Before I get into my 20 reasons why being a full time cruiser sucks, let me first premise this article with the following…
My life is more fulfilling now that it ever has been
Every day I wake up with a sea view, my family and enjoy new adventures, foods and experiences and life seems to flow from one positive situation to another more often then not.
When comparing and contrasting my old rat-race life that I left 16 months ago to the one I live now, there’s a massive gulf between the two lifestyles. While living on land, life was about making money, eating processed food, forcing time for a social life, trying to be a mom/wife/friend and failing at almost everything.
Every morning I woke and thought, ‘no – not another day to live!’
Now that my husband and five year old daughter have transitioned to living full time on a sailboat, life is about fulfilling experiences, eating local fresh foods, enjoying a massively dynamic social life and succeeding at whatever role is required at the time. The things that we see and do in a week still strike me with awe – the variety, depth of experiences and physical family bond we strengthen daily dumfounds me.
I wake and think, ‘I never knew that life could be so amazing.’
Life is more fluid, flowing and alive. There’s no routine so I rarely find myself in a rut. Every day is a new adventure with new things to see, new people to meet and interesting ways to let my creativity flow – whether I work on my website, add another product to my online store, source educational materials for our daughter (yes – we are homeschooling her), solve a problem with a boat issue, enjoy a DVD with my husband, decided what historical or natural spot to visit or increase my culinary abilities using meat, fish or veggies that I’ve never seen before!
But saying that, living full time on a sailboat isn’t for everyone
There are some things that really really suck. I wouldn’t trade anything for the life I live now, however life isn’t perfect. Living on a boat has its ups and downs. If you’re thinking of living life on the high seas, perhaps my list of things that suck will better prepare you for the downside of becoming a full time cruiser.
Imagine sailing all day to get to a lovely tranquil bay. When you arrive, you easily anchor, survey the majestic views – perhaps the scenery includes a deep blue sky meeting a green hillside dotted with goats running down to an empty golden sand beach. Cliffs to the right etched with years of gray, black, beige geological history, a forest of skinny tall green Cypress trees the left and of course, the deep dark blue open sea to your back.
Once the boat is anchored, the engine is turned off and all the necessary cleanup jobs have been performed, you pour your glass of wine, beer or gin and tonic only to discover that you can’t put it down.
Imagine having to sit with your well-deserved beverage (hey – you made it to another location successfully!) and your poor arm can’t relax because the boat is violently tipping side to side? Sure, you can put your glass between your feet to cusp the glass or devise a work-around cup holder but ultimately, the day is spoiled with an unexpected last-minute never-ending task.
Okay – that’s looking swells in a somewhat tongue and cheek matter
On a more serious note, swells suck. They are relentless. I’ve spent days at a mooring with a swell and it’s almost as bad as having water drip on your forehead and not being able to move out the way. Drip – drip – drip.
Swells are caused by storms or weather systems that are not local but rather are often hundreds of miles away. The waves are mechanical and do vary in intensity but they are relentless. They just keep coming and coming… Swell have longer wave lengths than those produced by local weather so you can have a swell that are long undulating waves and then the local smaller waves on top of the swell. In the pilot book the author will often note when a swell might occur in a particular bay – perhaps it will say something like, ‘in a northwest wind, the bay is likely to have a large swell.’
If possible avoid a situation where you have to anchor in a swell
If you’ve never experienced a swell, and now I’ll talk about the Mediterranean in particular, imaging being anchored in a boat and a moron in a 70’ speedboat passes you along the length of your boat closely at high speed. The boat rocks violently from side to side.
A swell in the Med is like that but the violent rocks are spread further apart
Similar to the relief you feel when a car alarm finally stops and then the rage incurred when you discover it was only a pause, swells are nasty little wave patterns. You’ll get a few big waves, the boat finally settles down and you think, ‘finally – I can set my drink down,’ only to get hit by another series of doozies.
For those that suffer from seasickness, swells are debilitating
On a few occasions I’ve had to have hubby put me in the dinghy and take me to shore. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
During the night, trying to sleep in a swell is like having a dream that you’re falling over and over again…but in reality, YOU ARE FALLING OVER AND OVER AGAIN. We’ve had such violent swells that your have to sleep in a starfish position, otherwise, you’re destined for the floor. And the noise created by everything in the cabinets crashing, crunching and clapping is deafening.
Can you understand why swells suck?
Yes – you can move the boat. Sometimes there’s an anchorage not far away that is protected from the swell. For some reason hubby and I would rather stay in a swell and complain about it rather than detach our anchor rope, up-anchor, lower our anchor ball, remove all our navigation covers, turn all the systems on, search for suitable anchoring ground, re-anchor, attach our anchor rope, raise the anchor ball, sit and wait to see if the anchor is set, cover back the navigation systems and turn everything off.
Sometimes we just have the attitude that ‘we’re hear now, we’re not moving.’
Instead, I just grow to hate swells more. Hehehehe.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue is: Swells suck.
2. Opps…forgot to get the milk
For folks living on land, when you forget to buy milk at the store, it’s an easy car journey to a local mini-market. The worst case situation is having to go to a full sized grocery store, walk to the back of the store, grab the milk, pay and go home.
For us, when we forget to buy milk our worst case scenario is that we just don’t have milk
And not having milk is a BIG issue for two main reasons.
Reason #1: Having a latte (coffee with lots of milk) is one of my most enjoyable pleasures. When I first wake, I try and remember where I am. After I figure out my location, I then think, ‘what’s next,’ and a smile comes across my face when I realize that, in deed, coffee is next! And it has to be coffee with milk – not any coffee…Using high quality Italian coffee grounds, I make coffee in one of those two-part metal pressure cooker thingies (I really need to find out what they are called). While the coffee is brewing, I heat up a pan of milk and it has to be hot. In my travel mug I fill it with half coffee and half milk. Delicious. My life can’t start until I have my coffee (I’m sipping it now as I write).
Reason #2: Our daughter, Sienna, eats cereal every day for breakfast. Although the cereals may vary, the option of having it with or without milk does not! With a five year old, we’re finding that the waking hours set up the general temperament for the day, so hubby and I work hard to ensure Sienna is greeted with smiles, hugs and lots of love so she gets a great start to the new day. When it’s discovered that there is no milk, it’s possible for tensions to rise. Sometimes, toast with marmalade will ward off an unhappy reaction but overall it’s best to have milk. No – our daughter, Sienna, is not a morning person.
So what happens if we forgot the milk?
Well, if our dinghy is still in our davits (two metal brackets with metal rope that hoists the dingy up and fixes it to the back of the boat), we have to turn the davits on, get the davit control, plug it in, lower the dingy into the water (takes around 5 minutes). Once the dingy is in the water, we have to pull it back out of the water because, being in a rush for milk, we would have forgot to put the plug in it hence the boat would start to sink. After we lift the dingy up, let the water rush out and then put the plug in, we have to detach the dingy from the davit holders.
With the dingy in the water, we then have to search for the kill cord – a cord that wraps around your wrist and the outboard engine. Without the cord, the engine won’t start. (The whole reason for a kill cord is that if the driver gets thrown out of the boat, the kill cord get’s yanked off and the engine stops).
Once the outboard engine is started it’s then a matter of finding a jetty or beaching the dingy, securing it and then finding a grocery store. Sometimes stores are close and other times it’s quite a hike.
And unbelievably, people in the Med don’t like fresh milk like us Americans/Brits do… They all seem to use long-life milk. In the fresh section of the grocery with the cheese and yogurt, you can often find a couple bottles of fresh milk but there’s be a few times when I’ve had to go to three different shops to find fresh milk. Crazy – isn’t it?
I’m sure Sienna wouldn’t mind long-life milk in her cereal but can you imagine a latte with it? No way.
After the milk is secured, it’s then a matter of unbeaching the beached dinghy, or leaving the jetty, motoring back to the boat (in calm or turbulent conditions) and getting the goods onto the boat.
It’s at least a one-hour task. So…moral of this sucky sailing item is, DON’T FORGET THE MILK.
3. Living with pollution all over my back yard (the sea)
To make sure that you’re reading this in context, I’m writing about sailing in the Mediterranean – not the world at large. My experience doesn’t include the whole world yet. I’m hoping/praying/wishing that once we get into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans I’m not going to see what I’ve seen around the Med.
It’s disgusting. Downright disgusting.
We’ve sailed through areas where you can barely see a 1’ patch of clean water. The amount of plastic floating around is sickening. There are bottles, buckets, Styrofoam, fishing net, plastic bags and all sorts of crap.
It makes me sick. I’m an upbeat person and I tend to focus on looking at the good in life. I also believe that what you focus on increases…but I don’t know how to avoid noticing the shit that is our back yard.
Sienna, Simon and I have nets at the back of the boat and we are constantly fishing out plastic bottles and a variety of blow-up toys. A few weeks ago, while crossing the Ionian Ocean from Greece to Sicily, we rescued a 5’ blow-up shark, and could have had a double sized blow-up bed and a kid’s pool but we had a boat issue and couldn’t get the latter two items.
Last week, during a storm in Sicily, the rains unleashed their wrath and it felt as if buckets of water, rather than drops, were thrown upon the island. The result? Storm drains of sewage and rubbish flowing at fast pace into the sea.
Additionally, there were loads of dead rats too. Disgusting.
Sicily, in particular, is so dirty. In England or America if I’m walking around and see a plastic bottle or some trash around I’ll pick it up and throw it away. In Italy, there’s so much trash everywhere it makes you feel like it’s okay to just throw your used goods on the ground after you’re done. Since the land is full of trash, the sea is also full of it.
The country of Italy is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen but they have a serious issue with pollution. The crazy thing is that there are huge trash bins everywhere – there’s no reason for people to drop things on the ground!
When we have people visit us on the boat from the States I have to warn them, in advance, at how dirty the Med is. Not only the sea, but the various countries. As a side note, after spending 9 months in Sicily only three times did I find a bathroom with the following three items:
1. A toilet seat
2. Toilet paper
I must have frequented hundreds of toilets during my time in Sicily. What the heck is up with their bathroom cleanliness standards? I mean, come on!
Okay, I’ve gotten off topic.
At least you know what to expect now.
The pollution is not a deal breaker – I mean, Sicily, Greece, The Med in general is amazing. And I mean A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, however there are issues. Perhaps if you know before you go, you won’t be as disappointed as I was.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue is: Pick up trash – even if it’s not yours – so that my daughter doesn’t have to write about this same issue 20 years from now.
4. I feel like going for a walk…opps, I can’t
This is an obvious point. If you’re living on a boat, chances are that you’re going to anchor quite a bit and if you’re anchored, you can’t just get up and go for a walk. You could, however go for a swim and that might curb your craving for a bit of physical movement!
Moral of this sucky sailing issue is: When you’re on land, be grateful that you can walk anywhere you want any time you want to.
5. What’s that terrible smell?
Imagine that a friend of yours (or perhaps an enemy?) visits your house and leaves a dead fish under your sofa. And then imagine that your air con breaks during the hottest summer on record.
At it’s worst, that’s what can happen on a boat. It’s not uncommon for a fish to swim up one of the through-holes (perhaps the toilet outlet hole?), get stuck and die.
It can day days, months and even years to find the source of a smell.
Typically, however it’s the bilge that creates bad smells. The bilge is the part of the boat that’s below the floor. It gets all sorts of liquids rolling and spilling into it. Seawater comes in from a variety of places; you might have an oil or diesel leak. The air con unit or the freezer/fridge drainpipes could leak into the bilge…and at it’s worst, the black water pipe could break (the poop shoot).
Or…you could have a family member that accidently drops a whole carton of milk on the floor which then seeps down into the bilge and quickly finds it’s way into every section of the boat ready to heat up, curdle and stink.
Usually the smells start as a minor odor.
I might say to my husband, Simon, ‘do you smell something?’ He’ll sniff around and then shrug his shoulders.
The crazy thing is that you get accustomed to smells and it’s not until a good friend comes over and say’s, ‘Whoa, what is that smell,’ until you realize you’ve been living in a stenchville.
So…when you’re living on a boat it’s not a matter of finding the rotting potato in a bag or discovering the bowl of cereal your toddler hid behind the curtain. Smell issues are often more severe and take more problem solving skills than often expected.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue is: be prepared to smell odors that will make your toes curl.
6. Oh look, I have to vacuum again!
I’m not kidding when I say that the boat needs to be vacuumed every day. And it’s not just the floors that need a hoover; it’s the soft furnishings too. If I was OCD, the counters would all need a wipe down too.
When you live on a boat every day the dirt fairy delivers dust, pebbles, salt, sand and hairs.
She is impeccable with her coverage – usually there’s an even spreading of particles. Rarely do I find a clump of mess – it’s just a fine mist that covers everything so to cause maximum expenditure of my effort.
And where the dirt fairy fails to visit, the mold monster expands his presence so it’s not only flat surfaces that need constant attention – you have to have eye’s that look up, down, and all around.
A clean surface today might be full of black mold spores tomorrow.
Every time I feel like the boat is looking clean, I take a shower and find a corner I missed or open a drawer and locate something that’s living that shouldn’t be.
With the hot temperatures, humidity, salt-water and wind, a boat can always use more cleaning. And I’m not even mentioning the outside of the boat – that’s a whole other issue that’s impossible to maintain.
Seriously, you need to hire a crew to keep the outside of the boat looking good. If you attempt to do it yourself, you’ll always be cleaning and you’ll never leave port.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Don’t buy a boat unless you like to clean or can hire someone to do it for you.
And make sure that you have checklists to keep your maintenance and cleaning routines up-to-date…
7. Why is it impossible to find a head broccoli?
Growing up in the States I had the privilege of getting anything I wanted 24 hours a day. When I moved to England, the grocery stores closed at night. Now days, even in the UK, stores are open 24 hours. Within reason, it’s quite easy to get quite an abundance of grocery offerings.
So, not only are the stores open but they have everything.
If I want broccoli, I know I can get it. If I want almost anything in any season I’m fairly certain I can get it.
In the Mediterranean, in contrast, you can only get local fruits and vegetables – with a few exceptions
Those ‘local’ fruits and vegetables consist of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, carrots, zucchini, potatoes (one variety), onions and eggplant. Almost always, you can count on those core veggies. The core fruits are apples and citrus fruits. Almost always you can get bananas too which I find interesting, as they’re likely to be imported.
So, that means that anything else and I mean anything else is a ‘maybe’…usually a ‘no.’ Certain things you just can’t get even though the grow them. For example, people in the Med think that only livestock should eat parsnips. What – waste parsnips on a horse!?!?
So, things that I took as ‘core’ in the States and the UK, like broccoli, celery, cauliflower, root vegetables, a variety of lettuces/greens, green beans, mushrooms, and so forth are not available.
So meal planning can be a bit difficult.
I make most recipes with at least one or sometimes several things missing. I also have to improvise. For example, it’s very hard to find bacon in Italy but every store has lardons (the fatty bacon cubes).
On the positive side, however, all the produce that you do get tastes great. Heck, it’s actually in season and hasn’t flow 3000 miles to get to me!
Furthermore, when seasonal fruits and veg, like figs, artichokes, string beans, melons, and so forth, are available they are amazing. You really appreciate the food you’re eating because you know it’s only here for a small amount of time.
Overall, not being able to get broccoli is a good thing.
It has certainly taught me to appreciate what’s in season and to realize just how bountiful America and the UK are…
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Eat enough broccoli before you go so you don’t want it for a while.
8. There’s a lightening rod running down the center of our house
Remember when you were a child and your parents told you to get into the house or out of the water when a lightening storm appeared? Do you remember being told to avoid being the highest thing around so that lightening doesn’t hit you?
Well…imagine being anchored along in a bay having an 85’ lightening rod (the mast) running through your house?
I used to love watching storms roll in – either on the beach of Lake Ontario or at our summerhouse on the St Lawrence River (New York). My family and I would get excited with the loud claps of thunder and the shockingly bright flashes of lightening. We’d be eager for more and felt a bit sad when we realized the storm had past.
Now days, I have a different take on lightening storms – they freak me out!
Not only is it common for boats to be hit by lightening, frying all of the electrics on board, but lighting can cause through-hull fittings to be blown out. That means that the fittings that allow water to either enter or leave the boat can be blown off the boat. That further means that lightening can cause multiple holes in a boat.
Need I follow this through? Holes in a boat cause incoming water and incoming water causes sinking.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Make sure every through-hull fitting has a bung next to it (a wooden peg to quickly stick in to prevent sinking), that you have insurance and you can mentally weather a storm.
9. Which hat today – plumber, electrician, mechanic, rigging or restoration expert?
We all have to play different roles in life no matter where we live and what our lifestyle is. The difference when living full time on a sailboat, however, is that the roles my husband and I often have to fill are roles in which we have little to no experience with.
Simon could have been labeled an anti-DIY (Do it yourself) person before we set sail and I had a bit of knowledge about electrics and plumbing but only because I worked at a hardware store when I was a kid.
When we lived in a house, we had plumbers, electricians, and handymen do everything for us. Not only were we incapable of doing things ourselves, we just weren’t interested.
When living on a boat, you either get interested very quickly or you sink.
And the roles we play are often thrusted upon us when we least want them. At 3am in the morning, we’ve had Niagara Falls flowing through our saloon. Upon entrance to a marina our alternator bolt sheered off and the alternator dropped leaving the belt limp and useless. While sailing along the north coast of Africa a storm hit us and we couldn’t lower our main sail. After starting our engines for a couple weeks (and some service work), water seawater entered the engine bay with full force. Our generator died, died again and died at least 10 more times before we discovered the problem. This list could go in for days.
When we first started out, the roles we played changed hourly and caused massive stress. Not to mention that hubby and I also had to be parents, partners, friends, customers, and on and on.
Over time, however, we’ve gain quite a bit of confidence and although we’ll never consider ourselves experts in any one area, we are becoming experts and making sure Britican not only survives but thrives.
Thanks to the great team around us we’ve learned, lived through various experiences and have learned some more. It surely hasn’t been easy when you’re life is literally on the line but it’s been rewarding. We are living life and getting the opportunity to fill roles that we never even knew existed.
Looking back, I’m pleased with the new roles we’ve inherited.
We’ve gotten to the point where we’re much better at problem solving and have a level of confidence that allows us to be active rather than want to crawl in a hole and die.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Whether you like it or not, you have to roll your sleeves up, get dirty and fix things. Your life depends on it.
10. PS. By the way, your aunt Eleanor died a couple months ago
This sucky sailing issue is similar for anyone that leaves his or her hometown. Once you leave, your family and friends seem to forget about informing you of various happenings. I don’t think it’s done intentionally – I suppose it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind.’
I left my hometown of Rochester, New York when I was in my early 20’s so there have been many deaths that I’ve discovered several months after they happened (I do say this half jokingly, but only half).
Often there will be a family reunion and no one thinks to inform you. Or, someone in the family will achieve some amazing feat but you only find out about it through the newspapers rather than your mom.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Don’t feel bad if your friends and family forget to tell you important things. It’s normal.
11. The sun is out again – oh great – NOT!
When you live on a boat, you’re forced into the sun more often than not. Whether you have to clean the boat, tie on fenders, take the dinghy to shore and on and on. All full time cruisers have a bimini or protective cover over the cockpit so that the sun can be avoided during a sail, but otherwise, we’re basically living outside.
Back when I was living in England, my happiness level increased drastically when I got the chance to see the sun – let alone be out basking in it.
As you can imagine, I was fairly depressed most of the time (hehehe).
Regardless to your love for the sun, once you move onto a boat it doesn’t take long to become a sun avoidance planner. Having to slap on loads of sunscreen just isn’t an option for the long term – not only is the stuff riddled with unhealthy chemicals but it stinks, feels gross and doesn’t come off. Furthermore, it ruins the gelcoat on the boat – yes, some sunscreens break down gelcoat. Imagine what it does to your skin?!
So – we have hats, long-sleeve light cotton shirts and use an umbrella at times. When we plan a trip to shore, we wait for the sun to go behind a cloud and plot out walks with shading. Furthermore we rarely go outside the bimini between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: Too much of a good thing isn’t good at all.
12. Quick turn that water off!
When you live in a house, in a 1st world country, you never ever think to yourself, ‘I hope we have enough water for….’ And to fill in the blanks it might be, to drink, to shower with, to boil pasta, to clean the dishes. You get the drift.
Living with the constant knowledge that our water might run out drives me nuts. Whenever Sienna washes her hands I have to rush into the bathroom and say, ‘hurry up! You don’t need that much water…’ Whenever I wash dishes, I wash a load and then rinse them with the minimal amount.
All my life I took water supply for granted. Not any more. Now, I feel troubled every time I hear our accumulator tank turn on (it builds the pressure up in the water lines to ensure we have even pressure) because it signifies water being used!
You might ask, how hard is it to get water?
Well, it’s actually not hard at all. Whenever we’re in a marina or on a town quay we fill up (provided the water is drinkable). The issue comes when we’re at anchor or on a long passage and there isn’t a place to get water for a while.
We’re very fortunate because we have a water-maker. We haven’t turned it on yet this year, however, so we’ve been relying on marina’s and making the water last as long as possible.
In all honesty it’s actually not a problem. It’s just the fact of knowing that the supply is limited that plays with my head. We’ve never run out of water… but perhaps that’s because I’m neurotic about the usage?!
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: When something is limited in supply you value it. When you become a full time cruiser, you start to value quite a few things. Unfortunately, you realize just how abundant your life used to be.
13. Mosquitos and other biting bugs
I only use the word HATE to describe one thing in life and that is my hatred for mosquitos. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them. I want them all dead.
Like the sunscreen issue, you cannot live with bug repellent on you all the time. You will die. The stuff in Deet or OFF is lethal. Furthermore, it stinks. (Have you gathered that I have a sensitive nose and I don’t like chemicals?)
Mosquitos bite. The bite itches, turns puffy and red…sometimes you itch so much that you create a wound. The wound itches more. Itch, itch, itch…nothing is worse than having an itch you can’t satisfy.
Errrr…nothing is worse than an itch you can’t satisfy except…
Well, a situation where you’re absolutely exhausted, you have to get some sleep because you’re doing a night watch (sailing at night) and there’s a mosquito in the room playing hide and seek.
Those damn things dive-bomb your ear and then by the time you turn the light on, get the electric tennis racket they’re gone. The second you turn the light off and put your head to the pillow, they’re in your ear again.
A few months ago I gave up on the battle against mosquitos.
I decided that they can just bite me. When I see one in the boat, I usually don’t even kill it anymore. I just can’t get sucked into a war I’ll never win.
Ironically, I don’t seem to get bit that much anymore. Not sure what’s going on with that…Perhaps I’ve somehow appealed to the ‘collective’ mosquito community?
Moral of this sucky sailing issue: You can’t win with mosquitos. You just have to let them bite you.
Okay – I just looked at my wordcount and realized I’m over 5,000 words. If I don’t stop typing, I’ll have a book before long. You won’t be able to proceed with your day and I’ll be stuck in Vibo Marina (Italy) not getting to Pompeii.
There are other sucky sailing issues that I haven’t covered yet. Perhaps I’ll leave them for another post. They include:
14. Seasickness – it sucks.
15. “Friends” come and go so quick – it’s very hard to make new friends or see old friends and then leave. We’re always leaving and it doesn’t seem to get any easier to say ‘good bye’.
16. Let’s have Chinese tonight – NOT! Finding ethnic food in the grocery stores or in a town is difficult. After sailing in Greece for over three months we stumbled upon a Chinese noodle bar in Crete and ate there 4 times in one week.
17. I’ve had enough sailing, can we just take a break? Sometimes you just want a break – you’ve had enough of being in a washing machine and you want to get off. Often, you can’t get off, but you can heave-to (stop the boat from going forward – you go up and down on the waves in a stopped position rather than fighting your way through the waves).
18. Are we there yet? Guess who asks that question often?
19. I should be the happiest person alive, but I’m not. Now I feel down and guilty!
Will this nervous tension ever go away? Just because we’re living our dream doesn’t mean it’s one big happy party. Sometimes I just feel down yet when I feel down I get guilt too…
20. I don’t have a 20th thing that makes sailing suck. I just needed to add this so that I could use the number 20 in my headline.
In an interest to be able to post this article and leave for our next destination, I need to wrap this up.
Overall, the moral of these sucky sailing issues is that sailing is awesome, the life of a full time sailor is incredible, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than what I’m doing HOWEVER, some stuff still sucks.