Top: It wasn’t all hard work. Alyse, Claudia, and I sit back as
the men take the helm down the beautiful ICW. Middle: Our
first morning at anchor, we enjoy Alyse’s famous “Breakfast in
a Bucket.” Alyse spoiled us with her yummy recipes. Above:
Claudia, Kenny, and Chris on Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge.
This stop gave us a chance to stretch our sea legs.
and experiences, which added a personal touch. Tips
and tricks for trip planning, maneuvering, and crew
communication that they’d learned from their years
cruising and living aboard were very helpful and
something that we could never get from a textbook.
We never felt like a question was silly, or that they were
tired of instructing. They were there to help us and truly
provide the best experience they could.
When we finally arrived at Peck Lake after about a
four-hour trip that brought us through the infamous
“Crossroads” and other beautiful parts of the ICW, we
planned to take the dinghy over to shore to explore the
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. After we discussed
anchoring techniques, Kenny, Claudia, Chris, and Alyse
worked on bringing the dinghy down. Again, Chris and
Alyse stressed the safety factor. The couple certainly
went above and beyond in the safety department and I
felt safe and secure to be cruising with them.
When I glanced over at Kenny and Claudia, I could
see they had a great love for life and they were enjoying
every minute of this experience. Although they were
taking in what they were learning, they also enjoyed
sitting back and taking in the cruising life. As we landed
on the wildlife refuge we walked over to the other side
of the island to see the ocean. Small, roped-off areas
warned us not to disturb the turtles during mating
season, which reminded us that we were guests on this
island. Peaceful moments like this made long days on
the water well worth it.
We came back aboard Sandy Hook just in time for
happy hour, which, after a long day of learning and
cruising, we were more than ready for. In a perfect
summer breeze, we sipped cocktails on the aft deck
and enjoyed great conversation as Alyse whipped
up another gourmet meal. Another trick of the trade
we learned was to save everything (as far as food is
concerned). According to Alyse, you can make an
entire meal with leftovers.
After a relaxing evening of great food and even better
conversation, we went up to the flybridge to read the
radar and see how we were sitting in the anchorage.
I think Chris and Alyse could’ve kept teaching, but
eventually we students were too tired to absorb any
more information and retired to our berths. As I closed
my eyes I wondered to myself: How do they do it and
where do they get their energy? Thorough teaching is
an understatement with these two.
Before we headed home the next morning we
decided to take another trip to the beach to see the
ocean one last time. I was having such a great time with
these couples—their zest for life was inspiring.
Chris and Alyse truly enjoy what they are doing. Like
their marriage, their company is a partnership and they
work well together. They both fit the roles of captain
and crew, and I could tell this was a completely equal