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Old 06-01-2015, 12:59   #1
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Being Social

Hi All,
I'm going to be getting into the cruising lifestyle soon and I've heard various different accounts regarding how social the seen is. On the one hand I've heard that cruising is a antisocial activity and on the other I've heard about people meeting up frequently.
Can you tell me what your experiences have been?
How do you meet up with fellow cruisers when you get to a location?
What kind of activities do you do? (potlucks, etc)
Where are the most social locations to visit (mainly interested in around the BVI's and that general area)
Thanks!
Sherbo.
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Old 06-01-2015, 13:22   #2
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Re: Being Social

...On the one hand I've heard that cruising is a antisocial activity and on the other I've heard about people meeting up frequently...


As with pretty much everything about the lifestyle (that's why most of us have chosen it) it's entirely your choice. If you want the opportunity to socialise, then head to the Caribbean, or eastern Mediterranean; in the BVI's you'll get ample opportunity. Alternatively, when we were sailing up the rivers in Suriname, we didn't see another yacht for almost a month - we partied with a few locals mind!


That said, we've met yachts in both the Med and Caribbean who don't often come out to play; that's their choice, personally I think they're missing out, but so long as they're content, it's no business of mine.
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Old 06-01-2015, 13:23   #3
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Re: Being Social

We have found no other activity that offers a greater amount of independence and self-reliant isolation than cruising; however, we also find ourselves at anchorages, destination ports or marinas with the opportunity for a great amount of interaction.

Often times we find ourselves at locations where social activities among cruisers are highly organizied as we notice at Georgetown in the Exumas or the moorings at Vero Beach, Florida. We tend to shy away from these type of activities that make us feel as though we are at an adult day care.

There are also the gatherings that seem to be full of those vying for notice by sharing how far they've cruised for how long and in what most challenging conditions. We tend to not get involved in these groups either.

Conversely, we have very dear friends that we come across now and then at an anchorage or port that we meet with celebration. There are probably 40 or 50 other cruising couples, singles, or families that we thrill to see by chance. Some we'll never see again and some new encounters become gems.

Some are those we first encountered on the Cruisers Forum. There are many I've shared with here that I would enjoy meeting underway.
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Old 06-01-2015, 13:31   #4
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Re: Being Social

It can be as social or antisocial as you make it. By far, most cruisers are friendly, helpful, and sociable. Even in the touristy, charter boat intensive areas like the Virgin Islands, look hard enough and you'll find cruisers getting together for potluck dinners on a beach, drinks in someone's cockpit or just randomly dropping by to say "Hi" in their dinghies. We've even had a few swim up to our boat to greet us.

An example--we had barely got our anchor set in Hog Island Bay, Grenada, when a cruiser (John on Sea Witch) popped over to welcome us and invite us to join the group (about 12 boats anchored there) at Roger's Beach Bar Wednesday evening. We all brought snacks and our own drinks, or bought them from Roger. There was some impromptu music on guitars and a Brit with a penny whistle. Fridays was a trip over to The Big Fish restaurant for dinner, and on Sunday evenings, Roger and his brother sold BBQ chicken with all the trimmings, along with drinks. It was a complete social world unto itself.
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Old 06-01-2015, 14:44   #5
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Re: Being Social

Try this thread for lots of opinions: Shy Cruising or don't invite me to the Potluck :)
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Old 06-01-2015, 20:49   #6
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Re: Being Social

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We have found no other activity that offers a greater amount of independence and self-reliant isolation than cruising; however, we also find ourselves at anchorages, destination ports or marinas with the opportunity for a great amount of interaction.
This paragraph pretty much sums it up. One thing not mentioned is the good and poor influence alcohol seems to have on the cruising social community.
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Old 06-01-2015, 22:14   #7
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Re: Being Social

If you want social interaction with other cruisers, some proactive actions really help. When a new boat enters your anchorage, dinghy over and welcome them. If you are the newcomer and no one does this for you, go and introduce yourselves to the folks already there. Welcome is so nearly universal that there is little risk of being snubbed.

Those of us who travel to places strange to us have learned this simple social skill, and have made a host of friends, both with other cruisers and with local yotties. Wandering about on shore with a smile on your face and a friendly greeting to those that you meet will often open doors on the land, too... and this has lead to some fantastic experiences for Ann and I. After a certain number of tropical paradises, it will be the people that you remember, not the palm trees!

It's a great life!!

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Old 07-01-2015, 01:31   #8
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Re: Being Social

I have found the further from civilization you get the more open and welcoming the cruisers become. Even here in Oz I have found this to be the case. I put it down to if being closer to major centres the others may only have days or weeks on their boats away from work looking for a break rather than socializing. We as full time cruisers make an effort when seeing a foreign flagged vessel to say hi.

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Old 07-01-2015, 05:25   #9
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Re: Being Social

You can make it as social as you want, and even change the amount of activity.

1) go to a busy social area, or a quiet one.
2) be involved, get busy, organize events. If I go snorkeling by myself I jump on the VHF and invite everyone too. If no one turns up, that fine, but at least I have put it out there. This weekend I am organising a "Hike from Hell". It doesnt really take much time to organise and is fun.
3) accept or decline invitations. Declining will make them stop completely. So if you wish to be active accept every invitation.
4) Happy Hours. Go to every one, or just a few or none. Get around to everyone at happy hour and say hi.
5) Pot Lucks if you wish to be socially on the up and up cook something great to take along (with meat in it!) or a great desert. Most of all make yours look Hygienic, well prepared and nicely presented.


No matter if you wish to be social or not: have a smile on your face, say Hi to everyone, never stand on your foredeck with arms folded being Anchorage Nazi.

And whether social or not: Help other cruisers! be the first to respond to any emergency, boat dragging, dinghy drifting etc etc what goes around comes around.

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Old 07-01-2015, 05:33   #10
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Re: Being Social

What Jim says about entering an anchorage is right. Its easy when arriving to drop the pick and dinghy over to boats and ask how the holding is. That gets people talking and soon you are friends
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:01   #11
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pirate Re: Being Social

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
What Jim says about entering an anchorage is right. Its easy when arriving to drop the pick and dinghy over to boats and ask how the holding is. That gets people talking and soon you are friends
Buga that... to much like hard work..
I do my intro's as I come through to drop my hook... always circle the anchorage first to check the depths, bottom, possible spots and that's when I pick out boats that look like they may have interesting folk aboard.. tell a lot about people from what's topside...
Often stop for a waffle at one or two as we pass who may call across and ask where we've come from..
Don't like dinghying up to boats I don't know.. bit to much like 'Cold Calling' for my liking.. friendly waves as dinghies ply to and fro is usually enough to start breaking the ice.. or at the beach.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:43   #12
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Re: Being Social

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I pick out boats that look like they may have interesting folk aboard.. tell a lot about people from what's topside..


I always check girls' topsides too... But maybe not quite so boldly as you.




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Old 07-01-2015, 07:39   #13
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Re: Being Social

I usually follow Boatman's plan and circle about the anchorage, surveying the depths and spaces available. I do this even in an empty anchorage. I remember a cruising buddy once told me that I reminded him of a dog let out of the house and in the yard looking for a place to crap.

Like Boatman, I hesitate to dinghy to another's vessel without prior contact. I do often ask those already anchored how much rode they have out. I figure this is a neighborly concern and it allows me to match their swing.

There are some telling items topsides,- personalized flags, cruising gear.... we have a couple of glass net floats in our mizzen rigging. I met a cruiser in Hilton Head that kept a pair of ice skates hanging from his transom. His message was, "I'm southbound and these are a relic of the frozen past."
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:53   #14
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Re: Being Social

Our approach is much like the Force's; we stay away from organized or mass events. Solitude is much valued on our boat, but we love to connect with interesting and open people all along the way.

Funny, but I do exactly what Boatie does. When we enter an occupied anchorage I speak to anyone on deck who looks interesting and open. We get info about the anchorage, but we also suss out the interesting folk. Sometimes this leads to some lasting friendships which get renewed when we bump into each other again.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:10   #15
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Re: Being Social

Mike,

It does look like you are holding a gun: "Play ze music or I shoot you. Be happy everyone! Zis cruising is meant to be fun!"


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