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Old 15-04-2007, 12:59   #16
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Freedom and the power to live my life, the way I want to live it, is key to me. I generally view the American (and most of the world's) economy as a massive machine that tries to drain money from human beings and turn them into consumers.

I think Western society has fallen into a bit of a routine, where we do something like this:

- Go to college, get student loans.
- Graduate, and go to work. Pay off student loans. Get new loans for your car and credit cards.
- Get married. Go into dept to pay for your wedding ring(s), new home or improvements.
- Have kids. Go into dept to buy crap for them they don't need.
- Buy an SUV because the Civic you bought in college isn't big enough for all your crap (that you are still paying interest on).
- Take crappy vacations here and there. Put them on the credit cards to get more debt. Maybe take out a home equity loan to pay more interest.
- Be stressed to hell and back.
- Retire at 65 1/2.

Sorry, but no dice. The first thing you need to do is cut the cord between you and the people who want your money. For me cruising is a natural extension of taking more control of your life and putting yourself in the driver's seat.

One of my favorite tones in sailing is "do it yourself". I love self reliance, and the feeling that I've accomplished something. You meet a hell of a lot more boat people who have built their own boats than car people who have built their own cars.
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Old 15-04-2007, 14:05   #17
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Cruisers are just everyday people, same personalities as you find everywhere. Lawyers, accountants, mechanics, teachers and scam artists. It's all the same people. What sets them apart is that they have cut the lines to the dock and start living, rather then dreaming, about it.

Crew are the same. Maybe financially less able, or maybe finanacially just smarter, then an owner...either way they are living the dream. Both cruiser and crew manage to put their fears aside and "just do it".

Some where I read about life having no "practice". You have to get it right the first time. When your time is up a lot of people are saying "I wish I had done...." A cruiser is saying "Remember the time we...."

JMO
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Old 15-04-2007, 14:07   #18
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. . . which one, PV? If I had to guess, I think I'd go with The Monk and the Philosopher, but there are other excellent possibilities.

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Old 15-04-2007, 14:23   #19
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Whilst I have not left the dock in cruising terms, but have however spent lots of time "abroad" on very extended vacations.

For me one of the attractions is "dissapearing off the Radar" of my world and into a world that is far more under my own control, whilst accepting that this does have certain downsides and is not absolute.

From what I can work out, being onboard a boat is about the most self contained existence one can have apart from maybe heading off into the hills of Montana and building a log cabin (do they have hills in Montana?), but with far greater ability to deal with any wander lust.

Democracy? Whilst I do appreciate the old maxim (Churchill?) that "Democracy it is the worst system of Government until you consider the alternatives", I view the modern day version of the Western form of Democracy as having nothing to do with me - it's purpose has always been to move the Gravy Train between rival factions of the rich and powerful in a peaceful way, which does of course have a benefit to folks like me, in the good old days I would be called "Cannon Fodder" for settling these power shifts............and for me whatever faction is in power, I won't ever be sitting at the top table. Plus I figure that nowadays these peeps are starting to "take the piss" on putting their snouts in the trough.....and IMO this they can manage without my help, let alone encouragement.

In my heart I guess I am not exactly a Democrat, possibly fairly Socialist - definately a Nationalist. neither of which are currently in vogue, but Nationalism always comes back - even if it has to start again from Tribalism........but hopefully in my part of the world that will be after I am gone.

Politics and Boats - don't you just love it!
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Old 15-04-2007, 23:10   #20
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Cruising is like being on vacation for a REALLY LONG TIME. It is just fun. We get to be retired for a couple years and sail around for a while before we get old enough that it starts to get difficult. Forward is whichever way you feel like going today, even if that means staying right where you are.

Besides, there was a duck walking around on deck this morning. How cool is that?
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Old 16-04-2007, 00:59   #21
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Quack,Quack.It,s cool coot,way cool.
Soon it is going to be a sailing boat.My very own.But with all of the boats I have lived and worked on(comercial).They have been,Inner-sanctom's ,with the ocean being the sanctuary upon which you live.I'm gonna take to this lifestyle like water off a ducks back.Maybe a little pun intended.Also traveling around OZ for 30 odd yrs might show a cruisers attitude.
So,What makes a cruiser?.Probably a good love/hate relationship with the ocean for starters.Then there is the whole ZenHippieIntune-with ya self thing thats inside,The bit that attache's you to nature and the reason you are in awe with sunsets/rises and the like,It is so far inbedded in eveybodys genes.Some people connect,some don't,but lots of people are connected and don't even know it.So my answer would be "To be at one with the medium upon which you sail/float.Mudnut.
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Old 16-04-2007, 04:17   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey
... In my heart I guess I am not exactly a Democrat, possibly fairly Socialist - definately a Nationalist ...
Nationalism and Socialism are (more or less) mutually exclusive philosophies.

One of the great problems with Nationalism, is that it often suggests that “my nation” has a right to pursue policies to advance it’s interests and preserve it’s national sovereignty, but other countries do not have a similar right - a gross hypocrisy.

Vis-a-vis the U.S.A.
This logic can be summed up in two sentences: "No one else can judge our actions, because the U.S. constitution gives us the right to self defense. However, we will judge everyone else's actions and intentions, because they may pose a threat to our national security."
For instance, the U.S. is troubled when its enemies possess weapons of mass destruction, but is not troubled when its allies or itself possess similar weapons.
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Old 16-04-2007, 04:41   #23
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The reason I used the term "aversion" to authority, isn't in an anarchistic sense. It has more to do with the seemingly unending erosion of personal freedoms. I don't see it as an escape, merely a way to live without as much of it in my life. Out on the water, you HAVE to deal with realities, not nice sounding sound bites, or catchy slogans, whose only purpose is to garner votes for the next election. Yes, there are rules and regulations that must be followed, but even among the cruising community, there are unwritten ones as well. Or, ones that have no enforcement behind them, such as the SSCA's Clean Wake. Too bad the rest of the world doesn't live by that one.

Some might think this life is "thumbing your nose" at the establishment, but I don't see it that way. What I see is an opportunity to live life on my own terms, as much as is possible, rather than be stuffed in some "box" that society deems appropriate.
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Old 16-04-2007, 08:49   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey
In my heart I guess I am not exactly a Democrat, possibly fairly Socialist - definately a Nationalist.
. . . because if you are a National-Socialist, that makes you a . . . Nazi!?!

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Old 16-04-2007, 13:47   #25
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Originally Posted by GordMay
Nationalism and Socialism are (more or less) mutually exclusive philosophies.

One of the great problems with Nationalism, is that it often suggests that “my nation” has a right to pursue policies to advance it’s interests and preserve it’s national sovereignty, but other countries do not have a similar right - a gross hypocrisy.
I am also not a big one on "rights" (or "wrongs" - but that's another thread ).......the only problem I have with "my nation" cr#pping all over yours is that it be done in such a way that is not completely short sightedly stupid.....where our actions can rebound on us (particularly by not letting the b#ggers ever get anywhere near being able to drop a nuke on us )..........and of course realising that their are in fact many other countries where the self interests of "my nation" are served by being on good terms, even if this does mean not always having everything "my nations" own way.

From a purely practical point of view one nation cannot keep other nations down solely by occupation long term.......a lesson the Europeans took a long time to learn (I think "we" have learnt this! - but Europe / the World may find out for sure if any of the "Usual Suspects" in Europe is dumb / mad enuf to follow Donald Rumsfeld's wish that Europe re-arm itself - our track record is not too good when we have the means at our disposal ).........of course this will never happen. Again. Yet again. Apart from maybe when countries start believing their own propaganda and get upset when no one else does...........

Having said all that I am not a "Tub Thumping" Nationalist, I just believe that the fundamental purpose of the Nation State is to benefit those who live there (and the SOLE purpose is NOT to be a conveniant place to do business - remember that no one will ever fight for Walmart), and the Socialist part comes from the belief that certain benefits should be for all - partly from the purely practical purpose of that if folk are not getting anything out of the deal they have no motivation to man the "thin red line" in times of need...........but certainly no desire to share everything out evenly - mainly cos' it doesn't work.

I was that aware announcing myself as a "National Socialist" may generate a certain reaction , but I am certainly not a Nazi! - if for no other reason than the fact they were Jerries (and I am not in the least bit offended by the suggestion - am a great believer in free speech ).

Of course Republicans were the Spanish Facists under General Franco from the 1930's to the 1970's......... and I remember back in the 1980's that Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party complained about the BBC referring to factions in the Soviet Politburo as "Conservatives", in case anyone got confused .......so what's in a couple of words??
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Old 16-04-2007, 19:21   #26
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The first thing you need to do is cut the cord between you and the people who want your money.
Hum....I haven't figured out how to do that AND own a sailboat. We spend a considerable amount more for the upkeep of our boat than we did our former house. <g>

I have not run into many true cruisers who have an aversion towards government or authority. All, at one time, were part of the "system"...financial analyst, electronics business owner, corporate liason between management and union for a trucking company, retired military, high school principal, several teachers, owner of a manufacturing company and a couple of trust-fund babies. All of these friends worked hard, raised families, saved and then they decided to do something for their own sanity.

What do we all have in common? First, we worked our tails off to be able to afford this life style, we love to travel, love the water, love being self reliant, love the freedom that comes with being retired and mostly love meeting other sailors. None of use are true rebels....at least not until we've had a few drinks!!!

There are those who hate the economic and social system that we in the USA live with, but I haven't met any that are actually cruising. Mostly, they are anchored in a town trying to get ready to cruise. They have boats that seem to be "life-long" projects that they will use to "break the bonds that bind them" someday. Unfortunately, someday never seems to get here because they don't us our system to their own economic gain.....in other words, they never save enough money. I hope that they someday do.

I'm certain that there are some exceptions, but most can't afford to maintain their vessel in a proper manner, run out of money and return to land with the dream somewhat tarnished.

I wish everyone luck with their dreams, but if you are using it as an escape, well, I don't think that you can ever truly escape. A realistic approach will get you there much faster than the contrary.

Just my 2 cents.

Roger
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Old 16-04-2007, 20:43   #27
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thank you roger, for your wisdom.

I live in Australia, which is a wonderful country until the bureaucrats and politicians stuffed it up.
Our weather and waterways are beautiful. We have a reasonable standard of living, good food is still cheap.
Housing however, is unaffordable (highest home values of any western country)

We have very low crime, some burgulary but very few homicides, we don't even have the racial tension that you have in the USA.
However we have TOO much government. There are RULES (stupid rules)for everything. This country used to be laid back, easy going. the system showed a bit of give and take. But we adopted what I call the "Mc Donalds system" we now have specific procedures for everything. The government demands control of our daily lives because we are just "too stupid" to decide for ourselves.

We don't have the enviromental issues or over population,

But our bureaucracy is huge (very close to a socialist state)
I lived in the USA for ten years and I sincerely felt that the people told the government what to do (democracy) .
In Australia our government (no matter which party) believes they KNOW what is best for us, all the while bleeding us to death with more taxes.

I have had enough, which is why I am going cruising.

Any other Australians out there like to comment?
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Old 16-04-2007, 21:21   #28
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I have been living in a parallel universe outside the USA for twenty-eight years. I am a hard core expatriate who feels comfortable living anywhere in the world.

The thing I like about cruising is it enables me to live in the parallel universe. The parallel universe is a place where you get to pick and choose how much of your own culture you take with you when you go, and you also have the privilege of choosing how much of other cultures you decide to adopt as well.

When I was an eye surgeon working in Arabia, I had more personal freedom than any place that I lived on planet earth. The reason was simple. The rules that applied to Saudis did not apply to me because I was living in the parallel universe. At the same time, the long arm of my own American culture could not control my life. That meant that as long as I practiced my profession with integrity and didn't make problems, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. Life in the parallel universe was a sweet spot where I could live as I pleased free from the long arm of my own culture.

Living in the parallel universe is similar to cruising. I find that living beyond the long arm of my own culture is liberating. There are a shockingly large number of people who have strong opinions about how I should live my life, and they don't hesitate to express their opinions to me. I have had people tell me that I was wasting my life as I was sailing around the world on my yacht, and instead, I should be practicing my profession to make the world a better place.

I only have one life, and as far as I am concerned, my life should be pleasing to me. That's what the parallel universe is all about. Making my life into what I want it to be, and living beyond the reach of those forces that want to control me.

For now, I remain diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Cheers,
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Old 16-04-2007, 21:40   #29
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We hit the hippy trail when 21 and 20 respectively - quite some years back.

Never forgot how we enjoyed the freedom / independence / self reliance in those old days.

So 40 years on, it was easy to find the same enjoyment (in fact even more) travelling again only this time by yacht instead of VW campervan!

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Old 16-04-2007, 23:30   #30
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When I was an eye surgeon working in Arabia, I had more personal freedom than any place that I lived on planet earth. The reason was simple. The rules that applied to Saudis did not apply to me because I was living in the parallel universe.
I've never heard anybody say anything remotely like that about Saudi Arabia before. How does it work out different for foreigners? Usually, when I hear about human rights for foreigners in Saudi Arabia, it is about somebody being arrested for giving somebody a bible or not "dressing modestly" enough.
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