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Old 14-02-2014, 12:05   #1
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Retired - How does your week look?

I am wondering how one lives on a boat. What do you do all day? Can someone give me a week's breakdown? Especially if retired and in the Caribbean. What do you eat? What if anchored out vs docked at a marina. When on land how do you get around and buy food?

I am just trying to figure out logistics as I am still on land....thanks
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Old 14-02-2014, 12:21   #2
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

We have spent the last 6 yrs cruising mostly in the Caribbean.

One day a week goes to maintenance and cleaning.

Half a day/week goes to provisioning and sometimes there is often a free bus, cheap local transport or we ride bikes. Food is basically US with a local flavor cost is usually US +25-50% unless in the Bahamas where it is more than double.

One day a week we take people sailing

In Bonaire where we spent hurricane season we dive 5 days a week

We rent scooters or cars and explore every island...My wife has taken me to every museum in the Caribbean twice.

We actually sail/move the boat 50+ days per year. We just did a 700nm passage and we are about to do a 30 day passage.

In Mexico we spent two weeks exploring the Mayan ruins

There usually a cruisers happy hour/pizza night and we have dozens of friends with whom we socialize with

Six years and never bored.
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Old 14-02-2014, 12:43   #3
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

Phil

I was wondering what folks do in the hurricane season.
Hope I'm not hijacking but why Bonaire ?
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Old 14-02-2014, 12:45   #4
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I am wondering how one lives on a boat. What do you do all day?...thanks
Our friends and family asked us what we did all day. Our answer was, "I don't know, but it takes all day to do it."
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Old 14-02-2014, 13:04   #5
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

When we cruise, we generally move about every third day. Now sometimes when we're just passing through wanting to get somewhere faster we'll move more frequently.

On days we move, unless weather says otherwise, we try to undock at 7:00 AM.

On the day we arrive somewhere we generally take it fairly easy. Maybe a nice walk and typically dinner on board. Now we also talk to others and get ideas to add in with what we've already planned to do the next day.

Then the other days at a location, we explore. We love to see museums, art work, parks, lighthouses and just get a feel for the area. We use whatever transportation works best in that location. It is more often a taxi than a rental car, especially in areas out of the country or that we're not familiar with. We walk a lot so might get a ride to the primary city and then another back to the dock that night. We will generally try to sample the best local restaurant one night or day.

One thing we do is we don't try to pack too much in a day. We will pick maybe three things we want to see and otherwise just explore. We leave things to come back and see. But we do everything at a leisurely pace. It's like one art museum in West Palm that we've been to 6 times now because we just get one exhibit or section each time.

Now exercise is something we emphasize too as we don't find even as much walking as we do that is enough. We often find basketball courts and/or tennis courts. Yes we do carry racquets with us and a basketball. Sometimes we'll find a fitness center, especially if the marina is tied to a resort.

We'll go to the beach if there's a nice one near and just walk it.

We do love to visit art galleries, especially any with local artists work.

Some days we'll take the dinghy and go explore the area near.

We never get bored and we always have more we want to see next time.

We also will relax on deck and just take in the beauty of the area.

I think too that you can often find things that tie into interests you already have. I know one person even more of a lighthouse fan than me so he finds a small model of all he visits and he learns the history of them all. For others photography is their biggest hobby so they take tons of pictures. Then those who collect something as simple as spoons.

The one place we differ from many is that we don't hit the bars unless somewhere famous like Green Parrot and then we typically don't drink. Not that we never drink but when cruising we do it minimally. We just want to take things in and enjoy and bars just aren't our thing. However, for those who like bars, they can be great places to really find out more from locals.

We also try to get a feel for how it is to live wherever we are, not just visit there. What is it really like there.
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Old 14-02-2014, 13:43   #6
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

Currently, I'm only retired five months of the year. When I'm on the boat during the summer, please see post #2 above for details, except I usually spend an hour a day doing routine boat maintenance... sometimes much longer when I have larger projects like refinishing the teak decks.

I also try to go swimming around the boat a couple of times per day.
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Old 14-02-2014, 14:01   #7
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

Well, we only cruise about 2/3 of the time and although we "retired", we somehow messed that up and still ended up with a business, but we think of it as a hobby. Requires little of our time and we can do what we need while cruising. Occasionally, we'll attend a brief meeting by webcam or just phone. We have great people running things so not an issue.

We also have land things still important to us, which could easily be handled by live aboard as well, just we do still have land home. Time with friends and our adopted or selected family. Time to get involved with some things still dear to our heart, both in FL and still in NC.

While we could cruise 365 days, we choose not to. There are people in our lives we'd miss too much.
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Old 14-02-2014, 14:59   #8
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Our friends and family asked us what we did all day. Our answer was, "I don't know, but it takes all day to do it."
i heard it another way.

"i had nothing to do and it took me all day to do it."
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Old 14-02-2014, 20:34   #9
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

Thanks for the responses.

What is the longest time you can spend on your boat w/o stepping on land? And then how do you re-supply. Hail a taxi and ask them to take you to the nearest grocery store?

I am not really interested in staying on a boat tied at a marina all the time. Only long enough to do needed maintenance, dump the black tank etc.

Anyone stay tied to a buoy out in the bays? If so, can you tell me how that works out?

Anyone stay anchored in a cove and how does that work?
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Old 14-02-2014, 20:43   #10
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

> dump the black tank etc

If you're cruising offshore, you don't need a marina for that
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Old 14-02-2014, 20:47   #11
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

For the OP:

Ever take a vacation?

What did you do?
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Old 14-02-2014, 20:59   #12
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Thanks for the responses.

What is the longest time you can spend on your boat w/o stepping on land? And then how do you re-supply. Hail a taxi and ask them to take you to the nearest grocery store?

I am not really interested in staying on a boat tied at a marina all the time. Only long enough to do needed maintenance, dump the black tank etc.

Anyone stay tied to a buoy out in the bays? If so, can you tell me how that works out?

Anyone stay anchored in a cove and how does that work?
Reid Stowe spent over 1000 days at sea without resupplying.

I once knew a guy that would provision for as long as possible for his boat, not sure what kind of boat but it was around 30ft and he would just anchor where ever he felt like it rules be damned. He would always move every 24 - 72 hours only coming to shore to get supply. I know he got some talkin to's by officials many times and I'm sure got some fines but I doubt he ever paid any of them. Saw him last less than a year ago illegally anchored in the Neuse River up near Arapahoe, NC
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Old 14-02-2014, 21:19   #13
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Thanks for the responses.

What is the longest time you can spend on your boat w/o stepping on land? And then how do you re-supply. Hail a taxi and ask them to take you to the nearest grocery store?

I am not really interested in staying on a boat tied at a marina all the time. Only long enough to do needed maintenance, dump the black tank etc.

Anyone stay tied to a buoy out in the bays? If so, can you tell me how that works out?

Anyone stay anchored in a cove and how does that work?
We will have the capability of 60 days but we have no desire to stay such long periods without stepping on land. We like to visit land along the way. Probably the longest I ever see us not touching land will be when we do a trans-ocean crossing and then we're probably talking 10 days.

Many find the best way to supply is the occasional night in a marina and loaner cars marinas often have. We tend to taxi's or rentals although sometimes there are live aboards who have cars and want to take you for supplies. We're only found a couple of places where it was even an issue, small towns with no taxi's. There we'd find someone. Sometimes it would be a dock hand who we'd reward generously for some off hours transporting.

We try to carry plenty of staples and frozen items but like to pick up fresh fruits and melons and salads when convenient. Also, fresh fish is fairly prevalent as you travel.

We are very much in the minority as people who generally stay at marinas. Most do anchor. Mooring balls or buoys are becoming more common. Anchoring in coves can be a beautiful pleasant experience if not overly crowded.

Ultimately you'll find your rhythm. When I say set foot on land, we do that. But we'll go up to two months at a time without our own car or ever going beyond the local port we're visiting. Now our pattern has become one of four to six weeks cruising, flying home for two to three weeks and then cruising back home in another four to six weeks. But with different destinations that will vary. We take shorter trips to the Bahamas but longer up the coast or around the gulf coast. Later this year the Pacific Coast is in our plans. In the future then the Great Loop and beyond that trans-Atlantic.

Part of the life is not overplanning, and not scheduling. Let things happen as they may and let your schedule and rhythm come to you naturally. Also, what is right for one person isn't for another.
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Old 14-02-2014, 21:55   #14
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pirate Re: Retired - How does your week look?

BandB.. 10 days to trans an Ocean.. what the hell do you sail...?
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Old 14-02-2014, 22:26   #15
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Re: Retired - How does your week look?

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BandB.. 10 days to trans an Ocean.. what the hell do you sail...?
Don't sail. Power. And that will be the longest stretch from Bermuda to the Azores. Conservatively averaging 10 knots. Choosing conservative routing of 2200 nm (can be as low as 2000), that's 220 hours or 9 days. That will be in a 130' MY. Won't make that trip until at earliest 2016 and 2017 or 2018 is more likely.

Sorry, but only sailing we do is on other's boats or charters and when we don't have to do any of the work. Enjoy the experience but not on a regular basis or as sailors ourselves.
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