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Old 01-03-2012, 17:09   #16
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

This probably has nothing to do with cruising! It is about the long time couple issue of "roomates that have sex" that fall apart once they have to spend real time with each other.
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Old 01-03-2012, 18:16   #17
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

All good points indeed but I created a problem by "trying it first". You know the saying "you never get second chance to make a first impression" rings so true now for me.

About 2 years ago I made the comment to my wife about buying a catamaran and cruising in retirement. She loved the idea and in fact started shopping feverishly for the perfect boat, started reading blogs etc. I mean she was 100% on board with the idea.

Then we decided for me to get some instruction as I had no sailing experience at all. I have owned smaller power boats for years but no sailing at all. With that in mind, she promptly found a charter on a 50ft catamaran with an ASA certified skipper and chef which we promptly booked. Well that didn't turn out so well as most of the time was spent teaching me while she didn't do much. She was bored and to top it off no wind during the time either! Strike 1!

Next, I felt that we should do a bareboat charter soon so I could apply my newly learned skills and somewhat "burn them in" to my mind. So off we went to the BVI's on another 44ft catamaran all to ourselves and our daughters. Well this was in August and a tropical storm came through the area. Needless to say, we spent 4 days tied up to a dock at the marina. Strike 2!

Now she has pretty much told me that she is not living on a boat. I guess the point I am making is, chartering is not really a fair representation of the life in my opinion. You have a finite period of time to have the boat and high expectations of what the experience should be. If weather or other problems occur, it burns away at the short time you have and can be a real let down of the perceived life. If we had been on our own boat, we would not have been worried about "got to get going we only have a week to see if we could live like this".

Now I have decided not to charter ever again but to hopefully talk her into buying a catamaran that we can spend the winter on in the tropics with the understanding that she/we can come back to our home anytime we want. Then put the boat on the hard during the summer and see how that goes for a few seasons. It might be all I get.
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Old 01-03-2012, 21:57   #18
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

Deliveries and charters are chalk and cheese, in my view. Charters are ruled by calendars, for one thing. Deliveries pick a window and go, and deal with whatever happens beyond the forecast period.

If your wife wanted to get into sailing, and she should, rather than just riding on your ambitions to sail with her as a sort of accessory (not that this is necessarily the case), she should have taken dinghy lessons in a 420 and fallen out enough times until she learned how to sail.

You, too...but not together!

Half of seamanship seems to me to be skills-based, and the other half is patience, or rather, prudence. Stuff happens you can't control, so you get good at what you can control, and the sea doesn't work to a clock. In fact, it's completely indifferent to your scheduling issues.

That's sort of the bit I enjoy, actually. You are not always doing what you want to do (going someplace at a nice 15 knots aws), or even when you want to do it (a tropical depression is stalled 200 miles away right across your path...do you go or double the lines to the bollards and strip off the canvas?).

So I would suggest a step-by-step approach. If she sails in a basin on crappy little trainer boats, she'll understand that the boat works WITH the wind and that the skill of the sailor determines how well that goes.

She should crew on a club-level race team. So should you...but not together.

The cat vs. mono thing is irrelevent: Both of you need loads of sea time and poking around in all sorts of boats to figure out what you need, what you want and what will keep you alive in the inevitable challenging conditions.

Fair winds. Start small and slow. If you plow ahead and there grows a huge discrepancy in your skills and your enthusiasm for "the sailing life", it could cause a big rift in your relationship. See that dozens of times and have pictures of the fiftysomethings at the club bar to prove it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 22:10   #19
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

The thing is, she is really not into sailing. She likes the tropics, cooking, the culture and so on. I enjoy the challenge of getting to the destination, the navigation, the planning, trimming the sails etc. Not to say that she doesn't like sailing per say but sailing the vessel by herself, not really.

I am trying to sell her on the ideal that we could move our condo from island to island. Plan our evening meals together from what we shopped for on the island that day, do some sundowners together with other folks we meet along the way or by ourselves on our boat. Walk on the beaches together and so on. Pretty simple really.

I just think I may have blown it with the previous experiences. I hope not but any steps from here on will be with extreme caution as I really want this in my future and I can see that I will have the means to do so. As said by someone previous in this thread. To sit in front of a TV on a couch for retirement....just take me now!
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Old 01-03-2012, 23:47   #20
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

Seeing everyone here take a stab at the "hidden dangers" of cruising I would like to offer the following essay by my favorite author on the planet, Robert Pirsig; the author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". In his essay Cruising Blues and Their Cure, he nails it right on the head about why the "dream" of cruising is so often lived out in failure. It has to do with the confusion on what our modern day perception of "reality" is and why the awakening to the "real" reality of sailboat cruising brings on depression and causes so many to flee back to their comfort zones of the "fake" reality they (we all) have been brainwashed to accept.

This is only a small six page essay, but I hope everyone here gives this a read because it is uncomfortable, and in it's discomfort we can all learn something about ourselves. Pirsig shows that not only is "reality confusion" at the very root of why we go cruising in the first place, but "reality confusion" is also why so many of us fail to learn (and grow) from the depression cruising causes without understanding the reasons why. >> Cruising Blues and Their Cure by Robert M Pirsig

Additionally, for those "creative" minds out there that go through mood swings and wonder why, or have trouble coping with them, there is an incredible book that can really help one get a grip on handling depression, (which more than likely is followed by an emotional high, and then another cyclic low), and it's entitled "The Van Gogh Blues" by Eric Maisel. I promise a good read for all.

I hope this helps someone...
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:15   #21
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Thank you for that link Wireless1. Absolutely brilliant!
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:37   #22
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

It is strange that we seem to be so defined (by both others and by self) around what job we have (or not!) and that our lives do get wrapped around the job.....especially given that most of us would not do that job (or any at all!) unless it was for the money! .

Probably because a job / work does provide something important to most humans - a sense of belonging? / being part of a great whole? / or summit? .......cut all that off and no surprise that folks can feel lost.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:20   #23
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Variety is my spice for life.
I get tired of the house - I go sailing - I get tired of sailing - I go to my cabin in the woods - hunt, fish, ride horses, go snowmobiling, Jeeping - I get bored with that - I go to the desert and prospect - when that gets old, I go home and work on my boat and start all over again.
Right now, I'm working on the boat and sailing when I get good days for it.
This spring - head North to Pelican and have a beer at Rosie's.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:44   #24
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

In the years that we have been "out here" we have found an interesting pattern. Those that had years of sailing experience, racing, doing the weekend thing etc, often end up in bad situations when they start cruising, basically because they cannot shake the "I must sail today because I have time, without regard to weather etc" mindset. We just watched a very nice boat with two experienced people on it leave our dock. They just couldn't wait out a front, they had guests coming in two days from here etc etc. As they have sent their logs out to friends, each day had the same issues, bad weather, tough crossings, dangerous situations. If you can't learn to adjust to cruising from the "must" sailing of weekenders, you will find it is indeed a very hard thing to do.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:07   #25
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Re: The hidden dangers of cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota450 View Post
The thing is, she is really not into sailing. She likes the tropics, cooking, the culture and so on. I enjoy the challenge of getting to the destination, the navigation, the planning, trimming the sails etc. Not to say that she doesn't like sailing per say but sailing the vessel by herself, not really.
I will tell you now that I consider this moderately dangerous from a boat handling point of view as there are no "passengers" on ocean boats, just crew, and you can't be on watch 24/7.

I also think it will lead to resentment if you do all the boat work and simply ferry her from shopping opportunity to intriguing tourist destination.

Maybe if you get something modest, recruit like-minded crew and she can fly in to your destinations, and needn't go on the trip at all. I can't blame her for her not really being into sailing, but my experience is that if the spouses don't have near-equal commitment to the "lifestyle" and complementary skills in seamanship, it's going to be problematic.

One fellow I know of married a quite younger woman, very fit and attractive. Sort of a Dead Calm scenario, without the murdery bits. She, having French tips and an even tan to maintain, was only interested in making sundowners. The rest of the time she was quite happy to lie on the foredeck with a Danielle Steele doorstop, basting in a slick of sunscreen.

She had plenty of interest in being ornamental, and none in helping to run the boat. Fair enough. She had been honest about her disinterest, just as he had been about his continuing interest. But the result was that the fellow did all the sailing, and most of the boat work, which tired him out, so he couldn't even stay awake for...well, you get the picture.

Anyway, he said once that the day he sighted an "11 o'clock" heading by lining up her bronzed nipple on the foredeck with the first port stanchion back from the bow that he realized he might have preferred sailing to marriage and that perhaps they weren't really a good match.

So maybe keep a little boat elsewhere, and enjoy yourself without making your wife fake a grin.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:07   #26
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Wireless, you the man!
Pirsig is so impressive and he sails too!
Just started Zen and the Art of MC maint. .......RICH !
Thanks for the link.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:11   #27
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterworldly View Post
In the years that we have been "out here" we have found an interesting pattern. Those that had years of sailing experience, racing, doing the weekend thing etc, often end up in bad situations when they start cruising, basically because they cannot shake the "I must sail today because I have time, without regard to weather etc" mindset. We just watched a very nice boat with two experienced people on it leave our dock. They just couldn't wait out a front, they had guests coming in two days from here etc etc. As they have sent their logs out to friends, each day had the same issues, bad weather, tough crossings, dangerous situations. If you can't learn to adjust to cruising from the "must" sailing of weekenders, you will find it is indeed a very hard thing to do.
I recognize that tendency. Of course, the opposite case are the "near-permanently moored" folk who stay in one spot for months and months, upping anchor only to motor a few miles out to pump the holding tanks.

Some people get very involved in local communities, but from a boat perspective, they might as wel have nailed an RV to a couple of big pontoons for all the actual sailing they do.

Again, nothing wrong with that, but boats that aren't sailed get harder to sail when you do want to sail them, and renting a bungalow ashore would likely be cheaper and easier in the long run.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:22   #28
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

Guess I'm a lucky one, the wife walked in a couple days ago and stated that its time to leave again..
But for us, and even thou we have years of racing behind us, our boat is not the object of our lives, Travel is the main objective, be it by car, motorhome, or boat,
So our boat is just the means of getting us from one place to another, and it might be by sail or it might be by motor.. To us it make no difference..
So all those repairs we make or all those up-grades, it all for the vehicle to get us to another place to visit.
I feel bad about those that think the lifestyle of cruising is setting the sails and drifting off into a moonlite summer night.. In the last 10 years of living on the boat and traveling, I doubt if I can count more than a handfull of romantic evening nights where we were at sail.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:53   #29
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT AFTER 40 YEARS OF LIFE ON THE WATER, ABOUT 10% IS ROMANTIC - THE REST IS MISERABLE!
IT'S A TOUGH LIFE BUT SOMEONE'S GOT TO DO IT!
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:54   #30
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Re: The Hidden Dangers of Cruising

SVPATTYD

That is very sad for your friend. When I read this post; it was the reference to her son & his needs that stood out for me.

How much did her sonís struggles play in their decision to retire, sell/rent & go cruising as a means & opportunity to maybe help their son? Or where they ready to go cruising regardless of their sonís difficulties. ?
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