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Old 17-04-2007, 02:26   #31
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Originally Posted by maxingout
... For now, I remain diagonally parked in a parallel universe ...
What a great turn of phrase!
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Old 17-04-2007, 04:54   #32
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It seems that the broad basis of the poll if forming.

Those who see modern society as providing them with the freedom and resources to cruise.

And those who see modern society as a reason to have to cruise.

I guess that I am in the first camp. Despite all of the minor regulations that affect my life I have far more liberty to travel than my parents and grandparents. Sure I can't sit in a resturant and ruin the next guys meal with a cigar, but that is probably a good thing. I may not be able to cruise Cuba because of some law I disagree with, but my grandfather could not have taken his family to sea period. There was just not enough money then.
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Old 17-04-2007, 05:43   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coot
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.
Maybe what maxingout means is that when away in Saudi - he did not feel constrained by regular Saudi rules simply because he was not a Saudi himself?????

I know often when travelling in other lands, one can feel somehow 'different' from the locals, more able to take a chance knowing the local fuzz tends to ignore foreigners............

But with recent sad stories, I'm not sure this is the case in Saudi any more.

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Old 17-04-2007, 05:49   #34
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Originally Posted by Pura Vida
I may not be able to cruise Cuba because of some law I disagree with, but my grandfather could not have taken his family to sea period. There was just not enough money then.
Interesting story about your grandfather. My grandfather's story was quite different. He had enough money to have a comfortable life with 2 cars he renewed every couple years, 4 children, a nice (but modest) house, and a stay-at-home wife who raised the kids and did all the house work. He also enjoyed evenings and weekends fishing with his small, 20 something foot trailerable power boat. His kids enjoyed horses they owned.

He also enjoyed a safe, secure retirement.

I don't know many people (under 35) these days who can enjoy that level of luxury... especially, as my grandfather did, with a high school education working in a machine shop.
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Old 17-04-2007, 08:28   #35
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Maxing Out - Nice to hear you have adapted your cruising lifestyle to provide you with the peace and freedom you enjoy - however, your comment about Saudi Arabia must be based on not leaving the compound/marina and not practising your unparalled freedoms in the general Saudi population.

I have a good friend - an engineer who was working for Parsons at the Jedha airport project a few years back. He went to a party at a Saudi's house one night where there was alcohol - which is against Saudi law - and he and a couple other expatriots were arrested and publicly flogged and deported.

We think that having a drink is acceptable pretty much all over the world and is in Saudi as long as you are in your compound - I guess freedom and a parallel universe is still subject to governments wherever you go and no-one is exempt from it.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, that universe is confined to a small area called a compound where they allow you to live as long as you are working there. Does not appear to be freedom to me but maybe your living arrangements were different while you lived there and you were not subject to living in a compound or Saudi laws.
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Old 17-04-2007, 08:59   #36
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Most of what you hear about living in Arabia is written by people who never have lived there.

I worked as an ophthalmologist for 16 years at one of the largest eye hospitals in the world. My medical practice was unencumbered by all of the controls found in the USA. There were no medicare forms and insurance forms to fill out, no fights with the government and insurance companies for reimbursement, no governmental regulation of how I practiced medicine, no OSHA - the list of benefits of working overseas is too long to enumerate.

My patients were grateful for the care they recieved because they knew that I would move heaven and earth to give them the best care in the world. When you can practice medicine in a non-adversarial manner, you enjoy it much more.

Arabia was also one of the best 4X4 destinations in the world. I owned four Land Rover Defenders and travelled tens of thousands of miles offroad during my years in Arabia. You can see pictures of my adventures in Land Rovers by visiting my web site: PositiveGraphics.com and clicking on picture panels 3 and 4, and you will see my Land Rovers in action. As a western expatriate, I carried a letter that gave me permission to travel offroad anywhere I wanted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have driven from the Iraqi border nearly to the Yemeni border, and from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf. I had more freedom than the Saudis when driving offroad, because it is a tribal country, and they needed to stay in their own tribal areas or there could be strife. As western expatriates, we just cruised through the desert anywhere we wanted, and every encounter with the bedouins and authorities was uniformly pleasant. In ten years of offroading, I have been asked for my papers only three or four times, and when they found out that I was an eye surgeon at the eye hospital, they treated me in a royal manner, because our hospital had operated on many of their relatives.

We weren't trapped or confined to our compound. We had total freedom of movement, and since we were in Land Rover Defenders, we always stuck out like a sore thumb. On average, WE CAMPED IN THE DESERT 90 NIGHTS A YEAR. We were members of a Riyadh 4X4 club, and we went everywhere without restriction.

We went to church in Arabia without a problem, but the churches are all in peoples homes or at the embassies. The religious police generally didn't mess with western home based churches, but you needed to be discreet. That made going to church seem like an adventure.

I don't drink alcohol or use drugs, so I never had a problem along those lines. But even if I wanted to drink, there was no lack of alcohol. It's just more expensive. The embassies bring it into the country in shipping containers, and of course there are many other sources as you can imagine - where there is a will, there is a way. The arabic word for alcohol is sadiqqi - the translation of which is "my friend". Nearly all my aquaintenances in Arabia had access to alcholol whenever they wanted it, but discretion was important. I have not personally known anyone who had a problem because they drank alcohol, but all of them were discrete.

For me, personal freedom focuses on the biggies of life. My biggies are this:
1. I want to practice my profession with integrity unemcumbered by the dead weight of rules, regulations, and innumberable controls imposed on the practice of medicine in the USA. Also - No lawyers! Imagine what the pracitice of medicine would be like without big brother telling you what to do and without having lawyers standing by in the wings to advise and assist you.
2. I want to be able to have an adventure driving my Land Rovers in near total freedom in one of the biggest offroad play grounds in the world.

In Arabia, I could do more of what I wanted to do with less regulation and with more personal freedom. It worked for me and for 50,000 other Americans that were working in the country at the same time. For me, living in the parallel universe was about doing what I wanted, when I wanted, the way I wanted, and keeping the collateral damage in my life to a minimum. The Arabain adventure wasn't for everyone, but for those who knew how to make it work for them, it was awesome.

That being said, I am no longer working in Arabia. One of the biggest reasons is because the region is now in massive turmoil, and that turmoil has spread to Arabia. What was once a quiet place without terrorism is now in a state of flux. During my last year in Arabia (three years ago), they were blowing up vehicles and attacks were being made on compounds where expatriates were living. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

And so here I am, living on board Exit Only. I am now visiting a new country. This particular country is called America. I am calling it a new country, because it's a lot different from the one I left twenty-eight years ago. Now you know my situation. Now you understand why I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

For those of you who are interested, check out these desert pictures to better understand our Arabian lifestyle. This link will take you into the Arabian desert. Click on it if you dare: Home

Cheers,
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Old 17-04-2007, 09:00   #37
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I think you're pretty close, PV . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
It seems that the broad basis of the poll if forming.

Those who see modern society as providing them with the freedom and resources to cruise.

And those who see modern society as a reason to have to cruise.

I guess that I am in the first camp. Despite all of the minor regulations that affect my life I have far more liberty to travel than my parents and grandparents. Sure I can't sit in a resturant and ruin the next guys meal with a cigar, but that is probably a good thing. I may not be able to cruise Cuba because of some law I disagree with, but my grandfather could not have taken his family to sea period. There was just not enough money then.
I think, though, that the two bases you see forming are not mutually exclusive. That is, one can both feel that modern society has provided the resources to afford one the means to roam, yet still feel a strong desire to pull away from that very resource-providing society.

And I don't think I would agree that our parents and grandparents didn't have the liberty to roam, at least not in the sense that they were restricted by legalities and regulations. If that were the case, the waves of immigrants that settled this country, sweeping aside and subjugating the Native Americans, could never have done so.

Had they wanted to, they could have sailed the seven seas at will, and Josh Slocum proved that one needn't be a conscript in some national navy to do it. Indeed, it wasn't until the advent of the British Empire and their invention of the current system of borders and passports, that one's freedom to travel was really restricted, at least in the modern sense.

I think, as you observed, that it was the lack of resources that made our parents and grandparents stay pretty close to home. Keeping body and soul together, and a roof over their heads was a full-time job in itself. "Gallivanting around," as my mother would have said (and often did) was out of the question - even despised as irresponsible and selfish.

But, even there, a lack of monetary resources hasn't always stopped those in whom the flame burns brightest. I think of Tristan Jones (1924?-1995), a sailor contemporary to our time, who sailed seemingly forever and everywhere, on a shoestring.

First, one has to want to do it. Then, if a person simply cannot abide not doing it, that person will find a way. They have no choice.

TaoJones
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Old 17-04-2007, 09:24   #38
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Maxingout - thanks for clarifying your situation in Saudi but I think you will admit that you enjoyed the freedoms you did there because of your position and this gave you more priviledges and access than most others would have. Good for you and good that you could practise your profession with few controls or problems. Generally speaking however, countries like Saudi Arabia have always had a double standard when dealing with foriegners who could be a benefit to them. Personally, I would prefer to take the devil I know in the way which western sociteties operate on the whole than be subject to the vageries of a monarch or dictator that can change laws and treatment of his own people or foriegners on a whim.

Being able to sail away from those problems is however a big benefit to the cruising sailor however, it is usually good to have a country like the U.S. to come home to even if it's not utopia it's still better than many others out there.
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Old 17-04-2007, 09:50   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
It seems that the broad basis of the poll if forming.

Those who see modern society as providing them with the freedom and resources to cruise.

And those who see modern society as a reason to have to cruise.
I agree that these two are "not" mutually exclusive to a point for some, for me I think I fall into both camps, but would like to clarify my stance on the second camp. Too often we find ourselved "living to work", rather than "working to live". In an essence that's my summation of both camps, and my need to cut the ties. My view is far less political than others I'm sure.

As stated before, I also like to decide how much of my culture to bring with me and what to leave behind... normally we probably start out with more of our culture and over time adapt and change.

For me the cruising life is:
1) Personal growth through the experiences, both positive and negative
2) Freedom... freedom to live my dream, not dream my life
3) Happiness - Laughing at all of the little things and learning that the big things if they don't kill you make you smarter (or stronger)
4) Beer... there's a lot of beer out there to be sampled
and finally... I can pee off the side of the boat without hitting the dock!

There's my $0.02 worth...

Mark
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Old 17-04-2007, 10:05   #40
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Benny,

You are absolutely right. We did have a position of relative privilege in the magic kingdom, and it protected us from many things. God help you if you were from Bangaladesh, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, or even the Phillipines. You were on your own. Horsepower helps!

Make no mistake about it, America, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and other European democracies are great places to live. They have stable governments, and for the most part, they have rule by law. With stabiltity and rule of law, there comes regulation. It's the price you pay to live in western democracies. Industrialized countries are great places to make money - to save up your freedom chips so that you can go cruising some day.

I wouldn't trade in my US Passport for any amount of money. But if I was twenty years old, my plane would be touching down right now in Australia, and it wouldn't be long before I had an Australian passport. The Ozzies have a population of around 20,000,000 people, 35,000 kilometers of coast line, and they have the outback. I spent several years in OZ, and inspite of all the government regulation, that country has adventure written all over it.

America has been good to me and to all of my family. It was a privilege to be born in America and to receive an education there. America is still a land of opportunity for those with ambition and perseverance, but it isn't a cake walk. You must be willing to do whatever it takes if you want to live your dreams, but at least if you are willing, you can make your dreams come true.

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Old 17-04-2007, 14:37   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taojones
I think, though, that the two bases you see forming are not mutually exclusive. That is, one can both feel that modern society has provided the resources to afford one the means to roam, yet still feel a strong desire to pull away from that very resource-providing society.
Well said and I agree with you. What I sense (perhaps mistakenly) is that a lot of people feel that they will be able to "escape" from the real world, live an independent life and stay apart from general society....that they seem to feel restricts them. I don't see how that is possible without the financial means. For many this is a fantasy and will remain that way for them with no means to make it happen.

I would like nothing more than to see everyone enjoy the cruising life. I just hate to see people's dreams go unfulfilled. "Sell it all and go now" is rarely successful in the long term. Sounds great while talking over a beer, but it does take money to keep a boat it proper shape and living expenses, while less in third world contries, must still be met.

I would suggest that the most likely way to make it happen is to form a realistic long-term plan, stick to it, work hard, embrase the evil system and your time will come.

Roger
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Old 17-04-2007, 15:39   #42
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I have had lots of friends who worked in Saudi Arabia, they did not have lots of money or priviledged but absolutely loved the place. The media always twist things up to suit their agenda at the time.

I have heard that Australia is one of the few countries that American adopt.
Americans living in England always remain American even after twenty years. But Americans living in Australia for any length of time become Australian citizens and completely fit in.
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Old 17-04-2007, 17:00   #43
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Tao, Sean, Mark, Roger, all

Let me clear up my lazy writing a bit. Actually I don't think that the two are far apart at all. It does not take a shift in idology but a shift in attitude to make cruising an opportunity as opposed to an escape.

Certainly my family had the chance to move around and has over many generations. But generally their movement was driven by economics and not recreation. Sean, my family sounds a lot like yours except my Grandfather ran a food packing company. The difference I am describing is more societal. In the '30s my family was lucky and had jobs. They worked with others to help them through. The 40s were not good for cruising. Sure there were yachts in the 50s and 60s but not near as many cruise capable boats as there are today at a price a middle class person could afford. It was not until later that the wealth of western society reached a point where a guy could grab the wife and kids and hit the coast for a year. Maybe I'm off base but it seems that the whole availability of yachting to middle class is post 1980.

Anyway it is a good conversation on why we get out on the water. There was a story by Colin Fletcher in the Complete Walker about a cocktail party where he was asked why he escaped reality with his long walks. "What makes you think the desert is any less real than a sidewalk?" He replied.

pv
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Old 17-04-2007, 18:56   #44
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I agree, PV . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
Certainly my family had the chance to move around and has over many generations. But generally their movement was driven by economics and not recreation.

The difference I am describing is more societal. In the '30s my family was lucky and had jobs. They worked with others to help them through. The 40s were not good for cruising. Sure there were yachts in the 50s and 60s but not near as many cruise capable boats as there are today at a price a middle class person could afford.

It was not until later that the wealth of western society reached a point where a guy could grab the wife and kids and hit the coast for a year. Maybe I'm off base but it seems that the whole availability of yachting to middle class is post 1980.
This is an astute observation, Pura Vida. Some may differ, and point to the explosion of "plastic" (read: fiberglass) boats in the late 60s, and through the 70s as the genesis of what has come to be called the "recreational boating industry." But it probably wasn't until the late 70s/early 80s that the middle class entered en masse when those first boats began appearing on the resale market.

And most of those early, assembly-line boats were more suited to day-sailing in near-coastal waters. The only people who could be called bluewater, passage-making "yachtsmen," were most ofter very well-heeled, old money snobs who were making those passages in custom-produced vessels designed and constructed to satisfy their wants and needs. None of them, I'll wager, were single-handers, constrained by a tight budget. Most probably had their crew deliver the yacht to their next chosen destination, while "The Captain" and his guests flew there to re-board.

That is, more than likely, what gave yachting its snooty, upper-crust image - an image that virtually all of us despise, and which no amount of careful explanation can seem to set right.

I think that right after the Second World War, the now ubiquitous middle-class boater could have appeared, as well, but the thrust then was more inward. The returning veteran most wanted to settle down, raise a family and work at his choice of any number of plentiful, well-paying jobs.

It was that generation's offspring that first felt an urge to explore outwardly; that felt suffocated by establishment expectations. And the mass-produced fiberglass boats that were then getting some age were re-appearing in the marketplace at just the right time to economically take them beyond the horizon.

It is in their wake that most of us now sail.

TaoJones
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:43   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau
what makes people into cruisers etc.or is there a recurring attitude/character in cruisers.
The common denominator is owning a boat ....any kind of boat in which one can live for extended periods of time and then moving to a new location

I dont really see much of a common thread other than the obvious.

If you love being on the water and the challenges associated with it.... you own a boat.If you like to be constantly fixing stuff in a marine environment then boating is for you.

If you really dislike authority you become a biker not a sailor

Im not one for authority ...mind you... but then I don't think most people like being told what to do....

The costs of ownership varies so the economic argument doesnt really fit.

hmmm ....maybe stupidity is the common thread here.....all the money we each toss into our own 'hole' in the sea
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