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Old 18-02-2010, 21:19   #256
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A few miles from every cushy crowded cruiser area there's a place where we can live in the classic cruiser ways. You won't be able to plug in the air conditioner and send out the laundry. You just have to stick to your lifestyle - and do a lot more physical work.
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Old 18-02-2010, 23:29   #257
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I hope this doesn't sound too goody-two-shoes and I don't know personaly how the cruising life willl really be yet but the things that attract me to it are the mobility and the opportunity to meet a lot of very different kinds of people in a lot of diferent places.
In the marina where I now live there are a number of people who could easily be called boat bums but scratching the surface I have found in these folks people who love two things most... their freedom (often at the expense of a dental plan, personal hygene or wardrobe selection ;~> )and the water and these well "seasoned" folks have been as honest as the day is long and always happy to give even if they don't have much themselves.
Conversly, at the yacht club I belonged to there were those tightly dressed, uptight upper crusty looking folks who were the easiest going most open handed people you could hope to meet who loved the water and the comraderie that is such a big part of boating. Down here in the armpit of the harbor I had dockmates Peter and Vickie for a short time who were passing through on a beautiful fully tricked out 40' sailboat...They were a nattily dressed English couple who treated me on my previous old broken down project boat with tremendous generosity, respect and courtesy. I still remeber Peter with a friendly admonishment for me to "keep at it"... something that really has helped keep me going on dark days.

Met the best and worst of people on both ends of the spectrum and all these people have added volumes to my story of the world and there have been moments, good and bad, with all these kinds of people I wouldn't trade for anything.
I have always been part of the counter culture here and I while look forward to finding like-minded folks I have no plans for excluding any cruiser no matter how many gadgets they have, yacht clubs they belong to or how big and spiffy their boats are. There is an extent to which cruising is counter culture enough for me these days no matter how people see fit to do it.
It's a big ocean with a lot of different folks traveling it. I'm very blessed to be able to live this way.
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Old 19-02-2010, 02:27   #258
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The counter-culture is still out here. We've met a few along the way. But I don't think you'll find them on discussion boards. If they're on the boards at all, I suspect they're lurking and laughing.

We've also met many very nice and generous people who are living their dream on boats much larger and more expensive than ours. Most saved all their lives to do what they're doing. I try not to be jealous. After all, it's still a boat, so things still break just like on our old boat.
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Old 19-02-2010, 04:14   #259
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An interesting thread to follow , I thought a few pages back I had a grasp on what the Counterculture stuff was all about - but it seems to have slipped away Seems to be about "the" attitude as much as a lifestyle, with the boat thing being simply one means.

Maybe I don't "get it" cos' I'm a European? coupled with that back in the 60's I only ever managed to reach.................the age of 4

Not to say that folks from this part of the world are not doing the same thing as the "counterculture" folks and with the same means - but maybe just called (and felt?) as something else?

Whatever, different strokes for different folks makes the world wayyyy more interesting
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Old 19-02-2010, 05:02   #260
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I have found in these folks people who love two things most... their freedom (often at the expense of a dental plan, personal hygene or wardrobe selection ;~> )and the water
I will second this as a rational basis for the sailing counter culture which separates us from "bum" drop-outs who merely did too much hard drugs or suffer anti-social and oppositional defiant disorders!

I also forgot to mention that I suffered a bit of an incident that has left me ostracised from a certain group who profess to practice an alternative cruising related “lifestyle”. How much more counter-culture can you get than an eviction notice from the so-called “lifestyle”? Does this mean I am now an outlaw or pirate? Worse even, should I start applying for government jobs? Then will a site moderator send me another penalty/warning for admitting I have been declared an “undesirable” by this sailing counter-culture’s status quo?

Anyway, it is kind of an oxymoron that the “counter-culture” might even have a status quo? Nevertheless, where two or more might gather “politics” is bound to occur. No wonder I enjoy sailing ALONE!

(Yes, I have also been accused on other sites of propagating “psycho-babble. I note, unlike many involved in the 60’s and 70’s “counter-cultures”, I have never knowingly done LSD. I also admit I am sitting here bored senseless on dry-land looking for an outlet to overcome the tension of having my boat sitting on the hardstand a thousand miles up the coast.)
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Old 19-02-2010, 06:04   #261
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counter culture

What happened to the counter culture?
1. As has been amply stated in earlier posts by others, there are a lot of really wonderful people out sailing their boats, as well as a lot of really difficult and unpleasant people. But isn't that true of any lifestyle you may have lived/chosen?
2. Why is it so hard to find a secluded and undisturbed anchorage? The US population has increased from 203 million in 1970 to 315 million in 2010. The world population has increased from 3.7 billions to 6.8 billions in the same period. The world, and by extension the places we like to sail, are just a whole lot more crowded than at the height of the counter culture movement (whatever that was).
3. Boats have been built from GRP since the 1960s. All those boats are still around somewhere, whereas their wooden progenitors had relatively short lifespans. Again, anchorages, boat yards, and marinas are just plain more crowded and will get only more so.
4. The baby boomers, the core of the counter culture, are old now, as much as it pains me to say this. We can't eat and drink the way we used to. We are not as strong and as resilient as we were. We are not prepared to take the same kind of physical and emotional risks as when we were kids.
5. Cruising and lifestyle, counter culture or not, are a matter of taste. To some sailing means camping in a plastic bottle floating on the water. To others it means Watching from an anchorage for the green flash with an icy cold beer in hand. To others it is going to 'summer camp for adults' in George Town, Bahamas.

I respect and admire those who have the courage and skills to sail in the high latitudes. I respect those who can cruise without refrigeration and have a minimum of electronics just adequate to keep them safe. Maybe I can even begrudgingly respect those who for years have been living on their 'permanently' anchored boats in the DR and have no intention of hauling up the anchor.

The counter culture was about mutual respect, although as kids we were not always respectful, was about questioning arbitrary authority, and a willingness to make lifestyle choices that might not be well received by the so called respectable segments of society.

As I read different threads on the forum it seems to me that the counter culture is alive and well. It is just different. And not surprsingly since the world is a different place.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:15   #262
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The term Boat Bum still confuses me..
I was called the biggest bum in the yard once by a European woman in Oriental NC... I rarely asked anyone for help... and if I did it was 15 minutes of physical help for something that needed a second person, me at the top of the mast for example, some one to tend the line on deck, I shin up unaided.
Her husband was always coming over drinking my beer... never brought any with him... in spite of him being an 'Earner' and me not.
Even when I was broke at the end of my stay I did not ask for assistance, a lady friend nosed in my stores and decided my carefully calculated provisioning of nuts, raisins and other dried fruits, cereals and canned fruit and soups was a starvation diet(she ate giant steaks regularly) in her high protein opinion.. so she and some other folks turned up with stuff from their cupboards.
I ended up with 19 large tins of corned beef and other stuff I don't like on land.. much less at sea.
Now don't get me wrong here... Their kindness was wonderful and I love em to bits for doing it... but they then posted details on the net which created/re-enforced the possible impression I was a 'Boat Bum'.
Still had the corned beef when I got to the UK... disgusting stuff..
People often judge by appearances and to be honest there's a growing "Snob Culture" out there..
I've often found that if I'm the only boat on an anchorage, a new arrival will come over, drink and socialise happily till a 'rich boat' arrives, then, I never see them again.
Who's the BUM.. me? the 60's 'drug culture drop out' (whatever that is) in the old boat... or the 'Status Conscious/Paranoid Professional' ******* who abuses my hospitality so blatantly.
Leave your Social Status Crap on shore folks... no blue and white collars out here...
Or you may just find that the "Bum" you've ostracised may just sit sipping his beer and watch as your boat drags away or worse.. laughing his butt off..
He's usually surviving thro' hard earned knowledge and skill.. not loadsa $'s and bullshit.
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:20   #263
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I only divide people into 2 groups. Landlubbers & Sea people. Those who get "it" and those who "don't". I guess maybe that's 4 groups. Maybe I don't get "it". There are some Landlubbers that get "it" and some Sea people who "don't", I'm confused.
Well, "Here's to me and here's to you, and should we ever disagree, then here's to me and the hell with you!".
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:39   #264
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Me thinks that everyone is wierd, except me amd thee, sometimes I wonder about you.
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Old 25-02-2010, 09:15   #265
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I have not cruised too much. but things that bother me sort of creep up. In Annapolis you could just anchor-then the town put in some moorings out by the naval academy. then a few years later they filled back creek (eastport) with moorings. I have seen this in other much larger anchorages. You have a sailboat you get to pay more because you are rich!!!! That is what I see...
I hear ya… been following this thread off and on for awhile, but you hit a chord. I recall anchoring in Annapolis years before the mooring upheaval, then it changed somehow – it was always commercial, but somehow took on a sort of contrived sterility as well, then Solomon’s followed suit and it seems like concrete, regulations, law enforcement and gold-platers were in every creek, at least until the recent economic downturn… but I guess that is the nature of life. Since I barely got outa sight of land before mislaying the dream some decades ago, I can’t say I was ever part of something called a counter-culture – at least not on the water, although I’m at it again so who knows… such singular cultures are often so delicate and fragile that as soon as they become recognized as real by the masses, the sheer weight of too many eyes obliterates the notion – much as animals in the zoo never seem quite free no matter how extravagantly contrived the “natural habitat…”

I’ve spent a modest amount of time contemplating the notion and I’m of the notion that counter-culture (whatever it may be) is more a state of one’s mind, than anything else… There were a few terribly conventional and wary folks sailing home-finished Westsail 32s and plywood Wharram cats in the 70s and they were supposedly the epitome of the breed… and there probably are some truly free-wheelers sailing today on carbon-fiber, vacuum-bagged, autoclaved and full-batten, trust-financed monstrosities… the vessel, and even the port, is probably only part of the story. Still, it seems to me that the hallmark of the counter culture (whether afloat or otherwise) is a strong desire to go somewhere other than where the herd is going – nothing wrong with herds, flocks or packs; you just don’t find too many non-conformists trying to conform to a large group mentality (there is a logical incongruity there…). The Peter Tangvalds and the Bernard Moitessiers of the world were hard to find in their day because they were "out," and the current crop of social revolutionaries probably aren’t hanging out at the yacht center (or reading this thread…) either. This seems to be the case regardless…

My other life-long affliction is motorcycling and through many thousands of miles (several hundreds of thousands over nearly five riding decades I suspect, although I never kept track and a number of my scoots didn’t have speedos or odometers anyway – so who knows) and as I ride the long-pavement I notice that after about midnight, and especially into the wee-hours out in the hinterlands, the character of the few riders I’d meet changed markedly from the routine, mind-numbing and conventional RUBs (rich urban bikers) such a common sight in the daylight or near to trendy watering holes… and once or twice a year I see a skipper tie up at our marina for a brief stay with that same look in their eye – a look that seems to say they’re temporarily entertained by a civilized moorage, but not necessarily part of it…
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:07   #266
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DCSTRNG.... We come in for a while.. then we go away again after finding that we don't really fit in...
I used to be a 'Biker' and there was a time when, if you pulled over to the side of the road every bike would stop to ask if you were OK.... today the roads are full of flash leathers and super-bikes and no one stops... end of a Camaraderie.... The Yuppie "Screw u Jack" is alive and thriving..
The same holds for sailing.... when I was a 'Biker' I'd ride anything to stay 'On the Road'... the same holds for Boats as far as I'm concerned...
In 01-04 I owned and sailed a Beneteau 321, 04-06 a Hunter 37, 06-08 a Beneteau 331.... then through circumstances I lost the lot and was left with 3,500GBP... so I bought a 40yr old Hurley 22 and sailed her from the River Exe, UK to Portugal in Dec 08.. sold it, flew back to the UK and bought a 35yr old Coribbee 21 and did the Biscay again last June....
On here there are a lot of folks finding reasons not to DO IT...or... Looking for the 'Perfect Boat'....
Today I'm looking to move up again... maybe I will.. maybe I wont... but trivialities like toerails, headroom and cross ventilation are unimportant.
For me a sailing boat doing its best at 5kts+ is akin to Hacking down a road at 100mph+ sparking the exhaust on the bends... living on the edge in all sorts of conditions.
I cannot imagine a life without the ability to haul anchor or cast off and head for the horizon at the drop of a hat... What I'm IN is irrelevant.... whats is important is that I CAN... and do.
Now many may say I've a very selfish outlook on life..
But I say what would you rather have... a happy laughing guy you see once in a while.... or a Miserable Ba*#ard you see every day...
The counter cultures there... just open your eyes and Look Carefully..
we are on a variety of boats... depending on our up or down finances but.. You'll Always Find Us On a Boat...
Sailing since 1964...
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:07   #267
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Cheers dcstrng,
I think you have hit the nail on the head.
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Old 17-03-2010, 11:41   #268
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Sometimes whiners are good you put them on the bow in a fog.
They also work great as fenders.

Fun thread.
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Old 17-03-2010, 14:24   #269
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I'd like to chime in on this whole counterculture "myth". These are just the observations of a lowly house painter who only went as far as the 8th grade, couldn't dream of buying a home here in the Wash DC area, (but buying a westsail very soon) and I drive a Yaris (bought used) for pete's sake!

During the course of my work I have had the privilige to work in thousands of homes where I was able to observe and sometimes be a part of people living their lives. I'm here to tell you that aside from, perhaps, a difference in the levels of education and sophistication, those yuppies and I were not so different after all. My friends and I chased a dollar just as hard as these wealthy people, just weren't as succesful at it and I discovered that people were people everywhere you go. We all have the same dreams and struggles. Some whose values mirrored my own and some not so much.

I rode freight trains all over the US as a teen, earning money by picking oranges, hoeing beets, or what have you. I hung out with other long haired homeless hippie kids, and I found just as many (maybe more) people with disturbing personalities and questionabe values amongst the hippies and tramps (ultimate counter culture) riding the Santa fe train out of the Stockton, Ca. yard than amongst the evil yuppies.

I think it's very human but kind of a narrow view to believe that only you have the necesary value system in place or the correct spin on the world, to call yourself a cruiser. Who the -#--! are you? Life is too short for that kind of thing.
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Old 17-03-2010, 14:52   #270
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And mine are the observations of a lowly ex-Navy/ex-plumber/Dustman/factory worker/boatyard worker/circus roustabout.... etc, etc... and I stand by them...
As for who the F*#k I am ....
Someone who dislike assholes on jet bike's, in big power boats going to fast... not forgeting those in fancy sailboats on autopilot who T-Bone me at 6kts coz theyre all down below feeding their faces and guzzing wine....

Boatman61 aka Turnaround Phil

PS; I was expelled from school at 15 in '63'...so probably come under the 'Dodgy Hippy with dubious Values' catagory... the Isle of Wight Festivals were awesome.
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