#JustPassingThrough with #ReefAdventureSeeker Josh Shankle of Voyages of Agape
We caught up with our #ReefAdventureSeeker Josh Shankle of Voyages of Agape, and he filled us in on what life is like living on a boat and traveling the Pacific…
Where in the world are you now?
We recently left Manzanillo, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and we’re sailing onward to Bahia Tortugas.
What’s a day in the life like aboard the Agape?
Life on Agape is the same as life anywhere else, it’s just sprinkled with a little more adventure and diversity. Boat life is a slower way of living. We live by the locals’ advice, “tranquillo”.
The one constant in our life is our morning ritual of coffee. This used to consist of quickly gulping down scalding hot liquid, hoping the caffeine would kick in before we arrived at work. Now though, it is an enjoyable preface to the day. From the whistle of the tea kettle, to the aroma of the grounds, it is an experience.
We can walk from our bed and be in the water in less than 15 steps. Whether a long ocean swim, snorkel around the rocks and reefs, or just floating next to the boat for a break from the heat, not a day goes by that we don’t take the plunge.
Life is always an adventure. We are always on the move and Agape sees more use in a week than most boats see in a year. We try to always keep Agape in good working order and ready to move, but after being in one spot for a week she does start to look more like a floating apartment with sunshades up keeping us cool and the laundry hanging up on the lines to dry.
What do you do about food?
We accomplish all of our provisioning before leaving land. Instead of pushing a shopping cart to a car and then driving it home we have to load a taxi or carry all we buy down to the beach, cross the hot sand and load it into our dingy to take back to the boat by timing our trip back to Agape through the surf.
We eat a mostly pescatarian diet onboard and this makes sense because we can catch our protein in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. I love this part of living on the water on relying on the sea. I don’t “get to fish”, I have to fish. We spearfish and troll anytime we are low on protein in the freezer, and most the time that the boat is moving, we are fishing. Food always tastes better when you have caught and prepared it yourself, and it also gives you a personal connection to the sea. The ocean is not an inanimate liquid body anymore, it's a three dimensional, life giving being that provides for you and your family, something to be cared for and guarded.
What do you do when you reach a destination?
There’s so much to see at every stop, and we are always exploring. We have met new friends who are “just passing through,” and we also spend time with the locals, practicing our Spanish, immersing ourselves in their culture, and we try to volunteer and serve those communities in need along the way.
How do you keep Agape “weather-ready,” and how is it being in rough sea?
We’ve gone through some rough weather lately. For us, the winds are not usually an issue. It’s the crazy and confused seas that we keep encountering that come with the winds. Recently we experienced big swells and a rough passage that gave the autopilot a run for its money. We learned a good lesson that we need to pay attention to the autopilot and take the helm every once in a while, and when seas get rough we just need to stay calm and under control.
After a rough night, we check the boat and look everything over. Sometimes we need to make repairs from the sail getting twisted and deteriorating in the sun. On this trip, we had to repair the sail by hand, reinforcing the webbing over 5 hours!
Once all repairs are made, the sails go up, and we are ready to continue our journey south, moving towards a new destination that we have only read about, looking forward to what new sights and experiences lie just over the horizon