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Old 01-11-2007, 12:40   #16
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the only encouragement that counts is advocating time on the water.
i've never really differenciated between 'coastal' sailing and cruising because what's the difference?
you can just as easily drown in 8 feet of water as in 14 miles deep.
its actually more trouble to be in big seas in bad weather close to shore.
if there is anything i could advise someone starting out; it would be to get on the water and learn. its great to read about sailing; its more important to do it.
its easy to get in over one's head in the beginning, but that is how one learns to sail.
i once took a 7 foot skiff out on the gulf of mexico and the clothesline that was the mainsheet snapped and the land disappeared when the wind and tide grabbed me. i managed to tie up some rags and hold the mainsail and tack back into the pass. what had taken 30 minutes sluicing out, took me almost two hours tacking back. when i finally got to land, there was a crowd of people applauding me! that's encouragement.
while i was strewn out collapsed on the beach catching my wind, a sailor came over and said, 'you might want to hammer a bit of lead in that daggerboard'.
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Old 01-11-2007, 15:02   #17
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I kind of understand where Tareua is coming from. Bahamas/Caribbean sailors have an advantage because most ‘passages’ are glorified daysails. 50 miles from Florida and you’re in paradise - if the boat isn’t quite right or the weather is iffy ...... well, there’s no good reason to move.

Still, there is a schizophrenic element to cruising. The worst ‘passage’ we had was from Culebra to St. Thomas. The weather/waves turned out to be a lot stronger than forecast - Gee, what a surprise. After seven hours of bashing, slamming to windward, our reward was a large well-marked harbor with easy but rolly anchoring. The result was ‘forget about dinner, Honey’ - let’s just have a couple of sundowners, watch the sunset, and go to bed.

I remember other days of spectacular beam reach sailing through crystal clear waters, followed by intensely stressful weaving into shallow coral head studded anchorages with me at the bow giving hand signals to my wife at the helm. The result was ‘forget about dinner, Honey’ - let’s just have a couple of sundowners, watch the sunset, and go to bed. It probably takes 'awhile' to get back into this rhythm

Don’t have any experience with small children aboard, but we met people from Sweden, France, England, and Canada doing this. All of the kids were resilient, precocious, and totally oblivious to any apprehension that their parents were experiencing.
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Old 01-11-2007, 17:45   #18
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Dinghy sailing gets you tuned to the wind. Racing teaches you to go fast - where you want to go. The problem with dinghys is they don't have the complex systems that cruising boats have. The problem with racing is that you are often "on the edge" for performance.

People who have been on sailboats often get the impression that things are on the edge. I was surprised when I started riding around in 50 foot boats how "not on the edge" you are. Sure you want to make good time but no one on a cruising boat wants a 40 degree deck angle.

So I am guessing that's an impression to give people is that you can slow down, take it easy, go when you want and when the wind blows up shorten the sail and still take it relatively easy. I haven't met too many cruisers that have been in the perfect storm. Especially with today's communications and weather services.
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Old 01-11-2007, 21:58   #19
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There is a difficulty in taking a couple of success stories as a guide. For every Bumfuzzle there are probably fifty who abandon their plans early on, and hundreds who never activate their fantasy. Some go early and young with little which is an option for some. Others for a variety of reasons are more conservative.
One doesn't have to have and know everything, but one way of distinguishing the dreamers is that the prudent will take some steps to prepare themselves. The go now is a bit simplistic.
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Old 02-11-2007, 18:08   #20
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For every Bumfuzzle there are probably fifty who abandon their plans early on, and hundreds who never activate their fantasy.

The go now is a bit simplistic.
I believe this and am sorry I cannot hear more of the ones who cancel or quit.
I could learn a lot.

But I wonder if I can "camp" for years.
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Old 02-11-2007, 20:29   #21
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I believe this and am sorry I cannot hear more of the ones who cancel or quit.
I could learn a lot.

But I wonder if I can "camp" for years.
I like your reference of cruising or liveaboard as camping. It primarily comes down to what level of comfort are you willing to live with or with out to persue a dream. As in camping you can be tenting or A class motorhome. Boats have an even wider range.
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Old 03-11-2007, 13:03   #22
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I’m surprised at my own level of apprehension. In some ways experience gives you confidence, but it isn’t quite like riding a bike.
Actually I think it is exactly like riding a bike. It's like riding a bike 2,000 miles. It's not the same as riding around a lake or across town. It needs to include the bigger picture and all the planning that goes with it. As with the bike analogy "the bike" isn't going the 2,000 miles it's the person that has to control the bike and tend to the needs of the person not the other way around.

If there is a common mistake new people make in the forum its that they seem to think it's all in the boat when in the bigger sense it's really all in their head or not as the case may be. So the question of if my 35 year old bike can go 1,000 miles may not seem too promising until I tell you I have put 10,000 miles on it already.

There is more to it than just beliveing you can do it. If that were true no one would need to go. It take a variable amount of effort to cross the line from beliveing to going as well as hating it or enjoying it.
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Old 03-11-2007, 18:36   #23
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As in camping you can be tenting or A class motorhome. Boats have an even wider range.
Exactly.
A large portion of the "needs" are determined by the wife.
I could do with far less I can assure you as long as I have cold beer.
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Old 03-11-2007, 19:54   #24
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I think what you have stated is a universal truth. However wife's wants become our needs to ensure smooth sailing. Most of us probably have gone a bit high on the comfort side just to get our wifes to accept the idea of living or cruising on a boat. Chock it up to maintenance costs. Marriage maintenance.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:25   #25
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... I could do with far less I can assure you as long as I have cold beer.
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... I could do with far less I can assure you as long as I have cold beer.
Most long-time cruisers might agree that beer may be a necessity; but would maintain that COLD beer is a luxury.
You’ll know you’re a cruiser when:
- You actually like warm fruit drink (from powder/crystals) & rum cocktails ...

Cruisers & Beer:
A recreational boater, a newbie cruiser, and an old salt cruiser went into a bar and each ordered a beer. Each found a fly in their beer.

The recreational boater looked in his beer and said, "hey bartender I have a fly in my beer. Give me another beer."

The newbie cruiser looked in his beer, found the fly, reached in an picked it out and continued drinking.

The old salt cruiser looked in his beer, saw the fly, grabbed it by the wings, shook it over the glass and yelled, "Spit it out, Spit it out!"; all the while, demanding another beer from the bartender.

The Buffalo and Fishing Theory:
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, much like the brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. The slowest buffalo are the sick and weak so they die off first, making It possible for the herd to move at a faster pace. Like the buffalo, the weak, slow brain cells are the ones that are killed off by excessive beer drinking and excessive fishing, making the brain operate faster.

The moral of the story: Drink more beer, and fish more - it will make you smarter.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:48   #26
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That's true Gord I am getting smarter every year. Pretty soon I'll know everything about nothing. What the hell I'll just have another beer, so I can smarten up.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:13   #27
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COLD beer is a luxury.
I have a friend who is a land cruiser, has had refrigeration for most of his life and still drinks warm beer frequently. Not all the time though.

I guess I am a spoiled American.

I could get by with dried dung mixed with straw as a cooking fuel like the Pakistanis I knew when I was young but I want propane or electricity instead thankyouverymuch.
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Old 04-11-2007, 17:58   #28
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Like the buffalo, the weak, slow brain cells are the ones that are killed off by excessive beer drinking and excessive fishing, making the brain operate faster.
There is a theory that drinking kills brain cells. I always worry it's the brain cell that contains my name, address or the location of my boat...
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:17   #29
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Gord you are right, you need beer, it doesn't have to be cold, especially if its not lager.
I remember drinking on my boat in Moorea, and we were having warm gin with powdered Gatorade. It was all we had left.
So, come to think of it I know exactly what to tell newbie cruisers,
DON'T LEAVE MEXICO WITHOUT YOUR BOAT HEAVILY LOADED WITH CHEAP ALCOHOL! You can learn to work around everything else.
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Old 05-11-2007, 14:13   #30
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There is a theory that drinking kills brain cells...
Great news from the world of science:

I also, used to believe that drinking killed brain cells; but scientific medical research has actually demonstrated that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better cognitive (thinking and reasoning) skills* and memory than is abstaining from alcohol. Moderate drinking doesn’t kill brain cells but helps the brain function better into old age.

* Don't Forget: Drink a Beer-Or Two-Daily! ~ By Nikhil Swaminathan
Study in rats suggests long-term, moderate consumption of alcohol improves recall of both visual and emotional stimuli
Goto: Don't Forget: Drink a Beer&mdash;Or Two&mdash;Daily!: Scientific American

"According to Scientific American, researchers in New Zealand and Ohio report that drinking beer can enhance memory and cognition. To wit:
You may be hard-pressed to recall events after a night of binge drinking, but a new report suggests that low to moderate alcohol consumption may actually enhance memory.
"There are human epidemiological data of others indicating that mild to moderate drinking may paradoxically improve cognition in people compared to abstention," says Maggie Kalev, a research fellow in molecular medicine and pathology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and a co-author of an article in The Journal of Neuroscience describing results of a study she and other researchers performed on rats. "This is similar to a glass of wine protecting against heart disease, however the mechanism is different..."
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