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Old 22-10-2015, 04:29   #1
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Location: South Africa
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Leaving the rat race behind


We are based in South Africa and my husband and I have decided to leave the rat race behind and investing in a better quality life spending more time with our 3 and 5 year old daughters.

We are seriously considering sailing the seas, living aboard and visiting as many places possible.

We have read a lot of books and my husband was part of a crew that delivered a Leopard Catamaran from Cape Town to Miami in 2007. I have no experience whatsoever.

What would be the first steps to take to get us going? Should the two of us do a delivery first or should we try to get a skippers licence first?

Any help or advise will be very much appreciated!

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Old 22-10-2015, 05:42   #2
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Re: Leaving the rat race behind

Welcome to CF!

In answer to your question(s). I'd say, go sailing as much as you can, as a couple & solo, whenever you get the chance. Be it day sails, racing, or longer trips. Start slow, in order to get the basics. But don't hold back from pushing yourself outside of your comfort zones either.
As one pretty much has to (do) in order to really learn.

And while many on here hate the "R-word" (racing). It's a great tool (as well as being fun), because when you're racing, you'll learn 5x as much or more, for every hour spent on the water vs. each hour spent conventionally sailing.
This is because, when racing, everyone onboard is pushing to use every miniscle, available resource in order to gain that last little advantage over the competition.
- Sail; type, combinations, & trim. Navigation; basic X to Y type, current mapping (small & large scale), etc. Weather forecasting. Tide & Current mapping. And on & on.

Plus, the boats (and crews) are being pushed hard, so you wind up doing things, & getting into situations which, while uncommon when cruising, do happen. And thus, you'll learn the skills & confidence to handle them. Including when; short handed, at night, sans sleep, in abysmal weather & or other dodgy situations, etc.
That & 1,000 other little things... 99% of which pretty directly transfer to cruising.

Also, in addition to time on the water. Which you need to get documented, BTW, for use towards liscences & such.
Do as much studying on the various aspects of sailing as you can, including related topics like; first aid, electrical & mechanical servicing & repairs, sail making, rigging, navigation, etc.
But Especially to include studies based on a structured set of sailing courses, like those offered by ASA or other, similarly recognized programs.

Such, well laid out, courses will aid you both in gaining knowledge, in an easy to learn, & structured fashion. And that will help you whether; you want to rent a charter boat, & thus have verifiable creditentials. Or, also, to further you on your path down the road to whatever liscences you may be seeking.
In addition to the obvious... helping you learn how to sail, navigate, deal with emergencies, & everything else which goes into sailing.

I hope that that's of some help. That & that it makes sense, as I'm not 100% awake as yet ;-)

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
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Old 22-10-2015, 07:11   #3
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Re: Leaving the rat race behind

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mel.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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