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Old 11-05-2010, 17:31   #16
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Mintyspilot Thanks for this link! Will help with my inherent risk research!
Happy to help!
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Old 11-05-2010, 17:50   #17
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I remember reading on this forum somewhere that until you are actually ready to shove off you should tell 'no one' of your plans, because like Boracay said there will be anxiety provoking friends and relatives that will add to the anxiety in very passive aggressive ways and sometimes downright aggressive ways. A lot of times they are just operating out of fear, so not a good influence.

You sure have that right!
Before we left Seattle for Mexico, people used to say, "Aren't you excited?" and, "What about banditos?" and, " What about storms?"

After months of these types of inquiries, one day my wife immediately burst out sobbing when someone asked one of those questions.

It took me 20 minutes of holding her and patiently explaining that we had done our homework, most of those questions were being asked in an uninformed but helpful way, and not trying to be jealous or spiteful of our upcoming trip.

When we arrived in Puerto Vallarta and she had seen the vast array of cruising boats on the way down the coast, she finally realized we knew what we were doingand that a lot of the rumors we'd heard were not true at all. After that, she felt a lot better about tackling sailing's challenges.
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:34   #18
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Here's a real life account for you. My partner (female) and I are leaving Georgia for the British Virgin Islands Friday. I have had two garage sales and having been giving away what is left. My house is on the market or available for lease. Her condo is listed for sale or lease. My wife passed away two years ago and she is divorced. We both have a grown child and grandchildren here in GA. I am in my 60's and she is in her 50's. We both love to sail and decided it was time in life to have our own adventure. We have both chartered in the BVI and believe it is cruiser friendly and a great place to live. We are making a one way trip. I bought a 44 Hunter Deck Salon and we have sailed it for 18 days bringing it around from West FL, all on the open ocean, not in the IntraCoastal. It is a great life, with no more danger than living on shore, just different. We have been outfitting the boat for the passage with and AIS, Automatic Information System, SSB, Single Side Band Radio, Life Raft, Computer Chart Plotter, plus other safty systems and equipment, and Solar collectors. Our families have been very negative, but everyone else professes jealousy. It is a very big step in life, but to this day we have no regrets. We do have a friend/sailor who is making the passage to the BVI. We will appreciate his help, especially on overnight passages, but we mostly want him to come because he is good company and we have two berths/baths. My advice, follow your dream, if it is yours as well as your husband's. You can watch from the sidelines or you can play in the game of life. I will admit that it is a very serious/difficult decision, but I didn't want to lying on my death bed wishing I had decided on the adventure rather than the safe/comfortable, well traveled, path. Good Luck
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:35   #19
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I can relate to the medical fears and have issues that do not keep me from an active life, but that can cause me problems that are reasonably serious, and here is the thought process that has allowed me to put them to rest. We will have the insurance that lifts you from your boat to medical care if you have an emergency.

More likely for me, and for most folks, is that something old or new will re-surface and need to be dealt with. Depending on what the issue is, there are people all over the world who need and get medical care that works. If I am in a place where that is not true I am only a flight away from home and the care of my own physician. this is a manageable problem.

For the rest... what do you have to loose by trying? If it doesn't work out like you hope I don't think your husband sounds like an ogre who will keep you chained to the boat. If you discover insurmountable problems you can change your plan and move back to land earlier than planned.

But from what you have said I bet you will find a way to overcome obstacles and have an amazing time. Things always seem scarier from the outside than from the inside!

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:40   #20
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If you give up the dream and stay on shore, you could also all die in a car wreck on the way to get pizza one night. Or you could be attacked in your own home (I was).

Nowhere is "safe". All you can do is prepare as best as you can. Stop worrying, go to sea and enjoy yourselves.
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:40   #21
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My husbands dream has been to do an extended sailing trip. He sailed as a young man but has had limited experience since with larger boats. We were just on a trip in BVI and all went very well. Recently a number of life events triggered a decision on our part to get a boat (cat for safety/livability reasons) and spend a year sailing in the Caribbean. We have an 11year old daughter and the idea is to home school. We are selling our home to facilitate this and are intending to relocate on our return to a location I have wanted to move to. However, now that the house is listed, and the reality of what we are doing is setting in, I am having an uncharacteristic panic attack and I don't know if I really want to go through with this. I am nervous on boats and possibly slightly claustrophobic (another reason for the cat). I've started to worry about all that can go wrong and I'm afraid that I'm going to back out on my husbands dream. I feel terrible because he has never been happier..planning, reading everything imaginable, and learning about boats and their parts. We are both competent people and logically I know we can handle this, but I guess I just don't feel like adventuring anymore. I am close to 50 and my husband is in his 60's, so I think its now or never to get started with this and at the moment, I'm happy with never. Any advice, insight, comments???
Thanks!
FW,

You have received a lot of good comments here and I think it''s great that you have been able to open up to the CF community.

What suddenly struck me is you have an opportunity to do some home-schooling here. Pose this question to your daughter and ask her to come up with a report on how to deal with this.

On a related note, how does she feel about this trip? Scared, excited, worried that she is leaving friends behind?

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:42   #22
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P.S. My father (92 years) ask me what was I going to do if I didn't like it. I told him that it wasn't a prison sentence. If I didn't like it I would come back. How simple is that?
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:50   #23
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Yogao,
She is very excited about the trip! She's also excited about the home schooling part. I would hate for my own anxieties to ruin this for her and her father.
FW
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:56   #24
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FreeWilly,

Try to relax and you will certainly be able to enjoy this. You needn't push yourselves... take it easy... sail in fair weather... you have no schedules to keep. Of course be prepared, but there is no need to prove anything to anyone. You are on this journey to enjoy and enjoy you will.

I've met many children in the Carib on boats, and one couple from Norway two children never even lived on land! Happy kids.

Try to find the video of Ocean Wanderer. It's an inspiring round the world journey of a family of four with young kids.

Go for. Give it your best shot. If after some time it doesn't feel right for you, it won't be right for him either. You're a team and you need each other and being out there will make you much closer.

Soon you'll be writing to us how great the experience was. You anxiety now is normal because you are doing something new, unknown and bold. How envious we all are.

Fair winds and following seas!
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:06   #25
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Sounds Normal

FreeWilly:
All your fears & concerns are VALID and sensible for a thoughtful & reasonable person especially when You have a daughter to raise & care for......
The good news = that is today & you are NOT leaving today.
So You have plenty of time to address and resolve (one way or another) each one.
#1 - as already mentioned - Tell Your Husband asap
#2 - Keep a running list of them ALL - there will probably be more along the way
#3 - You husband either has the same concerns/fears or has already anticipated Yours and Your daughter's - He wants to make sure You are all safe
#4 - The Caribbean is a good place to start - islands are relatively close together and with lots of cruiser/charter boat traffic plus lots of support services & familiar "civilization" pieces
#5 - Weather - lots of ways(computer, local radio forecasts) to significantly minimize, if not eliminate completely that Storm (at sea) risk you mentioned
#6 - Boardings - not an uncommon fear - there are steps You can take while ashore, on-board and research before selecting an island/anchorage that will significantly lower the risk
#7 - Education & Training - also mentioned before - the more YOU know the more power & comfort You will have - That starts with sailing the boat, safety, navigation, weather, etc, etc. Your budget should include classes for You - they even offer women only classes which often touch on some of the feelings you have expressed. Read, Read, Read - lots of good books - more written by women, websites/blogs by families out sailing and forums like you have found here - tons of solid info + opinions + experiences. Google like crazy.

It took awhile (after more than a couple of Caribbean charters) before one of my regular crew mates & good friend admitted that she was afraid that the boat would flip over while heeling (no wise cracks you CAT fans). Once she understood how a keel works & how she could control the heeling - her fear went away. It's no fun to do anything while afraid. But that does not mean your concerns or fears are not important or should not be addressed.

At some point You might decide that You do not want to do it or do it in a different way - but at least it will be based on research, knowledge and well founded thoughts.

Welcome to Sailing - Something to learn everyday
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:16   #26
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A lot of these are great suggestions, but also, I can't help but notice that you identify this as your "husband's" dream. That might be just a word choice, but it makes it sound as if you are just going along with him, and aren't really invested in this for yourself.
If that's the case (please forgive me if it's not!): Maybe it would help if you found something that you could really own about this adventure. If you've always wanted to learn a foreign language - what better way than by going to foreign countries? Or the dream of traveling back to a certain place that's special to you, or swimming with a whale, or visiting the spots in your favorite books, practicing your hobbies...whatever it is, there are a million opportunities, there's got to be at least one that could be all yours instead of your husband's & daughter's. If the voyage is somehow YOURS, you might find it easier to enjoy it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:22   #27
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FreeWilly:

#1 - as already mentioned - Tell Your Husband asap
#2 - Keep a running list of them ALL - there will probably be more along the way
#3 - You husband either has the same concerns/fears or has already anticipated Yours and Your daughter's - He wants to make sure You are all safe
This is an excellent point, something I forgot. Seems like just about every time I bring up a concern, it turns out my husband either has the same concern, or has already found a solution. He just didn't want to mention it, because he didn't want to make me worry!
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:33   #28
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In my experience, fear is generated by feeling not in control. Taking the fears in order can allow you to master them. It has been said that sea sickness itself is based, in some folks, on feelings of being out of control. It is recommended to give the seasick person a specific task, like steering the boat, where their attention is better spent, and spent therapeutically.

As you master, or control, or get in hand the processes involved with cruising, most of your fears will melt away I believe.

Are you old enough to have listened to Joni Mitchell. From her lyrics, "Fear is just a wilderland, stepping stone or sinking sand." Good luck and thank you for sharing. You have provoked a very large response in a short time, indicating I think, both the prevalence of your difficulties and the kindness of cruisers in general. There is an ethic among sailors to help out one in distress everywhere you will cruise. You are joining a fine group when you become a crusing sailor. Best of luck!
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Old 11-05-2010, 20:21   #29
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In terms of safety; I live in one of the safest towns in the U.S. I go months without ever locking my car and weeks or more without locking my house. I've never been burgled or robbed, yet the cruising I do is safer.
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Old 11-05-2010, 21:33   #30
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Dogs are great on board for feeling secure. The possibility of someone intruding on to your boat is about the same as into your land home. A dog, small or large, takes well to a boat although you need to train it to a patch of plastic "astro-turf" if possible. With a young dog this is much easier to accomplish.
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