One Year Cruising: The Perks


Last Updated on November 4, 2020 by Amy

A little while ago I posted about some of the hardest parts of cruising for us.  It’s been a year since we left Florida in June of 2015 and started our cruising life.  Since then, we spent 3 weeks in the Bahamas, sailed up to Nova Scotia, Maine, Bermuda, and back down for three months in the Caribbean.   Then we went through the Panama Canal and crossed the Pacific Ocean, making landfall in Futa Hiva, French Polynesia.  Since then, we’ve been making our way through the island of French Polynesia.

Thankfully, the pros of cruising outweigh the cons (so far).  It’s safe to say we are going to keep going, making our way towards New Zealand this year.

Here’s a look at the perks we’ve enjoyed while cruising:

New Parts of the World

David and I are constantly looking at each other and saying “I can’t believe we are here”. In French Polynesia, we can’t help but wonder how many people, how many Americans, have traveled to, or even heard of places like Kauehi or Hiva Oa. We are so fortunate to be exploring the world every day, and bringing our home with us.

One-on-One Time

While cruising has given us major challenges in our relationship, overall it has made us much stronger. It’s pretty amazing to know that we spend this much time together and enjoy each other’s company still.

Despite the fact that we spend an inordinate amount of time together, when we do spend one apart, I am always eager to tell David every little detail and he’s always willing to listen as I talk his ear off.

David is such a phenomenal captain. We’ve had several experiences where we’ve witnessed other cruisers (usually the man) yelling at a partner or being short-tempered and sharp-tongued. David has never done that to me.

We make a great team.

Cruising Community

We’ve enjoyed the change in our relationship with other cruisers since we’ve arrived in the South Pacific. In the Caribbean, the other cruisers were mostly on a completely different schedule from us. Now, we are running with many, many boats who have arrived in the Marquesas in the April/May time frame and are headed to New Zealand in the Nov/Dec timeframe. This means we are making deeper friendship, and spending more time with our neighbors. It’s a nice break from busting out your social skills to make new friends constantly.

Drinks with friends aboard Starry Horizons.

Exotic Food

Yes, shopping for food can be very challenging, but I’m adding new foods to my repertoire and tasting new foods. Ever since Panama and an outstanding dinner at The Fish Market, I’ve been making tuna poke. And here in French Polynesia, I’m making poisson cru in the regular schedule. I love it!

Poisson Cru in French Polynesia.


We are never tired of seeing dolphins. I would love to snorkel every day. I had no idea we would see so many sharks in the wild!  We are getting to see some of the best nature has to offer.

a woman swimming with stingrays
Swimming with stingrays in Moorea.


It’s a good thing we love sailing so much since we do a ton of it!  We’ve always said that David’s the sailor who travels and I’m the traveler who sails.  I can’t help but love the feeling when we shut off our engines and have no noises but the water rushing past us.

Wing on wing in the Pacific.

Our Boat

We are still really happy with our boat, the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44.  As we’ve said before, we didn’t enjoy the buying process itself, but our boat gets so many compliments and is incredibly comfortable for us.  She still looks incredibly good for being a year and a half old, and we work really hard to take care of her.  We haven’t had any major issues (like some people we know with other catamarans…including other Helias).  The layout is fabulous; we are always comfortable on watch, and we have plenty of room to host friends and family (like the 11 we had for dinner in Antigua or the 13 we recently had for cocktails).

Read our 20,000 nm review of our Fountaine Pajot Helia 44.

Two Helia 44s: Us and Let it Be.

Gathering New Skills

David’s whipping out mad amazing videos of our adventures and is quickly picking up Photoshop and Vegas skills.  We both fly Phoenix now.  We spend some time studying Spanish with Rosetta Stone and picking up French tidbits here and there on our excursions.  While we have more “free time” than we did when we both worked full time, our time gets taken up by so many things!

What were you surprised to see or not see on these lists?

Hard to complain about this lifestyle….

Pin it!


  1. Your Helia is such a beautiful boat. A relative recently visited us (on our Lagoon 380) and walked straight by our boat to the Helia docked nearby, hoping that was our catamaran! Me too! Your blog is so inspiring, I love it!

  2. We just started following you and really enjoy sharing your journey. Can you share some of the cons so we can get a full picture of your experiences?
    We are researching catamarans to purchase and live aboard seasonally in the near future. Looking at Lagoon 450 F and S and Fountaine Pajot 44 Helia and the new 47. Plan to base in the Bahamas or VI.
    Thanks and safe travels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.