Jim's 1st Blog Post - But what to write?
Rosy said I could write a blog.
Only two rules:
1) She must read / edit / correct my blog before posting
2) Nothing stupid
But what should I write about? I do not know. Writing seems to come natural to Rosy. For me, not so much.
I will start by making a list of possible topics for a blog post.
How about a blog update to my VHF Antenna “Tech Talk”? I could talk about what I missed in the video (having the right cable) or our actual range – further than expected, and why that may be. No, not yet. We need more time to get the range pinned down exactly, but the time will come.
How about a blog on trip planning? You know, where we are going to go, planning the course, checking weather, our go/no go factors. It could include everything we do when we do not get it right and find ourselves cruising when we wish we were at the dock. No, we could just build this into a regular cruising video. Remember those videos, where we just go boating. . ..
How about a blog post on anchoring? We have been asked so many times to do something on anchoring. There is so much to convey, I think this is going to be a multi-part “tech talk” at some point. Showing would be so much better then just typed words, so that does not seem like a good idea for a blog.
How about something not boating related? How about, how we retired in our mid-50’s and set off cruising? Gee, that sounds like a financial seminar, and that is way over my head. Besides, what would I say, ah. . . spend less then you make?
I could do a blog post about politics. No, I cannot. Rosy said nothing stupid allowed.
How about, when it comes to your boat, what not to spend money on. Cannot do that one – I have no credibility here. But as soon as I find something that apparently, I am not willing to do, then I could write that blog post.
How about how to live with your spouse in 550 square feet 24/7? Not much to say here. Rosy and I have been married 37 years and find it easy to be together 24/7, so beyond that, I just do not know.
How about a blog on work / life balance? That is not a bad one, but it would just be my opinion and I am not sure my opinion is worth much. But I do think we (as in mostly Americans) work way too much and put way too much of ourselves and our personal identity into a job, a title, and a salary. I do have some thoughts on this one so maybe I will think some more about this topic.
I could get a little more technical. How about the process we went through on Sea Venture removing all the teak decks and re-fiber glassing all those areas? I could do that. I would just need to dig up some photos of the process we went through.
I could do a blog about communications at sea. You know, satellite stuff we have on Sea Venture, stuff like that. I think there is already a lot of information about that out there. Odd how when we left the dock 20 years ago one of the nice things was that we were disconnected. Now we spend thousands of dollars so we can leave the dock and not be disconnected.
I could do a blog post on having a YouTube Channel. Why we started it, what it has turned into, the ups and downs, the cost incurred to have the channel vs. the income (or lack of) from the ads that you see in the videos. That could be interesting to people thinking of having a YouTube Channel, but I am not sure many people are that interested in me writing about creating content vs. just the actual content. It could include a section where I can rant about YouTube’s new ad policy – that is if I restrict the number of ads they want to place in the video, which I do, they will suggest our videos less to viewers. But you do not want to hear me complaining. Not everything is perfect, so I need to just get over it.
I could write about having cats on board. What great companions they are. How much we stress about them falling overboard. How many times we have found an anchorage because the cats were uncomfortable with the sea conditions. What it takes to cross international borders with cats. That all sounds like a much better topic for Rosy than for me.
I could write about transiting to Alaska from Washington during the pandemic. Wait, no I cannot. I have just finished up a video we will publish soon on this exact topic for those interested in our 2020 transit through Canada and for those thinking / planning to transit in 2021.
I could do a blog post on insurance for ocean going boats and how difficult it is becoming, especially for boats Sea Ventures age. I know the reasons insurance companies give, but I do not really understand why, and I worked for an insurance company for 25 years. Why does this problem seem to be just impacting American flagged vessels? I could also include the reality that in boats Sea Venture’s size you can never insure them for your actual investment, so you are always cruising with a large portion of your investment uninsured. This could be an interesting blog I think, but I do not have enough answers – but then again, maybe I do not need any answers. Maybe you would have some answers.
I could do a blog post on spare parts management. I did a video on it a couple of years ago, but now I could write about how we manage, organize, store, and know where to find the 700 or so spare parts we have on Sea Venture. With the website I could include a link to our spare parts spreadsheet. I do not think that is a bad idea. I will work on that one.
I could do a blog post telling a pre-YouTube story. The story of me buying a boat house for our old boat, Rejoice, a 45’ Puget Trawler. A nice boat house – a beautiful boat house, and how Rejoice never slipped into that boat house. Remember in Part 2 of the bulbous bow videos I said if you have not spent $25,000 that you should not have on your boat, you just have not owned you boat long enough. Well, this would be my chance to fess up – now if it were only $25,000 . . . Ok, maybe I will work on that, after all, it is a pretty funny story.
I could do a blog post on our Single Side Band Radio – you know, the one that we can use to communicate thousands of miles on and how it is overly complicated to install and expensive. No, I cannot do a blog post on it. It was installed by the prior owner of Sea Venture and I still have not figured out how to use it, and I even have the “Single Side Band for Dummies” book.
I could do a blog post on what it is like not to have any permanent moorage. The freedom to go where you want when you want. But that would quickly dissolve into the uncertainty of not knowing where to go, when to go, and what tomorrow will hold. But it is still magical to travel with your home. To wake up in a place you are visiting, but at the same time waking up in your own bed, drinking your morning coffee sitting in the same chair every day. Stuff like that. I think that is a pretty good idea.
I could do a blog post on health insurance. Do not get me started. As an “early retiree” (before 65 as Americans) our health insurance is over $2,000 per month. But why? I could tell the story of my having emergency surgery and spending a week in the hospital in Germany and the total cost incurred. (hint: less than my deductible on my $2,000 per month policy) It could tie back into cruising, and why most cruisers traveling the world choose not to have health insurance. That is an idea.
I could do a blog and steal from Nike – “Just do it”. I could talk about making your life your own, you know, pursuing your dreams, taking risks, living life to the fullest, all that kind of stuff. I do not know, sounds a bit mushy to me. Would probably just be something full of clichés. Besides, all that stuff is so much easier said than done.
I could do a blog post of how we downsized from a big house to the boat. The process we went through and how liberating it has been not to own so much stuff – and we had a lot of stuff. It took a couple of years to fully execute, and I must admit, we do not miss any of the stuff. I think this idea has good merit and something I think I might work on.
I could do a blog post on how to meet people while cruising. You know, go up to other boats when you are anchored and inviting them over for a beer – that kind of stuff. The only problem with me writing about this is that we are terrible at it. We always feel like we are imposing, but at the same time, we always really enjoy it when people come visit us in an anchorage. I must admit, it is one of the great benefits of our YouTube Channel – other boaters coming over to say hi. It always turns into a great time. Not a bad idea, but I am not sure there is enough to say to fill up an entire blog.
I could do a blog post about buying the right boat for you. This is a fairly good idea, since I have some ideas about this. You know, a step-by-step analysis I think people could follow to help them connect with the right boat. I only have some strong thoughts about this because I have seen so many people do it in a way I consider backwards. This is a fairly good idea, and one I think I will work on.
I could do a blog post about how, in 1996, while boating in the middle of no where in Canada, we were approached by the US Secret Service, which was then followed by some time with President George and Barbara Bush. It is a great story we will cherish. OK, I must do that story, so I will start working on it.
I got it – I can do a blog post about, “What should I do a blog post about”. Yes! OK, I will get right to work on it – Wait, it is done. Woohoo!
Wishing you, “No wind and flat seas”.