Hi and welcome to Chocolate + Marrow. I get asked all the time how I came up with the name of the blog, so let’s just start there: The Chocolate part is for our lab baby, Bourré, a brown ball of fur who went from being a terrified-of-water dog to a bona fide conch-diver during our first year living aboard a sailboat. And the Marrow part is for life. Its essence. For taking risks, for diving in, and, as Henry David Thoreau once put it, sucking out every bit of marrow you can from the lived experience – the beauty, the pain, the thrills, the disasters.
That’s kind of my thing, the principle that guides most of the choices I make. I’ve touched on some of the experiences that have brought me to this way of living before but what it really comes down to is this:
Life is short.
To feel it at is core, its absoluteness, is the only way I can imagine living.
Of course, that means different things to different people. But to me, for now, that means living aboard a sailboat and traveling wherever the wind blows. I write our personal stories in this space and also share a good bit of daily happenings over on Instagram and Facebook. And because this blog actually originated in Portland, Oregon back when I was a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and photographer, you’ll also find recipes for the things we’re cooking, or the travel-inspired dishes we’re learning to cook, on the propane-stove of our tiny adventuring home that floats. Because meals shared around the table, like winds in our sails, are just one of those things that make my heart beat happy.
One thing I have to confess is that this whole cruising lifestyle — like regular everyday land-based life in general — isn’t picture perfect. For every marmalade sunset, for every ocean dance with dolphins, for every silken sand beach we dip our toes in, there’s a counterpart. An endless list of repairs that will break your back, fingers, and wallet. Storms that will threaten to drag you into rocks or zap your 63-foot mast with their bolts. These are just some of the shit storms we’ve encountered and you should know that I’m not going to be shy about sharing those stories with you here too. It’s all just part of the experience.
I should probably mention that we started this whole cruising full-time thing back in 2016 but we were on a different boat than we’re on today — a 40-foot monohull named LaMo. She took us from Louisiana all up and down the Gulf Coast, along the Florida Keys, and through the Bahamas, where, after cruising together for nearly a year, she met an unfortunate end from a lightning storm that swarmed our quiet anchorage late one summer night and chose our mast as its victim. (See? I told you that whole Marrow thing involved a handful of disasters.) Her repairs were extensive, beyond the scope of what we could handle, so we took that as an opportunity to jump ship and start all over again. This time, on a Leopard 40 catamaran.
As for where we’ll go next, I honestly can’t say. I can only tell you where we are today. Because one thing I learned hard and fast in my first year as a sailor is that you can make all the plans in the world and none of them will happen how you imagined. So instead, just harness yourself in and suck out all the marrow you can from today. Because who knows where life will take you next.