Thursday, December 23, 2010

Exercise While Cruising

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

Above, Libby caught me exercising on the forward deck, today; 2 days before Christmas.  Exercise is a topic I've never written about before.

On the whole, cruising is a much less sedentary life style than what we used to have on land.   While at sea, we only get to do sail handling.  However, that's only a few days out of the year.   Most of the time, we're at anchor, and we get ashore every day.   We have no car, so we do lots and lots of walking.  As a rule, we have to haul our groceries back to the boat as we walk.   Recently, we bought a bicycle.  With the bicyle I've been ranging farther afield, thus increasing my exercise.

The active nature of cruising is easily visible at gathering of cruisers.  For example, we plan to go to a Christmas dinner at the marina where 200 cruisers are expected.   Looking over the crowd, it is obvious that the average cruiser is more fit and more lean than the average American.  I think most of that comes from the active life style.

As far as organized exercise, we haven't done much.  I bought some of those stretchy exercise bands a few years ago, but that never really caught on.  However, a year or so ago our son John gave us a kettle bell plus lessons on how to use it as a present.   John and his wife Cheryl are cross fit training instructors, and they use kettle bells expertly.  That worked better.   When were at fixed places like Vero or Marathon, I leave the kettle bell out on the forward deck.  Then, several times per week both Libby and I go forward for a short workout.  In the picture you see me doing it wearing my Santa hat.

By the way, last night we got a spectacular view of a fly-by of the international space station, ISS.  I was alerted by one of my favorite web pages, heavens above.   The ISS appeared in the SW at 1839, just one hour after local sunset.  It passed our zenith at 1842 sparkling like a diamond.   Conditions were perfect.  They sky was absolutely clear.   It was close enough after sunset that most stars weren't out, and also so that the ISS was in sunlight as we were in the dark.   Soon after passing over head, it abruptly disappeared.  That means that it passed into the earth's shadow; sunset as seen from the ISS.   Very cool.

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