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Old 21-02-2010, 20:25   #1
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Volunteering & Cruising & Meaning of Life

Thinking about retirement and what to do with ourselves. I would like to take off now but the wife is interested in working for a few more years. Maybe, just maybe, if we came up with something that we both found valuable and rewarding that was based around a cruising life style it would make the decision easier.

I picked up a book today that seemed to be the ticket but it turned out that they were all "volunteer vacations." Most had a price tag of about $1,000/week exclusive of transport. Didn't sound much like what I had in mind.

We are of the "loopy lefty" mind set, interested in the environment and critters. Doing something meaningful with our lives has always been important to each of us. She still gets value from her job. I have become disillusioned with mine. Maybe we can find something we agree upon.

So I wondered if there was some outfit that kinda would like someone to sail somewhere and measure the sea temp or salinity. Or maybe go somewhere and look around for whales or ????? Measure global warming effects? I dunno.

Obviously I'm just guessing here. But it seems that a sailboat ought to be useful for some kind of research or something.

Some particulars:
We are in Philadelphia
Have a 33' steel cutter in Newfoundland along with a cabin.
Just bought a 44' steel cutter
Decent health, late 50's.
And, as is obvious from the above, are fairly nuts.

Any ideas?
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Old 21-02-2010, 20:44   #2
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checkout Welcome to OceansWatch International | OceansWatch :: International (CN)
Sea Shepherd

et al - there are plenty out there!
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Old 22-02-2010, 05:42   #3
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Brian,

Thanks. I looked at both of those but it is hard to see where we would fit into the program.

Sea Shepard wants you to work ashore or crew on their boat.

Ocean Watch is more helpful, it seems they have "members yachts" but where you contact them about this specifically is not entirely clear. None the less I will write to them to find out more about their programs or see if they can point me in a more appropriate direction.

Thanks again.
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Old 22-02-2010, 06:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Thinking about retirement and what to do with ourselves. I would like to take off now but the wife is interested in working for a few more years. Maybe, just maybe, if we came up with something that we both found valuable and rewarding that was based around a cruising life style it would make the decision easier.

I picked up a book today that seemed to be the ticket but it turned out that they were all "volunteer vacations." Most had a price tag of about $1,000/week exclusive of transport. Didn't sound much like what I had in mind.

We are of the "loopy lefty" mind set, interested in the environment and critters. Doing something meaningful with our lives has always been important to each of us. She still gets value from her job. I have become disillusioned with mine. Maybe we can find something we agree upon.

So I wondered if there was some outfit that kinda would like someone to sail somewhere and measure the sea temp or salinity. Or maybe go somewhere and look around for whales or ????? Measure global warming effects? I dunno.

Obviously I'm just guessing here. But it seems that a sailboat ought to be useful for some kind of research or something.

Some particulars:
We are in Philadelphia
Have a 33' steel cutter in Newfoundland along with a cabin.
Just bought a 44' steel cutter
Decent health, late 50's.
And, as is obvious from the above, are fairly nuts.

Any ideas?

Yes, thinking of doing the same thing. Hope within the next year or two of casting off the dock lines. (hell of time to be waiting on a real estate deal to close).
I belong to the local Rotary Club and it is international. I keep trying to match this with sailing. Trying and thinking of a way to become a international spokesman for that...have not got it totally figured out yet.

Interesting topic, hope to hear more.
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Old 22-02-2010, 08:15   #5
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hpeer,
I am a member of OceansWatch and from you are looking to do, I think they would be a great fit. There are a lot of activities for boat owners in the Caribbean that you could get involved with. As a matter of fact, they are in the process of sending boats over to Haiti with supplies they have had donated. This will go on for some time, so if you are interested, give them a shout.
Jim
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Old 22-02-2010, 09:35   #6
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That sounds like fun Skylark- are they using you as freighters? Were to you pick up and drop off supplies?
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Old 22-02-2010, 09:47   #7
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If you travel around in the third world you will find that what people want most, other than your money which you should be generous with in any case, is to come to the USA to start a new life. I am not suggesting you break any laws, God forbid, but there are ways of helping. If you don't mind bending a few laws, there are lots of ways. And it feels great to help people. If you go to certain villages in Guatemala, you can see statues of me in the town square.
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Old 22-02-2010, 10:21   #8
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Newt. You could help out OceansWatch in a few different ways. As a member with a boat, you could get involved with your own vessel and crew or they can help find other members to crew for you. As well, you can crew on other boats and go that way. Unfortunately I am still waiting for the weather to bring my boat down to Florida from NC, but I am trying to get on another boat as crew in the meantime. There is a bunch of info on their site that covers a lot of this. Even if you don't have the time or a boat at this point, they are still a good organization to support.

Boats leave from all over...Key West, the Caribbean, etc.
Jim
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:34   #9
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With full respect to all posters and ideas expressed above, how I see cruising / voyaging / sailing is that they are values in themselves and do not call for any further motivation nor justification.

So, if you like cruising, go and cruise. If you are hesitant, still give it a try. If you do not like it, drop it, and go on to what you think will make you live a happy and fulfilling life.

barnie
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Old 22-02-2010, 13:08   #10
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barnie, I am pretty sure the folks that posted, including myself, would completely agree that cruising and sailing lends its self to values hard found now adays. There aren't many cruisers I know that wouldn't spend there day helping me as I would surely do the same for them. The satisfaction of a working vessel and helping a friend is all the motivation I need.

I certainly don't think hpeer was looking for something to justify a cruising lifestyle. I think he, and others on the board would like to help folks if they could while doing something that they love.

For me, living well on a day to day basis and helping others is a given. Now throw in bringing food, medicine and schools supplies to nations that need them while doing the thing I love most, sailing, is extra special. Eveyone should do what they feel is right for them. hpeer was looking for something specific he could do, thats what we gave him.

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Old 22-02-2010, 13:41   #11
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I completely sync with Jim.

My comment was not meant to criticize, nor belittle volunteering and helping others. What I wanted to express is that sailing itself may be a value that will justify and give sense to life. And when we live happy and fulfilling lives, then many good things come out of it, for us, and for the societies we live in.

b.
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Old 22-02-2010, 13:47   #12
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Skylark, thanks for supplying the additional information.

I was thinking more along the lines of scientific work than humanitarian aid but it is sure working in the right direction.

Again, my thanks, and I would like to keep this open for alternative ideas as well.

Barny, I hear you. FWIW I have gotten into a prolonged discussion about the meaning of "work" and of finding "meaningful" work. I have pretty well convinced myself that "work" outside the scientific definition, is really pretty meaningless.

None-the-less some of us would like or need a little more justification; perhaps we have too much lingering guilt.
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Old 30-03-2010, 05:56   #13
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For an update:

I joined OceansWatch, wrote them a intro letter of capabilities and interest and did an introduction on the forum.

I got no response whatsoever, well I did get a form letter back and an invite to do something in the South Pacific, out of my area.

The forum seems to be dead with little to no activity in over a year.

So while is seems to be a good idea, outside of the south pacific area and some humanitarian aid to Haiti there does not seem to be much activity in the Atlantic area.

I may be missing something but I don't think so.

Other ideas are still encouraged, especially those that don't require us taking additional crew and of a more scientific or observational nature.

Many thanks,

Howard
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Old 31-03-2010, 20:44   #14
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Check out the SSCA. They have a number of different initiatives going on. They may not have one right up your alley, but could help you go in the right direction.

Fair Winds,
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Old 31-03-2010, 20:59   #15
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Thanks, I'll check it out. I am a member but don't do much there.
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