Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Ever enjoyed a cruise on one of those luxury liners?
Nonstop activities and endless buffets on board?
New experiences ashore in a different port every day?

St. George’s, here in Grenada, is a cruise ship destination.
There can be as many as four cruise ships in the area at any one time. Thousands of passengers crowd into St. George’s, bringing welcome business to the taxi drivers and tour operators.

It’s interesting to sit at a balcony bar, watching the very white shoulders of the tourists turning bright pink right before our eyes.

And we’re learning how to cope with the barrage of offers from the local business people who mistake us for cruise ship passengers. The easiest answer is a simple “No thank you!” to the charming young men hawking tours and to the locals selling intensely fragrant spice necklaces.
These necklaces are usually three for $10 US, but when we say we’re not from a cruise ship, the price gets cut in half.

So here we are. Not quite tourists. Not quite residents. Where do we fit in? It’s a complicated question and a common topic of conversation among cruisers. There’s no real need for an answer, of course. It’s just fun to do some philosophizing over sundowners and snacks.

Earlier this week, we did just that here on ‘Beach House’
Carolee listened as Susea answered Jeff’s question,
"What makes a cruiser a cruiser?".
Then Kathy took a stab at it while Geoff and Gene thought about her wisdom on the subject.

 And cruising boats come in all shapes and sizes. One of the smallest we’ve seen was a 24-foot sailboat with a couple and their 12-year-old daughter aboard. Let me just say, “Yikes.”

 And then there are BIG boats at the other end of the spectrum.
Calivigny Island is a beautiful anchorage at the south end of Clarke’s Court Bay. The dark blue sailboat in the background is on the dock at this privately-owned island. The complex you see is not a resort.
Apparently, the owner is on a slightly different budget than we are, and in addition to buying an island, has spent more cash on a 120-foot ketch. If you've got it, why not?

In the lagoon in St. George’s, Port Louis Marina has new docks for mega-yachts.
That white monster is not a cruise ship – it’s a privately-owned motor yacht. We’ve noticed that the ‘cruisers’ on these huge boats don’t mingle with the riff-raff, although sometimes the crew members will hang out in the same places we enjoy.

The majority of cruising boats are in the 35-45 foot range.
There can be as many as 60 boats anchored behind Hog’s Island......
......and as many again in Prickly Bay, another popular anchorage
here on the south shore of Grenada

Which brings us back again to ‘Beach House’, our 400 square foot condo on the water.  Family and boating friends back in Canada have been aboard, but we thought the rest of you might enjoy a tour. We’ve tried to anticipate what questions you might have about our home and our lifestyle on the water. Don’t hesitate to pop us an email if we missed something that you’re curious about.

In the meantime, welcome aboard.

‘Beach House’ is an Endeavour 42, built in 1985 - that's pretty young in boat years. She’s 42 feet long and 13-1/2 feet wide at her widest point. The specs say she sleeps eight. Really? We adhere to the cruisers’ mantra – six for drinks, four for dinner, two to sleep.
The tour starts in the aft/master cabin/our cabin, since Geoff claims we bought a bed that happened to have a boat around it.
I can’t argue with that. Having a “real” bed was number one on my list of requirements.
We each have three drawers and a cedar-lined hanging locker.
Are my shirts colour-coded? Oh man.  Okay – confession is good for the soul. Right? Maybe I am a little anal. I’m also a bit of a tidy freak. You’ll notice lots of baskets in these pictures – Geoff calls me the original ‘basket case’, but it’s just my way of trying to contain the bits and pieces.
The walk-through from the aft cabin houses the galley.
It’s really a one person galley – I don’t think Geoff minds that. We have refrigeration – just over five cubic feet including a shoebox-sized freezer – enough for a few days of meat, and ice, glorious ice. The propane stove is a three burner with a compact oven space. We don’t use the oven that often because it heats up the boat too much, but it has served well for bread, muffins, and the occasional meat loaf or roast.

The barbeque on the port aft rail is the Captain’s domain.
It doesn’t get used as often as I’d like because the trade winds are relentless and, apparently, it makes it hard to keep the barbie lit. Who knew?

I have a double sink and love it, especially the depth.
I can stash 2-3 days of dishes and cover them with the breadboards that fit over the sinks. I mean, we’d do dishes everyday, but we have to conserve water. Right?

The main salon, or main saloon as most boat ads say, is equivalent to a ‘great room’ in a house. It’s our multi-purpose room, the place where we spend most of our time.
The table is enormous – the starboard side leaf is folded down most of the time.
This area is our dining room ……
…… our reading and games room ……
…… and our TV/movie room. Who left that stuff out on the settee on Geoff’s side of the boat? Get me a basket.

The forward guest cabin is bigger than it looks.
Our son, Bil, visited last October and at 6’4”, he could stretch out. When we don’t have guests, the forward cabin becomes our garage, the place for all that essential stuff that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else. Storage is always at a premium on board – everything must earn its space.

‘Beach House’ has two heads/bathrooms, both with a full shower. Geoff built shelves in the aft cabin shower space for his tools and spare parts. We use the main section of the forward head to shower ……
…… leaving the shower side of the head for further storage -
- towels, cleaning supplies, and occasionally, adult beverages when we stock up.

Of course, the best feature of ‘Beach House’ is the deck that runs the length and width of the ‘condo’, with a spectacular view that we can change on a whim.
So whatever your definition of a cruiser, we've learned that cruising means different things to different people for different reasons. Some people cruise full time, some are snowbirds spending six months on their boat and six months on land, some cruise the world, some spend a few months in the Bahamas every year.

Our Funk and Wagnall's gets the last word ---
Cruise (krooz) – verb - To sail about with no fixed destination, as for PLEASURE.


  1. Love the tour! It felt just like being there!

    Colour coded shirts? You and Paul are kindred spirits....

    Love Jo & the boys & the girls (Paul's considered one of the boys)

  2. I recognize that view of Beach House - on the way back to Antigua from Montserrat? Great tour of the boat. How long did it take you to tidy up for the pictures? :^)

    We're still putzing in the VI, heading for Antigua for Classics, not entering, just enjoying this year! Hope we meet up. I just want to come over and leer at your double sinks.....

  3. Wow!!! Nice tour!! I see my seat is still empty. We'll have to remedy that.
    Ray says move on and come down here!!!!
    We are getting something cool so when it gets here I'll take pics and send them to you.
    Love You Guys,
    Genna and Ray

  4. Funk's definition of a cruiser seems to be lacking. I would expect a fully sufficient definition to include thoughts such as - frugality, hygiene habits, obsession with weather, social life, need to collect spare parts (...and spare parts for your spare parts), willingness to selflessly give away anything in your spares kit to a friend in need, flexibility / ability to fit into small spaces that would make a contortionist nervous, full and complete understanding of heads (including knowledge of plumbing/rebuilds/different models), unconditional love / hate for your current head (there is no middle ground!), knack for finding a laundry facility on a deserted island, ability to talk about alternative power sources for hours at a time, inability to see a piece of line without secretly lusting after it, capable of making dinner from a empty refrigerator, benign acceptance of the quirks of others who have cruised with you for a long time, acceptance that showers are indeed optional, have every come close to orgasm because you got to use "as much water as you wanted" in a shower, and a unexplainable need to show everyone that steps on your boat your engine room/galley/bilge.

    Also, you can tell if you are a cruiser if you know:

    Who Peggy Hall is

    Who BITCHIN BOB is (extra points if you know his real name)

    Who Eileen Quinn is

    The check in/out process for at least 4 different countries

    ... and for cruisers on the East coast of the US

    Who Chris Parker is (extra points if you have ever sent him a present or a thank you email)

    Who Herb is

    Who the Barefoot Man is (extra points if you know his what country he was born in)


    Ps. if you laugh at any of these you have potential to be a cruiser.

    Pps. If you thought of 10 additional items to add to the list you are a cruiser.

  5. Extremely cool. I've been following as Bob forwards. Not a bad life.

    don't know from profiles, sorry.

    Stay safe.
    Jon James

  6. You guys, thank you SO much for the tour. It really helps put things in perspective. What a gorgeous, totally livable vessel. And in such tip top shape. Geoff, you're lucky to live with such a basket case, and you know it! I imagine, once a cruiser starts to "let things go" in the way of tidiness, it's getting pristine again is pretty tough. Where are you puting all the "empties"?...towing them behind for next time you hit an LCBO? Fantastic photographs of all the other yachts etc. I've finally reached the point where, frankly, I want you NEVER to come I can keep enjoying your posts!

    Take care, and thanks for the ride.

  7. Hi Geoff and Pat,
    We miss you guys. Thanks for the very cool tour! Say hi to crew of Indigo for us, we met them briefly in the Bahamas and never got a chance to spend time together, "ships in the night".