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Old 10-10-2016, 15:04   #151
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Fairly accurate synopsis by the OP. Hell yes it is mostly watching water go by. Water that looks pretty much like other water. In my years working ships the boredom was offset by storms, chipping paint, cleaning, repairing stuff that broke, putting out fires. Always though the constant drudgery. It's a freaking job plain and simple. Ever since the first character floated out on a log it was for commerce. Doing it for pleasure, Hah, you have got to be kidding. But then you see the flying fish, the dolphins, the different hues of the water, perhaps a whale or a manta ray breaches. The storms are humbling and at times terrifying. The calms are maddening. The spotting of land after weeks or months of nothing but water. The stars are more brilliant than you could have imagined. Fog tests your senses and competence. The rewards? You have shared what others for thousands of years have known. It has given you time to reflect on who you are. In today's insane pace it might be worth it if more people learned what it is just to be and how little it takes to be at one with all things. Sailing for pleasure, dumbest thing I ever had the pleasure to partake.
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Old 10-10-2016, 15:58   #152
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by Corpus View Post
Are you planning on taking some time off, maybe a year, maybe fovever, sail down the carribean and if things go well, cross the Panama canal and just keep going? Ya so was I, here's what I've learned.

-Get as big of boat as you can handle, maybe even a little bigger. Yes people have crossed oceans in canoes, but there is a reason most people take a cruise ship, or a plane. A bigger boat will bounce less, go faster, and has more storage room. Try living in just your bathroom for a week, or just an hour and see if you still think that Catalina 27' is fine.

-The ocean is never flat, and the wind will always be against you. It was for me and it probably will be for you. Even if you don't get seasick, pounding into waves crawling your way up-wind just isn't very fun (the smaller the boat the worse it will be).

-Invest in a good dinghy, with a good motor. Rowing to shore in a kayak against the wind with your grociers getting all wet kind of sucks. Sitting on your boat all day eating stale crackers and peanut butter sucks more.

-It can be boring, especially if your alone. Yes the water is beautiful and there are time when it is amazing, but a lot of the time it's boring. Eventualy the novelty wears off and you're sitting alone in a piece of fiberglass with nothing to do but look at the same water all day long. Then you get to port, a storm hits and you have to ride it out for three days in your boat because there is no way you could row your kayak in that water. (Longest three days of my life)

-Don't get to hung on the sailing part. Actualy sailing the boat is pretty easy, the hard part is all the other stuff. Reading the signs, figureing out where to go (btw get a good gps) stocking food, buying equipment, etc.

-There aren't sandy beaches where you can tie off to a coconut tree everywhere, or anywhere (at least not in the keys). You're going to have to go to designated anchorages, many of which aren't very exciting at all.

-The moral of the story is: buy a power boat, better yet, convience your friend to buy a power boat. While sailing my sailboat I was passed by many a power boat full of girls in bikinis hanging over the sides, not one sailboat though. So don't give up. I certainly don't regret my adventure, but it wasn't at all what I expected.
It appears you never sailed much or anchored overnight for a few days. Never raced a 100 mile race ( or several) on a sailboat without an engine

It appears you were never stranded several miles offshore without a radio and the engine or engines on your power boat wouldn't start or you ran out of fuel. Plus one for a boat with a sail (although I hate that +1 thing)

There are a couple guys in the same boat now on CF with 1000's of posts and countless read that recently started cruising complaining about slapping halyards and wakes in the ICW. Really? It's about like complaining that's it's cold when you finally take your trip to Alaska in Winter

Get some experience first folks before taking the plug. You don't have to be a cruiser to learn this stuff
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Old 10-10-2016, 16:27   #153
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30yearslater View Post
Fairly accurate synopsis by the OP. Hell yes it is mostly watching water go by. Water that looks pretty much like other water. In my years working ships the boredom was offset by storms, chipping paint, cleaning, repairing stuff that broke, putting out fires. Always though the constant drudgery. It's a freaking job plain and simple. Ever since the first character floated out on a log it was for commerce. Doing it for pleasure, Hah, you have got to be kidding. But then you see the flying fish, the dolphins, the different hues of the water, perhaps a whale or a manta ray breaches. The storms are humbling and at times terrifying. The calms are maddening. The spotting of land after weeks or months of nothing but water. The stars are more brilliant than you could have imagined. Fog tests your senses and competence. The rewards? You have shared what others for thousands of years have known. It has given you time to reflect on who you are. In today's insane pace it might be worth it if more people learned what it is just to be and how little it takes to be at one with all things. Sailing for pleasure, dumbest thing I ever had the pleasure to partake.
Well said Mr Later, well said.

Sent from a boat somewhere
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Old 10-10-2016, 16:33   #154
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

The OP's advice appears to be from a person with little experience on boats.

It's like posting and reading a lot on a biker's forum then going out and trying to do what this girl does. (especially at that speed)

Not a good idea.

Get some experience first folks before selling the house and going cruising.





Okay, so you can learn a little online. In this case keep the RPM's up


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Old 10-10-2016, 17:09   #155
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

I realize that this is an old thread but reading the original post I don't think its bad advice or overly negative. Having spent a bunch of time on the water as a power boater who now wishes to "graduate" to real boating and join the sailing ranks its not way off base. After spending a year researching and sailing my resume looks like this: ASA completed through 114...worthwhile but learn more I feel just getting out there and doing it. Total miles sailed probably around 400, so basically nothing I realize this, but it has been in everything from lasers to a 51' performance Catamaran. I have spent only 3 weeks living on a boat, made zero significant crossings and had zero overnight sails. Needless to say I need a lot more experience and I am no expert and I've only dipped my toe in the water. I have had some very exhilarating experiences though and made a ton of mistakes, but also accomplished quite a bit for a beginner that I am proud of.

All this being said, here are my takes:
1) Getting there is the fun part. Like a lot of things in life its not the actual finish line but the adversity and the adventure along the way that makes it worth doing. I do not think I could be a live aboard in a marina or some mooring field at this point in my life, I just like to keep moving and see new places.
2) I agree with going as big as you can handle. I've sailed Mono's and Cat's and admittedly I enjoy the feeling of sailing a mono in big wind...its freaking exciting...but damn...there is no comparison to the quality of life (for me) when you are on a Cat. I'm 6'2" and a 38' mono is just way too small, its more the space to just hang out on deck than it is the space below. Admittedly though if cost was a concern I'd go in a slightly larger mono in a heartbeat vs. waiting years to save for a catamaran that fits the bill.
3) I think there needs to be some balance between sailing/exploring and having some sort of project/work/purpose. Not sure what that time split is, but breaking up the time only accentuates how amazing the time you have on the water actually is. This would cut down on the whole boredom thing the OP experienced...I get it, if the whole thing was just sailing to the next beach bar that gets old in a hurry, well maybe not a hurry but it does eventually : )
4) Other peoples idea of what is awesome is not what yours is...and that is ok. This applies to lots of topics, but in general I think I've learned to be accepting of people who don't want to do the same stuff as me or put the same value on the experiences that I value. My friends would rather spend $15k a year sending their kids to travel soccer vs. spending $3k on a sailing vacation...and that's ok. Part of what I've realized is that your friends change over the course of your lifetime, it doesn't mean they are not still your friends, but its also ok to meet new friends who have similar interests.
5) My ideal situation would be having a home base on land that is easy to lock up and leave for months at a time and also comfy cat that I could spend a few months on at a time. Keeping it as simple as possible is key.
6) It is important to realize in the decisions that I make today that my future self in 5-6 years will think completely differently. So moral of the story, don't make too many big decisions that are hard to reverse...like buying way too much boat or too much house. I like to think that I could pack everything that was important to me in a backpack...less stuff = more freedom.

ok, I'm done rambling...
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Old 10-10-2016, 18:37   #156
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Howdy folks.

Been quite awhile since I posted in this place. I got kind of turned off by some of the negative nannies here. And yes, they know who they are.

But... I've been doing this for over a year.

The OP is right, and wrong.

I'm on a large sailboat, a ketch (I think I have the picture up now as the avatar). That's my "ride".

My wife and I are married going on 40 years. We don't much care about attracting other people or being attractive to other people.

We have been sailing about 10 years now on various sized boats but living on one and cruising for just over a year.

****... er.. sorry, STUFF happens. We've had engine issues, rigging issues, we were hit in a marina in Norfolk (we weren't even aboard, the boat was DOCKED while waiting on some other repairs). A lot of damage was done. Insurance companies were useless. It took a lawyer or to get things fixed and us to get our money back (more than a year's worth of cruising dough). But it was fixed.

Then the wife broke her back. Slipped on screwed up dock while stepping carefully into another boat at high tide, fixed dock, dock was about to be ripped out, getting onto a friend's boat to visit. Was a mess. Back brace for 12 weeks, had to travel back to Colorado to stay with the kids - see... we don't have a house, car or much of anything but the boat these days.

We've traveled a little over a third of the US East Coast from New York upstate where we bought the boat to Norfolk.

Currently, we're sitting in the Potomac River after doing some refit work ourselves, adding solar panels and making some modifications we knew we needed, repairing wires, plumbing, toilets, replacing toilets, and a few other things. We just weathered what was left of Matthew (we caught only the edge and got a lot of rain, some wind and we made it fine because we chose NOT to be south when it came this way).

We have a car again and have to figure out what to do with it in a week or so.

We have made a hell of a lot of friends, young and old, bar tenders and waitresses, marina people, locals and foreigners. And we haven't even left the country yet. We have met folks in grocery stores, had videos done about us, and the boat, and we've taught people new to this thing, stuff they hadn't considered.

And we're still novice sailors with only 10 years under our belts and 18 months living aboard.

As someone once told me long ago, "Each person has their own voyage, and you have to choose the boat, the timing and the place of your own voyage and make the best of it."

So, if your "voyage" is to find hot chicks and have them hanging off your ship sides and you... then perhaps sailing is not necessarily the thing you want to be doing. It's slow. It's tiring. It's HARD work. It is plumbing. It's stinky toilets and holding tanks. It's staying warm on chilly nights in the north in October and cool on hot days where ever you're at without air conditioning. It's getting showers when you can, and figuring out how to stay clean when you can't and can't use up any more water. It's finding fresh veggies or hot hamburgers, cold beer (warm beer, or even warm wine when it ain't cold). It's having refrigeration when you can get it, repairing it when it's not working, never getting enough sunlight to completely charge the batteries, or sailing into a dock when your engine is dead, or using the dinghy to get you there. It's having friends visit you and trying to explain that "the boat is a mess because we had to get out the pots to cook dinner, here hold this while I put this crap away".

LOL

But it is satisfying. When you succeed, you live, you learn, you see things others haven't, you meet new people, you make new friends, maybe even a couple of enemies. When you don't succeed... well, I'm still alive so I suspect I'm more successful than some (like a certain baseball player in a go-fast boat for example, who might have had women hanging off his boat on some other day of his life.)

The most important thing said in this entire thread was "Don't quit yet", all of the rest, including mine, is just filler, a waste of time. Do what you want to do in life, never, EVER listen to the nay sayers, and DO NOT listen to the people who tell you to do or don't do it a certain way.

They might have some experience, but 9 times out of 10 I've found out, they have none and all talk.

If you want to cruise. DO IT. Do it NOW. Don't wait. Don't plan "for retirement". Both of us almost died on our way to "retirement". Time is short, no one is immortal, and honestly, looking at this election, who knows if this country is even going to be conducive in another 4-8 years to allow you to go cruising or "get away to the islands"?

Do it. Don't give up.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:50   #157
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

A larger boat and dinghy with an engine are definitely the easier more comfortable way to go, but a bit of a challenge can be a good thing.

Many of us with small boats and kayaks enjoy the fact that we get a workout when we sail then anchor and row ashore.

Guys up here take their kayaks several miles offshore to fish in all sorts of rough conditions

In my case, I bought the kayak first then the sailboat. My kayak goes over larger waves much like a raft. The kayak I have is a folding kayak that can fit in a backpack. When assembled, it's 16'6" long and 24" wide and weighs about 40lbs

As far as the same ole same of cruising, I'm thinking it takes a certain type. Some folks might rather just sail a few weeks or a month or so then come back home and do something else........then go out again

One idea to see if cruising is for you is to go down to say the Gulf Coast and sail a small boat around for a few weeks and see how you like it.

I was lucky enough to be able to live down there for 12 years (Mississippi, Alabama, Florida) and observe the sailors/cruisers from beach bars and while racing beach cats. It was very interesting. The people and their boats were all so different

I saw many beautiful boats where the skipper was constantly doing upkeep and others that looked like they didn't get much maintenance at all.

There was this one old beat up guy with long beard etc and his beat up boat maybe 38'-40' long headed out toward Pensacola Pass one day. His jib was flapping and his main needed to be sheeted in but he was moving along reasonably well.

Being a total racer at the time and in my 40's, I could only shake my head at this guy. Soon though he made his turn out the pass, cleared the pass and came back up a bit on his final course South and everything as far as sail setting appeared to be pretty much right

So the lesson I learned there was that this guy was a cruiser. He wasn't worrying about how well his sails were set for 2 - 3 miles or so but possibly for the next 50 -100 miles and he wasn't concerned about best speed through the water only good speed through the water.......
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:16   #158
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD View Post
If you want to cruise. DO IT. Do it NOW. Don't wait. Don't plan "for retirement". Both of us almost died on our way to "retirement". Time is short, no one is immortal, and honestly, looking at this election, who knows if this country is even going to be conducive in another 4-8 years to allow you to go cruising or "get away to the islands"?

Do it. Don't give up.
Actually, you don't need to run off and go cruising now especially if you live near the coast. If you don't live near the coast, you can do this on your next vacation on any trailer sailor from 16' and up. I did it on a 17' beach cat with spinnaker maybe 6X but sailed back the same day since it was a race. Upwind going out, spinnaker run coming back after beer and chicken break for the racers on the island

You can sail 12 miles off the Mississippi Coast near Biloxi/Ocean Springs and " get away to the Islands" to either Horn Island or Ship Island and have your own island paradise for a weekend or for a week and see how it goes.

The water on the South sides of these Islands as I remember it is Caribbean Blue/green like Destin, Ft Walton Beach, and Pensacola.

Why not try it out first to see if you would like the life.......before totally taking the plunge. A bit of planning never hurt

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sh...!4d-88.9641261

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...tbnw=176&w=220

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...7kTuzONGdgfAM=

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ho...1!4d-88.669948
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Old 11-10-2016, 13:49   #159
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

OK, 6 years of sailing and living in a 34' boat, without my girlfriend, have taught me one thing, I need a bigger boat. I also need a few accessories that a sail boat doesn't give. First, I need a queen bed, I have been sleeping in the salon because I can't fit in the V-Birth (mostly because of my uncle Arthur, you know arthritis, it's painful doing the dance to get in and out of bed.) Next a decent size refrigerator, with a freezer. No Ice for my rum is bad. Next I need room to live. 50sqft is a little too few.

So, I have fulfilled my requirements in the sailing arena and sold my boat. I am now hunting for a larger POWER boat (Trawler) so I can do the great loop. I do not say that sailing isn't great, I loved it while I did it, but for me the time has come to go to power. I will still be cruising, just in a different way. I will never go back to dry land.
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Old 14-10-2016, 08:41   #160
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

I haven't been bored in many years. I've spent a bunch of that alone watching water go by. That's part of the draw, the vast nothingness that is everything, without distractions, living on a small space that is your tiny universe. Being offshore alone gets into your head, your dreams, and changes you in some way.

The times I've been holed up are some of my best memories. Days on end with nowhere to go, except topsides, but always plenty of people to talk to with the communications options we have now. Mostly time to read, putter around the boat and catchup on maintenance. Matter of fact, I was marginal at boat maintenance since I was always moving. It took those days at anchor to catch up sometimes.

I guess my expectations getting into sailing were different, that's to be expected. I went from sea kayaking to sailing, after seeing a cruising boat in the exumas with plenty of ice, nice flat place to sleep with pillows, bug free relatively. Just sleep on a beach to see what bugs are like. Only when the wind is blowing sand in your face and everything you own do you get some respite from the sand flies. They make mosquitos seem like butterflies if you get in a bad sand fly hatch.

So, I guess I saw a sailboat as a major upgrade, essentially a glorified backpacking tent. Never needed it to hook up with women, in fact having that time away just to stare at water, have some incredible adventures, seeing all kinds of cool places and cool people, made me a better husband all around. Fortunate to have the same beautiful woman accompany me when she was able, and also our kids many times, until they became busy high schoolers or in college, we had great times as a family.

I've never seen this post, but it's a good dose of reality. Anyone that thinks sailing is cruising along on warm flat water with a new palm to tie to every night with attractions, hot babes to choose from, no hardships, etc is bound for disappointment. It's just like life, just on a boat, and attitude and expectations dictate everything.

Just the difference of being a really good planner and pilot/navigator can change the experience drastically. Casual and spontaneous skippers rely on luck too much and pay the price one way or another. There's lots of stories of guys who bought a boat, shoved off without learning basic skills, found themselves in a bad situation dry heaving in fetal position on the cabin sole wondering how anyone could think sailing is fun. Some of us are luckier. I ran inlets as a new skipper, like cape fear, with wind against tide, dropping off steep 8-10' standing waves in what we're supposed to be moderate conditions. Luckily nothing too bad happened and I learned a lot. And didn't have my young family w me, but it could have been their last time aboard.

I mastered piloting (best I could) early on, and passed boat after boat of poor guys learning as they went, hard aground, cooking their engine, not knowing to check exhaust water or how to change an impeller quickly. Some of these little things, being able to handle them quickly In a remote place, can make or break a voyage. Even the most patient companion (babe) will lose interest if you can't handle that stuff with little fanfare. Of course maybe she's the one the handles the repairs, but someone has to be good at that stuff. I never understood how people just relied on others for all those repairs, plenty of money just can't compete with self sufficiency. Although plenty of money can't hurt, it's irrelevant when it comes to actually running a boat on your own in remote places.

It's not for everyone and everybody has their own reason for getting into sailing. I think these kinds of conversations are useful for people about to spend a bunch of cash on a boat. Trawlers have their own challenges, all boats have some shortcoming, and I guess we do too.

If you're a new boater, take the USPS piloting courses, or some equivalent, learn to use paper charts, plot a course, DR, etc and when that fancy new chartplotter goes out you just keep going. This has happened to me over and over. Other guys told me they would stay tied up in that situation but a chartplotter was a convenience, not essential. I even see a depth sounder that way. I sailed my boat for years and thousands of miles without a depth sounder,just by careful piloting. I ran aground once, trying to get in calabash creek at dead low, going about 1 knot. Waited half an hour and kedged off. I never followed other boats,,scratching my head wondering what I didn't know when they were cutting some marker trying to shave some time off. Only to watch them run aground and spend hours and hundreds of $ to get going again. Early on I asked some guy in a big island packet some nav advice heading north out of Beaufort. I almost ran aground and never relied on anyone's advice after that. Solicited advice then make my own judgement? Sure. But I just assumed a guy with a big fancy boat knew more than I did. Turns out he knew next to nothing, just had a bunch of money.

Bottom line, understanding how to run the markers in all the skinny water can make a huge difference, along with understand currents, tides, weather and the intersection of all. self sufficiency with basic repairs and maintenance helps a lot.

Best of luck.
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Old 14-10-2016, 19:03   #161
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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OK, 6 years of sailing and living in a 34' boat, without my girlfriend, have taught me one thing, I need a bigger boat. I also need a few accessories that a sail boat doesn't give. First, I need a queen bed, I have been sleeping in the salon because I can't fit in the V-Birth (mostly because of my uncle Arthur, you know arthritis, it's painful doing the dance to get in and out of bed.) Next a decent size refrigerator, with a freezer. No Ice for my rum is bad. Next I need room to live. 50sqft is a little too few.

So, I have fulfilled my requirements in the sailing arena and sold my boat. I am now hunting for a larger POWER boat (Trawler) so I can do the great loop. I do not say that sailing isn't great, I loved it while I did it, but for me the time has come to go to power. I will still be cruising, just in a different way. I will never go back to dry land.
Don, go get a Gemini! Queen berth, open, large salon. Good storage in the aft berths (storage in one, keep the other as a guest berth). Large cockpit, add an enclosure and the hammock chair and I bet girlfriend may just want to join ya! With alt energy so cheap these days, solar and wind, imagine motoring up and down the loop with a quiet, economical 4 stroke outboard. It's not the build quality of most sailboats and trawlers, but it popped in my head when I read your post.
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Old 14-10-2016, 19:45   #162
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

TRADE-OFF'S!!!
That's what I think takes a while to sink in when you're a newbie. Like others have commented, sailing seems romantic, a fantasy, ya know? Learning the trade-offs of this or that boat design, marina, body of water, anchorage, country you want to visit - it's all about trade-offs!

I think it's a great post and thumbs up to whomever revived it. Is it on the negative a bit, yeah.
But sorry small boat people, I am with him about size. If you're list of trade-offs, coupled with a really positive and tenacious attitude is strong then living aboard or cruising a 28' is great for some.
But man, ESPECIALLY, if you want to co-exist, ya gotta have a big enough boat.
Having a queen size bed, separate from a comfortable lounging area (that can also be a bed or deep couch) and your head separate from your shower are requirements for me. I've had a few boats now, including my own sailboat, under 30'.
Unless a cat you don't start seeing all four of those things until over 40'.
Having those four things met also means there is most likely tons of storage and deck space for toys, dinghies and safety gear.

Lastly, the more time I spend on the water - at a new dock or anchorage, the more I see others happier as a couple or family vs single-handed. I get it - being alone, being able to have full control to allowing a sense of peace one may only find alone has its perks. Having a partner to share the workload (maintenance to cooking) and those amazing sunsets and encounters with marine life, to me, make it easier and more special.
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Old 15-10-2016, 02:28   #163
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

The OP got a lot of flack for telling what is the truth for many trying to escape the world (probably even worse for singles).


Truth be told, we hate longer open water passages. Once the coast slips over the horizon, it's boring with nothing to see and little to do (assuming no storm or other emergency pops up). We'd much rather wander the ICW, rivers, canals where you can watch the scenery go by and a new vista around each corner.


These "negative" posts should be required reading for people considering the cruising lifestyle as far too many quit when they find out what it really is like.
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