This is my second cruising stint and thinking back to that first year when I was in my 40s there must have been a guardian angel looking after us because things that could have been dishearteneing or discouraging like getting beaten up on crossing Biscay or the Atlantic did not happen.
There were no major breakages and only a few minor ones. This despite it being an old and not very well maintained steel boat. The engine kept running, the mast stayed up and the sails refrained from turning themselves into ribbons.
Life was good in the Caribbean, so good that the vague plans for a circumnavigation were put on hold and some serious exploration in the Windwards and Leewards took place. I really enjoyed getting past the "tourist interface" and meeting everyday local people.
It was so good that 20 years later I am back out here retired and loving almost every minute.
Stroppy officials and squalls are not included in the above.
Monkey patching programmer [retired ]