Top Ten Ways You Know You’ve Been Sailing in the South Pacific for a Long Time 

  1. You can communicate a whole range of greetings and emotions with your eyebrows alone.
  2. The smell of rancid coconuts rotting in the midday sun doesn’t bother you anymore.
  3. When you ask a local a question and they answer “YES” you know that A. that does not mean the answer is actually yes, or B. that they understood the question at all.
  4. You usually ask a local if a fish you caught is safe to eat – free of ciguatera, a highly toxic and very localized fish poisoning. And when they say “Yes” you know to see above.
  5. When provisioning or looking for hardware store items you expect to visit at least half a dozen stores and only find half of the items on your shopping list.
  6. You no longer trust the accuracy of your charts and consider sticks and rebar acceptable navigation beacons.
  7. Limes and coconuts are considered staple foods onboard.
  8. You can self-diagnose and treat fungal infections, staph infections and cellulitis and know the difference between the symptoms of dengue fever and malaria.
  9. You’ve eaten over 25 varieties of bananas, probably in 25 different ways.
  10. You consider cyclone season the perfect time to sail around the islands; better winds and a heck of a lot less boats! 

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Ways You Know You’ve Been Sailing in the South Pacific for a Long Time 

  1. Lovely post Heather but I’m sure you’ll miss the south pacific after all these years. Probably a silly question but how come you didn’t take the opportunity to visit Oz rather than taking the route north? Does this mean that you will continue to cruise with no end in plan? Just interested. Stay safe.


    • Bruce, we love the South Pacific!! And will definitely miss the place, so many islands and cultures, we barely scratched the surface. We have several reasons for not sailing to Aus, however we have visited and travelled on motorbike there while we’ve been in the SP. And yes we are planning to continue to sail Kate until further notice, and looking forward to exploring Asia, a place we’ve both sailed before.


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