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Old 07-04-2010, 22:53   #46
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This has been an amazing thread. We're all so different and yet the same. I'm really enjoying watching this current phase of my life unfold. I don't have a real plan I'm quite content to let it occur without one; I keep tossing in ingredients that seem interesting but don't know what's actually in the pot. I've thought a couple times that it may be that what ever relationships that going to develop at this time will be completely different then what I've experienced before. The idea that someone else could actually fit into this loosely bounded chaos seems too far fetched to believe but I like it this way! This thread is agood reminder that there are all kinds of ways that love relationships can exist.
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Old 10-04-2010, 15:18   #47
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There is a right way.

I just published a book on this very topic. I won't mention the name or where you can find it because I respect the rules on this forum and don't want to come off as a commercial jerk. I mention the book because I did a tremendous amount of research and interviewed dozens and dozens of cruising couples out there.

Here are just a few of my tips based on some very common errors in the way that we approach our wives with The Dream:

1. Be the captain before you ever bring up cruising or sailing or boats. Cruising is not just a lifestyle; white sandy beaches and umbrella drinks. Further, cruising is more than an "attitude." Cruising is a set of values: time over money and posessions, conservation, self sufficiency, mastery of skills, and self confidence. Make those values core to who you are NOW, before you ever start talking boats and itineraries.

2. Sell her on what she wants, not what you want. Sell her on what she wants more of, what she works hardest for. (Endless vacation... hmm...that's not realistic, and she knows better.) Rack your brain. If you can't figure it out, get to know her better.

3. Find the right time and the right place. She should be happy, relaxed, and aroused every time you talk about this stuff. Avoid alcohol, sugars, and caffeine- these all induce stress hormone release (yes, even alcohol). Also avoid familiar surroundings-think neutral territory. Make sure you are in your best state as well.

4. Don't ask. State. "We could do this." Again, be a captain here. I'm not talking about ultimatums or "I'm going without you." I am talking about taking the steps that YOU can take to prepare for cruising: simplify, save, set and attain goals, get knowledge (classes, skills, experience, etc.). None of what I mention requires her buy-in.

6. Work on yourself. Be a more positive, likable person. Your influence over your wife will skyrocket. It is all too easy to take this for granted if you have been in a loving relationship for a long time. There are methods.

She doesn't owe it to you to like sailing or the idea of cruising. Don't make this Cruising Dream of yours adversarial, and don't move on without her buy-in. If you do, statistically your chance for actually going cruising goes down to almost zero.

If you are interested in more info, you can google my name. I am happy to answer specific questions on this forum.

Just don't ask for the name of the book or where you can buy it. I don't want to get busted by the forum police!

Best of luck!
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:52   #48
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Books to read

Speaking of books, I am surprised nobody has mentioned Debbie Cantrell's book on this very subject:

Changing Course
A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life
ISBN 0-07-136087-5
Debra Ann Cantrell

You can find out more about the book here:

Changing Course by Debra Cantrell

Lots of other books written by women that may be of interest, such as:

Amazon.com: An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude (9780767914277): Ann Vanderhoof: Books

Blue Horizons

Good Luck,

Paul
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:15   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lefebvre View Post
Speaking of books, I am surprised nobody has mentioned Debbie Cantrell's book on this very subject:

Changing Course by Debra Cantrell


Paul

Thanks for that tip...Im buying it for my wife this week.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:40   #50
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"my wanderlust and desire to sail were just a part of my "grass is greener" attitude and indicated significant immaturity on my part"

My mother once sent me a card that said "You are only young once but you can be immature forever"

Well so be it. I am having a hell of a lot more fun and excitement sailing around than my land neighbors are contemplating year after year of the same old grind. But if they like it then that is what they should do. If I don't then I would be a fool to keep doing it when I dont have to. Besides, you don't have to keep on sailing around the world if you find you would rather do something else.

PS Flying the wife to the next main destination isnt a bad plan. After a while cruising she may well not think it is such a big leap to go on a multi-day or week passage
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:52   #51
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Changing Course is an excellent book that every aspiring cruiser (man or woman) should read. Also on the topic of sailing/relationship books, I can't recommend Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse-Easarey highly enough as well.

If you are contemplating a voyage and curious about whether this is the right thing for you, I would read (or have your wife read) either of these books before the how-to books of Leonard, etc.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:08   #52
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I was curious about your book so I googled your sig quote and got 2 references - this thread and a lesbian site in London

“By the way Bess, Charlotte’s back from New York for a month or so to work on the new stair lift project.”
I had been making some tea all this time, and had just been about to drink it. It dropped to the floor, smashing and splashing its hot contents all over my ankles.
“Oh, Bess! What’s wrong with you today. Hungover?”
“A little.”
Charlotte, I should explain, was my ex-girlfriend and colleague – but we had kept our relationship secret to “keep work and sex separate” she had always said"

Hmm....... time for a change of sig?
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:13   #53
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Ha! That is so funny! Not quite in-line with what I was thinking...

Thanks so much for noticing. I'll change that right away.
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Old 13-04-2010, 17:47   #54
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I believe Nick and Paul just opened up a great path for information on this subject. Thanks Guys. Im putting my orders today. Thanks also to everyone else for the input. Very insightful.

As it has been suggested I believe I am going let my wife in on this forum so she can feel the interest thats out there by everyone. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 14-04-2010, 06:01   #55
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Well....seems like I am a little different. I am trying to convince my husband! He is a sailor, I am not, he is more adventurous and I am not (well sort of even though I ride a sportbike at 52). BUT...I have a fear of the water - especially open water....I have always had a feeling that if I die it will be from drowing........so my hubby is a little surprised and hesitant.

After a day of sailing in St. Lucia we started talking about buying a boat and living aboard - again it will require a series of compromises - need a catamaran for stabilty (hate the feeling of heeling over) - even though he only has experiences in monohulls and that would be his preference. My hubby figured he could bring his brothers to crew for long open water cruises and I could fly in and meet them....etc etc.

Anyway, my point is that you may need to comprimise in order to get where you both want to be. We have been married 35 years and that is more important to us than anything. But, I know how much my hubby loves to sail and even though I might prefer to buy a big RV and drive around he could not cope with that. So, we will start our planning process to buy a cat and rent our home and move in that direction with the needed comprimises that will make me feel safer and happy - i can hardly wait!!!

My husband would never in a million years think that I would want to do this, so my other point is - don't give up on your wife - she may change her mind or mellow as she gets older............
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:26   #56
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Hey there Snorklegirl,

Sounds like you both are up for an adventure! How cool that you are on the same page. Now there are the details to work out: An RV? Motorcycles? Sailing? Cruising? How many hulls? How long do we go? Will his brothers sail the boat with him? Will I do the passages or fly in to meet him...?

It's pretty easy to get bogged down with the details, but the most important questions to ask yourselves and each other right now are: am I up for an adventure? What am I willing to sacrifice in the name of that adventure. If you are in a normal relationship, you'll find that your answers and your husband's will differ. That's where the discussion should start. You both have to be on the same page before you start shopping for boats or planning where you'll go and when.

My wife and I have done all sorts of adventuring together. We've gone cruising twice now. We've gone motorcycle touring and RVing. We've started businesses together. Cruising, especially the first time, was the most challenging. I can tell you for sure that the itinerary and whether the boat was a monohull or multihull had very little to do with those challenges. Instead, the biggest tests were:

Living with a greater level of uncertainty and ambiguity about EVERYDAY things.
Leaving the working world, and the attendant accolades and achievements.
Learning to work together to solve problems and make critical decisions.
Living within a few feet of each other 98% of the time.
Adjusting to different (for us) gender roles on board.

Each cruising couple has to face these challenges alone and together- there is no way around it. However, if you both decide and commit together that the adventure and the experience are worth the sacrifice, then nothing can stop you. That goes for everyday life just as much as it does for bobbing around on a little boat in a big ocean.
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:46   #57
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Absolutely...

Hi Nick:

Great comments - really gives me something to think about.

We have decided on a cat for sure, and his brothers both own their own boats (one built his boat) so they are definitely up for some bluewater...

We both work in the same school and spent a month in a motorhome, so are used to spending a fair bit of time together. Our plan is to continue our sailing education over the next few years and do a couple of charters and perhaps a season in the keys before buying.

Thanks again - I appreciate all the tips we can get........
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:51   #58
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I've heard it all, literally (in researching my book), and I have to say that you are taking a very wise approach here.
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Old 30-04-2010, 16:42   #59
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Very interesting thread! I just ordered the 'Change Course' book right away for my GF as a surprise gift!

I have my dream for several years now. Bought the boat for it 2 years ago. Will probably be another 6-8 years before I can finance to leave for 3 years or more. But I will go.

A year ago I met my GF, and I do think I finally found the woman of my life. But she had never really sailed. She's scared of the sea. So this is a challenge.
She does love travelling though, albeit on land.. .

She knows my dream, and she's trying. And I love her for that. She has come along short sailing trips now. No passages yet. No real sea sailing. Just the big lake and a couple of miles of sea. She likes it when it is quiet weather. She hates it when it is rough. Because she's scared.

Last year we were on our way back home and we were in 25-35 knots of wind. She was scared to death. I tried a lot to comfort her, didn't help. In the end she went to sleep, and she was alright. I continued sailing home with the friend who was with us.
When we were home and we discussed this situation she admitted she was scared because she honestly thought we were going to shipwreck. I explained to her this boat takes 30 knots as a gentle breeze. That the 1 meter waves were not dangerous. I also explained to her how it works from a physical perspective. Keel, balast, balance, etc. That the boat doesn't all of a sudden would tip over from that kind of weather.
Too my surprise her reply was: couldn't you have told me that BEFORE?

We didn't have rough weather since then but I sincerely hope she will be more relaxed next time. I don't expect her to like it, but if she isn't scared anymore it would be a huge plus!

About the cruising plans. It is still very far away. She doesn't believe it right now. She doesn't believe we'll make enough money and really do it. I leave her to believe that for now. I think it is her way to get used to the idea. As long it is not too concrete yet, she's in the comfortzone and she can get used to just sailing every now and then.
We'll see how it goes from there.

So what will happen? What will I do when the money is there and she doesn't want to come along? I honestly don't know. Sailing is very important for me and this is my dream. But.. I also love her very very much. I want to grow very old with this wonderful woman. So maybe it will be a combination of me doing the long passages with a friend and her joining when we are closer to shore. I don't know. We'll see. But in the meantime I will do anything to get her more comfortable. She already agreed to go on a sailing course in Greece for a week next year. Nice weather, easy sailing, good instruction. Relaxed.

In the end I do still believe we will go. Together. I will love the sailing most, she will focus more on the things we will do on land in the countries we'll visit. That's fine, as long as she can live with the fact we have to travel to next country floating .
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Old 30-04-2010, 17:25   #60
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You're going to go, together. No doubt. I know this because you are paying attention and empathize with her feelings. Already, you are waayyyyyy ahead of the game. Just go slow and remember competence and knowledge = comfort and less fear. Have her take sailing courses without you. The more she knows what's going on, the faster she'll see that 1m chop is nothing.

I've done extensive research in this area for a project. I found that men's and women's tolerance for risk is more or less the same (yes, we men are more tolerant than women, but not by much). The big difference between the sexes is in our respective tolerance for ambiguity. She is much less comfortable with an unknowable future than you are (at least statistically). What does that mean in practical terms? You must have a plan, and she must know what to expect, especially in the beginning.

Knowing that, you can see that it is critical that you not scare her with "surprises" before she understands what she is doing on board. She must have a sense of personal control and empowerment before she can take on the sea with you. You absolutely mustn't get in another situation where she retreats to her cabin and becomes a passenger. While it appears that she is "tolerating" the situation, she is actually showing all the signs of retreat.

Be a captain and treat her like a paying customer for a while. That means that you watch the weather, reef early and often, and remain in control at all times.

She will warm to sailing over time, but each experience must be a positive one. I do wish you all the best. Having a partner in this cruising dream of yours means that you have a much higher probability of actually sailing away in reality.

If I can answer any specific questions, please fire away. I'm here to help and have more than a salty anecdote to share.
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