shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Simple Silver Jewelry Cleaner

June 15, 2015

Before we sold the house and most of its contents, we read everything we could find about living aboard and cruising full time. One seasoned cruiser wrote that gold jewelry has no purpose on a boat and should never be worn on shore. After 15 years, I must say that I find that type of advice a bit too general. If you want to have and wear your gold jewelry, then by all means do so on the islands with the same considerations that you would have when wearing them in your home country. But you might find that your gold jewelry no longer fits who you have become. Handmade hemp necklaces with hand carved coconut shell pendants may be more your style after a few years of cruising. Or you may spend enough time on an island full of women with silver cuffs up their arms that you change your way of thinking about jewelry completely.

Dirty silver jewelry

It started with a single silver hook bracelet. After living and working on St. Croix for many months, I felt left out without one. Then Dave bought me a karma bracelet for our anniversary. Our middle son bought me a hurricane bracelet for my birthday. I won a sliver heart bracelet at crab races on the boardwalk one Monday night. And before I realized it, I was wearing 9 silver bracelets. On one arm. When Dave began creating silver jewelry as a hobby (starting with a Chaney bracelet for me), I suddenly had my choice of beautiful silver jewelry to model.

Add all ingredients to a jar with a lid.

Our youngest son once told me I looked like a gypsy with all my jewelry, so I asked Dave, "Does wearing 9 bracelets, 3 earrings, 8 rings, 2 toe rings, 2 necklaces, and 2 anklets make me look like a gypsy?"
"Only if you wear them all at the same time."

The problem with silver is that, in the tropics, salt water and sweat cause them to tarnish more quickly. After spending hours each week polishing my silver, I started investigating an easier way. I have tried many methods for removing tarnish from silver jewelry, but this is by far the easiest, quickest, and least expensive.

Shake for instant gunk.

In a container with a lid that will hold the jewelry you want cleaned, add half and half water and ammonia just to cover the jewelry. Add a small squirt of dishsoap. Insert jewelry, close lid, and shake. Instantly you will see gunk in the solution that was once on your jewelry. Let it sit overnight, shaking a few times now and then. Your jewelry will be tarnish-free and remarkably clean.

Clean and tarnish-free

If you sail long enough, you may find that your former decorations no longer fit your personality. The gold chain just may not be who you are any more. If it is, wear it. If not, you may end up wearing a turks head bracelet made out of string for 8 years straight. Or a hemp necklace with a flip flop charm that your husband carved for you. Or silver may be more your style. Your different life may create a different you. Who knows, you may even end up looking like a gypsy.

We talk a lot about living without refrigeration, but MONDAY we'll share how to be successful without a fridge AND without being tied to the grocery store.

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