When I was a kid the very best thing I could do was to go camping. The whole sleeping on hard ground, campfire stories, and the chance of catching a trout for breakfast was some kind of wonderful.

These days, all too often I hear the word camping as a negative when used in yacht parlance. Then again, I really should be honest and point out that I tend to use the word yacht 99.9% time as a negative which might be a clue to where this is going to go. For me, cruising and living aboard a sailboat has always been an extension of what I liked about camping which was getting back to nature away from too many people and the over complication of life in a city.

Almost all of my best memories are camping connected. Sleeping in a cornfield in France, camping on the beach in Baja just a paddle away from an awesome break, and eating Kendall Mint Cake in an ice cave just below Fitzroy in Patagonia. Admittedly, none of which had any of the comforts of home but they were all the better for their lack.

Sadly, the gentrification of sailing and cruising now means that most folk expect cruising to be something of a luxury experience and that every cruising boat should be a mini-mansion and most all of the related media is keen on selling it to you. The world’s falling apart and boating articles are telling you what thread count is important when outfitting sheets on a cruising boat. Frelling yacht people.. Right?

God, I’m starting to sound like my dad…

On a more positive note, today is the 60th anniversary of the Beatles first Ed Sullivan performance but maybe you had to be there to appreciate just what an important thing that was. Still it’s a good day to be listening to a whole lot of Beatles music while I install the Anchorman on the foredeck and, hopefully, sort out a couple of leaks.

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