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Old 21-08-2006, 16:47   #1
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Too Much of a good thing?

I have a question for you long term cruisers or those that have made passages:
I'm considering sailing off to the south Pacific, but I'm wanting to be sure I have thought through the good and the bad. I'm concerned that it would not be long before it all became old and tedious. Such a voyage will take months to years and the reality may be that its too much of a good thing for too long. Have you ever been on a vacation that lasted too long? Well I can't say I have, but I know others have felt this way. My last vacation was in Maui and I could have stayed there much, much longer than the 8 days that I was there.

At sea, there will be weeks of the same empty horizon and weeks of eating basically the same foods and of course the company will be the same, etc.


I'm just making sure I'm being realistic.....Any thoughts?
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Old 21-08-2006, 18:01   #2
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Great question to ask on a forum full of people who have done this and aspire to do it. Not having made a passage like that (only around the Carib) my advice might be to give it a try. Go out for a few months if you already have the boat and go FAR. Try to make some good distance, even if it's just coastal cruising.

A few month intro should at least give you at good taste of what the day in and day out rhythm is.


We are about to head back in from a few months of cruising to (YIKES!) work for the winter. We are pretty bummed out about it since we have fallen into the crusing life and do not want to head back into the crowds on shore.
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Old 21-08-2006, 19:13   #3
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That is a very good question, and a very difficult one to answer because it is different for everyone. For some, the long periods of solitude broken up by short bursts of extreme excitement is all they could ever ask for. OTOH, you can fall into a rut as easily sailing, as you can staying at home. The only advice I could give is to make every day an adventure. Nothing wrong with securing the boat, and going camping, or spending a night in a nice hotel. You can also develop hobbies on board to make those horizons a bit closer together, and make people go OOO and AHHH when you sail into an anchorage, such as fancy ropework. You have to approach cruising as a lifestyle, not an extended vacation, or you will get burned out.
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Old 21-08-2006, 20:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
. You have to approach cruising as a lifestyle, not an extended vacation, or you will get burned out.
That's good advice. I'm planning to make a mission out of it. I will try to visit as many WWII bases and shipwrecks in the South Pacific as I can. That way, as you say, each day is an adventure. Still, I'm have this sinking feeling that the distances and time between such areas may grow to be painful.
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Old 21-08-2006, 20:46   #5
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The time between destinations is life. No reason for life to be drudgery. There is fishing, birdwatching, swimming (if the wind calms) and all the other things that make sailing for the sake of sailing, fun. Read some good books, or write one. Just like those lazy Saturdays you might sit at home, and be too tired to do anything productive, but too bored not to do something. The difference is, the boat will continue to carry you to your destination.
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Old 21-08-2006, 22:50   #6
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I loved the passages. The challenge of navigating and sailing the boat to it's greatest potential, the fishing, visits by Dolphins, and birds, etc. never left me with a dull moment. Took along a lot of books expecting to catch up on my reading but barely cracked any on the passages.

Being there took a bit of adjustment. Initially was a bit let down after the passage with too much time on my hands. Got heavily into snorkeling, free diving and spear fishing as well as hiking on the volcanic islands or helping the locals with the copra, even did some hunting for pigs and goats. My wife is a great cook so always some new taste treats.

Be aware that you are going to have to provide most of your entertainment. If you can't live without movies, shopping malls, and the internet, you will be in for a rude awakening. If you like the water, hiking, crafts and just absorbing other cultures, it's a great way of life.

I'd take along a sailing dinghy as well as a powered inflatable so I could explore without the need of gasoline, a folding bike for more adventurous treks on shore and plenty of snorkeling/fishing gear.

I just thought of a good way to simulate cruising. Turn off the electricity in your abode, provision for a month and lock your self inside for a month. If you don't go bananas you've half succeded iin your cruise.

Aloha
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Old 21-08-2006, 23:04   #7
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Part of it is the company on board. If you have someone that is going whine, bitch, get bored and sick, that is going to affect your attitude drastically.

Making a long passage on your own is different; it's just you and the rest of the world.

If you plan your trips and can get an idea of how long each trek will take from others who have done the same, It will give you expectations as a goal which makes it more interesting. See book "World Cruising Routes" by Jimmy Cornell, as well as others. That'll give you an idea of how long and the time of year to do the trips.

I plan to head for the Philippines in a few years. The route I'll probably take is down the coast to SF, then across to Hawaii, down to Tahiti, to Micronesia and then the Philippines. After some time there I may head for Australia, NZ, back up to Fuji and maybe back to Australia. Hopefully, I'll live that long. If not! Well, that's life!

I've crossed the Pacific 6 times, complements of the US Navy and each time it was different. Probably due to the time of year but keeping occupied made the time go fast. I plan to learn celestial navigation and do some reading, writing and maybe some drawing. Who knows, I may become famous. ............................................._/)
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Old 22-08-2006, 02:46   #8
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All good advice, for what it's worth I've "sold the farm and gone cruising" twice, both times it lasted 7-8 years till I was sick of it and wanted to do something else. Been back two years now and dream constantly of going again.
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Old 22-08-2006, 05:12   #9
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Peter O has it right on. You end up getting into things like biking, snorkeling, and exploring via hikes. Of course, this is *after* the passage. I had forgotten to mention TV, since i haven't watched it in several months. You'll soon forget about it too. The boat/seas/weather also tend to keep you kind of busy... it's not all "kick back and float downwind".
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:58   #10
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Hi Limpet:

I'm a Nor Cal guy as well. I've done a few ocean passages on sailboats and to be quite honest boredom never set in. I can get bored around the house but on a boat it really never set in. One thing I remember was always paying attention to the boat, its movement, the sail trim, the gear, paying attention to the boat for me was like a kid playing a video game and having a conversation. I just concentrated on the boat even when socializing, eating, or even sleeping. I'd wake up for odd movements of the boat. I think that is why I never got bored.

In port its up to you to meet other people or explore the island the bay. I'm not an extravert but I never had a problem meeting people.

IMHO its up to the individual. A couple years ago during the first week of summer we let the kids watch televsion in the moringing. When we turned off the TV the kids started saying "I'm bored." The admiral said, "I've got some cleaning yo can do." -- They never complained about being bored again. When we didn't let them watch TV they would just go out and play. Its just an attitude

BTW I love the idea of visiting the WWII islands.
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Old 22-08-2006, 23:06   #11
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Don't consider it as a Vacation. It is a voyage. An adventure. An exploration. A change in life, a new Life even. A change in lifestyle. A new Direction. An escape. An arrival.
Definatly not a Vacation. A vacation is a week or two jaunt out to some place and back again, pack it away, lets do it again next year type view of the experiance of sailing.
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Old 01-09-2006, 23:01   #12
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We headed down to Mexico then off to the South Pacific. The first island group you hit is the Marquesas. From there you still have the choice of bailing out and headiing up to Hawaii or continuing on tward Tahiti. This might be a good choice for you it leaves open many options for you depending on how your taking to the "cruising lifestyle".

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Old 02-09-2006, 23:35   #13
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I TOO HAVE WONDERED IF A MONTH OF SAILING TO THE MARQUESAS WOULD BE BORING SO I STARTED THE "MARQUESAS DIET". I ATE NO FOOD THAT I WOULDN'T HAVE ON THE TRIP FOR A MONTH. I LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT THAT I DID IT AGAIN THE NEXT MONTH. I HAVE LOST 63 LBS. AND HAVE GAINED AN APPRECIATION FOR RESTRICTED ANYTHING FOR A MONTH AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I LIKED IT.
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Old 03-09-2006, 00:00   #14
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Jimbo,

Can you give us a quick list of permissible "Marquesas Diet" foods?
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:39   #15
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pirate THE MARQUESA DIET

THERE ARE NO FAST FOOD LOCATIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACIFIC FROM VANCOUVER TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC. THERE IS HOWEVER LOTS OF FISH. BUTTER WOULD MELT SO YOU DO WITHOUT. SUGAR TWIN WAS MY SWEETNER. LOTS OF WATER AND GOING TO BED EARLY. NO T.V. TO ENTICE YOU TO JUST SIT AND SNACK. NO COLD BEER SO YOU DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH. WORKS GREAT IF YOU JUST APPLY IT FOR 1 MONTH. THANKS FOR ASKING. I KNOW IT'S SORT OF OFF TOPIC BUT SELF DISCIPLINE WILL GO A LONG WAY ON A LENGTHY JOURNEY.
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