Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cruising with a Dog

I'm hardly an expert on this subject since we've only had Luna aboard Storyville for about 3 months, but I thought I would give my perspective on what it's like to cruise with a puppy. We've been cruising for over 2 years now (wow, time does fly when you're having fun!). Our last dog, Harley was already 12 or 13 when we started dreaming about going cruising on our boat. By the time we actually cut the dock lines, he had already gone to live with my daughter because he was over 15 and the boat life was just too difficult for him.

We decided that, even though we are both dog lovers, it would be difficult to cruise with a pet so, sadly, we made the decision to leave without a canine companion. I'm sure it was the right choice for us at the time. We already had so much to learn - a whole new way of life. One that we pictured to be carefree, with even less responsibilities. A pet just didn't fit into that scenario. We did learn a lot in those 2 years and while the cruising life is sometimes a carefree one, we quickly learned that there are still many responsibilities, just different ones than we faced while living on land.

About the time we hit our 2 year cruising anniversary, I started planning and dreaming about having a puppy on board to share our adventures. Maybe scheming would be the better word since I still had to convince Troy that this was a good idea and I knew that it would take some pretty smooth talking! I strategically waited until one night after happy hour and a few rum and cokes to bring up the subject. I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't just dismiss the idea outright. We actually had a great discussion that first night about the pros and cons of having a dog. It went something like this:

Deana - "I've been thinking that maybe we should consider getting a puppy"
Troy - "A dog is so much responsibility"
Deana - "Yes, but what else do we have to spend our time on?"
Troy - "A dog has to be exercised and taken for walks every day, even if it's raining"
Deana - "Yes, but more exercise would be good for all of us"
Troy - "But dogs are messy and they shed"
Deana - "But they’re fun, remember Sampson (a Border Terrier that belongs to our friends on s/v Virtue and Vice), he doesn't shed and he's a really cool dog"
Troy - "I only want a dog if it's a really cool one"
Deana - "Of course our dog will be really cool!"

After that, I knew that I had my foot in the door. We spent many hours that first night talking about the pros and cons of having a dog and we finally agreed that it might not be so bad to have a puppy to love. Before he could change his mind I started doing research to find us a puppy that would be the best fit for us.
I brought Luna home to Storyville in early December. She’s a Border Terrier, she is a great size for a boat dog (she should be somewhere between 11 and 15 pounds), she doesn’t shed and, of course, she’s a really cool and adorable dog with a great big personality!

We’ve had loads of fun taking her to the beach, hiking trails or even just walking her through town. Yes, having a dog on board definitely adds another level of responsibility to our lives but I can tell you that it’s so worth it. We’re looking forward to enjoying many years with her.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. ~George Eliot

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner

Friday, February 8, 2013

British Virgin Islands

We made a really quick trip through the British Virgin Islands this time. We had originally planned to spend a little more time here, but we got caught up in the US Virgin Islands while waiting for parts to repair the windlass and Troy's guitar. Since we got to spend 2 months here last year, we figured that we had hit most of the “must see” places. One anchorage that we never made it to last year though was Cane Garden Bay. So, we had a quick sail over from Francis Bay, St. John to Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke where we checked into the BVIs, then headed right back out and sailed over to Cane Garden Bay and met up with Steve on Alternate Latitude. What a beautiful little place, the beach is picturesque and the sunsets are spectacular. We spent a day and a half there enjoying the scenery.

On Wednesday we decided to head on up to North Sound in Virgin Gorda where we met back up with our cruising buddies on Pipe Muh Bligh, Island Dream and Illusions. Steve had to head back to St. Thomas where he is getting his charter business started ---- Gotta make a plug for Steve here, remember if you book a cruise with him you will get 10% off by mentioning “Storyville”.  You can book a cruise by clicking HERE ---- and the other boats are now in North Sound waiting for a weather window to cross the Anegada Passage to St. Martin/Saint Maarten.  Looks like we are all set to leave tomorrow mid morning for the 18 hour (more or less) crossing. Be sure to watch our SPOT for location updates.

We've seen some beautiful sights here in the Virgin Islands. What a fantastic place to visit and sail. My photography doesn't do it justice, but here are a few photos for your enjoyment:

Luna on lookout!

Sunset at Cane Garden Bay

Storyville anchored in St. John


Deer on St. John

British Virgin Islands as seen from St. John