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Old 17-07-2007, 22:08   #1
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Sailing Dreams - Getting Started

Several days ago, I picked up an old National Geographic magazine dated April 1969. I couldn't believe my eyes, because on the front cover was a picture of Robin Lee Graham and Dove sailing around the world.

Almost 38 years ago, I picked up the same magazine, and I read about the cirucmnavigation of Dove - a sixteen year old teenager sails around the world. I was in college at the time, and I said to myself, if Robin Lee Graham could make the trip, then I could and I would do the same thing. That National Geographic story planted an idea in my mind that influenced the next thirty-eight years of my life. When I was 47 years old, I started out in the wake of Dove, and I did my own circumnavigation. My trip around the world took eleven years, and I did mine with my family, but the dream was the same.

So this is my question to the forum: Did you ever have an experience that made you decide that you were going to go world cruising on a yacht? Was there ever a specific incident or event that changed the direction of your life so that you knew that one day you would sail the seven seas?

What was that event, and how long did it take for you to make your dream happen?

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Old 18-07-2007, 01:54   #2
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See also:
“What was your Epiphany?” cruisersforum.com/forums/f74/what-was-your-epiphany-3067.html
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What Was Your Epiphany?
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Old 19-07-2007, 20:49   #3
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Reading the Hornblower series as a kid.
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Old 20-07-2007, 07:32   #4
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THE CIRCUMNAVIGATORS by David Holm kept my cruising dreams alive for years. It is a collection of stories about the early circumnavigators, many of them who singlehanded. These were folks who circumnavigated in the days before GPS and autopilots.

It was those folks who inspired me to buy my Westsail 32 when I lived in the Caribbean. I could see myself sailing in their foot steps. Although I ended up circumnavigating in a small catamaran, it was still the same dream.
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Old 20-07-2007, 13:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout
THE CIRCUMNAVIGATORS by David Holm kept my cruising dreams alive for years.

Dave:

So when are you going to around again???? Was eleven years long enough or are you headed out for more?

Keegan
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Old 20-07-2007, 13:53   #6
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I read the same book when I was a kid. It inspired me the same way. I have kept the dream all of my life. Probably I will never circumnavigate, but we do plan on cruising and we are now working on our first boat that is big enough for us to all do some daysailing and short overnighters here on the PNW coast. That is - myself, my wife and out 5 kids.
BTW - it is my understanding that Robin Graham still lives in Montana and has never sailed since. His second book gives some insight into why this may be.
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Old 20-07-2007, 14:42   #7
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We have no interest in circumnavigating or even crossing oceans. But, we cruised the Bahamas/Caribbean for 2 years - that’s paradise enough for us and we intend to do it again.

Our inspiration was ......well, a little different. At the age of 52 my wife and I took a Caribbean cruise - yeah, on Carnival. We’d never been before and we fell in love. Of course, we had lots of sailing experience - we owned a power boat for 3 years about 30 years ago. And, I had spent a whole day on a Morgan 36. So, we bought an old Hunter 34, spent more than the purchase price on refit, equipment, and upgrades; learned to sail AND ANCHOR her - sort of; and 2 years later we set off for the Bahamas and the thorny path. We had a blast; and the only reasons we came back were to sell the house, clear up some other financial matters, and get a bigger boat. Unfortunately, we developed some health problems and we’re stuck for awhile. But, in a year or two we’re going back - this time forever.

I’ll always be a monohull fan - and a cheapo light weight one at that. But, my hip and my knees just can’t deal with companionways anymore. So, we’re planning on a galley-up cruising cat. For the rest of you:

Go Simple, Go Slow, and Go Now (and Don’t Come Back).
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Old 20-07-2007, 16:49   #8
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colour me green

I had already been bitten by the sailing bug when I was given a copy of Dove when I was 9 or 10. Growing up in Montana I sailed as much as I could, but it was not enough. A bit ironic that he now lives there. The strange thing was, I didn't love nor even like the book. My jealousy was such that I hated Robin Graham. I still have my copy of the book. Maybe I will re-read it this weekend.

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Old 20-07-2007, 17:02   #9
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wellllll.... I am a reformed powerboater....yeah I know! terrible, and about 3 years ago, during a BVI trip here in the Caribbean, I saw so many sailboats, and the gracefullness of their sails, and hulls! that I just had to have one, had windsurfed a lot, and Hobby cats and sunfish, but never had gotten the bug. After that Thankgsgiving trip, I decided to go cruising in silence (sail) and never looked back, all my family, Dad, uncles own powerboats, so I am the rebel of the group and we are all in the same Marina, its fun. Through sailing I have been able to enjoy so many hours of my life in 3 years that I thank God for that trip.

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Old 20-07-2007, 19:12   #10
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Keegan

Right now I am replenishing my cruising kitty. My cat is laid up in Florida on the hard, and I am in Phoenix earning freedom chips. The dream is definitely still alive. The main reason I came back to the USA was because our parents are 83, 84,85,and 86 years old respectively. We had been living outside the USA away from them for the past twenty-eight years, and we felt that they needed us to be here for a while.

I have committed myself to being in the USA for at least two years. After that it's anybodys guess where we will be. I have a Land Rover Defender in New Zealand, and a second Land Rover Defender in Australia, and I am planning on making a driving trip from Cape Town to Cairo using those vehicles - another reason I want more freedom chips.

As far as our catamaran is concerned, Exit Only is a permanent member of our family. The cat is in dry dock waiting for the next adventure. I don't know if I will sail around the world again, but the south Pacific, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand are all on my short list of places that I want to sail to once again.

I can't visualize my life without Exit Only. Life is too short to not continue living our dreams.

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Old 22-07-2007, 21:09   #11
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Quote:
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. Life is too short to not continue living our dreams.

Cheers
Dave:

You have an inspiring writing style that I am sure gets the attention of many.

Let's hear it for FREEDOM CHIPS!!!!

Keegan
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Old 22-07-2007, 21:59   #12
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Keegan,

If you want to be a world cruiser, you have to become an expert at converting buffalo chips into freedom chips.
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Old 26-07-2007, 12:00   #13
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Dave,

Need to get my hands on some of those freedom chips, do they have those here in the Caribbean

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Old 26-07-2007, 23:06   #14
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Quote:
Did you ever have an experience that made you decide that you were going to go world cruising on a yacht? Was there ever a specific incident or event that changed the direction of your life so that you knew that one day you would sail the seven seas?
Actually - kind of the opposite. I started sailing as a child and was also determined to do the round the world trip. Crewed on a couple of open water races, and thought it was the cat's ass.

Then I joined the Navy. First time out at sea was on a 440 foot destroyer in the North Atlantic in January. We hit a storm that was so severe that we had to run with it for four days - couldn't turn the ship without running a serious risk of broaching. There were a couple of other events too over the ensuing five years, but that first one sticks in my mind. I was on the bridge of the ship, looking UP at the top of the waves and thinking to myself that I had never imagined it got quite THIS bad.

Ever since then, I have been a very contented coastal cruiser. Don't mind a bit of heavy weather in the middle of the summer, but I honestly have no desire to go out and battle the elements. Looking forward to spending a retirement running up and down the ICW from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean, and maybe joining a flotilla cruise over to the Med, but that's about it.

Every time I hear people yearning to round Cape Horn I just shake my head. Can't for the life of me understand why. It's been done, boats and lives have been lost, there's a perfectly good canal if you need to get over to the left coast...

However - I am glad that there are others out there that feel differently, because I really enjoy reading about their adventures.
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Old 27-07-2007, 07:34   #15
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Danny,

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have a good supply of freedom chips. I worked for five years in Puerto Rico when I had my Westsail 32.

The cruising life is a delicate balance between an unlimited supply of freedom chips if you keep working and a dwindling supply of time units and health units.

You stand at the roulette wheel of life and place your bets. You hope that you don't run out of freedom chips, time units, or health units. But if you live you dreams now, you win no matter how much money, time, or health you have in your purse.

When you go cruising, you win.

Life is good!
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