Part-time Cruising: A Boat and Home in the Caribbean
By Sheryl Shard, copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
I have written previously about the benefits of part-time cruising, maintaining a home base while cruising and earning money while cruising but on this year’s visit to St. Maarten we were contacted by friends from Canada who, with their families, are enjoying all of the above in a way we’ve never considered before.
We meet up with Linda and Mario, fans of Distant Shores, at the St. Maarten Yacht Club
Mario from Calgary is both passionate about sailing and dreamed of sailing and cruising in the Caribbean one day. However, his wife is not comfortable with the idea of living aboard or spending extended time on a sailboat. So our friends have both come up with the idea of building a dream home in the Caribbean, in St. Maarten to be specific, where they can continue working, escape the cold winters of Canada and sail to their heart’s content all year long in glorious tropical splendour.
Mario and Linda will continue their careers in real estate and interior decorating in St. Maarten
Mario and his wife, Linda, were motivated to seek a slower paced lifestyle in the tropics following a health scare as a result of stressful times at work. After a lot of research they came up with St. Maarten as a good location to build a new home mostly due to the tie to the EU the island has. Mario holds an Italian passport which allows him work opportunities as a real estate agent in St. Maarten. The standard of living is good and the international airport makes the island easily accessible for family members such as their grown children and parents remaining in Canada. Separation pains were difficult at first but everyone is adjusting now that they see how healthy and happy Mario and Linda are here.
They bought a beautiful condo and joined the St. Maarten Yacht Club where they can sail with new friends and crew in island regattas, so Mario’s dream of sailing in the Caribbean has come true in a whole new enjoyable way from what he originally imagined! Linda, an interior decorator, is enjoying setting up their island home and establishing her new business in St. Maarten.
Mario being interviewed for House Hunters International before filming on Distant Shores II began
Mario and Linda are long-time viewers of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series and when they saw on the Distant Shores TV Facebook Page that we were in St. Maarten they contacted us to say hello. At the same time their story was being documented by HGTV’s TV series, House Hunters International, and the producer called to ask us if they could film the final segment of the episode aboard Distant Shores II. Great fun! We had Mario, Linda, and some of their new island and yacht club friends plus the film crew aboard our boat to toast their new found life ashore and afloat.
Linda and Mario conclude their story for House Hunters International on DS II
If full-time cruising doesn’t seem possible for you but you long to get out on the water in the Caribbean, there are many variations on part-time cruising that just may satisfy the itch and keep everyone in the family happy.
Sheryl and Paul Shard have been cruising internationally for 25 years. They are sailing authors, instructors/consultants and the fun-loving hosts of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series (AWE TV, Vimeo on Demand). The Distant Shores series profiles the world's best sailing destinations and provides insights into the joys and challenges of living aboard a cruising sailboat. The shows are also available on DVD and as HD downloads.
You might also enjoy:
Maintaining a Home Base while Cruising
Making Money while Cruising
Keeping Romance Alive while Cruising
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