Welcome to our new sailing blogger interview series!
We love sailing holidays, and we really envy and admire the people who have turned their love of the sea into a full-time lifestyle.
This is why each month we’ll be interviewing the sailors behind our favourite sailing and travel blogs, to give you some insight into what sailing full-time is like.
Our first guests featured in this new series are Mike and Rebecca Sweeney, the people behind Zero to Cruising.
1. What sparked your passion for sailing and what made you decide to adopt sailing as a lifestyle?
To tell you the truth, when things started out, sailing was not our passion, travel was. Sailing for us was simply a vehicle that allowed us to travel relatively inexpensively. Our sailboat, a 32′ catamaran, was both our ocean-crossing car and our home.
2. What kind of boat do you sail and what has been the biggest challenge with it?
Our boat, Zero To Cruising, is a Canadian-built PDQ 32 catamaran. She is an extremely well-thought-out coastal cruising cat and we have had very little issues with her. Unlike many other large boats, her systems are simple, which, for people who prefer cruising to fixing things, is perfect.
That said, the boat’s design, with its unique full-width sliding salon hatch (a feature that makes it perfect for the tropics), is what makes it less suitable for higher-latitude sailing. Considering that is our next goal – to sail to Patagonia, southern Chile and Argentina – we have just listed our catamaran for sale (http://www.zerotocruising.
3. What are the three things you love most about sailing?
I guess the first thing that I love about sailing is the sounds, especially the sound when we first turn off the engines. The sound of the wind in the rigging taking the place of that of the engines chugging away is wonderful.
The second thing I love about sailing is the challenge. Of course, when everything is going well, there is little challenge at all. There are occasionally issues to deal with though, and I love how travelling on a boat tests our ability to be creative and problem solve.
The third thing I love about sailing is actually not sailing at all, it is making landfall in new and unique places. As I said, for us, a boat is really a vehicle to travel.
To date, we have travelled all the way from Kingston, Ontario, Canada to Trinidad in the West Indies. We have been to a lot of fantastic places, so selecting our top three sailing destinations from all of those spots is tough.If pressed to answer though, I’d guess I have to say the first would be Grenada, our home away from home in the Windward Islands. The people there are fantastic, and the island offers everything a sailor could want.The second would be Dominica, chosen for its lush, unspoiled nature.The third would be the Virgin Islands, which is, for good reason, the charter capital of this side of the world.
There are many good reasons why Grenada is the summer home for countless sailors/cruisers. The island offers many protected natural harbours, kept cool by the fresh trade winds.Unlike many islands further north, Grenada grows a fair amount of produce, much of which would be new to North Americans. Its biggest asset though, as I mentioned above, is its people. We routinely find ourselves walking around after dark in Grenada and always feel safe doing so.6. Would you advise people to try chartering yachts before purchasing their own?
While we didn’t ever charter before purchasing our boat, it’s not a bad idea to do so. The fact that we were able to jump right in and learn on the go, though, is evidence that it’s possible to do so. Our motto has always been “how hard could it be?” 🙂7. What is your favourite sailing quote?
Well, it’s not directly a sailing quote, but my favourite quote from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” does relate to travelling, and life:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Summer is here, so for more sailing inspiration head to our website and check out the top sailing destinations now!