel in Peru because he didn’t want it back on the boat.
Matt on Jessica: I don’t think she’ll actually ever learn to play the guitar that was given to her as a Christmas gift years ago. For two years now we’ve been dragging that thing around, and I’ve only seen her pull it out a handful of times.
(Jessica: I’m trying to change that! I really do want to force myself to get into the habit of constant practicing. Rock star status is still in my future!)
What advice would you give to a wannabe traveler just starting out?
The first year of cruising is probably going to be the hardest, but if you stick in there, chances are by the time you reach year two, you’ll realize it’s the best thing you could have done with your life. The first year is full of overwhelming transitions, and as it seemed for us, constant boat work and repairs, as well as traveling at lightning speed to cover LOTS of ground, which meant not a lot of time left over for just enjoying life.
By the second year you’ve got most of it figured out, or have at least figured out what you want from the lifestyle. Then the cruising you’ve always dreamed of can really begin. Still with those pesky boat repairs and maintenance. They may dwindle, but they never go way.
Can you roll your tongue or wiggle the end?
Yes, we both can both roll our tongues! But only I (Jessica) can fold it in half from left to right, and only Matt can touch his tongue to his nose.
What is your favorite restaurant in the whole world?
Boondockers in Glen Arbor, MI. It wasn’t necessarily the food I went there for, although it did always have a live band playing on the weekends, who’s cover of Amie by Pure Prairie League could always steal my heart away. But I think part of the reason I love it so much is because if I was there, it meant I was having the time of my life. That I’d probably just come from climbing the Sleeping Bear Dunes or kayaking down the Crystal River. It also meant that right after dinner I had a bonfire on the shores of Lake Michigan, curtained by a sky of stars to look forward to. Plus this restaurant did have a pretty good chicken tenders basket, and all the seasonal beers on tap.
If you sail as a couple, who is really, and I mean really, the captain?
Even though it’s me (Jessica) on paper, it’s Matt on the boat. He knows much more about boats than I could ever possibly learn, or want to. We each have our strengths though, and if sailing the boat is his, then weather reading and preparation is mine. We’re both a little half and half on navigation, where he knows the rules of the road a little better (who has the right of way), but I think I have the edge in map reading.
If you’re wondering why I’m the captain on paper, just try sending a young female through customs and immigration and see how quickly she gets through it, and with how many smiles in return.
What are you favorite meals to cook while sailing?
While sailing? That would probably have to be Pop Tarts, since most of the time when we’re underway I can barley get myself below deck to use the head, let alone cook a meal as we’re getting tossed around. If you’ve followed some of our recent posts though, you’ll know that this trip has been incredibly flat and allowed me to move around the galley as if we were at anchor. That being said, passages still make me incredibly lazy, so my number one go to meal would have to be a naked burrito. Use one pan to cook up a few cups of rice, and another to heat up a can of chicken (adding some spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic if I’m up to it), then add in a can of black beans to heat. Put all these into a bowl and top with salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and voila! A hearty, filling, and easy to prep meal.
Who’s idea was it to buy the boat, and how did they convince the other person?
If you refer to our About Us tab, you can get the full story, but buying the boat in general was a mutual decision. We never had the intentions of leaving our lives behind when the first boat was purchased, just something to keep us busy on the weekends and take advantage of the waters of Lake Michigan, instead of just admiring them from the sidelines.
Our buddy boat armada in Port Antonio, Jamaica
Where is your dream destination?
Matt has always had a fascination with the areas that very few people have been to. Unfortunately, they also happen to be, in my opinion, in cold and inhospitable areas. Cape Horn, the Falklands, and the Baltic Sea. Why, Matt, why???!!! I think he likes isolated areas of beauty, but he at least agrees that should we ever make it to those areas, it will not be in Serendipity.
For me, I can’t say. I’ve never had my heart set on any one particular place, there’s so many different areas I’d like to see. But the Mediterranean is one of them, so I’m very excited that we’re on our way there now. I think I’d also like to see the islands of the South Pacific, but again, probably on a different boat than Serendipity.
Why did you pick sailing as a form of transportation or hobby (over an RV/camper for instance)?
Why does anyone get into sailing? From far away it’s exotic and alluring. The movies make it look so romantic. Have you seen that scene from Casino Royale where they’re taking their beautiful Spirit 54 into Venice, while James Bond is wearing a preppy pair of chino pants or a cardigan and Vesper has on her cute nautical stripes and tortoise shell sunglasses?
That’s the image that most non-sailors have of sailing. I know it was mine. And just like any advertisements out there, you think by buying into this product, that’s exactly how your life will be.
This is the life I imagined for myself. I’m getting…..closer.
Would you please describe your best sailing day ever?
Usually my best days of sailing involve flat seas, which doesn’t always make for the best sailing. According to people who actually enjoy the sport. There is one day however, that I think satisfies both, and it was sailing the Delaware Bay back when we were only a month or so into cruising. We had just met Brian and Stephanie on Rode Trip, our soon to be cruising buddies down the east coast and half of Caribbean, so it was nice to have someone else, just as young and new as us, making the same trip.
Even though waters on the Delaware Bay are touted to be some of the worst you might come across, we had a beautiful sunny day with only light waves on the water and 15-20 knots of wind in the air. The sails were perfectly trimmed, the ride was comfortable, and the current was pushing us along at up to 8 knots at some points. The scenery may not have been as perfect as some of our Bahamian cruises (still with Brian and Stephanie), but just something about that day holds a special place in my heart.
Read our full post on it here.
Cruising clear Bahamian waters with s/v Rode Trip.
I would like to nominate:
Skelton Crew – Jackie and Ron, our boating besties, about to set off from Lake Michigan in 2015.
Rode Trip – Brian and Stephanie, our first buddy boat, now also taking on the Mediterranean, in a new and larger boat.
Mondo Vacilando – Chris and Melody, sailing the east coast and Chesapeake while looking for their forever boat.
It’s a Necessity – Genevieve and Eben, along with Arias and Ellia. Cutest little philanthropic family sailing the Caribbean.
Turf to Surf – Ryan and Tasha. From cruising to a Clipper Race, to backpacking, these two cover every form of travel.
Tamarisk RTW – Jason and Piers. Two brothers taking on a circumnavigation on their Sundeer 56, and shoot some truly amazing photos along the way.
Sailing Chance – Kelley and Jason. With one trip to the Bahamas under their belts, they have hopes of sailing all the way to Colombia one day to open a surf shop.
Sailing Journey – Drena and JR. Replenishing the cruising kitty and sailing the Chesapeake until they can get back to the Bahamas and beyond.
Hannah and Kyle – British dancers turned backpackers who spent 10 months taking on Central and South America.
Mr. & Mrs. Globetrot – Julia & Yuriy. Portrait & fashion photographers from Seattle that travel the world and capture the most beautiful parts of it in their breathtaking photos.
My questions for you:
Explain yourselves. Take that to mean however you wish.
When is the first time you ever set foot on a sailboat?
Where is the worst place, traveling or stationary, you’ve been with your boat? Not a city/country you visited, but a place you were physically on the boat.
If a genie granted you a lifetime supply of one kind of alcohol, what would you choose?
What’s the nicest thing the other person has done for you while traveling?
If you had the option to transport yourself anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
What did your family say when you told them you were going to up and leave everything in order to travel?
Do you think you’ve found the place you’d like to retire to?
What language do you think would be the most fun to speak, even if you have no plans to learn it?
Outside of the US, where has your most expensive meal been?
Opt out questions for our non sailing friends:
What was the most used non-electronic item you packed on your travels?
What was the worst mode of transportation you’ve had to endure?