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Old 15-02-2015, 23:52   #1
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Cabin Fever

We are getting close to hubby's retirement date and plan on purchasing our catamaran in a year or so. Being newbies (me more than him) we both took an offshore sailing course and qualified for ICC certification. Once we have the boat our plan is to stay aboard weekends only for at least 6 months to get used to handling her and building up sea miles and confidence before we let go of the house, etc. With the time approaching, I can see hubby feeling concerned about "cabin fever". We have camped before and have owned a caravan but holidays are very different to actually cruising for years. Any thoughts? Any similar situations?
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Old 16-02-2015, 01:03   #2
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Re: Cabin Fever

Before selling your house and buying a boat, see if you can rent one like the one you want to buy. Live on it for a few months. Better yet make a coastwise trip.
Think about how you're going to handle washing, groceries and the limited space. Do you really want to go cruising or is it for your husband?
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Old 16-02-2015, 01:09   #3
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Re: Cabin Fever

Nadineon31,

The whole deal is a process. Jim gets (and has throughout our 28 or so cruising) cabin fever when he can't go ashore for days. At sea it is not so big a factor, because you are watch on watch enroute to a destination. Generally, it is the boy person who bears the heavier burden of boat maintenance, and generally, that will keep him pretty busy.

As for you, well, it depends. Do you need entertaining? I do, and I read a lot on my off watches. Other friends of mine sew, do rope work, knit, do needlepoint, sketch, make water color paintings, jewelry, and do beadwork. If there is some craft you have not yet got into, but that appeals, my advice would be to investigate further, and maybe that would work for hubby as well....

Good luck,

Ann
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Old 16-02-2015, 01:51   #4
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Re: Cabin Fever

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Nadineon31,

The whole deal is a process. Jim gets (and has throughout our 28 or so cruising) cabin fever when he can't go ashore for days. At sea it is not so big a factor, because you are watch on watch enroute to a destination. Generally, it is the boy person who bears the heavier burden of boat maintenance, and generally, that will keep him pretty busy
Thanks Ann T. Cate I appreciate the bit about it being "a Process". It will I suppose evolve into our lifestyle but its such a huge new step, as I guess for most folk (stepping off the land and onto a boat). It all boils down to condensing a large home into a very small boat. This is our retirement choice mainly because the kids are far from us - New Zealand and California, so sailing/cruising became the dream. Its Hubby I am more concerned for as he loves pottering outside, tending his bonsais, cleaning the pool etc. I am the one with craft hobbies and also love reading avidly so I know there wont be a problem on my side. I guess I just wanted some comfort knowing others have also been faced with and overcame these little niggles.
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Old 16-02-2015, 02:26   #5
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Re: Cabin Fever

It is totally normal to get jitters before a major life change. Even when you think they are for the better, they're stressful.

Trust your hubby to find answers for himself to the questions you have, and yet, on his own internal schedule.

We and those whom we love are on different internal "schedules" and we don't get to say how they "do it." I know you have only his best interests at heart, but ultimately, he will require your support, too, to come to a comfortable resolution of your cruising challenges.....as i have required Jim's.

Ann

P.S. Someone else will soon become interested in this discussion. Please stand by.
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Old 16-02-2015, 08:18   #6
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Re: Cabin Fever

I see two sides to this cabin fever. One is the physical space and activity and the other a psychological state of feeling cramped in limited space.

Considering the psychological factors, people are accustomed to surrounding space that normally has no physical function. All that room where the walls meet the ceilings in houses; all that distance to walk from the chair to the refrigerator; or all those places to sit with only two people to occupy them.... I've heard of people using mirrors within their cabins to increase their impressions of space, but I believe most become accustomed and even pleased with giving up this non-functional space.

It's the physical activity limitations that affect us most when "cabin fever" sets in. This happens to us when we've been sitting at an anchorage for several days of poor weather, too much wind and rain, for our comfort. We are both avid readers. Musical intruments are an entertainment for us. We also keep some video discs of movie and TV series that we have never seen before. There is always a choice of interior boat projects that I can take on and Nancie will often experiment with more elaborate meals; however, better weather and sunshine is our only real relief from the cabin fever that comes with dismal weather.
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Old 16-02-2015, 09:28   #7
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Re: Cabin Fever

Hi Nadine
Welcome to CF .

A little feedback here from a long term cruiser (full time sailing or at anchor apart from haul-outs). For me, mild 'cabin fever' has only ever occurred if we have been confined down below for several days at a time due to bad weather.

Despite loving spacious uncluttered rooms back home, the actual lack of space on board has not bothered me much (apart from limited storage). I think with spending so much time in the cockpit, rather than the boat feeling like small room, it gives me the sensation of being a huge couch in a massive room (the anchorage). Down below just seems like a cosy retreat to withdraw to.

Lack of activities has never produced 'cabin fever'. I can always find heaps to occupy my time, or I can simply relish in the luxury of doing absolutely nothing apart from focussing on living in the moment (one of the huge bonuses of cruising is being able to indulge in this).

People react very differently. I have come across cruisers happy to spend days at a time on board and others who must be tied to a jetty to be able to step ashore at will. We are a mixed bunch .

No point worrying about it. You just have to try it out and see how you and your husband react.

SWL
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Old 18-03-2015, 02:39   #8
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Re: Cabin Fever

Ill just add my 2 bob as I haven't heard anyone talk about this aspect before.....

For us we used aesthetics to help combat that cabin reaver feeling.
It's one thing to be penned in a small space that is only functional and quite another to be penned in the same size space but one that is aesthetically pleasing. Color, styling and items that are pleasing etc can make a huge difference.

When on alpine expeditions in the past I have have been pinned down for multiple days sometimes weeks in all kinds of tents. I started refusing to use some partner tents. My TNF mountain 25 tent was a bit heavy but was once pinned down for 10 days and I was okay. That's because lots of research and effort went in to the psychological effects of the aesthetics including color. The inner tent was a pale yellow with the outer fly being yellow. This gives the illusion of it being sunny and cheery outside even when it's miserable. It truly makes a difference. That's not to say paint your boat interior yellow just that your interior space design colors etc are important.

So I think for us anyway picking a boat and or refitting the interior to be pleasing, comforting etc was very important especially because we went as small as we could staying comfortable.

Hope this helps.


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Old 18-03-2015, 05:08   #9
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Re: Cabin Fever

If he enjoys puttering around the house, the boat will always offer something to putter at. Remember, it is a house and car rolled into one and placed in some pretty harsh conditions.
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