I still plug my nose

We are looking into taking up a new hobby that we can continue while cruising. Some people find that sailing, swimming/snorkeling, beach walking and visiting new places is enough and we plan to binge on all of those activities, but Carol and I are happiest when we have some physical, outdoorsy hobby that exhausts us. We used to climb regularly and although we will still carry gear, we don’t expect to climb very often.

This is all complicated by the fact that I have always been a timid person in the water. I still plug my nose when I jump in the water and have never mastered the art of swimming with my head under – this despite childhood lessons, reading books and trying again as an adult. The only way I can keep my head under is to wear a mask or hum constantly. I remember enjoying a passage in one of Tania Aebi’s sailing books because she admits that she doesn’t love swimming and sails because she likes to be on top of the water, not in it

Carol and I spent a month in Thailand for our honeymoon and while there I conquered my fear of putting my face in the water and became a snorkeling convert. On that same trip, I became dive certified and the amazing underwater environment took my mind off of my fear of “things touching me in the water”.

And yet, here I am perusing water sports. We are working up plans to try kite surfing. I’m very much looking forward to practicing my free diving when the water is warmer as an addition to normal snorkeling.


  1. It's funny how similar this is to our experiences. Kite Surfing does look like fun!

  2. Around here we're starting to see a lot of "surfboards" that people stand on and have a long paddle to move around.

  3. Just think of all the bottom scrubbing and zinc changing to come in warmer waters.

  4. What Sam said...

    You'll be scrubbing the prop anyway, a lot more frequently than you are used to up here, where we effectively keep the water in a refrigerator.

    I've considered getting (or making!) a 12V-powered hooka rig, just for doing underwater maintenance. I wonder if anybody has pulled that off?


  5. “things touching me in the water"...I have the same fear. I love the water, but unless I'm diving I'm creeped put by what's under the surface.

    The stand up paddle boarding (or SUPing as it's called) that @Valerie mentioned is my new water addiction. I got hooked in Hawaii. So much and surprisingly relaxing.



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