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Old 02-06-2015, 15:12   #1
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Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

I seek comfort, low risk, low cost, excellent weather, easy days and peaceful anchorages or marinas before sundown. Yes, we are "cockpit potatos" and we have been for 43 years and well over 100 thousand cruising miles on inexpensive boats without any distant destinations.

We're going to make about 30 miles tomorrow to some shrimp docks north of Charleston, South Carolina. I'd push for 50 miles, but there are afternoon thuderstoms predicted.

If we decide to anchor out instead; then, will run the generator and make some popcorn.

I respect all the varieties of cruisers, but let me confess, from Maine to the Bahamas,- we are cockpit potatos!

So, I keep reading of those that aspire for more and I am so satisfied with less. I'll be here for all you slackers that need a mentor for low stress cruising without a comittment to a destination. Send me the gunkholers and those that seek less!
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Old 02-06-2015, 15:31   #2
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

@ Hudson,

You lift your lamp beside the golden door.

The important part is bringing your happiness with you.

Ann
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Old 02-06-2015, 16:23   #3
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

Hud,
You bring up a good point. I have said for years that there are two general types of sailing: Adventure Sailing and Gunkhole Cruising. They both have their merits and appeal to different personalities. The first comprises those who want to cross oceans, sail to faraway exotic places and many times, the destination takes precedence to the journey. The latter is well described in your above description. It entails a "stop to smell the roses" mentality where the journey and the destination have equal importance and miles per day is irrelevant. Now, to the "exceptionalists"-those who say there are cruisers who combine both-- that is of course true and taken for granted. But, these generalized differences have been valid in my experiences. I remember one passage to Nassau after a long wait in the Berry's. There was a frantic group who were behind schedule and decided to follow the anxious herd, despite a nasty, lengthy northeaster and were dutifully bashed and bruised by the time they got to Nassau. We spent the day in our dinghy anchored off a small reef of Elkhorn Coral fishing for tasty Yellowtail Snappers. The next day, the wind had lightened and although we had a left over swell, we had a nice reach into Nassau Harbor. The stories of broken boats on the VHF when we arrived were entertaining. We spent a day reprovisioning and and left before noon the next day across the bank. Most of the frantic group were still in Nassau when we were an easy hundred miles south. There is much to be admired in your approach to sailing. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:05   #4
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

Yes, rognvald, I would have been with you in the Berrys waiting for a better day. We have had times when we've cruised beating into weather on harsh days, but those choices have become more rare with time.

As you mention "those that wish to sail away to exotic places", I realize that I also love the exotic places; however, "exotic" seems to be something that always remains out of reach for some. I've taken on the mind set that all places are "exotoc" by someone's reference.

I remember being in Eleuthra and sharing our cruising plans on this forum with a family cruising the Solent. I thought of how grand it would be to sail in his area and the history of that exotic place and he wished to trade places with me an be in Eleuthra. I guess the sea is bluer just as the grass is greener!

It's far more important to be able to enjoy where you are, than hope to enjoy your future!
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:45   #5
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post

I respect all the varieties of cruisers, but let me confess, from Maine to the Bahamas,- we are cockpit potatos!

I would suspect there are much more cruisers like you than like the constant "discussed" bluewater crash and bash types!
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:13   #6
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

We find enjoyment in being at places and meeting the locals... Lot's of exotic places, so we are on the move quite a bit. Not so much enjoyment found in the getting there part. A two day trip would be considered a big hop for us.

So I guess we sort of fall into the cockpit potato bag, but... we're fairly active potatoes.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:24   #7
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

My signature isn't just aspirational .

My spouse and I are very much the same as you folks Hudson. We are never looking for the hard passage. We are very happy when making short hops, and will happily sit for days or weeks if there is too much wind, or too little. We love to get going late and stop early. And when we do passages we look for the easiest weather windows.

As we shift into full-timers I'm amused by the constant questions from our friends (landlubber and sailors alike):

"What are your goals? Where are you going? What are planning to see? Are you sailing around the world?" To these questions I answer: "I dunno" .

I appreciate those who are driven to make the big passages in record time, to test themselves and their boats against Nature, to visit all the wonderful places and people, and to sail around the world. To me, there is wonder and adventure everywhere. I have no need to go anywhere in particular.

I like being a cockpit potato .
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:35   #8
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I seek comfort, low risk, low cost, excellent weather, easy days and peaceful anchorages or marinas before sundown. Yes, we are "cockpit potatos" and we have been for 43 years and well over 100 thousand cruising miles on inexpensive boats without any distant destinations.

We're going to make about 30 miles tomorrow to some shrimp docks north of Charleston, South Carolina. I'd push for 50 miles, but there are afternoon thuderstoms predicted.

If we decide to anchor out instead; then, will run the generator and make some popcorn.

I respect all the varieties of cruisers, but let me confess, from Maine to the Bahamas,- we are cockpit potatos!

So, I keep reading of those that aspire for more and I am so satisfied with less. I'll be here for all you slackers that need a mentor for low stress cruising without a comittment to a destination. Send me the gunkholers and those that seek less!
We'll take that offer because you are doing exactly what we are planning to do.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:41   #9
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

England is very tidal. Leaving and getting back to uncovered areas is dependent on timing. For that reason, A lot of people will plan short trips over a 12-24 hour period or not go at all if miss the tide.

I often leave the dock, head where I choose and know when I have to be back or accept Im in the Channel for the duration of the tide change.

Many a day, if Im alone and the weather is nice, I might just fix something on the boat and sit back and enjoy the rise of the vessel with the tide, or I might head out and go 15-20 miles, tie up, make coffee, hit the local shops or just have a snooze and wake in time to go back.

Without company, there is no need for me to do much more. No entertaining except me, and Ive seen shops before. Its about the boat, about having a comfortable resting place, somewhere familiar to call home and just being on the water.

When I want to visit somewhere further, then the effort is made to prepare for it and do it. A boat is like a caravan or an R.V. Its about transport and being there. Its about accepting what we like in life, and many times that is doing nothing.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:21   #10
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

My wife and I love sailing the Adriatic purely because you can have a destination in mind but if the wind is in the wrong direction or the weather looks grim the plan can easily be changed.

We have discovered many fine anchorages, restaurants and harbours with this mentality and it is this that makes the journey worth it. We also love bimbling along watching the dolphins swimming alongside and have even seen a sea turtle swim by. Something that those that must be at a certain place by a certain time miss.

Does that count as Cockpit Potato? I'd hope so and it beats being a Couch Potato anyday. Admittedly sometimes we have to get a wiggle on but at these times it's more "racing snail" than whippet

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:00   #11
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

I love potatoes, fried, boiled, baked or mashed. And they (potatoes) originated high in the Andes, a very exotic place.

For our cruising we have discovered that we are already where people travel to from all over the world, Southern California. Challenging enough sailing, interesting ports and islands, marine services galore, occasional celebrities and other marine creatures. And as some unattributable person once said, "no matter where you go, there you are!" Life is THE adventure. I think it is better on a boat.




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Old 03-06-2015, 10:17   #12
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

Confession time! Thank you Hudson
I am sailing since 1981, never had a force eight or more. My usual waters the East Mediterranean and specifically the steep and ugly waters of Aegean Sea.
I motor a lot though. Most of my passages ae at night- (I would say 80%). Before the GPS era, night was good for seeing all the lights and estimate your position on coastal sailing. LORAN was kind of erratic for many many years in this area, so we did not use it.
THere is always a way to keep stress away- and you really enjoy it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:38   #13
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

Funny we were just talking about this.

When we came to the Pacific Northwest to pick up the boat last year we were full of plans to see all the places we had read about over the years. Vanuatu, New Zealand. ..
Now we almost ready to go and the foremost thought is to really get to know the.PNW better. Puget Sound, the San Juan and Gulf Islands, BC, Alaska,then south and on to Mexico. That will take a long while! But what about Vanuatu?

We started out last year with a sense of urgency - that's just the way life was for us in NY. The longer I'm out here the more it's the old cliche "it's the journey, not the destination ". You know what? It's OK with me, We will arrive where we're supposed to when we're supposed to with that big grin all over our faces.

That said, how about the Galapagos..they're pretty close...
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:23   #14
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

I just yesterday gave my two-week notice at work. We will be full-time liveaboards, with a target date to leave RI, USA, July 6. (The new battery bank and nav system SHOULD be up and running by then!)

Our plan? Down the ICW (initially). Our schedule? None. Aside from weather, tide, or boat issues, we are looking forward to a slow progression, with a lot of exploring and poking around all the new-to-us places, and taking the time to enjoy the people we meet along the way.

As our tagline suggests, it's a journey, not a destination.

So, add two more members to the potato club!
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Old 03-06-2015, 13:06   #15
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Re: Confessions of a Cockpit Potato

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....................
....................... That said, how about the Galapagos..they're pretty close...
We cruised the Galapagos on this boat:



'made some friends'-



'took a 747 to windward and back to our cockpit potato cruising.

Actually, we've cruised worldwide, but just not on our boat.
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