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Old 06-06-2016, 17:16   #16
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Re: Returning sailor

G'Day Tech,

Our situation is only partly analogous to yours, for we've been cruising outside the states for thirty years now, moving about rather than settling and working in one country as you have done. But none the less, we've not been a part of mainstream American society for a long while. We've had a few visits "home" during that time, three of them for several months duration and involving medical issues.

And we've experienced much the same as Dave (Maxing out) describes: we do not share many ideas and practices with folks back there, and do not particularly enjoy our time "in country". It is great for us to see and spend time with our children and grandchildren, but we have so little in common with them that meaningful communications are difficult... no matter how much we love them. And even life-long friends find us hard to understand and relate to, a loss that is a sad and unexpected one for us... a sad but real price we've paid for our cruising life style, and one not often discussed in the glossy sailing mags!

I think that your approach to repatriation is sound, for it will give you the flexibility to back off when culture shock gets to be a problem for you (and I suspect it will, at times). And immersing yourself in the cruising community will give you contacts with other folks who are not bona fide members of the mainstream and I think this will be a help to you.

My guess is that the nuts and bolts of repatriation will be a PITA, but one that will respond to some diligent effort on your part. Finding a niche where you can be yourself and still fit into the flow of life stateside... that will be the hard task.

I wish you well, and hope that you will post about how it goes for you when you do return... we may well have to do so in the future.

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Old 07-06-2016, 08:15   #17
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Re: Returning sailor

Hi Jim,
Thank you for the good feedback in your post. FYI, I've spent over half of my life outside of the US sailing to points all around the world. However, that was with the US Navy for 20-years and I was always surrounded by everything American while traveling onboard Naval Ships (shipmates, food, movies, military lifestyle, etc.). Although no real comparison to the type of cruising that you and others do, it did ingrain in me quite a bit about living in confined quarters, being minimalist, and interacting with people who don't, or can't relate to someone (visiting foreign countries, living abroad while assigned somewhere as examples), among other things.

My few good friends back there are all men that I served in the Navy with years and years ago and we are in touch on Facebook and e-mails. But you and Dave have both stated, there won't be much in common after all these years and the differences in lifestyles, and I have also experienced this during my past "forays" back to the States.

An you are absolutely correct in that going live aboard will give me the flexibility that I know I will need in order escape when I need a break and also to figure out where to go from "here" once I repatriate. A friend's experience in repatriating really brought this home to me first-hand recently (Lived here in Egypt for 9 years and returned to England, breakdown after 2 months, therapy for another 2, and then came back to Egypt and is now my roommate.....still a bit fragile at the moment and swears never to return to Engand. Sad, really).

And yes, you are also spot on when you say that the nuts and bolts of repatriation will be a PITA. There is no doubt of that. My way of addressing most of those nuts and bolts will be to remember that although I may want a car and driver's license, for example, do I have to have it today? Prioritizing what is necessary and what is not is key IMHO.

Won't be repatriating to the States for a few months or maybe not until next spring as I don't think I would enjoy moving aboard a pocket cruiser in the middle of winter which isn't outfitted properly for my needs. Especially after living through Egyptian winters all these years (we do have winters here....occasionally one doesn't need sunblock! ).

Again, thanks for the good feedback and good luck to you as well Sir!
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:31   #18
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Re: Returning sailor

I was away from sail boats for 40 years (job on top of a mountain). I was amazed at the changes- roller reefing, self-tailing winches, no light houses, 40 foot boats equipped to be single-handed, vastly more interior space, and far, far more electronics. You're buying an older boat, which will soften the blow. My biggest questions for you are whether that alcohol stove might be replaced - they have a very bad reputation, and whether a fixed mount mapping GPS might be on your list. VHF radios now can transmit MMSI information, and if you are planning to be out after dark in the southern Chesapeake, radar and/or AIS are worthy of consideration. What sort of motor assist will you have?
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:02   #19
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Re: Returning sailor

tkeithlu,
Yes, am seriously considering replacing the alcohol stove, however, not immediately. I have used alcohol stoves in my desert forays here in Egypt and prefer not to use them when good firewood or "Buta-gas" (our version of propane) is available. Still awaiting the survey results before over-prioritizing what needs to be done without actually having been on the boat. It will most likely be replaced with a propane stove at some point and later incorporated into a heating system of some sort....but all of that is armchair planning (and some dreaming) at this point.

Your point about GPS, VHF, Radar, and AIS are well taken. I have sailed the lower Ches years ago and can see the need for everything you have mentioned in your post. FYI, in case you haven't read my earlier posts, I work in the yacht building/repair industry here in Egypt. I am currently finalizing the installation of a complete Raymarine Nav Suite on a German built antique yacht. Means I get to actually play with the toys and decide what I would like for my own (and get paid for it too! ).

The laptop that I'm typing this from also serves as a chartplotter with DGPS interface and is capable of MARPA as well. The software is transferable between laptops should this one die. Charts are a bit outdated (2010), but should suffice for the time being, so I am halfway there on the items which you have mentioned. Radar would be a great thing and may come later. I plan to start with an autopilot system first (wheel pilot). VHF that transmits MMSI? It is my understanding that one doesn't acquire an MMSI number unless one has an IMO number (Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, and I may very well be). And AIS? A future possibility as well but is something that I would consider a want more than a need at this point.

Thanks for the input! Properly stowed away for future reference.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:47   #20
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Re: Returning sailor

tkeithlu,
Forgot to address your question about motor assist. The vessel has a 1GM Yanmar with 600 hours on it which has been well maintianed (I have the maintenance receipts from the owner and have contacted the maintenance company and verified that indeed, said maintenance was done.

Just saw your post on another thread about laptops serving as chartplotters vs. dedicated marine systems. I agree with you that in an open cockpit a laptop wouldn't survive very long. Kept below, out of harm's way, a laptop will get the job done. No real need for a chartplotter in an open cockpit anyway unless one must look at it every minute or so to confirm that they are anally following a straight line on the plotter unless they are in tight quarters, that's a different situation altogether.

I think that it more has to do with what one can afford. If it works for someone sailing on a calm lake somewhere, it works for them. If it works for someone sailing in a storm, then it works for them.
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Old 07-06-2016, 16:06   #21
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Re: Returning sailor

A modern VHF that will transmit MMSI to the Coast guard is $99. The number is free, BoatUS does it if you are staying in the US. I've forgotten the international source, which is what I have, but it's still free. An autopilot is the best anti-exhaustion over night haul investment we have ever made. If you are around shipping, AIS is $400, and you'd be amazed how many ships there are out there looking for a chance to nail you. Radar? Expensive, but the Furuno 1715 does the job and is available as a free-standing unit. I would not leave home without it.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:21   #22
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Re: Returning sailor

Update (and I know it's been a while and I shoud prolly let the thread die). Survey results came out "Good" on the 1981 Hunter 27 in all categories with the exception of the 12-VDC electrical system, which is full functional, but the wiring is not up to par. Rudder has some "possible" delamination on the port side (surface cracking but nothing structural). So I purchased the boat in the middle of last month. Title and Bill of Sale has been received by an old Navy Buddy in Vah Beach. I think he was more excited than I was as he went out a purchased a Rocna anchor with 6-foot of chain and 150-foot of rode (well, I did save his life once in a previous life..but who's counting...he saved mine too).

My current employer, the German owner of the boat I am currently working on (on-and-off for the past 4-years), in lieu of my normal 6-month bonus (I received half of it anyway...in US$ no less!) Has "gifted" me a Raymarine eS78 wireless radar system with MFD, a Raymarine SPX-5 Wheel Tiller AP and a Standard Horizon 2200 Matrix VHF Radio with AIS and GPS to replace the old 9-channel VHF on the boat! They were ordered a week ago. Repatriating to the States in April 2017 now (ticket purchased). If it weren't for winter in the States coming up, I'd be outta here next week! (Blood's to thin after living in Egypt for 19 years).
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:06   #23
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Re: Returning sailor

Thanks for the update, and a here's a slightly premature welcome home! Sounds like you're going to have the best equipped 27 on the water. If you install a propane stove, note that there are also some really neat propane heaters on the market that draw air in one concentric pipe and discharge exhaust out the other - as a result, they draw no air from the cabin and are sealed from it. No problem with ventilation or CO in the cabin. We love ours on a frosty morning.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:20   #24
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Re: Returning sailor

Hey tkeithlu, what model do you have? Gives me a starting point for research. But it sound like just what I need for winter 2017.
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Old 07-08-2016, 16:02   #25
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Re: Returning sailor

Congrats, Teknishn,

Definite progress there, and good on your employer! neat gift.

You may find that you will want a heater in the US in April, installed by the time you get there, or get an electric one, while you're in the marina.

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Old 07-08-2016, 17:00   #26
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Re: Returning sailor

We have the Dickinson Newport P9000, the smaller of the two Dickinson makes, the other being the 12000. It takes up very little space in the main salon, has a window to the flame, and the concentric hoses are flexible, so mounting it was easy. The cap on the boat deck above is a mushroom about six inches across, with air in the lower level and exhaust out the top. We have a separate propane tank for it on the boat deck, rather than trying to link it back to the cooking stove propane supply. It has its own solenoid gas cut-off switch per ABYC. It's rather pretty, actually. Go2Marine has them for under 800 USD.
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