Unwritten Rules of the Cruising Life

Welcome

Unwritten Rules of the Cruising Life: how to seamlessly adapt to the cruising community is an introductory course, designed for people who are actively preparing to cruise as well as people who are starting to explore whether they might like cruising.

For those who are preparing to cruise, it's an opportunity to get a leg up on that first year learning curve.

And for those who are exploring cruising, this is a chance to see what other cruisers are like and how you'll fit in. To answer a lot of the questions about the lifestyle.

Although I've been cruising over 12 years now, I still remember what it was like when we first started. I felt like I didn't know anything about what was expected or what was "normal." I had hundreds of questions, questions that weren't answered in any sailing classes, charters or cruising books that I found. 

That's what this course is designed to help with. To tell you more of what to expect, how things normally operate, what's considered okay and what's rude. Basically, I want to give you confidence about fitting into the cruising crowd.

You'll find a total of eight modules in this course:

  • Orientation
  • What the Cruising Community is Like
  • Meeting People
  • Cruiser Activities
  • Using Your VHF Effectively
  • Around the Marina or Anchoring Out
  • Other Situations
  • Final Thoughts

And enrollment gives you access to a private Facebook group where you can meet other course participants and discuss your questions, worries, and triumphs with them and with me. You'll also get a free subscription to The Boat Galley Newsletter, a weekly collection of tips to make your transition to "cruiser" just that much smoother.

If you've read even a few of my articles on The Boat Galley, you'll know that I'm a straight talker, without fluff. I don't repeat myself five times just so that the material looks longer. There's plenty to talk about without that!

I promise not to waste your time. Each section is packed with useful information. John Herlig, who wrote "Using Your VHF Effectively" operates the same way.

I don't shy away from the trickier questions, either:

  • How do you deal with constantly having to meet new people if you're shy?
  • When should you offer a spare part that you thought to bring to a remote anchorage, and someone else didn't?
  • What should you do if a boat is dragging anchor and no one is aboard?
  • What's the best way to tell someone they've anchored too close to your boat? What should you do if they don't move?
  • How do you gain respect in the cruising community?
  • Should you take someone's clothes out of the washer in the laundry room?
  • What if you don't drink alcohol? Have food allergies or other dietary restrictions?
  • How do you socialize if you're on a really tight budget?

All this for just $29, or $49 bundled with Get Ready to Cruise the Bahamas (save $19 over buying separately). 

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Orientation

2 Lessons


A quick peek at what all will be covered in "Unwritten Rules of the Cruising Life" and how to go through the course materials.

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What the Cruising Community is Like

2 Lessons


The cruising community is incredibly varied, yet certain traits are common. We'll cover:

  • The diversity and the common denominators
  • The faces of the cruising community

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Meeting People

5 Lessons


Friends are both one of the best things about cruising and one of the worst. Best because you meet some really amazing people. Worst because many of us are shy and find it hard to start speaking to strangers.

We'll discuss:

  • Actionable steps to be more comfortable meeting people
  • How to make sure people have the right impression of you
  • Facebook groups to help you connect with other cruisers and would-be cruisers
  • Boat cards

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Cruiser Activities

1 Lessons


Cruiser activities encompass both things you do with other cruisers and interacting with local people, businesses and government.

First I'll talk about activities with other cruisers:

  • Happy hour
  • What if you don't drink alcohol?
  • Meals out
  • What if you're on a tight budget?
  • Stopping by another boat
  • Sharing meals
  • Food allergies and other dietary restrictions
  • Rental cars
  • Land trips

And then I'll touch on living in a foreign culture.

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Using Your VHF Effectively

1 Lessons


VHF radios are the backbone of communication in the cruising community. From the joy of hearing a friend hailing your boat to the comfort of knowing you can call for help in an emergency, they are every cruiser’s lifeline.

Practical information for using yours:

  • Radio Basics
  • Channel Overview
  • Making Emergency Calls
  • General Radio Features
  • Making Calls on Your VHF
  • VHF Radio Nets

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Around the Marina or Anchoring Out

1 Lessons


In marinas and most often when anchoring out, you're going to be living in very close proximity to your neighbors. We'll discuss the unwritten rules for:

  • Sharing the dock
  • Getting along at the dinghy dock
  • Anchoring near others without conflict
  • What to do when trouble arises

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Other Situations

2 Lessons


Four more topics that give rise to lots of questions about what's acceptable and what's not:

  • Dogs
  • Drones
  • WiFi
  • Laundry

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Final Thoughts

1 Lessons


Parting thoughts on the unwritten rules of the cruising life.

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