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Old 30-05-2014, 19:42   #31
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

When you start dreaming of crossing the Atlantic in a boat made of newspaper and tar, you know that the syndrome is terminal.
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Old 21-08-2014, 04:24   #32
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

er, let me see, when was the last time i had the choice between sailing in to a major european port to fame and the media scrum, and carrying on to a polynesian paradise to slightly less fame and a much smaller media scrum....nope, never had that problem. Nowadays the only potential sufferers of moitessiers syndrome are the next 'youngest' circumnavigator and they're getting so young that any angst they feel can probably be assuaged by giving them a warm babies bottle to suck on...
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Old 21-08-2014, 05:56   #33
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Land = charges, formalities, s.c. social life, relationships, money matters.

Things I could not care less for.

b.
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Old 21-08-2014, 06:50   #34
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
Conversely I feel a tremendous sense of relief heading out to sea. A release of stress, probably something to do with knowing I cannot do anything about the problems that will arise on the beach while I am gone, and I am focused on only what lies before me, in an immediate sense. The old "Be here now".
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Land = charges, formalities, s.c. social life, relationships, money matters.

Things I could not care less for.

b.
These two sum up what it's like for me...
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:08   #35
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Good topic, Dockhead. Since I have limited vision as the result of years devoted to taking sides, I tend to see things in black and white. The grey areas are for those who generally cannot commit. That said, I believe there are two types of sailors(see how simple this has become?): 1.) those who are "destination sailors" and 2.) those who truly love and need the journey. I have met sailors over the last 25 years who will undergo seasickness, vomiting, bad company, poorly maintained vessels and crew incompetence for the sake of the destination. The goal was always to get there as quickly as possible and these sailors rarely sailed since their view was "the faster the better." I would say the majority of sailors I've met on the water fall into this category(perhaps not true for those on CF). The second group are those I would describe as "sailing degenerates" --a group of which I include myself. These are people that can never have enough sail time on the water and prefer either sailing alone or sailing with people of whose company they truly enjoy. It is never really about the destination since in most cases it is incidental to the journey. Yes, I truly wanted to go to A and later--also to B, but once there, I was always looking forward to the next passage. Sailing represents many things to many people. But, I believe for some of us, there is an unwritten, primordial impulse that drives us to the sea. It should not be explained, justified or codified. It is there. It is a force. It reaches deeply into our very existence. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 21-08-2014, 11:53   #36
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

I always think to myself while on a multi-day, not turning into post..."Ah...can't spend money out here".
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:04   #37
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

It takes a few days but once into the rhythm of a long passage, reaching the destination is a let down. Have never sailed past an intended destination but easily could have if I didn't have other responsibilities like the Admiral whose love of sailing is a bit less enthusiastic that mine. Even on a daysail, turning off the engine and sailing is a physiological lift.

If you like Moitessier, his Sailing to the Reefs is a wonderful tale of voyaging in a long gone era. Met Moitessier when he was living on Ahe in the Tuamotus. Not having great success trying to get the locals to develop self sufficient farming when corn beef was a can opener away A bit of a nut and always a dreamer.
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Old 21-08-2014, 14:27   #38
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

I enjoy being at sea . . . But I so do really enjoy landfalls . . . . That special first glimpse of the new land, that first smell of soil and flowers, the first shower and glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.
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Old 21-08-2014, 15:30   #39
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Dockhead,

You have been doing tourism by boat, all destination-focused, even with the selection of going to Russia for the castle and diesel. You had to struggle against headwinds and contrary currents, ...and prevail.... Is one ever so successful as in the quiet confines of one's boat and the elements?

There is a proverb, "Cuando en casa estoy, rey soy." Usually it is rendered in English as "a man's home is his castle", but transliterated, it is "when at home I am, a king I am". And I am thinking few men are king except those who are skippering their yacht. When you "go home", you give that up for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that is the workaday world. No wonder there's a sense of loss.

Maybe you're getting ready for a change, and that moment's nostalgia (or whatever it was) is a harbinger of changes to come for you, new choices.

Ann
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Old 21-08-2014, 18:02   #40
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Moitessier was more than the one thought of continuing "around alone". He had a world view of what things should be. I love it when he call humanity a bunch of monkeys, who can choose at any moment to evolve. He would probably roll over in his grave seeing the state of affairs around the globe.
Here is a great clip of him found on Youtube.
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Old 23-08-2014, 09:09   #41
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

It used to be that I'd enjoy both, being at sea & visiting shore, with emphasis on the at sea part. These days, me and other boats that I cruise with worry about how we're going to be treated in port. Its gotten so bad we now hate going ashore in many areas. In Florida, we've nearly developed a paranoia about having to go ashore because 90-percent of the time we're treated like crap - no matter how tidy & polite we are. Other areas have gotten more rude too. What the heck?! (Probably cause I don't have a million dollar yacht)
Just the other week I got chased out of a marina because I was invited to visit a friend/slipowner and I arrived in the dinghy-sized boat I use for my mechanic's job. (Oh-no- I couldve been a thief is the marina's excuse! In broad daylight, with a bright yellow workboat that says "repairs"!!) Maybe I just got too sensitive in my old age...
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Old 23-08-2014, 09:45   #42
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Very nice video, Celestial. Moitessier is, of course, correct in his assessment of humanity. He is not merely a man who goes to sea, but a philosopher, writer and sentient being who goes to sea. Thomas Carlyle, 19th Century Scottish writer, believed that the advancement of Civilization is a direct result of the "Great Man Theory" --Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Attila, Genghis Khan, Leif Ericson, Columbus, Marco Polo, Napoleon, etc. Moitessier, a great soul, was not really concerned about saving Civilization but saving himself and in the process making a contribution to the world. We cannot judge people like him by the average man's standard since he and those of his ilk dance to the beat of a different drummer. We can, however, look to people like him for an example of an alternate existence other than the one taught by society. Anyone for beach volleyball? Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:59   #43
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

I love Moitessier's writing, but I think we are very prone to mythologise him as a man. Interviews with Francois paint a slightly different picture of his persona. A great philosopher, yes, but also incredibly selfish, prone to fictionalising his experiences and entirely obsessed with his public image.

A great example of this PR obsession relates to the story of how he finally got rid of Joshua. He was sailing one time with Klaus Kinski as crew (not someone you would voluntarily allow aboard your sailboat). Klaus Kinski was also someone completely obsessed with maintaining his public image as a hard-partying complete nut job.

They dropped anchor near some resort somewhere (Mexico, I think), but in a severe storm Joshua was blown ashore.

Interviews about the event with both of these larger than life characters seems to have produced two completely different accounts, both of which reinforce the public image portrayed each of them.

Moitessier claims to have been aboard during the storm, and gave an account of a heroic, but fruitless battle to save his Joshua.

Kinski, on the other hand, reckoned he and Moitessier swam ashore before the storm, bought a box of booze, a pile of drugs, booked up some hookers for a long haul and rode out the storm in a hotel Penthouse. They discovered Joshua on the beach when they sobered up the morning after the storm.

They both agree that Moitessier was so upset with events that he sold Joshua on the spot for $20.

I think those anecdotes are hilarious!

Great writer, great philosopher, but definitely a human being, with all the attendant flaws.
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Old 30-11-2014, 05:25   #44
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Dockhead,

You have been doing tourism by boat, all destination-focused, even with the selection of going to Russia for the castle and diesel. You had to struggle against headwinds and contrary currents, ...and prevail.... Is one ever so successful as in the quiet confines of one's boat and the elements?

There is a proverb, "Cuando en casa estoy, rey soy." Usually it is rendered in English as "a man's home is his castle", but transliterated, it is "when at home I am, a king I am". And I am thinking few men are king except those who are skippering their yacht. When you "go home", you give that up for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that is the workaday world. No wonder there's a sense of loss.

Maybe you're getting ready for a change, and that moment's nostalgia (or whatever it was) is a harbinger of changes to come for you, new choices.

Ann
I didn't see this, because I was at sea!

Very insightful post.

Naturally -- one attraction of blue water sailing is that the open sea is an inhospitable environment to humans -- a bit like outer space. So to survive requires a spaceship and a lot of knowledge and skill. Managing to be under control in such an environment and to not only survive, but manage to be comfortable, is a very satisfying accomplishment. Conquering this hostile environment, which is the more exciting since it can never be quite conquered and is always waiting for you to make a mistake. And you do this in the very concentrated micro-world which is on board your vessel.

I think most people get that.

As to journey versus destination -- I don't fully accept the dichotomy. I like both. Sometimes one more than the other. Yesterday I sailed slowly from the Hamble to Cowes and really didn't want to arrive. I don't have a principle headsail and the wind was light but I left the motor off. I often love sailing slowly in light wind, and I often have a feeling of dread when I sight land after a long passage -- the original subject of this thread.

I think I was suffering from it just when you were writing this post -- a very hard trip across the North Sea with the wind on the nose and strong conditions and an ill-fitting substitute headsail. I cannot say that it was pleasant sailing -- hard, hard sailing upwind, tacking, trying to eke out every possible mile to windward, reefing, unreefing, reefing again, fiddling with barber haulers, for three days and two nights.

I really wanted it to end -- honestly. I was really dreaming about that G&T at the end of the rainbow. Yet when we made landfall in England, and nipped in behind a barrier island for the 15 mile leg to our final destination, the wind dropped right down in the lee of the land, but I left the sails up and didn't start the motor. Our speed over ground slowed to a couple of knots, as the tide turned against us. My shipmates started grumbling. But I just didn't want to start the motor. I just didn't want to get there. I finally had to make myself, with a real effort of will, crank up the diesel to fight the tide.

Despite all that, I do love the destinations, the port calls, etc. I saw many wondrous places in the Baltic, and the highlight was probably Vyborg in Russia -- a wondrous and surrealistic place. What's wrong with loving all aspects of cruising? I don't quite accept that there is a hard dichotomy between the journey and the destination.
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Old 30-11-2014, 07:35   #45
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Re: Moitessier Syndrome

Most interesting. This conquering thing.

In our case, because our boat is so 'tiny', it is never about conquering. Here it is about being fit and well in tune with the big picture. No pushing, no pulling; going with the flow and making sure we are in the right flow at the "best" time, as far as we can.

I sometimes sail big boats (for money). Indeed they are the other modality.

I often think we can chose our language up first, but from there on our chosen language creates us.

The same may apply to sailing: we chose the tool up front then onwards the tool starts to carve us into whatever sort of sailor we become.

b.
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