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Old 07-09-2003, 05:31   #1
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What do I need ...

What Ya Got ...

Three of the more common questions I see on various forums are (paraphrased):
1. How big a boat do I need to cruise or live-aboard?
2. How much money does it take to cruise?
3. What essential equipment must I have to cruise safely?

The disingenuous answer is “how much ya’ got”, or perhaps “just a little more than you’ve got”.

An illustrative tale:

A couple of guys had the good fortune to spend a (winter) week visiting a friend, aboard his large, premium yacht in the Bahamas. Enjoying their last morning aboard (they’d be flying home & to work later that day), they got to critiquing some of the other boats moored in Nassau Harbour.

Nearby, was a Chrysler “Buccaneer”, a 26 Foot “something-or-other”, with a horrid reputation among yachtsmen. This particular vessel appeared to be a real “gypsy”, with gas cans and other oddities lashed everywhere, faded canvass, a ratty old rowing dink, and so on. The young couple aboard, were apparently not well off , and cruising on a tight budget.

Now, our visiting experts all had opinions on such an “abortion” as this, and derided it and her crew mercilessly. “That thing’s not even a boat”, was a typical observation.

After listening to these denunciations for several minutes, our chagrined Captain (the host) was observed to ask, “where will you be tomorrow?” “Why we’ll be back at work, in New York (pick a place)”, replied one. To which Captain X rejoined, “And where will they be - still in paradise, right?”

Now, I’d not recommend that anyone set out cruising aboard an unsafe boat, or with an underfunded cruising kitty - but the moral here is that, at some point, you’ve got to make do with what ya’ got (or can get). Don’t let your unfulfilled “wish list” of desirables
keep you from enjoying those things that you DO have, and getting to those places you can do.

Remember, words like ‘safety’, ‘adequate’, and the like are relative and subjective, and not absolute. There is no such thing as ‘enough’ money, or an ultimately ‘safe’ boat. These are merely ideals towards which we aspire, and should not become objectives in and of themselves. Cruising, or even day-sailing, is an adventurous endeavor, and should be approached with that spirit which allows us to accept some level of chance, inconvenience, and uncertainty.

This “go now” philosophy may seem at odds with other advice I sometimes offer on “how to” subjects, where it would appear that I’m somewhat “anal” about quality. It’s true, I insist on doing things right (as I see it), OR NOT DOING IT AT ALL! The point being - do what you can, and do it well - then let go, and get going.

OMO
Gord
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Old 01-11-2003, 06:19   #2
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Timely Points

Good points and timely, for me. I brought my dream boat (Tobago 35, probably more boat than I can afford to maintain) back from Martinique a year ago, and am trying to fix it up on the cheap. I have been disillusioned with my career after 25 years at it, and have changed goals. Plans are to quit in June, straighten the boat out, and leave Grand Lake for the Carib in late October.

Trouble is, unexpectedly, but unsurprisingly, the boat seems to need more. New sails, new motor mounts, saildrive seal sensor going off, forward trampoline needing replacement, repacking of liferaft, wife wanting more electronics and more safety gear.

At the same time, RRSPs are of lower value than their costs, as are savings outside of RRSP. Now the boss offers a raise and a promotion to something suitable, IF so and so leaves next June.

So what am I gonna do...plan to enjoy the next life instead? I am an atheist with Buddhist leanings (but they frown on beer).
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Old 01-11-2003, 09:42   #3
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How much does it take?

Gordo reminds me of my favorite story about someone who thinks cruising sounds just great...

Mike was enroute to Florida from the Canal, it was blowing hard and, not being in a hurry, Mike hove to and was keeping a watch and waiting for a nearby small low to move off. A freighter happened on the horizon, Mike called to verify they knew his location and, with both watchstanders bored and looking for company, a conversation developed. The Captain of the freighter, after hearing about Mike's leisurely sail down the Central American west coast and his plans to summer in Maine, admitted that was that kind of life for him, as well. Must be great to just cast off...but he wondered how much it would cost.

'Oh, would you like to know the cost of doing this, too?' asked Mike.
'You bet. What's it take?' replies the Captain.
'Well, do you own a home?' asks Mike. The Captain assures Mike he has a very nice home, located on a great lot and they've recently added a pool, too.
'How about a car?' Yes, sez the Captain, they have two nice cars, both of them relatively new.
'Do you have some money set aside, in case you want to do something special?' And again the Captain assures Mike he does.

'Well then,' sez Mike, 'It's quite easy: all you have to do is sell your home, sell both your cars, dig that money out of the bank, and then you'll be able to do this, too.'

At least the way the story (from Ross Norgrove's first book on the cruising life) struck me was twofold: it truly can take whatever you have, financially, to go cruising AND it's a lot easier to admire and aspire to the lifestyle than it is to commit oneself to it.

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Old 01-11-2003, 10:11   #4
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To Each there own...but,

The "more" you "need" to have to go...The "More you need to have to go"...about says it all...From money, to electronics, to the size of boat, to what ever you like...Some people have a secret desire to never actually go, and they fulfill that dream, the one of outwardly appearing to want to go while inside being terrified of actually doing it, by continuing to find "one more need" they don't have to actually DO anything...they can "act" as if they will someday set for the south pacific, fooling themselves most likely, but usually not too many others are taken in...They see it for what it is....It protects the 'dreamer of dreams' from telling others, and themselves the real truth...that they like the idea of appearing to be a passagermaker---they enjoy Talking the talk....but are not willing to do what it takes to walk the walk!

W.Shakesphere said, 'all the worlds a stage and the people mearly players'....the romantic notion that comes with appearing to be a swashbuckling, deck struting seaman! A man in charge, as much as one can be or HIS OWN FATE ARRRGHHH!!!!! That's what keeps too many chained and imprisioned! We are a nation of actors, pretending to have more money than we may by going into debt to drive a car our friends approve of...by Pretending to actually want to work 80 hours a week to try to inch ahead, pretending that we are happy sending our children off to be raised by the school district, pretending that being totally stressed out, on edge, exhausted, and constantly aware of our "place" in society is what our Dream Is... If that REALLY is your dream, and you are living it, Great! More Power to you! But if that isn't your dream you must ask your self, "Who's life is this I am living...cause it isn't mine" ?

We all hear people saying.."Keep Dreaming"...I guess it's true...but in reality JUST dreaming isn't enough...it requires action! You must "DO" your dream, not just dream it.
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I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

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Old 01-11-2003, 14:17   #5
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Brad,

I basically agree with your analogy, but I think there are exceptions. There are many sailors out there that would like nothing more than to take off and live the dream. But for some, it just isn't possible. Due to shortage of money, no boat, sickness in the family, injury,etc.,they just can't go.Sometimes, it's just the luck of the draw.I remember traveling through Nashville,TN one time.Street musicians are plentiful.Some are pretty good, and then there's others that when you hear them, you think,"this guy or gal should've been a star." Why weren't they? Possible bad management,no management, wrong place at the wrong time,some one ripped them off of a hit song,etc.The high school football star that didn't get a college scholarship because he was injured his senior year, and missed most of the season.I think this scenario plays out in every walk of life. Sailors aren't excluded. Yeah, there are those that talk the talk, but don't have the sand to walk the walk.But then, there are those in between that would be willing to stand toe to toe with Poseidon while suffering his angry wrath, anywhere in the world, if only they could break free.
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Old 01-11-2003, 17:58   #6
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Stede...With all respect, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one... If your goal is to be rich, get a degree in some field that supplies that...If your dream is to make music,...even if you make music it on the street, you have made it...You see, if my dream was to make music, and I became a street musician, I have accomplished my dream...If it is about the music....But for many, the dream isn't about fullfilling some empty shape in ones soul...instead of a dream they have a "false vision" and believe that if they become a "big star" or what ever it maybe, they will be on-top/respected/powerful/admired/etc.., To me, a dream is not about those things...If I didn't get a college scholarship because I had a bad game/bad season, that doesn't mean I can't fulfill my dream of going to college...maybe not on an atheletic scholarship, but if I REALLY want to go to college, I will find a way... I mean lets be real...most people to not go to college on an atheletic scholorships anyway...not because they wouldn't if they could, but because they can't even play the game with any skill...My point is, how bad do you want to do it? I am not rich at all...But I like to cruise. I have cruised for years with my family on a small (34 foot boat 9' beam) because it is worth it to us.We could still be waiting for the 45 foot split rig this do dad that do dad boat...instead we have years of voyaging under our keel... We are willing to do what it takes to chase down our dream... Any one who truely wants to go badly enough to stand toe to toe with any obsticle, and that lives in the free world, can go.They can "break Free"...it's all a matter of if they have the will to make it happen, or just the will to find reasons why it can't happen...I am not trying to sound puffed up and vain...that's not the point... I do not think I am better than others or anything because I have made the sacrificies to make our dream happen, and we sacrificed much...I missed my own fathers funeral because I was in the South Pacific and couldn't afford to fly home...I just made the choices to make it happen and, my point is that I am NOT special...If I can make it happen, I believe anyone can if they really want it...My great Grand father came over from Sweden in 1906 at the age of 19...He wanted to graduate from 'school', as he had never been to school in the old country...Not only couldn't he read or write in Swedish, but he didn't speak english at all! What to do...He had young children to support along with a wife and a new life to build in a new country...He didn't get a scholarship, but what he did do was learn to speak english and, eventually fullfilled his dream: At the age of 67 he graduated from "high school", aquiring an Idaho state general equivalance proficency degree...He is the first I ever heard say "If Life gives Lemons, Make lemoade"...also the first to tell me "Where there is a will, there is a way"... If there was never adversity, what would be the point? How can you be proud of accomplishing anything that comes given to you wrapped with a pretty, easily untied bow?

With all respect to your opinion Stede, I believe we can over come just about anything if we have enough of a heart desire to do so.
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I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

See the Faithful...
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Old 01-11-2003, 18:42   #7
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Brad,

I agree with your assessment that to make the dream a reality, you have to be willing to sacrifice. I've always considered myself very goal oriented. I set goals for myself, and do what it takes to achieve them.Always have, and always will.It sounds like you are the same.The point I was trying to make is that sometimes there are things out of your control.No matter how much you want to change them you can't. One cruiser I talked to told me that his wife had developed breast cancer.He gave up the cruising lifestyle to take her for treatments.Now one could say, he could leave her with relatives and continue on, but that's not realistic.I read about another cruiser that hit a cargo container in the Atlantic,and sank his uninsured boat while he was at 62 years of age. He said his boat,and what was in it, was everything he had.These are the kinds of situations that I mean prevents someone from going, that normally would.Maybe my previous examples weren't very good ones? But in my mind, to make the dream a reality a lot of things have to fall in place, and that's why I was comparing it to celebrities and atheletes.Yes, there are choices to be made,and someone can take the attitude (take no prisoners) I'm going to do this, but sometimes that's a very fine line.Suppose you had of taken off cruising with your wife and she decided she hated it and would not do it.? On one hand you could say " my dream is to sail", but on the other hand maybe your dream to start with was to spend your life with her.One could apply all kinds of "what if" scenarios to these types of theoritical problems.As far as me personally, I envy you.I wish more than anything I was out there, but I can't.No, it isn't about boat size, or money (neither of which I have much of).It's about a committment I made that I want to honor.I won't go into any details, but rest assured that I will be out there one day.We had take out Chinese for dinner tonight. My fortune cookie read " Your dearest dream will come true." Now how can I question a reliable source like that?
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Old 01-11-2003, 19:22   #8
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Stede, As friends must sometimes do, I believe we must agree to disagree...I think it is a matter of choices...some very hard to be sure, and some may postpone the fullfilment of a dream....Here's a link to one page, type in this fellows name on Google and you'll find many links to his story... His wife couldn't /wouldn't go with him, his boat was a rusted hulk when he first got it, after readying it, he lost it in a storm in the Indian Ocean, he survived the storm, but in that de-masting, he lost his best firend, the name sake of the boat he got to replace the one he lost, so he could complete his dream...he needed another boat, but the only way he ways earning money for his dream was playing his clairanet...what should he do? Give Up? Many would have, but he didn't......Read about his "Around the World Solo" trip, as he established the world record as the "oldest" to achieve this feat at the age of 75...David Clark's story and website link below....as I said, there are scores of storys about him, and others like him...to me it's all a matter of choices. He refused to fail. There are many stories of those who choose to carry on, no matter what tries to stand in the way...I am hopeful will leave a legacy like that when I depart this world.

David Clark's story...or at least part of it...

Another couple paragraphs that sum up his voyage, and dream pretty well in a short fashion..

Anyway, I am out of here...We are pulling out tomorrow, so This will probably be my last post on this board for a while...Take care and fair winds to you and others I have meet here...There will be updates on the "where are they" page at my website...check it out if you like!
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I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

See the Faithful...
www.geocities.com/bradleybarrett
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Old 01-11-2003, 20:40   #9
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Brad,

No my friend, I don't think we're disagreeing at all. Your statement "I think it is a matter of choices...some very hard to be sure, and some may postpone the fullfilment of a dream",pretty well sums it up for me. The key words being "postpone the fullfilment of a dream." That's where I'm at, and I'm sure others are too
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Old 01-11-2003, 21:48   #10
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Agree on the whole thing being a matter of choice.

Also read Mr. Brads piece about some folks dreaming the dream but not doing it as it is safer to talk than to walk.

Agree...
The more ya have to loose, the harder it is to break out and take a risk.

It takes a special person to do it for sure...

(I am there right now, but the choice is marriage or cruising..Not fair, but life was never supposed to be)


How do ya ditch yer partner of 12 years to go voyaging, or how does she ditch ya to stay on dry land.??

The boat is all paid for and all the upgrades and repairs are done, including the last few coats of bottom paint and varnish, and all the little stuff.
The thing is ready for world wide passage making, but the crew is not..Frustrating...

(Never marry a New York City girl.)



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Old 02-11-2003, 11:32   #11
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stede...I understand your position..."circumstances do happen"...for instance, yesterday while loading up to get under way I BROKE MY COLLAR BONE! We will still go, against doctors orders, and begin our extended cruise for 10-18 months, depending on how long the cash hold out this time (That's how we have done it for years...work and save, then go as long as the cash hold out)...choices...we COULD stay on land like the expert wants, but why? We'll just spend more of our limited crusing kitty to stay here and wait, while we could, and will, go there and wait I really can't believe this happened though...

CSY..is cruising for awhile then meeting up with your wife in a port somewhere an option? I mean, can't both of you figure out someway you can go for it, but she doesn't have too? Would she be willing to meet you in the Islands, you stay there together on the boat for a few weeks, then she meets you the next place,etc.., my wife and I STILL do that on big passages...she doesn't like them, so if I am doing anything over a 10 or 12 day offshore passage, she'll come back to the states, visit etc.., then fly out and meet me wherever....this all was very hard to type with only my left hand and arm!
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I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

See the Faithful...
www.geocities.com/bradleybarrett
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Old 02-11-2003, 12:19   #12
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Mr. Brad, what you are talking about has been mentioned and discussed, however briefly..

We sort of go out on short cruises, 2 or 3 weeks in the Bahamas and that has worked out fine..
No major off-shore stuff to scare the city girl. Just the gulf stream crossings, but we always wait for good conditions before crossing.

The problem is that if we keep the house, the car and all the luxuries, then there is no money for extended cruising.

As a home-owner, one is a slave of the pay-check.

If we sold everything except the boat, we could put the money in low risk investments and comfortably live on the boat and cruise almost forever, on returning to land the principal amount would still be there.

The problem is however that the lady does not want to "Give up"
the luxuries of dry land and house and friends and art galleries and shopping and movies and all that.

She accepts short cruise becuase she can look forward to come back to her own bed...

(I should also mention that the boat is in good shape, very clean inside and out, with all the safety stuff and some luxuries..
In fact I had a surveyor come out and inspect the boat and make an addendum to the original survey to raise the agreed value:
He classifed the boat as being in Bristol condtition, of which only 1 or 2 % of vessels in service are..His words.)

That little blurb just to illustrate that the condition of the vessel is not part of her reluctance...The skipper always sail sober and not even one beer is opened untill one anchor line (Chain ) or 2 dock lines have secured the boat to Terra Firma.

The whole thing is about "Living on a boat" , a fate worse than death for a city girl....

Becuase of the above we have frequent "discussions" and have been on the brink of divorce many a times...Right now there is a truce, but like an active volcano, the CSY Man hacienda is always bubbling and hissing and the next eruption could be just around the corner...

Just got laid off from work a few days ago and this would be a perfect time to go cruising, no 'canes for the next 7-8 months, boat is all ready, etc...But aye, no cigar.

Been thinking about taking my best buddy, the guy that likes to sail, drink beer, tell jokes, hang out, etc, take him to the hospital, give him a sex-change, then marry him, then go cruising.....

So far all my buddies have declined the offer, hmm back to the drawing board.

Good luck with the shoulder, ya can still open the beer bottles with yer other arm right?...
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Old 02-11-2003, 12:31   #13
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Brad,

Sorry to hear about the collar bone. I hope you heal up quickly during your voyage.

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Old 04-11-2003, 03:22   #14
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George Carlin

George Carlin waxes philosophical:

<< The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.

A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

HOW TO STAY YOUNG:

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name isAlzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. >>

George Carlin
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Old 04-11-2003, 21:36   #15
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Yikes

I think I will have another beer(glad Im not a buddist) Shane
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