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Old 15-08-2018, 22:09   #1
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Meeting people while cruising...

Do you find it easy to meet other people when cruising?

Do you have a 'go to' method for making new friends... i.e. you invite people to your boat for drinks after meeting them at a local bar/marina/shop, etc.

Do you sometimes see someone in a marina working on their boat (or even while anchored) and offer a hand? Do you walk around the marina and compliment people on their boats and strike up a conversation if that have a similar boat to yours?

I'm just curious how some of you ended up meeting some of your now cherished friends that you met cruising.
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Old 15-08-2018, 22:38   #2
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

Yes, very easy, being strangers in a strange land and the commonality of cruising makes it very easy to meet other cruisers and form friendships. And you will likely cross paths again somewhere else, maybe several somewhere elses...the cruising community is a VERY small percentage of the population.
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Old 15-08-2018, 23:33   #3
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

What we do is, once out of the weekend sailing range when we go into an anchorage we launch the dinghy and wander around a bit. When we see someone on deck, we'll go over and introduce ourselves and have a chat. Often this simple act will start the ball rolling. Another ploy is to go around and invite everyone over for a happy hour on our boat. In the cruising world, when responding to such an invitation, everyone brings their own tipple and some sort of nibble to share so as to not deplete the stores on the host vessel. We've made a lot of friends this way.

Another hint: we try to write down the names of folks we associate with like this. It first goes into the log book,and from there periodically I enter them into a simple data base... one that is searchable. Thus, when we see a familiar boat we can quickly refresh our memories (ever weaker) and greet them by name. Many folks find this flattering! To put some scale on this, our data base now has nearly 2000 boats entered in it!

It is a very friendly world in the cruising fleet...

Jim
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Old 16-08-2018, 01:52   #4
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
What we do is, once out of the weekend sailing range when we go into an anchorage we launch the dinghy and wander around a bit. When we see someone on deck, we'll go over and introduce ourselves and have a chat. Often this simple act will start the ball rolling. Another ploy is to go around and invite everyone over for a happy hour on our boat. In the cruising world, when responding to such an invitation, everyone brings their own tipple and some sort of nibble to share so as to not deplete the stores on the host vessel. We've made a lot of friends this way.

Another hint: we try to write down the names of folks we associate with like this. It first goes into the log book,and from there periodically I enter them into a simple data base... one that is searchable. Thus, when we see a familiar boat we can quickly refresh our memories (ever weaker) and greet them by name. Many folks find this flattering! To put some scale on this, our data base now has nearly 2000 boats entered in it!

It is a very friendly world in the cruising fleet...

Jim
That's awesome, Jim! Do you find that most 'strangers' are receptive to being approached?
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Old 16-08-2018, 02:08   #5
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

After 12 years I’d cruising after the wonderful places we have visited come the wonderful friends we have made...people we would trust our lives to!
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Old 16-08-2018, 09:25   #6
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

Jim got it right ;-)

Remembering names is a valuable skill.

We just go by and say hi. No more complicated than that. Generally a question or compliment and listen.

The last one most important. Listen more than you share.

I will say to this day I talk with friends met cruising almost daily even though currently stuck in Alaska :-)

Great question :-) You might like “The Table” on our blog.
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Old 16-08-2018, 09:46   #7
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

We have business cards printed with our info to give to new people. Has our names and boat name and email
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Old 16-08-2018, 09:48   #8
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

My favorite was the german couple that dingied over after we anchored.

HE was very friendly, SHE was very topless with huge hooties and a big smile. And no we weren't in the Med.

Honestly, we wanted to invite them aboard but were a bit uncomfortable. What if they were swingers? hahaha

Anyway, nice friendly chat and they moved on.
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Old 16-08-2018, 10:52   #9
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

I find the locals to be generally more open to cruisers too and less likely to treat you like a tourist. Ive been invited to visit ashore many times by locals I just met. Have made some good friends that way too...in several countries.
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Old 16-08-2018, 11:01   #10
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

Don't be bashful....a smile, a "hi" while running around in my dinghy (The Dinghy Lady). Ice breakers: ask about home port, ask if anybody needs anything from shore when I'm on my way. Doing this for decades I found almost everyone likes to meet new people and I have found some of my closest friend sitting on the deck of my boat!
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Old 16-08-2018, 11:08   #11
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

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Originally Posted by sailm8 View Post
We have business cards printed with our info to give to new people. Has our names and boat name and email
We have them as well.. Hand out a card and welcome them to the anchorage. Or if we just anchored and someone approaches us we start off with a card, a great icebreaker.

Quite a few newbies don't have cards but their faces light up and utter something like "What a great idea, we gotta get some made!" Quite a few experienced cruisers have cards and it is quite fun to collect them, save them and use for future reference.

I do like Jim's idea of a spreadsheet, love quick and easy searches.
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Old 16-08-2018, 11:35   #12
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

In the early evening, I'd get in my dinghy and visit each boat to say "hi". Sometimes a conversation sparks up, sometimes you can tell they want privacy. I found the hardest thing to do was to invite strangers onto my small boat...but totally worth it.

I am always looking to help people, or lend a hand.

Shared experiences are a good foundation for friendship. When I got to Antigua, I sought out other sailors who had also just completed the same ocean crossing...we had much to discuss!

Waiting in line at customs is another great place to make friends. After a 3 hour wait at LP, Gran Canaria, I knew everyone else in line, their story, and had dinner plans with some of them too.
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Old 16-08-2018, 11:51   #13
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

Met one of my best friends the day they started moving their belongings onto their boat. I just happened to be walking by on the dock when they were transferring things aboard. We struck up a conversation and have been close ever since. About all you really have to do is take an interest and ask a few questions. Boaters tend to be a friendly lot and you already have something pretty big in common with them.

We, too, have boat cards and have found them to be great ice-breakers. As we collect them from others, I enter the info into the Contacts on my phone, which automatically syncs with the database on our laptop. Great way to recall details later (same fuzzy memory problem as Jim).
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Old 16-08-2018, 11:53   #14
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

One of the highlights of our circumnavigation has been the friendships we've developed with the people we've met and many of the friendships are very deep and rewarding. Perhaps it has to do with the shared experience of cruising that encourages cruisers to open their boats to virtual strangers. I know we've done that many times without the least bit of apprehension but, on the other hand, we rarely invite someone into our home on land unless we know them very well.

Frankly, we are a bit disappointed that we didn't make more friends with locals where we've traveled. We've made attempts but only on a few occasions have any locals anywhere expressed even the slightest interest in getting to know us. If I were to turn the situation around, though, I don't think I make any effort to get to know strangers where I live on land.

We exchange boat cards wherever we are and they can be a good way to start a conversation. It never ceases to amaze us of how many people know others that we've met.

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Old 16-08-2018, 12:39   #15
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Re: Meeting people while cruising...

All good suggestions.

We joined OCC, Salty Dawgs, SSCA. This often helps find kindred souls. I have also found tapping on hulls and inviting folks for sundowners works most times. We have made many cruising friends this way. Listen to the Cruisers Net and join in the inevitable community events, BBQ, Dominos, hikes, swimming.
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