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Old 14-10-2015, 19:49   #1
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Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

Many cruisers start out their sailing in the colder waters of their country, yet trend towards the warmer, easier conditions of the Tropics.

That is what I did, starting cruising in BC and Alaska, before settling in warm tropical waters.

Yet, when I think of my fondest memories.... it is those cold, remote Fjord surroundings, desolate anchorages with tastier cold water seafood in abundance.
(BC has the best Sushi ingredients in the world)

I appreciated the yacht's interior as a place of warmth and comfort, rather than a stifling Sauna to find shade.

Brisk walks outside, brought color to your cheeks to match the autumn leaves and the fresh pine smell of evergreens was aromatherapy.

Was it because I was more impressionable when starting out, or does the seasonal variety of temperate cruising grounds offer a more rewarding experience?

Is it just me, or are your best memories also in temperate climates?

Your thoughts?
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Old 14-10-2015, 20:53   #2
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

I started sailing in a cooler climate many years ago - and all I really recall is capsizing dinghies in the cold sea and the discomfort of continuing in cold wet clothes after we righted them

Every time I leave the tropics for any reason I can't wait to get back to them.
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Old 15-10-2015, 07:00   #3
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

When it's not the cold-weather season and I think about it, I have similar visions. A crackling fire in the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate, the brisk air, how snappy a wool coat and scarf looks. Then the cold weather comes and all of those happy thoughts are replaced with the reality: it sucks.


I hear what you're saying, but when we cast off the lines temperate sailing will permanently cease for us as soon as we get far enough south.
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:16   #4
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

I like my girls unwrapped,anything more than a t- shirt and they are overdressed!
that is definitely not happening other than a few days a year in northern waters,unless they are from Lappland .............
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:30   #5
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

There again Atoll, one of my best memorys on that subject is unwrapping the gift under a down comforter and steaming up the portholes.

No argument that life is easier in the tropics, but are cruising memories strengthened and reflected by the effort we invest in them ?
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:43   #6
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

Some of my best memories are of sailing on a 14' Dolphin Sr in the Chesapeake Bay. But that may have more to do with my youth than the location or the boat. Then again, my wife kissed me this morning and that is a pretty good memory too.


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Old 15-10-2015, 08:51   #7
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

You know some people just love cold, they love snow skiing, winter sports etc.

I am not one of them, to me cold = pain, I don't like it. I live in South Ga. and it's already too cold for me, I miss Summer.
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:56   #8
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

It may be that I enjoy Inside Passage cruising more because my boat is far better suited to it, so we've done much more. Have chartered sailboats down in the islands for a week or two maybe eight times over the last 40 years, but truly love the dramatic and yet peaceful beauty of summers on the coast of BC and SE Alaska. A zillion gorgeous anchorages. I particularly love the critter watching, and fishing/seafood are superb. Swimming not so good.

With unlimited funds, I'd have a sailboat in the islands and a power cruiser in the PNW.
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

Well when you think of meandering through towering fjords sipping a nice gourmet coffee, sure it sounds pretty good. Great actually! But if you have to beat to weather and keep getting splashed by 55 degree water it's less fun. Then again I remember beating in the tropics and having to stay cooped up in a sauna of a boat for a week and that was not so much fun. Oh wait this is supposed to be good memories! It's tough to break it down to one memory, but I will never forget the color of the water when the light shone through waves breaking on an uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean as we blew past it. It wsa like something out of a dream.
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:49   #10
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

After decades of sailing the inside passages of the PNW as well as 23-years sailing in the tropics, my preference will always be for the PNW.

I find it much easier to get warm when I'm cold than to cool off when it is stinken hot. Mesquito born diseases, there's only a few I haven't had.

The sub-tropics are wonderful but seem to be getting crowded.

I plan to stick to the higher latitudes for the rest of my life.
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:49   #11
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

Seems the good memories are being on land in a warm, dry place. My memories are numb fingers and toes, howling winds, nose never stopping running, fighting to move in winter gear, and darkness most all day. But then again, I was outside working in that stuff all the time. When I am on my boat, all I think about is how lucky I am.
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:59   #12
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

This only addresses half your question, but I like sailing in the cold. Love it really. My boat can be uncomfortably hot when its warm.

My sail this week is a meander 70 miles down the St Lawrence. Fore cast lows are around -4 in the AMs with day time highs reaching +7. Snow is forecast for both mornings, turning to rain later in the day winds are forecast NW 12-20 knots.

It might sound lousy to some, but I think it will be fantastic, broad reaching down the St Lawrence valley with fall colours at their brightest oranges, reds and yellows.

Sure it will be be chilly letting go in -4, but I have a dodger and Bimini, I'll have my alcohol space heater and kerosene lamps running on high, so if one of us needs to go below to warm up and make tea, it won't be hard to do. My interior is warm wood my hull and deck well insulated.

We'll be bundled up in sweaters and foul weather gear, my 15 month son in his snow suit. Blankets for all in the cockpit. Scotch and dark beer and poutine in a pub when we go to dock in scenic little loyalist towns. I don't see what's not to like.

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Old 15-10-2015, 10:48   #13
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

So far I have not reached the tropics. I might like it there too, but so far there is no need. (Well, actually I have sailed a lightweight sailboat there, but that doesn't count.) I have a good heater and boat with a warm pilothouse. The only problem is that I need to lift the boat up when the sea freezes. Late autumn with bright coloured leaves, cool fresh air and some morning mist is certainly one of my favourite seasons. No problems with cold if you are well equipped. It may be easier to fight against cold than against too much heat.
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Old 15-10-2015, 11:01   #14
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

Not even a competition.. TROPICAL..

Sailing up here, there is only a window of about 1 month where it is perfect. They rest of the time, its coats and no swimming.

I would rather sail where I can swim daily.
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Old 15-10-2015, 11:16   #15
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Re: Best Memory - Temperate or Tropical

My best memories all seem to be when I was on passage somewhere. Like a delivery from Panama to Ft Lauderdale. Spent a week beating into 25+ kt winter trades to the Windward Passage. Wet, rough, hot, damp and humid below and generally not any fun at all.

Hit the Passage and turned NW down the Old Bahamas Channel. Now the wind, waves and current are behind me, a broad reach, decks totally dry and the weather now cool enough to sleep with a light blanket. That was a great week.

Or a similar trip from the VI back to FL. Left St Thomas with 15-20 knots on a broad reach. Perfect weather, perfect sailing, a new stereo on the boat sitting back listening to tunes while the AP steered us home. Better than a day at the beach.

Another one, the first time I sailed a boat on the leeward side of an island; 15 kt breeze and flat calm water. It was amazing to fly across the water without any bouncing, even close hauled. Was amazed at how close to the wind I could sail in flat water.

I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. Anything with 10-20 kt winds that doesn't involve beating to weather.
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