For most, the dream of cruising is something on the order of white sandy beaches, cocktails in the cockpit and setting sail in perfect wind off into the horizon.
And that dream is reality. It just isn't the entire picture.
When you read books on planning they are full of the not-so-good stuff, for the good reason that they are helping you prepare and thus to avoid as many boat moments as you can. When you read personal accounts of cruising they often emphasize the dangerous times at sea, perhaps because they stand out in the authors own minds, and perhaps because those moments make for good reading and selling of books.
I recently read this post from Karen on her site Weather Helmed which brings home the emotionally draining aspects of setting out on a sailing vessel.
There is no way to avoid those moments and we've tried to set ourselves up for success by maximizing our fun-to-suck ratio but the truth is that most people have the same goal as they prepare to cast off their docklines and still deal with a similar set of issues after they leave the dock.
Food for thought.
As an aside, it is a very small world in sailing. Our friends Mike and Hyo aboard IO, whom we met in Sidney, recently had dinner with Karen and Matt in Mexico which we found out, not because we know Karen & Matt, but because we are reading their blogs.
Edit: And yet another person we know thinking the same thoughts.