Life offline: our favorite podcasts at sea

posted in: Boat Life | 0


When people ask cruisers why they wanted to leave their land life behind and go sailing, a common answer is “to get away from it all, to disconnect.” This is certainly true. There is beauty in being blissfully ignorant, a weight that lifts off your shoulders and we wanted to feel what that was all about.

However, some habits die hard…and maybe that’s not a bad thing. We like knowing what’s going on in our world, we like exercising our brains (though, I do consider packing away provisions to be something akin to a mind-boggling game of Tetris), so we had to find a way to adapt our consumption habits to an offline lifestyle.

We (meaning Jose) are huge fans of the Kindle. I personally am a traditionalist with my hardback books, but I will agree with my captain that they take up just a wee bit of space. Many cruisers are also using e-books and trading libraries becomes a fun, full afternoon event! If you’re going the Kindle route, we’d suggest the version with the blacklight so you can read during night watches.

Being at sea, we have become borderline obsessed with podcasts. You can download them offline and there are millions to choose from. Certainly you’ll find something you like. We tend to veer towards thought-provoking podcasts, preferably with no political affiliation, or even better, with commentators that have opposing views so we can get both sides of stories and then determine our own. Who isn’t up for a little debate at sea? ; )

Intelligence Squared

Two teams, comprised of experts in their given fields, are faced with controversial subjects such as “Should abortion be legal?” “Should we accept Syrian refugees?” “Is Donald Trump good for our country?” and are given three rounds to debate their stance. Prior to the start of the debate, the audience is polled on their individual stance on the issue. After the third round, the audience is asked to choose the winning team. As a listener, it’s fascinating how your opinion might change before and after the debate!

This American Life

Probably the podcast we listen to the most, TAL host, Ira, invites a guest to share a story representing an aspect or problem in American society. Sometimes the subjects are sensitive and political, other times they’re full of humor.

How do We Fix It?

Richard Davies (former news broadcaster) and Jim Meigs (former Popular Mechanics editor) discuss problems in modern society, but instead of arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong, they try to find a solution. They bring in experts on the subject and ask questions about their points of view to answer the ultimate question: How do we fix it?

The Economist Radio

This is a quick way to catch up on recent news around the world without having to read about it. In our opinion, they post too often, so if you’re not a daily listener it can be annoying to have so many podcasts lined up, but it is nice to hear the news being told instead of reading about it.

Modern Love

Based on a column in the New York Times, Modern Love takes reader-submitted essays on all matters concerning love and asks a notable celebrity to read the stories aloud. Whether it be about unrequited love, the love of a pet or the love of Heinz ketchup, the stories come to life with voices you surely recognize. A personal favorite? “One Last Swirl,” a story about the death of a goldfish told by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander.


**Tell us, do you have a favorite podcast we ought to add to the queue?**