LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

One Month of Cruising: Lessons Learned!

Sadly, I haven’t looked at a calendar in a week or two, and just realized that I clearly missed our 1-month cruising anniversary which happened to be back in April. Who knew it was already May? Sheesh! Time flies when you’re having fun. And I guess that’s what happens when you become so disconnected from the real world, or a decent wifi connection in our case.


Seeing as we are just a little over a month into cruising, I thought what better time to chat about the lessons we’ve learned thus far.

And boy, are there plenty! ;))

I could probably write a whole book on these so-called lessons, but here are our TOP 10 (okay fine 11) lessons learned (in our first month of cruising) that stick out like a sore thumb. I’m sure we will have plenty more lessons in our cruising future.

1. Purchase the appropriate mobile hotspot device for the Bahamas’ Batelco 3G GSM network. 3G people. Not 2G. Unless of course you want limited to zero internet access like we’ve had for the past few weeks.

2. Be extra super duper careful stepping down the companionway stairs after you’ve had a few (ahem alcoholic) drinks or your tushy may break a few stairs on the fall down. Just ask Jereme. ;))

3. Stowage 101. We are still learning this valuable lesson. One day we will properly stow our boat before getting underway and not have to scramble when crap starts flying everywhere.

4. Don’t broil with the oven door cracked (like I’ve done my whole life) because it melts the temperature control knobs. :((

5. Whatever you do, do NOT buy a Davis brand mast light. I’m guessing some fellow cruisers who have anchored near us probably just assume we’re jerks who don’t turn on our mast light at night. But we actually do! Every night. Except with our crappy Davis light (which we just had installed in Marathon before we crossed over to the Bahamas), we might as well be the furthest star in the galaxy. That’s how dull our light is. Luckily, we have a awesome Luci light (solar powered) hanging in our cockpit that we turn on most nights too (thanks EB!!!).

6. Do NOT buy the 2-gallon water jugs with the stupid retractable spout. They leak. Like crazytown.


7. Purchase a full fiberglass dinghy. Not the wood-backed kind like the one that came with our boat at purchase. I’m thinking we are about to learn how fast that wood rots. :((( More wood work in Jer’s future.

8. Definitely do NOT try to swim off the back of the boat while moored in a channel with strong current. I learned this lesson the hard way. Thankfully, Jereme was able to save me by swimming back to the boat and getting the dinghy. Meanwhile, I had floated downstream and was holding onto another boat’s mooring line. Awesome.


^^Right before I thought it would be a fabulous idea to swim behind the boat. Thank god there aren’t any photos of the aftermath. lol!^^

9. Make sure all of your hatches are tightly secured when cruising, even the one located beneath the dinghy that’s stowed on deck, or you might end up with a very wet and salty bed from water intrusion after a few waves crash the front of the boat.

10. Invest in a waterproof phone case. Again, just ask Jereme. Or read about his fun falling-out-of-the-dinghy experience.

11. And don’t stress about over provisioning when it comes to non-perishable food. As long as you can stow it somewhere on the boat, it is not a bad thing at all in my opinion. And stock up on things you probably can’t get in the islands. I’m so glad we (ahem me) stocked up like the world was ending because food is super expensive at all the tiny grocery stores we’ve visited thus far, and it is WAY different than shopping at Publix (Florida peeps know what I’m talking about!). We have been so thrilled to have lots of fun snacks (chips/crackers/cheese/etc.) as well as muffin/cookie/bread/pizza dough mixes that only require water to make. The last store we were at in Highbourne Cay had a bag of Doritos for $9. Just saying.

I am sure there will be many more lessons in our near future. ;))

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

BillMay 10, 2014 - 11:44 am

Yes, there is certainly a learning curve to this cruising business! You two look like you are getting along fine though!

Mark RoopeMay 11, 2014 - 9:54 pm

You find out very, very quickly what lessons need to be learnt when living on a boat. We have been doing it four years now and we are still learning new tricks all the time.
Enjoy the sailing and the wonderful life,

[…] Wind Kim and Jeremy (and their poodle, Oliver) are just one month into their cruising adventure. They, too, bought a boat, simplified their lives, did a bunch of […]

HOWARD ROTHSTEINMay 12, 2014 - 4:34 pm


I was attracted to your Blog because you purchased your boat from Al Pollack who sold my boat a couple of years ago. The title of your latest blog “lessons learned” leads me to believe that you are very interested in learning all you can about boating.

I happen to be the Education Officer of the St. Petersburg Sail and Power Squadron. We put on Seminars all the time. We happen to be having one on “preparing your boat for a Hurricane” on May 21st at the Sailing Center on Demons Landing in St. Petersburg.

Because we have been so lucky for so long, many boaters have become complacent and don’t bother preparing their boats to withstand the onslaught of the high winds, waves and surge that is associated with a storm. I say storm rather than hurricane because some storms can do just the same amount of damage as a hurricane.

You need a PLAN. You need certain supplies and you need the time to complete the preparation to protect your vessel against any storm.

Plan to attend a learning opportunity to protect your vessel in case this is the year we get unlucky.

Hope to see you at the seminar and good luck cruising. I’ve been to the Bahamas on four different ocassions as well as the entire carribean chain of islands. It’s a great way of life. You’ll enjoy it.


[…] and we learned another very important lesson the other day…do NOT store crappy Walmart brand water jugs in your dry bag/ditch bag because […]

[…] all cocktails and dreams while living aboard. There have been plenty of insane boat projects, lessons learned, and hard times […]