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Old 01-12-2015, 15:16   #46
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Why staying afloat? I do not like belonging to any single place, or variety of the human species.
Any sailors is a bird on his/her own, by style, mood, demeanour. Thus, I chose to be a bird myself..(ironically, my nickname here is TheThunderbird)

Also, I hate barriers, traffic lights, impediments..

I find just a few, on sea, and not a noise but many sounds. Senses are alert all the time, in an Adaptive Mood which tunes to the weather, the temperature, the sea state and the rolling, and her (the ship's) needs.

The boat is the oyster where you can expect to have all the proper gear well set to your taste and necessities. Quite a privilege, in this world.
As all the seas are alike, when afloat you are everywhere, and the bliss hides in the details, as many as the stars.
Life becomes a slow motion (hopefully so!) movie, and I am, you are the actor
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:22   #47
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Military brat, crossed the Atlantic in 1957 with my folks on the same troopship my Dad sailed to Germany on in 1943...the USS Randall. I was too short to see over the bulwarks so my Dad would pick me up and hold me tight and let me watch the big grey rollers...mesmerizing. I made a promise to myself then and there that I would return. Never could stay put in one place for too long, spent a couple of years traveling on an old Harley, worked as a logger, cowboy, prospector, truck driver, even tried marriage a couple of times. Built a cabin up in the Rockies, tried to put down "roots"...guess I had too many seafaring books: Dana, Melville. Moitessier, Davison, Johnston, the usual. Seattle, a little 28' Rhodes sloop, then a 40' yawl that is just big enough to hold the only things that are important to me...my own world surrounded by my own life.

There is just no other place on earth, and I've seen a lot of it, that compares to being on a boat, the only place I have found where you can be the master of your own fate, at least to some degree.

"Who has known heights and depths shall not again know peace

Not as the calm heart knows low ivied walls,

a garden close,

the old enchantment of a rose,

And though he tread the humble ways of men,

He shall not know peace again"

Wilfred Noyce
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:55   #48
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GafferMate View Post
. It is only land, the static sense of permanence that I feel the need to 'escape' from.
Beautiful and inspirational post GafferMate
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Old 01-12-2015, 16:06   #49
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

One other reason i have that might be shared by other Sailors.

The Sea is just so much more cleaner and uncluttered, compared to Land....that it is much easier to find yourself there.
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Old 01-12-2015, 16:28   #50
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Awesome! So many fantastic stories!

I should probably point out that I'm not really concerned with the "running away" part, I prefer the "to sea" part.

I guess I was just trying to use the correct nomenclature.

I should probably have asked the question in a different way "How did you get drawn to the sea?" or something along those lines.

For me personally there's something about being on the water that seems to reach deep inside, I get a similar experience when sitting on top of mountains and stating at the horizon. Hard to explain exactly what it is, but it's like a calming effect.

Keep the stories coming, they are great!
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Old 01-12-2015, 16:30   #51
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

The book..."The Boat Who Wouldn't Float [Farley Mowat]
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Old 01-12-2015, 16:45   #52
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

I joined the Naval Reserves my Junior Year in High School. Most people who join the Navy end up at sea and that's where I really fell in love with being on the briny blue. The most fun part was getting underway on a Destroyer early in the morning on a flat calm cool sea with a cup of coffee in my hand and watching the bow cut the water and flying fish and porpoise jump and play. Who could resist running away to that?
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Old 01-12-2015, 17:18   #53
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Ocean cruising: a study of affirmative deviance - Murdoch Research Repository

GordMay turned me onto this a few months back. It's a doctoral thesis about the psychology of cruisers. It has a lot of insights and a lot of pages, around 400 lol.

I'm new to sailing but I'm attracted to it for the sense of freedom, adventure, travel and honestly I'm a little disillusioned with land life and western consumerism. I'm 33 yo and ready for something different. Whether you say I'm running away or running towards something it's really just semantics and it doesn't hold a lot of clout IMO.

It is a different type of person who can sell everything, buy a boat and sail off to the sunset. It is an unusual type of person who can leave friends and pull up roots having nothing to look forward to except the unknown. Mike Riley

The far horizon exerts a powerful pull on the disillusioned. John Kretchmer
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Old 01-12-2015, 17:30   #54
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

I've spent 30 years living on this boat and much of it spent at sea, yet I never figured I "ran away to sea".

My life on land was OK, I didn't have anything to run away from.

It's just that I liked boats, sailing, the sea, so I decided that's what I wanted to do.

Maybe it was my grandfather, a sea captain and a boat builder. People say I look like him, I certainly felt some affinity to him and his Norwegian forefathers. He was a blue water sailor, for sure.

Or maybe my folks got me started; they had boats, speedboats yes, but boats. I bought my first one at 15, with paper route money. In the end it sank.

Since then I've always been boat poor, meaning the money I spent on boats could have made a lot richer if spent in other ways.

But the sea drew me, and one day I just left, with my sweetheart, and now, 30 years later, we're still doing it.

I'm not happy if I can't smell the salt sea.

And after a few months in port I start to wonder what that next port really looks like.

And I have to go and see for myself.

I regret none of it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 17:30   #55
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

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Originally Posted by GafferMate View Post
I loved reading books about faraway places when I was young, was eager to 'get away' from the myriad of confines I felt. Traveling through Europe with my first husband satisfied some needs but not all so left him there, returned 'home', divorced, but felt even more trapped so me and my dog hitch-hiked down to Mexico, to an art school. The art helped until the money ran out and had to return to the California. Broke, a friend offer a leaky old boat for me to live on. The first morning I woke up, I knew I'd finally 'come home'. I was 25.

Down the dock, my future husband was visiting his best friend. He had been a Marine in the Pacific during WWII and dreamed of building an Atkin's Ingrid, sailing back to the Solomon Islands. We did that. It was wonderful building our boat together, the two of us working toward our dream of a simpler life than the Bay Area--the United States in general--provided, although the length of time it took was often frustrating for me, to have to live on land again.

Since 1984, living our (and now just my) life aboard PILAR, has continued to be deeply rewarding, wherever she has dropped anchor, picked up a mooring or berthed in a marina. Sailing to the places we'd each longed to visit were incredibly satisfying, although in spite of appreciating the soul-stirring experiences of them, long passages proved difficult. In part, that was due to age differences. Being younger, I was more inclined to want more sail up, whereas my poor husband (22 years older and the one to do most of the sail changing) was more conservative. He was fit, insisted on being the one to do most of the sail changes, so it wasn't until recently, when I am now the age he was when we were cruising, that I fully appreciate the added dimension aging adds to one's perspectives. Now, at 67, I continue to wake each morning aboard feeling joy to be afloat, tucked inside my beautiful home in an amazing place that I see fresh, every day. I have a house that I rent, as a necessary work shop for the major refit of PILAR, also as a studio for personal and community projects (and a delightful garden) but it is NOT where I live or feel alive in. It is not my home, where I feel at peace, and so I struggle with the thought of eventually, most likely, having to accept the Changes that are not Choices that come with greater age. I have seen friends who lived and died on their boats, and hope I can do that, too, but there is the need to think about how to have some say, if it doesn't work out that way...

There have been a number of sailor friends--true sailors who are offended seeing a good boat tied for years to a mooring--who have given me a hard time about continually being involved with projects other than cruising. Perhaps it is just rationalization on my part, but it seems wonderful to me WHATEVER way people engage with their boats, as long as the pleasure, the involvement and commitment, is there. Simply being on the water is enough for me. As long as I can feel the water underneath me, moving ever-so slightly, and breathe the fresh air, watch the shimmering night stars above and below, I am fulfilled. It is only land, the static sense of permanence that I feel the need to 'escape' from.
For those not familiar with Pilar....
Diane is a real treasure in the Philippines, who had given in such a personal way to become Family to many Filipinos.

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Old 01-12-2015, 17:37   #56
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

@GafferMate that post was simply beautiful. You get it! and you sail the sail.

SNUG HARBOR
A restless spirit
Awaits a gentle breeze
To excite a dormant heart
Lost in a mind
Of precious thoughts
Afloat in a sea of souls
Anchored only to dreams
Too impossible to find
In any snug harbor
The sea swells
Recalls the gentle breath
Of spent love rising
From within
To rest
amongst
the stars
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Old 01-12-2015, 20:55   #57
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

For me personally there's something about being on the water that seems to reach deep inside,

Keep the stories coming, they are great![/QUOTE]

Answered your own question. I believe the ocean is a part of our make up, in our genes, as they say. I get frustrated when the shark huggers say it's the Sharks environment. It's my natural environment too, but I am amphibious perhaps. So not really running away from the "civilised world" but rather running back to our origins.
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Old 01-12-2015, 21:53   #58
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

It's interesting that a person and the earth contains about the same percentage of water.
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Old 01-12-2015, 22:56   #59
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Even as a small child, I've always looked at the ridge line of the mountains, the curve of the road, the clearing in the forest and wondered what was on the other side. I thought this was normal, but as I grew older and met more people I learned that it was not the normal. Other people didn't see a mountain top and wonder what was on the otherside, a huge neon question mark flashing in the sky, they just saw a mountain top. I've always moved around every few years, when I was in my twenties just out of the service it was to the apartment complex across town. Since then it's been to islands in the pacific, foreign countries and many places in the US. Sailing has become a continuation of those travels for me. From thinking about it in a 'tiny house'/living sustainable type of way in 2008, to learning to sail in Mexico in earlier this year and finding I love it, to saving up for the first boat purchase next summer. Not once was I running away.

Anyways, here's a poem/story I always liked regarding us wanders -

Traveler's Curse -

“I see. But have you ever heard of the Curse of the Traveler?”

“No, what’s that?”

“It involves experiences and their value. The more places you see, the more things you find that appeal and attract you. However, none of these places you visit have them all.”
“But the more you see, the more options you have to choose from, obviously.”

“Yes, but you’re not the same person you were when you began this journey. You have a larger body of experiences to reflect upon, and there are a greater number of things you discover that you love. As a broader person, chances are that the next place you visit has an even smaller percentage of these things, as the number you enjoy has simply increased. But you still find new, fascinating parts of each culture, landscape, cuisine, and lifestyle in these new places that it fuels an addiction to continue searching for your proverbial Final Destination. Which in turn, makes it less likely you will find that place, as you’ve developed this yearning for everything you’ve seen that any current residence doesn’t provide.”

“Well. I could always find a way to reconcile this fact – perhaps there’s a right place for me as a permanent residence, then places I enjoy temporarily?”

“The curse doesn’t stop there.”

“What else is involved?”

“Thing is, you’re meeting many people from all walks of life in your travels, and you develop a certain expertise in engagement – as you’re never in one place for too long, you learn to quickly foster deep connections by actively trying to understand others, willfully listening to their experiences and observing their way of life.”

“A wonderful skill, I’d imagine.”

“Yes, and you do learn to single out those who are worth cultivating a relationship with, because of the sheer number of people you meet. You find inspiring figures in obscure places, individuals who’d be famous if they’d allow the world to see them, and those with certain values that will force you to question your very approach to existence itself.”

“So, what is the problem exactly? This is obviously a very good thing by nearly any measure.”

“The problem, my dear friend, is simply that you will leave. Your skill in developing relationships has come from the obvious intuition that you won’t be around for long. Eventually, you will miss all of them.”

“Yes but –“

“Then you’ll become conscious of this fact, and try to change. You settle down, you stay somewhere and call yourself one of them, dutifully cultivating relationships once again, but this time with some sort of permanence in mind.”

“Ah, so that’s the key to escaping the curse. Recognizing your own wanderlust as ultimately damning, and finding solace in life’s imperfect nature, both in the landscape of where you call home and the people whom you declare your love.”

“Not quite, for a specific reason. Those who you’ve decided to settle down with haven’t lived a similar lifestyle, seen what you’ve seen, or met who you’ve met. You’ll want to communicate your experiences just slightly more than your peers want to hear them, and you’ll never quite be understood just as deeply as you’d hoped. They don’t see you as an entire culmination of your travels, and they will never be capable of bringing out parts of you that you’ve been forced or opted to develop throughout the years. What they don’t see will be disheartening, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness.

“…Then what?”

“Then, perhaps, you’ll leave again.”
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Old 01-12-2015, 23:39   #60
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Re: Why did you run away to sea?

Quote:
sailors who are offended seeing a good boat tied for years to a mooring--who have given me a hard time about continually being involved with projects other than cruising. Perhaps it is just rationalization on my part, but it seems wonderful to me
It would seem you speak to a lot of us. My kids hate sailing. I live an hour and a half from the docked boat I'm currently working on. They cannot understand why I like to spend a day (or two) at a time working on the boat.

Certainly I love sailing and my boat can be sailed at any time. But I am very content to simply be on the boat, tied up in its slip, staying busy with all the little things this old girl needs. Its the being on the water that draws me. Perhaps because I'm a pisces. I also enjoy reflecting on the things that get done and watching a boat others would throw away become a thing of beauty. Its not just a restoration of the boat, but a restoration of my soul that fills my heart as I drive back home.

I'm not sure if I am ready to live on a boat full time. Unfortunately I am tied to 40 years of consumerism and have a house and storage units full of things I no longer use. I do not want to simply throw or give everything away without going through them. And having a 50 hour a week job allows little time to do that AND still spend time on the boat. Luckily my job is remote and WiFi at the dock allows me to work from the boat. But my tie to that house and the history of things in it are in themselves an anchor I cannot untie. Perhaps a concerted effort in 2016 will free me from these artificial bonds.

I would have no problem spending my retirement years, accepting forgotten "free" boats from the backs of marinas. Getting the hull seaworthy first, so the boat can be slipped into the water and then restoring it to renewed usefulness, while tied to a dock. This life suits me and it is rewarding to see the subtle changes that bring the old boat back to life. For the most part, old boats are just cosmetically challenged. Cleaning, oiling and painting make up most of the work. Re-bed and tune the rigging. Refresh the sometimes tired engine. Replace or harden the rotted wood. Sails although stained with neglect are usually in serviceable condition. These boats may never take to open blue waters, but with a little TLC can be sailed safely in the more confined waters of the Chesapeake and from a short distance look every bit as nice as they did in their youth.

And every day, I would awaken with a smile on my face. And every evening I would look at the latest update with pride and fulfillment. And all the while, the water would be there to lull me into a long and restful sleep.
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