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Old 30-06-2009, 13:39   #31
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An excellent and thoughtful thread!

Like “Maxingout” I have been an expatriate (on and off for over thirty plus years… 37 if we include a Scot in England…I don’t!). Some expats spend their time leaning more towards the negative side (eg constantly measuring the services, ideologies, traditions and standards of their expat location with their country of origin. They achive the “Don’t go there” attitude, rather than you must visit....!) and generally are the poorer for this. I align myself with Maxingout and as such…I believe… the richer for it, although as he eloquently stated we are sometimes “stranger in our place of birth”.

Since time in memorial an extended trip, requiring a long period (over a year) away was considered the final “rounding” of the individual’s personality and knowledge base platfom. It didn’t make them better people than those whom couldn’t or wouldn’t, but the very process of learning new language/s, history, culture and traditions; inexorably and perceptibly changes their point of view. This doesn’t mean that their critical faculties are suspended…the very opposite I find…However they condition their thresholds to local parameters and quietly, where possible, begin to minutely influence their environment, through their personal and professional conduct.

In some cases a new expat will be welcomed within an expat community and depending whether it is generally negative or a more open group, predominately will be conditioned by the prevailing attitudes which are generally embraced by whichever group they associate and only rarely step outside those predetermined/ conditioned parameters.

Within the CF… on some contentious subjects…there often is a rapid polarization of ideas and beliefs, which can become very dogmatic at times, with little or no addition information being disseminated. Yet any sailor/cruiser, whether only day sailing or a circumnavigator on a daily basis is, by default, either consciously or subconsciously conditioning his/her norms which; as with the expat, can be opened to the nuances of differing possibilities emanating from new or other’s experiences or resisted by a stubbornness often emanating from a general pessimistic viewpoint of life.


Mark’s post ably demonstrates the negative leaning side (although if we take the positive view that any negativity stemmed from a genuine belief that it was a dangerous undertaking) never the less it would seem that it was easier to gainsay it, rather than attempt to find some possible working solutions to achieve the objective.

My father required me to read Kipling’s “If” and a teacher made me read Robert Frost’s “The Road not taken” while a teenager. In addition I had a consuming desire to see and experience the world. For me it made “all the difference”… But that freedom, if embraced can make us ‘Strangers…” and make us contemplate actions and thoughts which to us seem balanced and reasonable which others often find foolhardy and incomprehensible behavior.


So Mark congrats on your trip; it sounded wonderful and well done Dave for the interesting thread. We all need to look outward and more philosophically from time to time.

Best Regards

Alan
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Old 30-06-2009, 14:11   #32
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Alan,
Thanks for sharing your perspective & experience. As an expat I think a depth and richness of valuing other lands is gained from the length stays in those cultures that can't be had as a more casual tourist.
As far as the negativity thing goes, it builds walls around the person & places that person in a self made box to where there is little to be gained by venturing out in the first place.
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Old 30-06-2009, 19:30   #33
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Mark,

That was a great story. I would never have guessed the naysayers would have panned the idea of sailing up the great barrier reef at night. Nobody ever told me it was dangerous or irresponsible to sail straight through to Darwin from Lizard Island.

I think the naysayers could not imagine themselves doing it, and that meant that anyone attempting it obviously was unbalanced and off the chart. I can't imagine that any Ozzies would say such a thing. That's the sort of thing that Ozzies do.

When we were at Lizard Island, we were late in the season, and we also needed to head over the top of Australia as quickly as possible. Nobody told us it was a bad idea. Nobody even talked about it. We sailed straight to Thursday Island with no stops along the way. We reprovisioned in Thursday Island, and then sailed straight to Darwin with no stops. We didn't think it was a big deal. We simply timed our entry into the Torres Strait so that we arrived at daylight, and we picked our way through the reefs without a problem. I can see how a single hander might be challenged going through the Torres Strait in marginal conditons or at night, but a fully crewed yacht with competent cruisers shouldn't have a problem. Ships do it all the time.

I'm glad there weren't any naysayers to discourage us on our journey.

It's amazing how many people there are out there who tell you all the things that you cannot do. What they are really doing is telling you all the things they cannot do.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:47   #34
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Alan,
Thanks for sharing your perspective & experience. As an expat I think a depth and richness of valuing other lands is gained from the length stays in those cultures that can't be had as a more casual tourist.
As an ex ex pat (for more than a decade), I could not agree more. There is a huge difference between 3 weeks and 3 years in a place!
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Old 01-07-2009, 17:36   #35
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Interesting, when I saw the title for this thread my first thought was how depressing it was to return to the cruising world after an 8 year break ($$$$$) and see how the standards had fallen.
Those other people are easy to deal wit - don't listen to them.
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Old 01-07-2009, 19:10   #36
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my first thought was how depressing it was to return to the cruising world after an 8 year break ($$$$$) and see how the standards had fallen.
Dana, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this...care to elaborate? Thanks, Chris
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Old 02-07-2009, 18:25   #37
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I first went offshore cruising in 1978, came back in 87, left again in 95, back five years ago. Since then a few long deliveries and local sailing.
On our second long trip I found the standards of boathandling and seamanship among offshore cruisers had fallen dramatically and the attitude of self reliance had taken a hammering. This was depressing in itself, but has also lead to much greater bureaucratic interference, a trend that shows no sign of reversing. I found that even more depressing.
Wish I knew a solution, but don't.
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Old 02-07-2009, 19:36   #38
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I first went offshore cruising in 1978, came back in 87, left again in 95, back five years ago. Since then a few long deliveries and local sailing.
On our second long trip I found the standards of boathandling and seamanship among offshore cruisers had fallen dramatically and the attitude of self reliance had taken a hammering. This was depressing in itself, but has also lead to much greater bureaucratic interference, a trend that shows no sign of reversing. I found that even more depressing.
Wish I knew a solution, but don't.
What you are saying has the ring of truth.

People used to take pride in self-reliance, and if they found themselves in trouble, they got themselves out of it. They had no other option.

The Hiscocks never had an SSB (according to what I read), with the stated reason that they were not going to call anyone for help if they got into trouble. They felt it made them better seaman, and forced them to have a well-found yacht that was up to job.

It's all too easy to flip the switch on your EPIRB rather than to tough it out. And if you have insurance, there may be a tendency to turn on the EPIRB sooner rather than later. And when emergency services are readily available, less seaworthy boats and inexperienced crews find themselves further and further offshore.

It's impossible to predict what the future holds, but it wouldn't surprise me if more regulations are in the offing. Governments of the world won't tolerate the present situation forever. If the goverment regulates our movements offshore, that would truly be depressing.
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Old 03-07-2009, 00:35   #39
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I found the standards of boat handling and seamanship among offshore cruisers had fallen dramatically .


On the contrary, I find the vast vast majority of cruisers are fine boat handlers and seapeople(!) showing excellent seapeopleship (ok, I'll stop now).

I feel far fewer people per capita are getting into trouble. The advances in navigation, boatbuilding, systems, and shore based facilities have allowed many more people to safely join what was a previously very exclusive club.

I read some local sailing rag when I arrived in Sydney with a letter to the editor deriding the skills of the thousands of boaters using SydneyHarbour. But I had just sailed at close quarters on crowded weekends and was ABSOLUTLY amazed how well everyone handled their boats!

Lastly I don't know anyone who really doesnt give a stuff about the rules, or doesn't care about making safe passages, except maybe some Jetski riders!

I feel we should commend ourselves, and others, for taking to the oceans in ever increasing numbers as harmoniously and studiously as we are.





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Old 03-07-2009, 01:24   #40
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Hi Mark,

Have you met Greg & Janise of Windchimes?

I beleive they are now in Fanny Bay. They just sailed across from Qld as well.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:40   #41
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Hi Mark,
Have you met Greg & Janise of Windchimes?
I beleive they are now in Fanny Bay. They just sailed across from Qld as well.
Too right they are in Fanny Bay. They are just over yonder from us. We had a drink with them the other night and see them most days.

We first met them at Lizard Island.

The whole bay is pretty packed now. Fortunately for us we met most of them at Lizard Island as the dribbeled through. There would be no way I could remember everyone if we just turned up here to a crowd of 130 boats! Its bigger than the Supermarket line!

I will tell Greg and Janise you said hi

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Old 03-07-2009, 01:51   #42
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With all this wonderful discussion on positive/negative thinking leads me to ask this question.

Can someone learn to be a positive person?

I have been a positive person since birth. Does this come from my DNA or is learned from our parents? That being said, my sister is generally a negative person, my brother is generally positive, and all had the same upbringing.

My positive thinking extends to almost every aspect of my life. I have been a nurse for about 7yrs and was in the Air Force for 5yrs in my early 20`s. No matter what kind of employment or financial status I have found myself in I always I known that it will get better.

Currently I plan to get started cruising in 2 1/2 years and at that time I will be debt free. I have no children and my marriage is coming to an end. I get all kind of negative comments about leaving my career/home and going out to sea. Still I remain positive!

Mike Rowe (host:dirtiest jobs) was being interviewed for Outside magazine recently and had great quote. The reporter asked him something like if he just followed his passions. His answer was the best I have ever heard. Mike Rowe said that telling someone to follow their passion is the worst advice advice you could ever give someone. Instead you should take your passion with you(or something like to that effect). I love that advice! In a sense I guess I have done just that. I receive the same comments from my co-workers, in that I never to seem to have a bad day at work. My answer is always the same, "I choose not to have bad day". Somehow very few seem to understand that response.

I have also experienced my share of hard times and a ray of sunshine is not always shined down on me. So its not like I have lead a sheltered life and walk around with a silly grin. Just in the past few years I have lost my mother,uncle, and grandfather all within 17 days of one another. I mourned but I never got depressed, others in the family had some pretty tough breakdowns. Not one of my family members whom I would consider a positive person had any mental breakdown other than mourning the passing of our loved ones.

So has anyone ever made the switch from negative to positive thinking?
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:34   #43
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... Can someone learn to be a positive person ...
Almost certainly.
Of course, given the same "learning", those with a genetic predisposition towards positivity may be expected to achieve more in that direction than the geneticly negative.
You’ve raised the naive old debate of nature versus nurture; but the modern view is "interactionist".
The classic answer to such questions is a return question:
"Which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its width?"
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Old 03-07-2009, 13:31   #44
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As an ex ex pat (for more than a decade), I could not agree more. There is a huge difference between 3 weeks and 3 years in a place!
It doesn't matter how long you spend somewhere if you're not open to experiencing its culture. Where one person could embrace everything a new culture offers in three weeks, there's another person who could spend 3 years in a foreign land and still consider it foreign - never learning the language, never taking part in social customs, not even sampling the local cuisine.

BTW Dave, an excellent topic - once again you're a source of inspiration.
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Old 03-07-2009, 14:04   #45
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With all this wonderful discussion on positive/negative thinking leads me to ask this question.

Can someone learn to be a positive person?

So has anyone ever made the switch from negative to positive thinking?
This is an important question to me personally because I have ten websites that encourage people to assume a positive outlook and to work on making their dreams come true.

Many people tell me that I am wasting my time. They say that people can't change from a negative to a positive outlook.

There's no doubt in my mind that some people have a disposition that is consistently inclined toward the positive. These folks are the exceptions and they are the lucky ones. The rest of us have to muddle through the challenges of life and choose to be positive. For some people it is harder than for others.

In my work with patients, I meet lots of people who have had addictions to meth, cocaine, and other hard drugs. These people have had a very tough time, and yet some of them turn around on a dime, and they shed their addictions starting a new life. Sometimes they get religion, sometimes they get sick of being out of control, and most of the time I don't know exactly what happens. But they turn from a destructive negative life style to one that's more positive. This has convinced me that people with real problems actually have the ability to change. For me that is good news.

When I experienced times of great adversity in my own life, I asked my self if I had the ability to change. The answer came back a resounding yes. When I change the way I think, my life changes as well. It seems rather obvious, but from experience I can say that the obvious gets lost in the challenges of life. And there aren't many people to sort these issues out for you when you are experiencing strife. Most of the time you have to figure it out for yourself.

I guess that's one of the reasons I am passionate about positive thinking, and that's also one of the reasons I create websites about positive thinking. I like to give a little help to folks struggling with the negative events of their lives and point them in a positive direction.

I made up a saying that goes like this: If you really want to be a positive person, nobody can stop you.
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