I Wouldn’t Be Cruising If Not For…

As I sit in my beach chair looking out at the Matanzas River while writing this post, I’m thankful. Thankful for the many things that help me be here.

Because I wouldn’t be cruising if not for…

Honey the golden retriever wouldn't be cruising if not for Chewy.

Is this my new boat?

I Wouldn’t Be Cruising Except For…

My parents who taught me by example to be curious and willing to gain all kinds of hands-on skills. I wouldn’t have thought all those hours spent in the garden as a kid would help me as an adult cruiser. But I have a mean pair of bok choy growing on my counter.

Cornell Community Sailing where I had my first sailing lesson and access to increasingly larger boats.

woman at sailboat tiller

Y’know, sometimes I miss those little boats with tillers.

Cruising writers who in blogs and books wrote about their experiences and fanned the flames of my desire to do something new and fun.

Pet-friendly sailboat charters where we were able to make sure Honey would tolerate sailing on a boat before taking the big plunge.

The crew of Moondance II and Dog Gone Sailing Charters.

Who wouldn’t want to sail with this crew?

Chewy for being able to ship Honey’s high-quality food to a different address each time. In all our travels, I’ve only found a good pet supply within walking distance of one marina or anchorage.

The internet for connection with friends and the ability to quickly research tides, weather, and anchorages. Yeah. I know Joshua Slocum sailed solo around the world in the 19th century. But I bet if he had been able to visit www.howtocircumnavigatewithoutdying.com, he would have.

My sister and brother-in-law who gave us a home base while we were boat searching and who continue to give us a place to receive mail, a registration address for voting, and storage space for everything we can’t fit on the boat.

Honey who started out as a timid girl afraid of a ramp and who has grown into an amazing boat dog.

Honey the golden retriever smiles on her ramp.

I don’t know why this scared me so much.

And finally,

Mike, my husband and first mate, who despite preferring a life filled with television, Coca Cola, and pizza has traded it all in for crowded quarters, seasickness, and never-ending boat repairs. Thanks, Sweetie.

Honey and Mike at Waterfront Park in Charleston.

Thanks for giving me a soft spot to sit.

Who And What Got You Where You Are

As I write this, it’s the first day of spring.

Nothings make me more grateful than sunshine and spring.

I hope you are celebrating spring (or fall for my friends in the southern hemisphere) with gratitude in your heart.

Maybe it’s a good day for you to think about what you love about your life—good friends, a nurturing home, loving family, and, of course, the animals who share your life and give you joy.

View of masts in orange sky.

Thankful for my view.

How would you fill in the blanks, “I wouldn’t be _________ if not for…?”






  1. Living in our RV and traveling if not for my awesome hubby. Of course the downfall of the housing market, and losing our house, kinda pushed it all together.

    • You win the prize for taking lemons and creating lemonade. You and Al are the artists of your lives to create something so beautiful and engaging out of circumstances you would never have wished for yourselves.

  2. It’s perfect for you to live your dream. We are working on Mom living hers more and more here on land. If you are doing what you love, it really makes a difference in your life and if it works for you, other things will fall into place as necessary.

    • And once we know what our dreams are, we figure out the ways to “make” them fall into place.

  3. I wouldn’t be reading this post if it wasn’t for my husband pushing me to blog seven years ago. lol! And I wouldn’t have gotten to know you, Pamela and so many dog people like you that have encouraged me to be a better pet parent. Plus practice on my writing and computer skills all at the same time to prepare me for future endeavors.

    Awesome, isn’t it?

    • OMD, 7 years! It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

      And even when I get lazy or take a break, pet bloggers are still my favorite people.

  4. http://Julie says

    So great to see all of you! I’m going to have to put Chewy’s to work when we hit the road in August! I can’t wait. “I wouldn’t be considering living in an RV if not for an amazing group of women that I met online” 🙂

    • Just remember, you have to stay put long enough for Chewy to find you. They’re good. But they’re not magical. 🙂

  5. Growing up is tough, and I had some rough times when I was young (many self-inflicted and not nearly as bad as what others have gone through). I’ve always been of the mind set that the hard times make us who we are today, and that if not for that rough road, I wouldn’t be where I am now; and I love where that is. Maybe I could have taken an easier road to get here, but who knows where I’d be if I’d taken the straight road?
    Hard work pays off and making dreams come true can be hard work. It’s always wonderful to have some help along the way too.

    • Hard times also give us the ability to understand other people’s pain. I think it’s an example of a blessing growing out of rocky ground.

  6. Amazing how it is not just one thing, but a cumulative of life experiences that point us in one direction or another. I love how your dream evolved, and you chased it and are living the life. (Cool to know Chewy is helping to keep Honey well fed too…never even thought of that, or problems like where you’d get your mail!) So many little details to be worked out…
    P.S. Love the blog revamp!

    • Since I’ve been on the boat, I’ve looked about and discovered that I was interested in sailing long before I ever tried it. For example, my favorite album as a teenager was Kansas’ Point of No Return–which features a sailing ship on the sleeve. I’ve found dozen of those things.

      And yes. making a major life change is all about working out the little things–laundry, dog food, poop. 🙂

  7. Can you get pizza, coco-cola and TV on the boat? 🙂

    What an amazing adventure you guys are on! I can’t imagine doing that without the internet (or phones). Man, imagine being out of touch with your long-distance loved ones for such a long time!

  8. Quite the amazing view in that last pic. No wonder you are grateful for it and all the other contributing factors. Congrats on achieving your dream through these amazing adventures. ❤︎

  9. I love this post so much… I am thankful for so much, not least this new direction my life is about to take. Thankful and terrified