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Old 14-12-2006, 06:56   #106
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Canibul hi.Back in the eighties I had a friend from florida who owned a small Motel in Turk and Caicos,I still do remenber the international much fun.My dream is sometime in the near future to sail our Cat down your way,some of the most beautifull waters I have ever is life down there?JC.

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Old 21-01-2007, 19:35   #107
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I just found this fascinating thread; after reading from the "outside", it motivated me to register and share my experience:

I started sailing with my uncle at summer camp when I was around nine. We did a couple regattas on Lake Winnepessaukee in NH. I got away from sailing for awhile but my connection to the sea has always been intimate with surfing for over 35 yrs. Regardless, my dreams of sailing have been close all those years.

Three years ago I moved to Hawai'i. Married a surfer. I bought a Laser and we had some fun. She took sailing lessons this summer and got bit by the bug bad so we moved up to a Cal 20. We then made the mutual decision to sail the Cal for a couple years then get a catamaran & cruise the Pacific-- maybe a circumnavigation in the future!

My wife and I are on the fast track to selling the farm and hoisting the sail; however, we own a swimwear business and are thinking with the current technology, it might be feasible to maintain a creative and quasi-managerial rein on our business. INMARSAT, etc. could keep us connected. Fulfillment companies could cover our inventory, advertising and print needs. If there were a real problem one of us could jump on a plane and be there. The other option is to let some big-wigs acquire us and take the $$ and run. Whatever the case, we are moving aboard soon.

This "Me" culture-- the loud music and cars, the gangsta mentality, the disrespect and its trappings have no place in our lives. The quick-fix (what I term the microwave culture) is just not our cuppa tea.

I love the stories of the cruising community. The sense of camaraderie and the shared adventures stirs something visceral in me. I hope to meet some of you out there on the briny. Fair winds!

~ (| ~~
~~ ~~ Aloha, g~

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Old 25-01-2007, 09:18   #108
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Recently re-read this thread and thought I'd ad my own ephinany, though it is less of a moment than my increasing level of disillusionment over my daughter's education in public middle school. With another one due in May I don't want to repeat the same 'mistake'.

First of all she's a good kid and by no means have overly bad things happened (like drugs, alcohol, sex, crime, etc). However I noticed definite trend towards vanity, meanness, overly social conscious etc. Things like crying and moping all day because the iPod she got for Christmas was the wrong one. Poor attitude, talking back to adults, paralysis with worrying what others will think, etc. I know some of this is natural for teen girls - but most of it is learned behavior from others at school.

I used to justify this as a necessary evil to ensure a good education. But I am increasingly amazed at how little she is actually learning. As an example her school has a laptop program whereby all students get a laptop for two years. As far as I can tell there has been zero instruction on computer use beyond basic instruction using a word processor and one lesson on making a pie chart (and even then it wasn't graded because so many couldn't do it). No typing lessons, no basic programming, no instruction on using the internet, nada. Exactly what is the point of the laptops?

She's a straight A student - I don't say that to brag, but to illustrate my point - it just amazes me that she is at the 'top' of the heap and I am not at all impressed with what she's learned. I can go on, but I think you get my point. I apologize to any teachers reading this. I know you care and work your butt off, but the system just doesn't work for my daughter.

We originaly bought a boat with the intention of weekend/vacation cruising and a nice place to have an evening BBQ during the week. Which we have enjoyed doing. However we found we spent less-and-less time at home and more time on the boat - even dreaded coming home. We joked about moving aboard, but usually dismissed it.

Long story short, we are now planning to move aboard this spring. We won't cruise as my first daughter wants to go to High School. Hopefully the different levels of classes enables her to learn at her level, not at the lowest common level (plus all her dumb-ass friends chose a different HS). At this point the 'system' has her trapped and it wouoldn't be fair to break her away now. Teen Vogue and MTV are in her blood. Is there anything more pathetic than a white middle-class girl trying to talk gansta?

As for the next daughter, she'll be home schooled on board. Hopefully in an ever changing array of anchorages (mostly North Atlantic as we're not 'melted butter' types). See how High School works out for #1 to see if we send her to one or wait until college.
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Old 25-01-2007, 09:54   #109
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I wouldn't worry too much about daughter #1 being "trapped" in the system. Teenagers, and humans in general, are resilient and adaptable. The school system is definitely outmoded- they're still teaching from a 150 year old agrarian model when technical skills, investment and socialization are more of a priority these days.

If I was 16 or so and my parents took me away from the high school B.S., I might hate 'em for awhile-- I'd probably end up thanking them later for the eye opening experience of the cruising life.
~ (| ~~
~~ ~~ Aloha, g~

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Old 26-01-2007, 03:12   #110
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Over many years, weve met dozens of kids who grew up (home schooled) on cruising boats.
Without exception, they were among the most delightful & interesting people Ive had the pleasure of meeting. Wish wed have done that with ours.
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"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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Old 26-01-2007, 08:16   #111
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Love this thread

My epiphany came about 10 years ago while vacationing in Maui with some friends. They talked us into going to Maui and we talked them into diving. We took a 1/2 day cruise on a cat to dive and watch whales, but I suffered a tooth squeeze and couldn't make the dive - lucky for my husband, because that is when it hit me!!! What a life - sailing and diving and getting out of the rat race. I wanted my life to change and the stress of the job to end. I had been working in offices for many years and we had been diving every chance we got but I had never sailed. About a week after we got back from that trip I approached my husband with the idea of eventually living aboard a sail boat and sailing wherever we wanted to go. He couldn't believe I would think of or suggest such a plan as I had never mentioned wanting to sail or leave the area, but he was immediately on board with it. We started taking sailing classes on a local lake with a 10 year plan of retiring and sailing to far away places (my husband still had 2 kids in school and we had financial responsibilities to uphold).

Well, it has been 10 years, we bought Cookie's Cutter, our Pearson 36 Cutter, last May and have been outfitting her and getting her ready ever since. We live in Dallas and Cookie's Cutter is slipped about 5 hrs. south in Kemah, TX so we try to spend every weekend aboard. I am giving my notice in 2 weeks and my last day will be Feb. 28, 2007, and my husband already gave his notice that his last day will be March 31, 2007. We promised our families we would stay in the area until the birth of our 6th grandchild who is due the end of March. I am so excited and anxious I can hardly stand it!!! We plan to cut the dock lines early April and head south to Mexico.

A serious illness about 4 years ago nearly took my husband from me (he was 41 and I was 46). I have read the previous posts about living your dream now while you still can and I agree wholeheartedly. We don't know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. I am so blessed that we have made it this far and our dream is finally coming true.

Thanks for all the information posted on this forum for I have gained so much during the months I have been reading.

Good luck to all,
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Old 26-01-2007, 09:22   #112
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Well, all this is subject to change, but....

We were trying to figure out how to maintain a pied-a-terre in New Zealand, where the elder boy has just finished law school, his significant other is working for a newspaper, and they are about two months from being parents.

At the same time, we thought we'd like to keep a place here in Toronto.

Local paper had an article on the cheapest place to live in the city ... which turned out to be a 44-foot Chris Craft moored on the lake shore. This vessel had cost its owners $125,000 (C$) and their mooring, complete with power, water, cable TV and phone, was costing about $700 a month (Later saw the boat ...very nice and in good shape.)

So that was the epiphany.

I did the math and thought what's really needed is not a pied-a-terr, but two pieds-a-mer, once here and one in NZ. Fly back and forth when the seasons change, cruise the Great Lakes in summer and the Gulf of Hauraki in the winter.

Both the admiral and I have been dinghy sailors for years, when the occasion arose, and we don't get seasick, and we had enjoyed a lovely cruise on the Star Flyer once, but we hadn't thought of the cruising lifestyle.

But we now have our first keeboat -- a 27-foot Mirage, good Canadian boat, named Connemara -- and we'll be taking the first steps on the plan this summer.

All subject to change, of course, if it turns out we really don't like each other enough to be on a boat together full-time. Or if we sink her.

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Old 26-01-2007, 11:42   #113
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I am glad that this thread has been revived. It took reading this thread again to make me remember the feeling I had when I realized that finally, this is what I wanted to do.

I was at the wheel, on deck by myself, as my husband had a headache and had gone below to take a nap. I was talking to my dad (he had passed away 2 years before) as I do sometimes when I am by myself, and looked around and actually SAW. I mean we've been sailing for years and sure, I'd looked at the ocean, stared at the waves and thought I appreciated it all. But that day I realized I was really seeing it all. It was beautiful and I did not want to go home. Not then, never. I wanted to stay where I was. I wanted to just keep going. I have a hard time explaining what it felt like. Almost like being new. As soon as my husband's nap was over and he felt better, we talked about it. That afternoon we made plans that have been in motion for almost four years now.

The last year and a half has been full of problems from a son dropping out of college and coming home again, a bad car accident that decimated most of our savings and the depreciation of the one asset we were counting on most to help fund our retirement, our home. I think we had begun to lose sight of the dream we have. Reading all the other dreams here made me remember ours. THANK YOU to all of you for sharing.
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Old 26-01-2007, 11:54   #114
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Originally Posted by markpj23
What was your epiphany? Or did you even have one? What made you choose this life? Enquiring minds want to know...
good topic.....mine? hitting "bottom" a few yrs ago with a lifestyle that was neither healthy or constructive for me.....married too early, not knowing who i am/was and what i wanted from life...trying to be/do/say/walk the walk of someone who i was not (ultimately) "me".....however it took losing "everything", becoming emotionally and spritually bankrupt to have my moments of realization.....painful? yes....necessary? for me, yes....however i am now free to reconstruct and create a life of my own design and dreams, as i see it......with the help, guidence and trust in a spirtuality that works for me.

thanks for question man

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Old 26-01-2007, 14:42   #115
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Over conversation at brunch (Mothers' Day '05), my wife and I started talking about our future plans. I was in my 17th year in the Navy and had the option of getting out at 20 years with a modest pension, or continuing indefinitely (or at least retirement age). When pressed about what I really liked about the Navy, I admitted that the thing I enjoyed most was going to sea and exploring foreign lands. It was my wife who suggested that the same could be done, with the added benefit of enjoying it with my family, if we got ourselves a boat. I guess my epiphany is realizing that my wife can still surprise me.
Still about a year left before I can swallow the anchor, but planning is ongoing, boat shows are being visited, and the hope is to take the plunge summer '08.

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Old 07-02-2007, 14:23   #116
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It took about an hour or so to read this thread from the beginning. The common denominator seems to be the hectic, stressful and short lives we all want to get away from.

I am a leukemia survivor through the modern medical technology of bone marrow transplant. I am still "me" but living off someone elses blood system. My ordeal occured at age 47, back in 1999. Took me three years to recover with lots of close calls for failure. It cost me my job, which I thought I LOVED. I am now so greatful not to be there with my old co-workers.

Life is better without the pressures of this chaotic society. I am somewhat of a dropout now as my wife and I, through necessity, downsized our lives. We live in a 900 sq ft cottage in a coastal town in Maine. We drive only cars we own, pay our credit card in full every month and watch our spending. In many ways we are living a much richer lives than our neighbors.

I purchase a Westsail 32 in October of 2004. I have been restoring it in the winters and sailing it in the summers. This will be my last winter in Maine. It's time to push of to southern waters in the winter of 2007-2008.

We have had other sailing vessels and have cruised for 5-6 weeks at a time living on the hook. Mostly on the Chesapeake Bay. It turned my recovery around and I became stronger and more relaxed each day I was on the water. No medications came close to what sailing did for my wellness.

My wife still runs a seasonal business so we won't be cutting all ties but hell, 6 months a year of cruising for the next few years will be great.

Thanks for you inspirational comments. Get out there soon, time is running out.

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Old 17-05-2007, 07:10   #117
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Heron - great plan! I chuck the rat race next April at 56 years of age. When it comes time to die, I don't want to look back on my life and find out I haven't really lived. It will be hard to walk away from a great paycheck, but I am hearing people mostly regret what they DON'T do in life.

Look me up when you are in the Chespeake.

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Old 21-06-2007, 10:11   #118
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A Needed Refresher

Every so often I find myself re-reading this thread. Good for my soul I guess... and keeps me motivated in the right direction.

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Old 21-06-2007, 15:14   #119
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We are now living on a budget so we can cruise more often. My wife has chucked in her CEO job, handed back the company car, cards, laptop, phone and expense account. No pay being banked each Thursday into our account. She was getting close to 1k per working day so it takes some getting used to. We have been "unwaged" for 3 weeks now and so far are surprised on how little you can live on. We never used to think twice if we wanted to buy something. It was usually not really needed and a lot of waste. Doing a lot more walking with the dog and not throwing food out all the time now. (we used to go out for meals and the food in the fridge would expire!).
Just wish it was Summer as it is too cold here to cruise without a heater. Should warm up in 3 months....
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Old 18-07-2007, 05:50   #120
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The healthcare company I worked for went belly up, I started an internet biz while doing anything and everything to keep the bills paid, winter was coming and my landlord capped it by doubling my rent. I had $6k in the "retire on a sailboat someday fund".

I retired. I live on a Hunter 27 and the internet thingie is taking care of the bills. There's more of the story in the "Meets & Greets" forum.

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