Sunday, 30 September 2007

Work and Wooster.!

The boat has been a hive of activity, seriously damaging to available blogging time!
TBH( the better half) is at the stage of business development that is moving towards marketing and launch....pretty exciting for us both.

Yesterday was a red letter day as he finally got the website up and running. Yahoo!!! ( Sounds of great celebrations). The blog is also up and running.If you fancy an interesting read do go and have a look!

I mentioned in an earlier entry that there was quite a difference in lifestyle between the liveaboard cruisers who still work for a living and those who are totally retired. One of the ways we see this is that , generally, those still working are at the younger end of the age range. There are of course exceptions, us for a start!

The new technologies have certainly enabled more cruisers to turn a crust . The traditional liveaboard means of earning tended to be boat based skills such as canvas work, refrigeration repairs, engine repairs, woodwork etc with some talented individuals using their creative skills as writers, artists and musicians to keep the kitty topped up.

I wonder if this will eventually change the demographics of the cruising community? And how that will affect the kind of boat out here on the water?

What we do seem to be seeing is more, larger boats around. Certainly in the most popular areas of the Caribbean such as the Leeward and Windward Islands the average size of boats has increased pretty dramatically over the past few years. At 40 feet ( our length) we felt like one of the smaller craft, and yet , to our mind this is about as big as a couple can handle when the weather gets serious. One of the developments of these larger boats, still usually with a crew of only two, has been a much greater dependence on 'systems'. Electric winches, computer charting and navigation and so forth. This in turn has created a greater demand for skilled service people for the sophisticated repair problems that always need doing! It is difficult to be self sufficient in terms of servicing and repairs when each piece of this new equipment is designed to need a fully trained technician to care for it!

We cruise at the other end of the spectrum. We have no electronic chart plotters , all our navigation is done on paper charts in the old fashioned way with a pair of dividers and a good old plastic chart plotter. We have no freezer, no electric winches, no icemaker. TBH can handle most problems that we encounter( so far, touch wood!) he services the engine, repairs the refrigerator, mends the sails and canvas work, and can work his way through a myriad of other practical problems. Which many times has been absolutely vital as we have been in places where there is no help!

A few years ago, when we were in Portugal, we completely rerigged the boat,using sta-loc fittings that we could put together ourselves, that is changed all the wires that hold up the mast, ourselves. It was slow hard work in a hot climate but helped us understand much more about how our boat works and where problems are likely to appear. That all makes me feel much more comfortable when we do venture out to wilder parts of the world.

Web development,software writing are the new skills that are easily adapted to the gypsy life of the cruiser. It will be interesting to see how our world changes over the next few years.

So as we had been working so hard yesterday we treated ourselves to an indulgent evening cosy in our cabin with the tropical rainy season in full deluge outside! A glass or two(!) of red wine, a huge bowl of my favourite spaghetti bolognaise and two episodes of the old BBC series of Jeeves and Wooster.Heaven!
For those of you not familiar with the series its set in the 1920's the characters being a titled twat and his butler Jeeves. Its wonderfully silly and I just love the language....

'"I say old chap thats a bit of a rum do!"

"profound jocundity"

"Ticketty Boo"

Marvelous stuff, I recommend it!

So I must away for 'tiffin and crumpets' before a 'saunter along the riverbank ' with 'ones jolly super old chap!'

Toodle Pip! (Goodbye!)

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