Ready for your Field Trip?

It is common knowledge in the cruising world, that when your boat reaches the Caribbean, it suddenly transforms from 'Sailing Vessel' into 'Bed & Breakfast'!  Like in the movie Field of Dreams, "if you (dock it in the Caribbean)... they will come."  In the past few months, I have loved to hear the excitement building in conversations with friends and family who have decided to come visit us aboard.  Amidst the excitement, however, there are always many uncertainties and questions about life on the water.  How to pack, what to pack, how to plan for expenses/money, seasickness, etc.  Here are a few tips to help our future guests.

1.  Casual Clothes.  Okay, I know, ladies.  We imagine ourselves looking all yacht-y with white linen pants, broad-rimmed hats, navy and white striped swimsuit cover-ups, and sandals to match each ensemble.  But the reality is - it is hot, you will scream 'tourist', and it just isn't practical.

This is what we WISH we looked like on our sailboat...

Instead, bring
- quikdry/workout shorts and tees
- a pair of zip off pants
- a few casual sundresses to throw on top of your swimsuits when we go to shore (think sarong)
- one pair of flip-flops and one pair of walking shoes (non-marking soles only, please)
- two realistic hats with good coverage and a drawstring so they don't blow away
- hair clips to control windblown hair
- ankle socks or isotoner slippers for walking inside the boat
- one "nice" outfit for dinner out.  This can be a solid tank, skirt, and jewelry to dress it up.  Island Dressy is still really casual.  Guys, bring a collared golf shirt or polo shirt and pants.
- two pairs of sunglasses (in case one falls overboard)
- a jacket of some sort (waterproof would kill two birds with one stone - keeping you warm and/or dry)
- passports if necessary
- snorkel gear, SCUBA regulator, dive card
- 2-3 bathing suits
- one towel (not huge beach towel, bath towel will do), REI has some small super-absorbent ones that work great!
- your toothbrush!
- camera
- any prescription meds
- small bag/backpack for excursions to shore
- long sleeve, lightweight shirt for those post-sunburn days

don't pack like this guy!
- sunscreen and bugspray (we've stocked up!)
- hard-sided luggage.  Unless you want to cuddle with your suitcase in your bed, bring luggage that can be folded up and stowed, like duffel bags.
- anything that you will cry about losing.  Stuff falls overboard and some locations may be prone to petty theft.
- a hairdryer or any high-voltage appliance.  The boat circuits aren't designed to sustain them, and we have a travel-sized one you can use.
- a lot of cash.  There are ATMs everywhere, so bring a credit card, ATM card, and just enough cash for the airport/cabs ($200-300).

Can you believe there is a "proper
technique" for hurling overboard??
- your primary care doc can prescribe you a patch to wear behind your ear for seasickness.  Each patch will last about 5 days, so buy accordingly.

- ginger chews (available at Whole Foods)

- I have found that just by snacking continuously and avoiding an empty stomach, I keep motion sickness at bay

- stay outside while boat is moving, fresh air and a view help tremendously

- Bonine or Dramamine also work, but Dramamine tends to make me a zombie.  Both are available at drugstores over-the-counter

- if you start feeling icky, tell someone right away.  Earlier treatment is far more effective.

- don't fret.  I've had my time leaning overboard, no shame.

There are many things that are not readily available in foreign places, or they cost a fortune if you can find them.  So we might ask you to smuggle in some peanut butter, maple syrup, boxed mac n cheese, or the like.  Please, plan to leave a little room in your duffle bag for things we are desperate to have aboard. You will be our best friends!

The beds are queen-sized, but NOT Sleep Number or Tempurpedic.  They are nice and "firm"- no box spring or eggshell mattress.  We have two pillows per bed, so if you'll need more than one, bring it.  I'm making it sound so rustic, but we sleep great on the boat.  Elizabeth says she loves the way the boat "rocks her to sleep, like a baby!"  After a day full of sun, swim, and a few sundowner cocktails we sleep beautifully!

When you come aboard, we will go through all the important information that you need to know (using the toilets, boat jargon, cooking, safety, etc).  If you have any questions about how something works, please ask.  We want you to feel safe and comfortable while you are with us.

So, there's a run down of how to plan for your Field Trip.  Let me know if there are any items I left out!  See you aboard!


  1. My my you are having fun. I hope you do not mind me living vicariously through you guys. Just plain old jealousy -- but my day will come. Remember to include Mattapoisett in the MaxSea if you are venturing to New England this summer. We have a great little cove and a seven year old playmate waiting for you. Mike, Kimberly and Ally Ward


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