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Old 27-11-2012, 11:28   #1
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I Have a Plan

Notice that I said "I have a plan" and not "I have a dream" After reading countless posts about those who have a dream to sail off into the sunset with no sailing experience and never having been aboard a sailboat....I wanted to provide a different perspective on how some (well, at least us anyway) think about realizing the cruising dream.

First off, I have been aboard a sailboat! Owned our starter boat (Hunter 260) for 11 years and sailed every chance we got on a large inland lake. Chartered 4 times in the BVI/USVI. Sailed with friends in the Chesapeake, Florida and the coast of California. Just recently purchased our crusing boat - an Island Packet 380.

We, my husband and I, have both taken steps to educate ourselves in everything and anything we can, which to date has included the following:
- ASA classes 101 through 106
- Power Squadron classes, boating safety through Celestial navigation
- Have a fairly extensive sailing related library and have read any resources we can get our hands on
- Read online forums such as cruisers forum.
- Hubby is taking a diesel maintenance class this winter
- I want to take a ham radio class this winter
- Hubby has been tracking his sailing hours in anticipation of obtaining his captain license

At this point, everything that we do in everyday life and the decisions that we make are somehow related to moving us closer to our cruising departure date. We make decisions to not spend money to instead put it in the crusing kitty. We make decisions not to buy something, only to later sell it because it won't be useful on the boat. We make decisions to cook more and seek out recipes that utilize whole foods because I won't find a boxed dinner at the stores in the caribbean. I am learning how to use my pressure cooker!

With the recent purchase of our crusing boat, we consider ourselves to be "in school" as it relates to boat maintenance. We have lots to learn regarding the boat systems and intend to learn by doing as much of the work ourselves as possible.

In truth, I think we both knew we were on the path to lead a crusing lifestyle the minute I took my first sailing lesson which was in 1991. Perhaps our only regret (so far, it's not a regret for me yet) would be that we should have left the dock sooner. However, we choose to raise our kids in the suburbs and wait until they were out of the nest before we are embarking on our crusing lifestyle. Our plan is shaping up quite nicely and seems much more of a reality now that we have actually purchased our cruising boat. In truth, cruising is as much about mindset and lifestyle than perhaps it is about location. That being the case, consider us to be cruisers currently living on land. We just don't happen to be out there, YET!
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Old 27-11-2012, 11:34   #2
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Re: I Have a Plan

Now that is what I would call a plan and the execution thereof.

Sounds like you are well on the way. Congratulations and good luck.

We interrupted our cruising for several reasons, not the least was my wife wanted to raise our daughter on land. Guess that worked since she grew up, went to medical school and is now gainfully employed. And now dad has bought another sailboat and is looking forward to retirement and cruising again a couple of years down the road.

I'll look for you when I get there.
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Old 27-11-2012, 11:47   #3
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Re: I Have a Plan

Your plan is virtually identical to the one my wife and I formulated over 30 years ago in preparation for our trip from England to California on our 27'er--1977-78. This was B.C. (before children). Of course, your plan includes the internet, forums, upgraded radio and telephone communication and GPS, most of which did not even exist back then, but we did do the Power Squadron thing with classes on navigation and engine maintenance. Don't forget medical issues--get an advanced medical kit and advice on care from your doctors and elsewhere in first aid classes and on the forums.

Good luck, you'll have a ball!

Eric
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:13   #4
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Re: I Have a Plan

skipmac - hope to see you out there! Pearson 422 is a great boat.

ewsponberg - England to California huh? What route did you take to get there? Sounds like a great trip. Good advice about the medical issues - I am a nurse by background so I got that covered, however we might need to take some classes before we depart. Would be a good refresher for me and hubby would need some education in order to save me
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:36   #5
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Re: I Have a Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post
skipmac - hope to see you out there! Pearson 422 is a great boat.

ewsponberg - England to California huh? What route did you take to get there? Sounds like a great trip. Good advice about the medical issues - I am a nurse by background so I got that covered, however we might need to take some classes before we depart. Would be a good refresher for me and hubby would need some education in order to save me
We went over on the QE2 in 1974--I was transfered to England for my job. We had put our crusing plans on hold for 3 years while we were there, and I left my work while in England. That was another great time. We bought the boat there in 1975. We left England by way of the north coast of Brittany, the Bay of Biscay, to Gibraltar, into the Med to Majorca and back, out to Madeira, down to the Canaries, across the Atlantic to Barbados, down to Granada, up the islands to The BVI and USVI, then Puerto Rico where we imported the boat to the US, then down to Panama, through the Canal (at that time the cost was $6.00--yes, that's right, just $6.00--about $1.00 per Panama registered ton), and then up the coast of Central America and Mexico to San Diego. We settled in Ventura. It was a great trip.

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Old 27-11-2012, 12:55   #6
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Re: I Have a Plan

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skipmac - hope to see you out there! Pearson 422 is a great boat.
Thank you. I can't wait to finish my overhaul and get back on the water.

By the way, I live in FL but work for a company based in Golden Valley and am heading to MN later this week.
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Old 27-11-2012, 13:35   #7
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Re: I Have a Plan

ss, you've got a great plan and a great boat to do it with. Hard to see how you could have anything but success with that combo.
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Old 27-11-2012, 13:36   #8
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Re: I Have a Plan

Sweetsailing, reading your post is a bit like looking in a mirror (literarily speaking). Your plan is very similar to ours, except perhaps that we skipped the whole kid thing. Otherwise, we're taking a similar path ... right down to the pressure cooker!

The idea started to take shape over a decade ago after learning to sail on a friend's 22 and then 26 footer. A few extended trips along the shores of Lake Superior and I was hooked. We took the plunge and bought 34 cruising ketch about nine years ago and began upgrading it -- and us. We've both taken a number of cruising courses (CYA Basic to Advanced, navigation, weather, diesel), and have learned what it takes to maintain and upgrade a cruising boat. Most importantly, we have spent as much time as we can actually travelling and living on our boats.

In the last five my plan has become our plan (a vital transition which cannot be forced). We've now upgraded to our second cruising boat (Rafiki 37) and are close to having it ready (just a few more upgrades...). We're saving money as fast as we can, while continuing to invest in our floating home. We're divesting ourselves of the land-based stuff, and continue to live modestly. We leave in the spring of 2014.

When people come on CF proclaiming they have a dream of sailing away, I am supportive and helpful (if I have something useful to say). But a dream is useless without a plan to achieve it.
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Old 27-11-2012, 13:49   #9
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Re: I Have a Plan

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Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post
That being the case, consider us to be cruisers currently living on land.
A great plan, but you may still want to work on the lingo. I believe the preferred terminology is "Cruisers Living On Dirt." C.L.O.D.s.
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Old 27-11-2012, 14:53   #10
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Re: I Have a Plan

Quote:
Sweetsailing, reading your post is a bit like looking in a mirror (literarily speaking).
LOL...I don't think we look alike at all based on your profile picture....hahaha...just kidding

Quote:
We leave in the spring of 2014.
You are a bit ahead of us. Our youngest will graduate from high school, spring 2014. Need to get her off to college and our departure date will depend on her level of independence once off to college. I'm jealous! I want to go now!
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Old 27-11-2012, 14:54   #11
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Re: I Have a Plan

Quote:
A great plan, but you may still want to work on the lingo. I believe the preferred terminology is "Cruisers Living On Dirt." C.L.O.D.s.
I guess I am a CLOD!
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