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Old 24-05-2006, 19:30   #61
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sounds familiar!

I am from NJ, too, and a computer consultant. A number of things, including a non-paying client and legal fight over it, plus divorce, made me decide. Amazingly, I am thinking along the same lines for the future, namely chartering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
A couple things caused me to pull the trigger:

1) 9/11 all but destroyed my consulting business which did basically what IBM does. We billed hourly and had no hours for 3 months due to companies being destroyed in our area, and the ripple effect through the local economy.

2) Next, a certain county in NJ very close to NYC skipped out on a ~$60K bill. I was unable to legally force them to pay.

This caused hardship for me and my wife. There were also very few jobs for people of my training and background at the time. I had always thought of white collar work as a way to get me to cruising. When it wasn't doing that, I decided to just get to cruising now and forget about the rat race. Of course, as you all know, we earn our livings now through chartering and get to cruise in between. Not a bad compromise for us. Eventually, we will cruise farther and cruise full time.

PS: Mark, is that Verizon? I just read that in the WSJ a week back or so.
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Old 24-05-2006, 20:26   #62
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Add me to that club!

After seeing government from the inside, and working on my own and dealing with government, taxation, regulation, etc, I am thru with it all. I love my country. Or, at least, what my country was. Don't know when it changed, and it's not one party or the other, it's both and everyone in government. I remember when they first instituted seatbelt laws in NJ. It was a secondary offense, you could not be stopped for it, so what's the harm? Of course, now, 10 years later, it's a primary offense. As is using a cell, etc. No one debates the wisdom of wearing a seatbelt, but there are a lot of smert things that i don't want to be mandated to do, and fined if I don't.

Anyway, I too want out of the matrix. Is it the best time for me to leave it? Of course not. Is it ever? Of course not, lol. So, I do it now, with whatever I have. I am 42, if not now, when???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
Troy...

I think you'll find a lot of "us" out there in the cruising community. It's actually the only escape from what I like to call The Matrix. (Western culture/society) Hope to meet up someday. We share similar views.
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Old 24-05-2006, 21:04   #63
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Planning

Mark and others raise an essential question that might be best discussed on a seperate thread.....HOW do you realistically make it happen. In reading BBs, I too often see individuals make the jump out of frustration and/or disdain for "the system". That is exactly how it should NOT be approached!!!!

To make your goals a reality, you need to intelligently make long term plans for the life style change. It is scarey, but it can be done. I have had this discussion with several other cruisers who have been out here for 3-5-10 years. They did not just wake up one morning and sell everthing. IMHO that is a recipe for disaster. They had defined goals that they met and plans that they stuck to.

Start at the end and work backwards. How much will you actually need to live on? How will you pay for health insurance? Kids college? Is your spouse willing to drive the mini-van until it has 200k miles and move into a smaller house that you can get paid off and use as a rental? Do you play golf....how much money are you pissing away there?

I honestly don't want to discourage anyone. Actually, I hope that all of you succeed. We would love to meet more cruisers our own age (54 & 52). Almost everyone is in there 60s or 70s.

Roger
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Old 24-05-2006, 21:29   #64
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Both of our POS cars are approaching the 200,000 mark. We have made the sacrifices, but the real issue is what do you NEED to cruise. As we have been planning our escape, we have been getting older. As we get older, our comfort level on board has changed. Hauling jerry cans of water to the boat is no longer just a chore, it is a major effort, so we need a watermaker. Another $3500 out of the kitty. Rowing ashore, even a half mile out was fine 8 years ago. Now I want an outboard. And so it goes. Reaching that balance of having what you need now to leave, and being comfortable that you will be able to be comfortable with that comfort level as long as you plan to cruise is the real issue. I know I need to go. I also know the time is not quite right, but that balance is within reach.
8 years ago when we made the decision to go, we never considered that our plan to leave in five years would be so heavily impacted by our changing needs.
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Old 25-05-2006, 05:45   #65
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In my case, I bought a small boat (Mirage 5.5) to see if I still enjoyed sailing after being out of it for 30+ years. Finding I did still enjoy it, that same year I bought a boat large enough to spend time on, and found that I did enjoy that. That winter, I started looking at bigger boats in earnest. As I did though, I was also determining, just what I would actually do. Not what I'd like to do, but what I would do. I realized, given my finances and that I would be singlehanding, that coastal cruising is what would fit best.

Once I had determined what I was going to do, choosing a boat became much simpler. As did creating a realistic budget. Once I had a range of boats, and a budget in place, then I could determine when I could leave.

I bought the Mirage in the spring of 2003. I retired in Febuary of 2006 and bought and moved aboard my Ontario 32 in April of 2006.

The single most important factor, to me, in being able to do this, was coming to a realistic assessment of what I would do, and what it would take to do it. I took an early retirement (only 56), and took a hit to my retirement funds, because I didn't want to wake up one day and find my chance had passed me by.
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Old 26-05-2006, 14:07   #66
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I think almost everyone who contemplates voyaging/cruising has some frustration or distain for the system. The lack of some of the land-based "system" while at sea or cruising is part of the reason a lot of us like it. If sailing wasn't any different than a trip to Walmart in the minivan I doubt it would have the allure it does.

I agree you cannot just haul-up stakes at go without some prep, I just think we might disagree on what constitutes prep for it. I think the best prep is to have skills developed that can provide you with the ability to earn most anywhere, anytime. Whatever those skills are, white-collar, blue, it doesn't matter. I do networking and computer systems/software for dentists, oral surgeons, etc., as well as other things. That's more important than simply having a kitty in the stock market, as some found out after the tech crash. The main problem is, all those 5 year plans become 7 year plans, then 10 year plans, and then moved off another 5 years as those last bills are paid, or a promotion accepted. What's the point of shoving off at 70? I guess it's better than 80....

Your one statement contains the seeds of where the flaw lies:

"We would love to meet more cruisers our own age (54 & 52). Almost everyone is in there 60s or 70s."

They all waited that long to go. That's why you don't see too many in their 30's, 40's or even 50's. Now, maybe that worked for them, and more power to them -- sailing is all about doing it you own way. But as for me, I don't see the satisfaction of working in the rat race for 40-50 years, just so I can finally retire in my 60's or 70's when my body is slowing down, all kinds of things hurt (as they ALREADY do at my age of 42, lol!) and I may not have that many years left to live anyway.

Add to that the fact that life throws you curve balls all the time. You can have a great 10 year plan at 45, then get laid off in an economic slowdown in your field and use up your savings, or the housing market could bottom out and you get stuck with that $800,000 McMansion that's now worth $500,000, or you could get injured, sick, your spouse could have the same happen, etc. And many more I cannot imagine in the here and now.

After college (PU), and a stint in the Army, a fairly high up job in politics/government and running my own business, owning that McMansion, etc., I speak from experience. My regret??? Waiting until I was 42. Should have done it 10-15 years ago.

No one on their deathbed ever said "I should have spent more time in the office".

Exranger


Quote:
Originally Posted by rleslie
Mark and others raise an essential question that might be best discussed on a seperate thread.....HOW do you realistically make it happen. In reading BBs, I too often see individuals make the jump out of frustration and/or disdain for "the system". That is exactly how it should NOT be approached!!!!

To make your goals a reality, you need to intelligently make long term plans for the life style change. It is scarey, but it can be done. I have had this discussion with several other cruisers who have been out here for 3-5-10 years. They did not just wake up one morning and sell everthing. IMHO that is a recipe for disaster. They had defined goals that they met and plans that they stuck to.

Start at the end and work backwards. How much will you actually need to live on? How will you pay for health insurance? Kids college? Is your spouse willing to drive the mini-van until it has 200k miles and move into a smaller house that you can get paid off and use as a rental? Do you play golf....how much money are you pissing away there?

I honestly don't want to discourage anyone. Actually, I hope that all of you succeed. We would love to meet more cruisers our own age (54 & 52). Almost everyone is in there 60s or 70s.

Roger
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Old 26-05-2006, 16:43   #67
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As Homer Simpson said…. There is no moral to this story, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happens.

This is an amazing thread and verifies much that I have discovered in myself and in others at beach side fires and aft deck piss ups all over the coast. It was an epiphany that got us sailing but it was the people we met that kept us going and the motivation for TCP. We’ve passed the point where economic good sense has anything to do with what we do though I understand that may puzzle or even offend others.

Here is what happened. My wife was raised in a family of keen surfers and fisherman. Serious off shore mob who recons good fish weigh 1000 lbs. I’ve been a water boy all my life, raised on Minnesota lakes before moving to the Mississippi at Quincy Ill. Finally to Phoenix arz where my Dad worked on boats and I started as well. Then moved to San Diego. More of the same but the penny didn’t drop until the Town of 1770 in Queensland. I had towed our run-about to what was then a remote town named after the date that Capn Cook holed his ship and had to duck in for a repair. I was sitting in a beach chair having a beer and a bag of chips as the sun was setting and the tide rising. There were several cruising boats just off shore. All mulithulls, it was a shallow bar. The afternoon quiet was in and I could clearly hear the conversation between boat crews. ‘Where is so and so and have you seen such and who’ and answering ‘yeah, saw them at Gladstone on their way to Cairns’ and on and on and it hit me like a blow. In an instant I understood what was going on right under my nose. There was a whole community here moving to the rhythm of the season and then stepping off the coast to the Islands and Asia. I was riveted to the spot. Darkness fell hard, no moon or light escaping from the camp area behind me. The water was now up to my waist and beer long gone and chips a floating mess. I heard movement from the anchored boats as a group were piling into a dinghy. A happy jumble of giggles as I realised they were probably waiting for dark to run into the camp ground to steal the use of the showers. I heard a clear woman’s voice say “how do we know when we are there?” over the sputter of a small outboard. It was pitch dark. In just a moment I heard a crunch and rumble as the boat hit the shore and then the same voice announce with some authority, “we’re there!” It was all I could do to keep my laugh under my breath as I shared the moment, stole the moment.

The "fire was lit" and we talked about this on the way home, then catastrophe struck soon after when we found that the business we had left in the old country was sold to a bunch of shameless crooks. They pulled a very fraudulent bankruptcy on us and screwed us out of our retirement fund. My wife went back to the US and spent a year and a half there trying to hold them to account to no avail. They could afford the best legal help and we were confounded by the actions of the US federal court. “$50,000 in gold and gems they get to keep as ‘tools of trade!!!’” The push from the foul and corrupt and the pull of the dream and the wonderful experiences we had already had in our little run-about were not to be resisted. I bought the 40 ft Ketch just before KK returned from the ordeal in the US. We consecrated the aft cabin at the mooring the day she flew back. The corrupt do not go to sea. There is no one to steal from and you can’t get others to do your work. Our freedom makes them crazy, another benefit! Sorry to be so long winded.

Cheers

Bob
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Old 26-05-2006, 21:53   #68
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Wow, Bob...That was nicely done. You should start a paper, or something
Fair winds,
John
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Old 26-05-2006, 23:18   #69
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Hey Bob.

Long winded? Nah!!!!

You just had to have your say. And you spoke it. That's your story.

Sorry about the loss of your precious metals and gems though!!

You're right about the corrupted. It does drive them SOB's crazy.:cubalibre

That's why I plan on doing alot of sailing in the near future. So that I don't have to deal with them people!!
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Old 27-05-2006, 17:33   #70
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thanks guys!

I wish it were only that parcel of merchandise that we lost but actually in the hundreds of thousands all up. That was just one hearing on the issue of "tools of trade." Again and again we were shocked at the decisions made against us. I did the legal research here via the law library in Brisbane and confered with Kay and attorney there and every time I thought we had it... the court would inexplicably go against us... We caught them lying at the original hearing and according to the law that alone should foil the bankruptcy but... old business.

Cheers

Bob
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Old 27-05-2006, 18:36   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exranger
I think almost everyone who contemplates voyaging/cruising has some frustration or distain for the system.
Exranger

Of all the cruisers that we have met, your description fits absolutely no one, we must "run with a different crowd" <g>. They all worked within the system to achieve their ultimate goal. Sure, they get disgusted when they see corruption and corporate greed, but that does not equal the level of distain that many posters display here. We have had political, economic, and philisophic discussions and they are all realists. That is why they are able to make the move. They set realistic expectations/goals, then they went about achieving them within the system.

As with everything, there are different ways of approaching things. We apparantly took a different approach. Hope to meet you out here some day. I'll buy the first round!!

Roger
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Old 29-05-2006, 12:21   #72
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I've always worked and lived on the water. When I was ten my family moved from the Alberta praire onto a British pilot cutter in the south of France near Antibbe for a couple of years. Then a life time of commercial fishing, boat building, tug boat operating----you name it.
Fifteen years ago my sister died of cancer. The next year my mother died of cancer. The next year my only son died as an innocent victim in a car crash. The next year my sisters husband drowned.
About that time my wife was 'dock walking'. She came home and said "I have found us a boat. Lets sell everything and move aboard and spend the rest of our lives doing what has always filled our hearts the most".
We had a three story house that was so full of crap we could not even move. Six weekends of garage sales later and then we gave away what was left.
We have never looked back. We have changed boats a few times and interestingly each boat has gotten smaller. We started with a fifty eight' and now have a 35' sloop.
Someone said--------"Everything you own owns you". There is no truer saying. Tao Zu said the key to life is living in the now moment. The 'now moment' is all that's happening. We spend our lives doing just that. At first it was hard to do but as the years have gone by it has become what defines our lives.
Our lovely little teak on teak 'Lion Class' Cheoy Lee is our last boat.
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Old 29-05-2006, 18:24   #73
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Lilly, awsome.
I guess I am the exception to the rule, my disdain for the ways of modern society have absolutely nothing to do with my desire to go cruising. I have spent my life travelling. I have seen things in places I have traveled that I have not seen before or since. I want to have more such experiences. I do not feel healthy or happy on land as I do on the sea. I do not expect the politics of any place I go to be any better than any place I have been. I just expect the place to be different, and maybe myself to be a little different by the way I have arrived at that time and place.
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Old 19-08-2006, 17:42   #74
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This might be the best public discussion of why people step off land ever done. There is so much validation here for those who are thinking these things but worry they may be off the rails. So, I make this comment to bring the thread up to attention again and to ask if anyone has an objection to me publishing some of the posts? At very least I intend to put a link on my site direct to this thread... This is very, very good.

Cheers
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Old 19-08-2006, 18:33   #75
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I didn't have a 'moment' when I felt the call to go sailing, - I'm afraid its just a really mundane case of 'this is what I do.'
As a young man and a trainee draughtsman, I was bored out of my skull with my job and so threw up and went to sea as an ordinary seaman. From there I went to able seaman,and then to maritime school and up through the ranks and finally, master. Coming ashore, I took employment as a marine superintendent for a shipping company, an ideal job for me as I still get to play with ships but get to go home most nights.
All the while, we have had yachts and (Unfortunately?) I have passed this sailing disease on to my sons. We have tried going boatless but it just didn't work for us which I suppose proves the old adage that you can take the sailor from the sea, but you can't take the sea from the sailor.

Joke & Chris
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