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Old 19-03-2016, 13:44   #1
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Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

So if I may be so bold: this came up in the recent thread about the call of distant shores,
The call of distant shores fading ? - Page 2 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

and since I like reading good news and tales of adventure I just wanted to throw it out there in the hopes we'll share a bit about some of the interesting people we have met along the way on the road less traveled...
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Old 15-04-2016, 14:13   #2
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

OK, now a thread about whether you pee off the side of the boat, or one about whether you sleep head first in the v-berth, get hundreds of responses, and one about wondrous things we've seen gets zilch? Anybody out there cruising? on some body of water? Come on someone must have seen a meteor actually hit the water somewhere, or where Blue Whales actually go to congregate, or has seen a volcano erupt out of the water somewhere. OK, I'll start off with an amazing woman I met many years ago, Marry Duffield. Anyone from Santa Cruz here? She will never know it, but she was a great inspiration to me. She sailed into Santa Barbara harbor with 6 adolescent boys on board a 36 foot wood boat (can't recall the design.) At the age of 60 or so, she ran this training program for kids to learn sailing, navigation etc.. Those kids were amazing, brilliant young sailors already. She had a ham radio aboard as well, and the kids were thrilled to show how they could talk to anyone just about anywhere on the planet. In 1980, that was a very big deal. She stayed only 2 days so that they could repair a shroud, and then they were gone, off to Mexico. I learned that 11 year old kids could tie more knots than I could, and faster, without looking, and that you don't have to have the prettiest boat in the harbor to sail off over the horizon.
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Old 15-04-2016, 18:51   #3
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Don CL,

I think it's a tall order, to try and write descriptively about something you saw that moved you. It is, for me, that the wonderment is there, one feels it, but how to say it? I'll just ask everybody to reach out with their empathy.....

When Jim and I finally were setting off the second time for parts unknown to us, our second night's stop was in Half Moon Bay. We took some friends with us, and left them off there.

The next morning, our hearts singing--we were FINALLY doing it--we left in fairly heavy fog: it was okay, our new radar was working. As we worked our way south, the sun started to come up, and suddenly we saw, not a rainbow, but a fogbow, it was glistening silvery-white, framing our harbor of departure. I'd never seen one before, and I've not yet seen another, but it was like a blessing on our journey! a short lived experience from a cruiser's memory.

Ann
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Old 15-04-2016, 19:59   #4
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

I agree with Ann, finding inspiration in others is such a personal/private experience often subject to your own mindset and conviction at that very moment.
It is almost ethereal in nature

That makes it so hard to capture in mere words and so personal as to become your own private good luck charm, to help reinforce your own convictions, when tested.

From self made billionaires with a strong social ethic, to a subsistence fisherman surviving with dignity in a remote Pacific location..... Both offer inspiration
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Old 15-04-2016, 21:22   #5
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Exactly, the inspirations come from so many places and people. I for one really enjoy others' tales very much. For example Ann, your recount of a fogbow made me think of many other experiences of my own, and how much I miss the fog! (I grew up near SF.) I don't think the stories must be masterfully recounted to be of value and a source of great enjoyment for all. I immediately thought of a trip once where I was heading south from Avila Beach in the morning as the fog was trying to clear and as it lifted I realized the entire horizon was dotted with thousands of shearwaters who then took off in a flock that seemed to go on forever. And there was a time when fog was lifting to show a tug towing a barge in the distance, and from between the barge and tug came a pod of Orcas charging right at me and as they passed, all submerged, the male's 6 foot dorsal fin, still fully submerged, was nonetheless sending up a rooster tail as they sped past me (in my 24 foot boat at the time!) There are so many fleeting images, but I'll never forget them. I can certainly empathize, not only with the beauty of a moment of a fogbow, but the reassuring feeling of the good tidings such sights bring. They just do not seem random or insignificant when you are out there, and thus, yes they are very personal and perhaps that is why we are a little reticent to share them...
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Old 15-04-2016, 23:08   #6
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Hey, Don, y'all ever thought to just write down your favorite memories from cruising, sort of like a letter to your great, great grandkids (if any) or just to someone whose life is so very different that it would read like fantasy to them?

I've never had a pod of Orcas charge me, but I've held my breath when there was a humpback maybe 10 ft. off our port beam, who proceeded to dive under the boat, didn't even touch us, and then arose some distance away, northbound--we were in the shipping channel heading out to go to your Channel Is. for a short vacation. The whale is so large, and we, so small.

Here's another one, we were at anchor in Stillwater Cove, at the base of the cliffs by the Pebble Beach Golf Course. Swishing sounds and Pacific gulls calling woke us, and the gulls were circling and perhaps 500 harbor seals were surging all around us, going faster and faster. This activity continued maybe two hours, and then, like the start at Le Mans, they all shot out of the harbor, every last one of them, zooming away. I guess it was a windup start for a migration, but the whole cove was brown bodies and white water, and they kept on getting more and more excited. Feeling tones: excitement and wonder.

Ann

P.S. The task, as you stated it in your first post, is too hard, takes too much thought to get it right. Maybe if you just asked people to share memories from cruising, and not stipulate that they have to be only good memories? I guess, though, that inspiration could be negative, too. Hmmmm.

A.
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Old 15-04-2016, 23:36   #7
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Its hard to write about our experiences because they will not be repeated for other cruisers. However, the cruising life has brought numerous magical moments for us which we will remember for the rest of our lives.

For Example:

Rangiroa 1992--we went to the graduation ceremony for the island school, which is a boarding school for kids from the neighboring Tuamotu islands. Each class did a hulu dance---from 6 year old to 16 year old. There was a local woman who had a two or three year old girl with her who could not see the dancing from in the back of the crowd where we were standing. I put the little girl on my shoulders, and she was enthralled with the dancing for 2 solid hours--no squirming, no fidgeting--she was watching the foundation of her culture.

Niuatoputapu 1992--Daniel and Iviku coming out to our boat for dinner, and Daniel playing his guitar with 4 strings while beautiful Iviku danced in the cockpit. When we came back in 1997, I gave Daniel a 12v amplifier for his keyboard so his church could have a proper organ. The amplifier didn't last until Sunday because they ran the battery down on the island truck partying for two nights.

Penrhyn, 1992-- Every afternoon the men would take their tinnies to one particular motu where the same school of mackerel would swim in the shallows at sunset. They would loan me a bamboo pole with a wet fly and no reel, and we would catch dinner wading with the tradewinds behind us as the sky went orange and purple. We were guests at a wedding where the village had caught food for 2 days to prepare for the feast. The tables were groaning with tuna, reef fish, turtle, booby, 5 different coconut dishes, fruit, cakes--all of which had to be eaten quickly because there was no refrigeration.

As I think about it, there were many more memorable experiences, like the Kurdish wedding in Turkey, hiking up to a friend's home on the top of a 9000 ft mountain in Nepal, dancing all night in the mud mas at the Trinidad Carnival--I'm certainly not sorry I spent 15 years cruising the world.
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Old 15-04-2016, 23:43   #8
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Hi Don, I was sailing across Lake Ontario about 12 or 14 years ago, with another dude.

It was maybe 2 in the morning and out of nowhere the sky lit up kind of a greeny colour, the diffusion of the light was not unlike the northern lights, but blindingly bright, it only lasted for a second or two, maybe less.

My buddy and I spent the next hour or two discussing it and decided it must have been a meteor.

Sure enough, the next day we read that a meteor had landed in a farmer's field, maybe 100 miles or so from where we were.

It was a pretty cool sight to see, I still remember the colour of the sky clearly.

Sent from my XP7700 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 16-04-2016, 09:45   #9
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

The greenish lights reminded me of one night sailing. Off the California coast about 10 miles south of Santa Rosa island, completely becalmed in an engineless boat, I was alone on watch at about 3am. As the boat ghosted over the blackness, there was a bright green cloud that suddenly erupted from below and swept around the boat in a flash. Startled I tried to wake my buddy but he was too seasick to care. At first I was sure a whale was about to surface right under the boat, and it was the luminescent plankton he was stirring up. But as I watched for the next few minutes I realized it was sweeping around the boat too fast and it was not surfacing. So I just sat and watched the light show for a half hour or so until it descended, deciding it had to be a school of fish or squid stirring up the plankton. It was remarkable and I have not seen it since, but really it is one of those things you'll never see if you are sailing or motoring. It was because I was not moving at the time that I was able to see it. Perhaps others, maybe fishermen, have seen it often, I don't know. I know others have mentioned the glow of dolphins riding the bow at night, and that is also one of those things that is wondrous and hard to describe....
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Old 16-04-2016, 21:35   #10
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Re: Tales of inspiring folks and wondrous sights from our travels

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Its hard to write about our experiences because they will not be repeated for other cruisers. However, the cruising life has brought numerous magical moments for us which we will remember for the rest of our lives.

For Example:

Rangiroa 1992--we went to the graduation ceremony for the island school, which is a boarding school for kids from the neighboring Tuamotu islands. Each class did a hulu dance---from 6 year old to 16 year old. There was a local woman who had a two or three year old girl with her who could not see the dancing from in the back of the crowd where we were standing. I put the little girl on my shoulders, and she was enthralled with the dancing for 2 solid hours--no squirming, no fidgeting--she was watching the foundation of her culture.

Niuatoputapu 1992--Daniel and Iviku coming out to our boat for dinner, and Daniel playing his guitar with 4 strings while beautiful Iviku danced in the cockpit. When we came back in 1997, I gave Daniel a 12v amplifier for his keyboard so his church could have a proper organ. The amplifier didn't last until Sunday because they ran the battery down on the island truck partying for two nights.

Penrhyn, 1992-- Every afternoon the men would take their tinnies to one particular motu where the same school of mackerel would swim in the shallows at sunset. They would loan me a bamboo pole with a wet fly and no reel, and we would catch dinner wading with the tradewinds behind us as the sky went orange and purple. We were guests at a wedding where the village had caught food for 2 days to prepare for the feast. The tables were groaning with tuna, reef fish, turtle, booby, 5 different coconut dishes, fruit, cakes--all of which had to be eaten quickly because there was no refrigeration.

As I think about it, there were many more memorable experiences, like the Kurdish wedding in Turkey, hiking up to a friend's home on the top of a 9000 ft mountain in Nepal, dancing all night in the mud mas at the Trinidad Carnival--I'm certainly not sorry I spent 15 years cruising the world.
Excellent stuff, thank you!
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