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The Cruiser's Code

We didn’t invent these ‘rules’ for cruising, we just observe them in action. It seems to us that they help explain how cruisers think and act. Sort of. But then again cruisers are notoriously hard to pin down . . .

We have no plans, and we’re sticking to them.

Most of us have a vague idea of where we’d like to go and roughly when. But if someplace looks good, we might just stay. Many boats seem to grow roots when they reach places like Puerto Vallarta, or Papeete. The weather is warm, the local people are terrific, the living is easy. So some people’s ideas of sailing around the world just fade away under the tropical sun, and that’s just fine. Whatever floats your boat . . .

No one has a last name.

We’re always ‘Jan & Signe of Raven’, or just 'the Ravens.'

No one asks the old cocktail party question: ‘Whaddya do?”

It’s a bit like the French Foreign Legion: whatever you were or did back home doesn’t matter very much. But if you can repair watermakers or diesel engines, you will quickly become the most popular person in port!

Everybody needs a little help sometimes.

The cruisers-helping-cruisers network is astonishing. There’s always someone in the fleet who knows all about that outboard motor or sail track problem and, even better, is willing to spend hours helping someone else in need. Or we can tell you where to find that local, back-alley wizard who can rebuild any alternator ever made to like-new condition.

Respect the local people.

It’s their country, and if we don’t like it we shouldn’t be here. So no whining, and no disrespectful treatment of the locals. A ‘New York Minute’ approach to life isn’t going to work in Mañanaland (or any others of the tropical cruising grounds), so let’s just cool our jets. Besides, Mexican self-sufficiency has a lot to offer cruisers. “Si no hay pan, hacemos tortillas” (“If there's no bread, we make tortillas”) is an insightful proverb that implies that we can get almost anything fixed, rebuilt, or made new here!

Leave a clean wake.

More than just disposing of your trash and used engine oil properly, this motto of the Seven Seas Cruising Association means a great deal to most cruisers. It implies making sure by our behavior that the next cruisers to arrive will be just as welcome and well-received as we were.

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