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Old 03-11-2010, 08:04   #16
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:09   #17
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I don't think we have to worry about the "newbies" with grand dreams of "escaping it all" posting on CF and then a chorus of folks bitching that some of us are "discouraging/naysaying" their dreams. The reality according to my 10 years of continuous cruising the Bahamas/Caribbean is that reality will provide plenty of discouragement. I think that maybe one out of hundred are still out here at the end of 5 years. But there are exceptions to that.
- - One big exception is the coastal cruisers who do their summers on the boat and stay in their home waters (including Bahamas for North America). Since they are in fact cruising but for only part-time, these folks get to switch between the two worlds of land living and boat living. They are not "trapped" onboard 24/7/365. There are also Caribbean cruisers who do the 1/2 onboard / 1/2 back "home." That world "home" is critically important as the boat is the "winter vacation home" and not the "real home."
- - Like living in the "wilderness versus civilization" folks can have fun for awhile doing the "escape" thing but eventually drift back to what they grew up experiencing and living.
- - I would put forth that the highest "failure" rate for new cruisers is lack of knowledge and preparation. I would hazard 2/3 or more fit this category. I have met boats - 3 of them once while waiting for a weather window from Turks & Caicos to Luperon who had boats that were marginally seaworthy with "iffy" engines and worn out sails. They got them at a bargain and thought they would sail off on the grand tour.
- - The first really seriously nasty water is the night crossing from the Turks & Caicos to the Dominican Republic. When confronted with reality and the real chance of having a life threatening experience they turned back - not to give up - but to really get their boats and themselves ready before heading out. Others foolishly press on and make it to Puerto Rico and then the distaff side flies home never to set foot on the boat again.
- - So when folks on CF advise newbie's to really get educated and get some serious experience - in small chunks over time versus diving into the maelstrom in one leap - they are just trying to make sure that the newbie will have a much better chance of becoming a long term cruiser. I believe there is an old expression that anything really good involves hard work and in the world of full time cruising taking the time and expense to prepare your boat and yourself has a much better probability of changing your cruising experience from terrifying to terrific.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:51   #18
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yup, my ancle.

About 30 years ago my uncle decided he'd like to sail around the world. He was a retired Army Special Forces. He'd spent an entire winter snowed in just below the artic circle.This guy was tough.

He bought a 40 footer in Florida. spent the summer/fall getting her ready. Left Miami for Bimini and right into the tailend of a norther in the gulf stream. He thought he was going to die. He did manage to get into Bimini, got off the boat, put a for sale sign on it, and caught a Caulk's Float Plane back to dry land... Never to set foot on a boat again.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:59   #19
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Funny, but this is one the things I love about living on our 33' for 5 years now. I love the closeness I experience with my wife and best friend.

Agree with others though, that the relationship has to be solid, because a boat won't fix it.
no wonder you are happy, you have your wife and her best friend on board
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:59   #20
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Agree with others though, that the relationship has to be solid, because a boat won't fix it.

There's a saying about tandem bicycles that I think goes for sailboats, too: "Wherever your relationship is heading, it will get you there faster."
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:02   #21
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posted this on the piracy forum but seems relavant;
have been up n down red sea 7 times,5 times entering and leaving from the gulf of aden and indian ocean,(3times via e african coast , and twice via oman.)

have allways tried to stick to the shipping lanes,or at least 60-80 miles off shore.
have been followed twice off the somali side ,both times the suspect vessels changed direction as cargo vessels emerged from the haze. suspect they were up to no good,but this could have been a coincidence,also sailing tatty vessels with rust streaks,so not visably rich pickings.

have friends who have been attacked but in all three cases they were 10-12 miles off shore,and were released un harmed,minus material possesions.

the red sea is fantastic and the quickest route into the med.

on a yacht your visible profile is very small,making your chances of being seen let alone being attacked very small.

venezuela,panama,png,solomons,philipines ,malaka str,thailand,e africa,brazil,caribean to name a few have all recently had been named for vicious attacks on yachts.

so on the whole would reccomend staying home,paying taxes,and watching the discovery channel.

that way all the security freaks,might leave a bit of pristine ocean wilderness,with out marinas,police,inflated prices and all the trappings of civilization.

isnt this why we went sailing in the first place,or was it to create a global nautical trailer park for wealthy westeners?

the national sport traditionally in most african countries,untill recently was rape and looting,with a bit of slavery to satisfy western greed and provide beer money...........

stay at home,if you must go somewhere fly,stick to well know resorts, that way in another 10 years there might still be a few un-sanitized places left for us none checkbook sailors...........
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:24   #22
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Circumnavigating ...

I don't understand the urge to circumnavigate. I love sailing and the rest of it but have no urge to circumnavigate and don't really understand where that urge comes from any more then I understand the urge to climb Mt. Everest. I guess I've never been big on chasing after some sort of carrot. When people without any experience cruising want to do it I'm baffled. What is the appeal? Why does some part of their brain light up at the thought of going around the world in a sailboat?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:41   #23
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Whoa Atoll! There's a shot of reality for sure!

Outside of world affairs and the changes that surround them, which I think you have very very strong points, a lot of failure boils down to lifestyle changes which I think people are not realistic about. It takes a good deal of time to acclimate to a new climate after living in a western society for so long. You don't just run up mount everest w/o acclimating.

I think people should go with less, take an unspecified time coasting or going cruising in locations close to home until they get used to just the lifestyle change - without the pressures of some hard pointed "goal" such as "sailing around the world". Let go of self imposed mental demands and just go where the wind blows, get used to fixing things on the cheap. Sailing, repairs, and navigating are the easy parts. The mental changes from leaving a pizza delivery society are the difficult ones.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:54   #24
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I don't understand the urge to circumnavigate. I love sailing and the rest of it but have no urge to circumnavigate and don't really understand where that urge comes from any more then I understand the urge to climb Mt. Everest. I guess I've never been big on chasing after some sort of carrot. When people without any experience cruising want to do it I'm baffled. What is the appeal? Why does some part of their brain light up at the thought of going around the world in a sailboat?
To the extent that circumnavigation is the process of getting back to the point where you started, I couldn't agree more. Why chase that carrot?

(On the other hand, if curcumnavigation is a way of continuing one's travels without ever having to go to weather, it begins to make a bit of sense.)

I'm amazed at the number of non-sailors who decide on the spur of the moment to circumnavigate, and who then want us to advise them as to what boat to buy. I always want to say, "If you're going to circumnavigate, the first step is not to ask what boat to buy. Rather, the first step is to learn how to splice double braid. Come back once you've learned that skill, and we'll tell you what the second step is."
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:48   #25
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As said, sailing around the world - leads back to the beginning and the same issues and problems you left with or tried to escape. The world, unfortunately, because it is now smaller, has franchised the same problems you try to leave behind.

There are plenty of people who have learned all the technical skills of seamanship, are master boat repair technicians, talented mechanics, and the like...but still can't mentally break away from the comforts and trappings of local land and/or the dock. The skill sets can be learned quite rapidly. I think its overblown. Doesn't take many miles under the keel or much effort. However, the mental and psychological challenges are far greater, because I think it demands a great amount of flexibility to deal with natures agendas or agendas not your own (both environmental or just bad luck $) that none of us are conditioned raised in an artificially created human world to be prepared for.

I think the best plan is no plan. Get a cheap boat, take some unspecified time, and go sailing to see what you can find around the corner. See where the wind blows you. Upgrade yourself and your boat(s) as needed.
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Old 03-11-2010, 13:06   #26
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I think the main problem is that people get romantic ideas in their heads and jump straight in to some grand circumnavigation plan with all their resources before they ever actually set foot on a boat.

It seems to me that people would do better to spend a year or two in a club or crewing or sailing with friends or buying a really cheap boat and see if their fantasy has anything to do with the reality of it. No one's romantic fantasy includes pumping **** tanks, riding out a storm or worse, a month of drizzle, hours scrubbing everything, and constantly bumping your head on the companionway hatch cover.

This forum is full of threads like this where some guy hates his current life, has a lot of major problems, and thinks buying a boat and leaving will solve everything. A few rambling posts that have nothing to do with the realities and practicalities of their plan and then you never hear from them again. Everyone jumps in with support and praise for his vapid prose and instead of getting his feet on the ground and making it happen, he drifts further into the clouds and never returns.
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Old 03-11-2010, 13:23   #27
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This forum is full of threads like this where some guy hates his current life, has a lot of major problems, and thinks buying a boat and leaving will solve everything. A few rambling posts that have nothing to do with the realities and practicalities of their plan and then you never hear from them again. Everyone jumps in with support and praise for his vapid prose and instead of getting his feet on the ground and making it happen, he drifts further into the clouds and never returns.
To be fair, I think most contributors to those threads know full well that "the dream" likely won't be going anywhere. Apart from the OP perhaps

My pet puzzles are folks with a 10 year (or longer) plan to retire on a boat - with little prior experiance of extended living aboard (or abroad)...........and those for whom living aboard a boat seems to be the centre of their universe. and the limit of their ambitions in life. Hey, it's only a boat

But it's a varied world that keeps it interesting so what others do (and why) is no great matter to me. Onshore or onboard, try it and don't like it? - then move on. I don't see that as a failure - unless the farm has been bet on it..........
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Old 03-11-2010, 13:27   #28
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As far as the original question goes I have known quite a few people that quit due to finances....many of them try to restore the cruising kitty and come back some years later (many get side tracked into another life totally). Another group tends to get pulled back due to family obligations (aging parents, kids, grand kids). Then there is the group that realizes there dream is not the reality and life with all its problems follows you no matter where you go.
From what I can see the folks that spend half there time on the boat and the other half back on land seem to be able to stay with it the longest. The ones that are full time cruisers tend to have the hardest time adjusting to the lifestyle.
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Old 03-11-2010, 13:38   #29
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I think the main problem is that people get romantic ideas in their heads and jump straight in to some grand circumnavigation plan with all their resources before they ever actually set foot on a boat.

It seems to me that people would do better to spend a year or two in a club or crewing or sailing with friends or buying a really cheap boat and see if their fantasy has anything to do with the reality of it. No one's romantic fantasy includes pumping **** tanks, riding out a storm or worse, a month of drizzle, hours scrubbing everything, and constantly bumping your head on the companionway hatch cover.

This forum is full of threads like this where some guy hates his current life, has a lot of major problems, and thinks buying a boat and leaving will solve everything. A few rambling posts that have nothing to do with the realities and practicalities of their plan and then you never hear from them again. Everyone jumps in with support and praise for his vapid prose and instead of getting his feet on the ground and making it happen, he drifts further into the clouds and never returns.
Listen we all need to get real.

A lot of people with dreams use sites like this to 'explore' cruising and thank goodness the resource is available to allow that to happen.

IMHO there's 100% nothing wrong with dreams, and there's nothing wrong with encouraging people to try hard to achieve them either, just as long as they realise what's invariably involved. MarkJ gives some hard examples, and life is never 100% perfect, but it's a lot better than the alternative!

My own view is that those of us able to live our dreams are truly lucky.

If we can use the site to help the one in ten / twenty who will also make their dreams come true, then that surely can't bad.......even if it might lead to more crowded anchorages!

On, on.

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Old 03-11-2010, 13:40   #30
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Agree with others though, that the relationship has to be solid, because a boat won't fix it.
My first off shore race skipper said: "You never really know someone till you've sailed with them."
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