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Old 05-11-2009, 06:52   #31
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it's a good question

And makes me wonder what 'failure' means.

There are plenty of boats around where one wants to (for example) sail around the world, and the other is not keen on the big blue and wants to explore islands and coasts (whether the Med, the Caribbean or whatever). If the relationship survives happily and they stay coastwise, with maybe the occasional 3-4 day passage, but not the 3-4 week crossings - is that failure?

Or is it only cruising success if they split up but the blue-water ambitions are achieved?

There is often, on these and other forums, an implication that success can only be counted after a circumnavigation, when there are many successful cruising boats out there exploring, who would consider (say) a 500nM passage their limit or work very hard to avoid much night sailing, or whatever their comfort zone might be.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:21   #32
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Originally Posted by Roaring Girl View Post
There is often, on these and other forums, an implication that success can only be counted after a circumnavigation,.


And in real life too... a few months ago some dude decided I needed to be shown how to coil a line. I just really wanted to be able to say.... ahh yes, I learned that on my first circumnavigation....
And if I have a tough time, Nicolle has it worse...


I have never thought failure is about the lack of long passages or circumnavigations. Mind you, some people could do with the experience of a good long one. Once you have done an 500 miler, then 100 miles is a walk in the park. That sort of thing.


Failure must be more than just making ones mind up about what is comfortable for them in their 'adventure'. It must involve an 'emotional death' where, like the protagonist in a movie, they are physically and mentally on the ropes. The Hollywood hero, in the next scene, overcomes all. The failure in real life does not.

So what if someone says: Oh, I dreamed about it but once I got out here for 6 months I just got bored! So I went home and got a fun job. Is that failure? No. Its just realisation. Failure is where the person is forced to go on against their will because of financial constraints, or worse, pride....
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:39   #33
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The problems I see are due to 'unrealistic expectations' and a failure to learn and investigate before they 'leap'. At times cruising is a very hard lifestyle: bad weather, long passages and repeated breakdowns are just a few of the minor problems!

Many times I write privately to those with 'unrealistic expectations' sometimes they say thanks and sometimes they are offended when I criticize what are clearly ludicrous voyages. Mostly the advise on this forum is excellent but we should never minimize the difficulty and potential dangers of what we do.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:44   #34
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I'm quite aware that it's odd. I am hoping that others on the forum have heard and can relay stories that we might all learn from. This idea came about from something that recently happened to a friend. They are cruising, something pretty bad happened, and we wondered if that might be "it" for them. Cant be more specific on the forum. This got us to thinking...and here we are.
The word odd has a bit of a negative connotation. I think a more accurate word to describe the thread is unique. Its a great thread I think. Look at all the very thoughtful posts that Christians thread has generated. Good job!
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:47   #35
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Great post. From a lot of posts on the sailing boards (a lot of them from newbies) these's talk about "living the dream". The problem being that reality rarely conforms to preconceptions. Too many IMO think of cruising as the cure for all the troubles of their present life- and find out too late that they're the same people on a boat as they were off it.

There's places I've gone and others I'd like to see that require quite long passages to get to, but I like passagemaking and seeing new places. Like DOJ, I've never really thought about "sailing into the sunset forever". For me, all trips (no matter how extended) start and end in Waukegan.



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I have wondered about this before......especially folks who appear on this site with "the dream" to sail off into the sunset forever in 3 / 5 / 10 years down the line. It's always seemed rather impolite to ask "so, WTF you gonna do if you don't like it?"

In my case I wouldn't mind doing some extended boat travelling, at some point......but I have never understood the attraction of "the dream" - maybe comes from having grown up "messing around in boats", so for me it's only a boat ? Plus I have done a little bit of extended land based trips, so sitting on me backside in the tropics with a beer and beach isn't special (hell, where I come from I can easily do that). I dunno really?, the boat travelling thing just doesn't seem that special to build one's dreams around......must be folks who when they (finally) venture out decided that their dreams lay elsewhere (no criticism meant - life & dreams do move on).
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:13   #36
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Some liveaboard friends spent years getting their boats ready to cruise when they retired. When the day came for them to cut the dock lines, they were the happiest couple on the water. Two years later they were ready to swallow the hook. Why? They discovered that cruising was constant work. Boat maintenance had became a daily chore for him, and such tasks as laundry and shopping took far longer for her than they had ashore. They had anticipated a far more leisurely life after retirement, and finally put the boat up for sale so they could move ashore and refurbish their golf games.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:49   #37
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We met several couples (on our first cruise some 12 years ago now ) that turned around. They went back to life as they were. They had one thing in common. The men were the ones with the dream and the ones that retired. The women had a life outside of their husbands with friends, other interests, kids, etc. The women didn't really "retire". They just got further away from the things that were important to them. These couples had never really spent as much time together at home as you did on a small boat and they found they liked each other better when they weren't so close.

We didn't meet anyone who turned due to boat troubles or money, just relationship issues. This is just one observation. Not meant to be generalized. We were just glad it was both our ideas to go cruising, so turning around never crossed our mind. We were really sad to have to go back to work.

My wife and I still think that cruising is the ultimate test of marriage. We still like to sit within 38 ft of each other even though now we have 2 stories.

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:49   #38
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Look at the boats for sale at the end of the standard cruiser's runs. Boats in San Carlos, Mex, the Virgin Is, FL, etc. There are lots of tarnished dreams to pick from there.

Paul L
Broken dream botes.

How can it be a failure if one actually sets off on his or her journey without regard to how long it lasts? What percentage of the populous actually do ANYTHING out of the ordinary or one's comfort zone? IMO the very act of having a go (a phrase I learned here - good name for a boat methinks) is success in itself. I started late. Sailing is not a big pastime in the cornfields of Ohio, USA. I tried to do it "right". Read everything I could get my hands on, ASA schools, crewed when I could get a ride, set a budget and knew what I could afford.... and then lost my mind over a pretty face (boat) and it all went out the window. Now we are gonna do a liveaboard refit on a big ole boat and may never leave the harbor. But If we never leave (though we WILL) we still have done more than most an didn't fade away sitting in front of the idiot box. I call that a succeed Doesn't matter to us what anyone else calls it
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:04   #39
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Broken dream botes.

How can it be a failure if one actually sets off on his or her journey without regard to how long it lasts? What percentage of the populous actually do ANYTHING out of the ordinary or one's comfort zone? IMO the very act of having a go (a phrase I learned here - good name for a boat methinks) is success in itself. I started late. Sailing is not a big pastime in the cornfields of Ohio, USA. I tried to do it "right". Read everything I could get my hands on, ASA schools, crewed when I could get a ride, set a budget and knew what I could afford.... and then lost my mind over a pretty face (boat) and it all went out the window. Now we are gonna do a liveaboard refit on a big ole boat and may never leave the harbor. But If we never leave (though we WILL) we still have done more than most an didn't fade away sitting in front of the idiot box. I call that a succeed Doesn't matter to us what anyone else calls it
I agree. Last month I was sweating profusely with plumbing bits and pieces and wire all over everywhere and the boat in a complete mess. I thought to myself "I would rather be sailing". Then I realized that really, I would rather be right where I was. I love to sail. I love to travel. But I also love to tinker with stuff and a boat is the ultimate "stuff." It makes me happy. What more can I ask out of life.

That is not to say it can stay like that forever. I do have a better half that likes to sit with the cushions on the settee instead of leaning against the mast.

Jim
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:05   #40
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My $0.2:

I think for most people it's very difficult to leave shore-side amenities. People are very attached to their "stuff" and the stuff becomes the raison d'etre of their lives rather than the more wonderful, if less tangible, experiences. I think for many people the thought of giving up their TV habit and trips to the mall is just too much. They thought they could do it, but couldn't.

The specific gravity of above can be compounded by shore-side obligations, such as getting a kid through college.

The other thing - and this will happen if one half of a couple has an issue with the above - is the old "water soluble marriage". I think there's inevitably one partner that's more committed to the "dream" than the other -- with some, there's an outright disconnect.

Although I haven't cut the dock lines, I had a similar experience with my ex. My dream was to live and work overseas; she was fine with that for awhile, but eventually wanted to "go home." That was an issue for us, as I had no such desire. Eventually it came to a boil and she won, but it seriously compromised the relationship and eventually helped lead to its demise.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:11   #41
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This is turning out to be a fantastic thread...Really enjoying the reading that's been put fort lately..keep it coming PLEASE!
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:13   #42
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I'm back. I was enjoying a 18 year single malt last night so I thought it better not to respond. My point was that if a person is nolonger interested in crusing, then why the heck would they be reading this forum?
We all know people who have had adversity happen in their lives. They are forced to adjust to the realities of a situation that they have no control over.
Cruising is just another lifestyle, a way to travel from one point in our lifes to another.
I've seen many who have had their dream of sailing the world terminated. The reasons are just life. The four people I've helped off their boats who stroked-out, the cancer victim, the wanders whose spouse has returned home, the people who trusted the economy, the requirements of aging parents, or the cruising lifestyle failed to match there expatations. Lifes list goes on.

If you've not experienced adversity in life, you will, trust me on this.

I lived aboard my boat for 22 years and cruised for 9. The experience was an absolute hoot! The adventures I had, dirt people can't understand.

I've quit the lifestyle but the dream lives on.
Sometimes the reality of life is a cruel task-master.

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Old 05-11-2009, 14:43   #43
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Old 05-11-2009, 15:01   #44
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Sometimes there are things that happen that's beyond your control.
My first circumnavigation ended in Durban, South Africa, when I had to fly back to the states because my Mother was seriously injured in a car wreck.
When I got back to the boat, there had been a fire at the yard and my 28' boat was only 19' long, everything back to the mast was gone.
Second time to go around everything went well.
So you never know what can screw up your dreams.
Hope the next try in about a year or so goes as fine as the 2nd trip..
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Old 05-11-2009, 15:50   #45
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Great thread and one that I have read with great interest. I too am intrigued by the question posed and wonder about the answer for myself and my husband. You see, we have "the dream". First you will notice that I said, "we". I do think that we are pretty equally committed to this dream that we call sailing/cruising. We plan, we take classes, sail as much as the short Minnesota summer will allow, read forums, browse yachtworld, etc all in the anticipation of "the day" when the dream becomes a reality. For today, we have shoreside obligations that require us to work to build up the cruising kitty and get the kids off to college.

I do wonder with all this planning and dreaming...what if "the day" comes and our road takes a hard left? Is all my planning for not? What would cause the road to take a hard left? Some things that obviously can't be controlled or planned for (i.e. health, etc) or are there things that can be controlled and planned for that would prevent the road from taking a hard left? I think that is really at the root of the question.

I agree with the comments made that I think it boils down to the attitude you bring to the dream and what you are hoping to get out of it. Other than going, I find I really have no expectations, (and really isn't that what it is all about?). Of course, plan to a point but the journey of cruising is one that must simply unfold as it occurs. To those who say...people don't realize how much work cruising is...I say, I am looking forward to the day that hubby and I can spend all day changing the oil on the engine and doing it together, both of us getting our hands dirty. Or the time that it takes to make a loaf of bread from scratch. Or the time that it takes to go to the grocery store to prepare for making the bread.

The point is that cruising, for me, is about have the freedom from other commitments and distractions to full immerse oneself in the daily experience (good, bad and ugly) of what I am doing. Now in reality, I don't necessarily need a boat or an exotic location to do that, that just happens to be my chosen vehicle and address, because I also enjoy sailing, warm weather and looking a palm trees.
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