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Old 12-11-2011, 16:14   #1
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A Blog Post Actually Worth Reading

Man is this good. From the guy who wrote "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" comes some serious thoughts on cruising psychology and why we do what we do.

* End of the sailing dream – maybe why so many sailors find life afloat too much | Serendipities Of A Writer's Life
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Old 12-11-2011, 16:26   #2
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pirate Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Had me chuckling and nodding... and I've just had a quick speed read...
take it in later...
Nice one... Cheers mate..
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Old 12-11-2011, 16:31   #3
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Bookmarked for later.

Pirsig's "Zen......." has proven to be a very influential book for me.

His thoughts on sailing are worth a read, I'm sure.
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Old 12-11-2011, 16:42   #4
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Ah yes, some reality to "The Dream" It's not all Latts and Atts

Good find unbusted.
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Old 12-11-2011, 18:59   #5
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Persig has thought long and hard about depression, judging from "Zen...Maintenance" until now. I think it's a must read for all the wannabes here and a very valuable reflection for those of us in the early stages of 'cruising'. Thanks for the read.
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Old 12-11-2011, 19:18   #6
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Pirsig's son went through some tough times in the years after he wrote "Zen..".

If I recall correctly his son was stabbed to death on the street. I think in Los Angeles.
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Old 12-11-2011, 20:38   #7
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Nice find, Ben. There was someone on here years ago who said something to the effect of:

"Sailing a boat around the world is one of the hardest things you can do. It's physically and mentally painful, and you'll have some of the most uncomfortable times in your life. If you haven't found a way to be happy living on land with a relatively easy life, you're probably not going to be able to find happiness out there."

It made sense to me as I always looked at it as an escape. Since I read that, and since I've been doing more jobs on the water, I've gotten to see it more for what it is: a huge challenge that will stress the very fabric of a person and their relationship(s).

I think having Cora (our now 1 1/2 year old daughter) onboard adds a new level as well, because there's just a big part of me that wants her to experience parts of the world rather than just growing up in the suburbs.
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Old 12-11-2011, 21:00   #8
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Great blog, some interesting thoughts that I had not considered, potential problems, but philosophical solutions also, thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-11-2011, 22:19   #9
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Fascinating reading and a lot to think about, although I'm not sure I agree with the core. I used to live in Alaska, most spectacular scenery on earth, and I never got jaded to it, or tired of it, and it never lost its impressiveness or grandeur for me. The smell of fall around Fairbanks each year, the sound of belugas whales breathing almost like humans just offshore as they swam by, the sky at night, the feel of the place. Every time we pull out of the slip and glide out past the breakwater it's a rush of pleasure, the smell, the feel, the sense of accomplishment that the boat is working as it should, a successful product of all that work and attention, performing as it should (until something else needs work, never ends). That's not monotony or a trigger for depression though, that's a challenge, like playing an instrument properly that's constantly slipping out of tune. I don't get tired of the pretty lines of a graceful boat no matter how many times I've seen it. I spent about a week in Guam once, incredible Pacific sunsets, and I didn't get tired of them, and they weren't less spectacular on Day 2, or Day 3...

Good writing, lots to think about, but I don't think I agree with the premise.
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Old 13-11-2011, 04:13   #10
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

A nice article

But seems to be wrapped around the usual premise that giving up Cruising is a failure............whereas I would argue that if you are doing something that didn't turn out as expected / hoped for, or the enjoyment has simply worn off..........then you would be an idiot to carry on. A big world out there and a squillion adventures to be had - most of 'em don't require a boat.......
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Old 13-11-2011, 08:45   #11
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Re: A Blog Post Actually Worth Reading

There is a saying, " You cannot cure a sickness of the soul by moving the body from one place to another." I'm not Pirsig. Neither are any of us. I believe there are places in thought that are better experienced that speculated about, that self awareness is not a universal goal, that no matter where you go, there you are. The Zen of cruising may be in the clear perception of conflicted feelings. The process of moving from dirt to water involves the abandonment of routine. Being separated from the land reality and the process of learning the water reality, is not necessary to achieve insight. For many, it is simple agony. For just as many, it provides a learning platform where our selves are revealed to us, as separate from our patterns. The thoughts of Pirsig, a writer and a man I deeply respect, are not germane to all persons. Each of us, will have his own experience. I have read many blogs. Some are full of delight and amazement. Some are as dull as if they had been written in a trailer park in East St. Louis. In August. So we are the people we are. Some are as Ulysses, in Tennyson's poem, some are not. Some folks believe that satisfaction in life comes from affirmation in their beliefs. They shake their heads at our hair brained plans. We shake our heads at their ridged life style and wonder how they survive the tedium. Chalk it up to brain chemistry, early learning, family systems, whatever. It doesn't matter. It has always been this way.
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Old 13-11-2011, 09:04   #12
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Re: A Blog Post Actually Worth Reading

Pirsig sure paints a different picture of the cruising population than those we met and got to know to one degree or other. None we met seemed "depressed". They seemed to be loving the experience and enjoying meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.
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Old 13-11-2011, 09:27   #13
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Re: A Blog Post Actually Worth Reading

Whose signature is it that states, SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover! Oh that was me. Sailing for long term is not excaping reality. It is being thrown into the face of it. I have typed many times there is blood sweat & tears involved. It's like living the life of a pioneer. It can be tough. A pump failure can be a tragedy, or it can be like mowing the lawn. Another chore to do. Yes, and what about when the roof needs replacing? Do you have the money for that, instead of new rigging?

DOJ typed it best. If it doesn't please you then move on. There's no shame in that. People take up golf, and find it difficult, so they move onto bowling. There's so much to life that you have options. What about your first love? That didn't work for most of us, but do we quit searching? No we move on, and give it another go.

If you're not curious enough to see what's around the bend to the next anchorage. Just because you got a busted pump. Then move on, and find something else less challenging. Long term cruising is a challenge as well as crossing large bodies of water. We aren't all meant to do that, and I am glad this is true. Can you imagine how damned crowded it would get out here?

There's a lot of safety factors in doing the 9-5, and the grocery store a couple of blocks away. Just turn the ignition, and go. Sometimes I catch a way over crowded bus in the tropical heat. To catch yet another bus to get 8-10 miles to get groceries.I miss having ice cream at my leisure. I have a large freezer, but it would melt by the time I got back to the boat. Instead I adjust, and buy a cone near the store. There's a lot of adjustments to be made out here. Some can do it, and some can't.

You onlyy get one chance at life. You got to be comfortable within your own skin, and find your happiness. It's your job to do so, and if sailing ain't making you happy. Then just turn over another rock, and take a peek some place else.........i2f
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Old 13-11-2011, 09:43   #14
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Re: A blog post actually worth reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
A nice article

But seems to be wrapped around the usual premise that giving up Cruising is a failure............whereas I would argue that if you are doing something that didn't turn out as expected / hoped for, or the enjoyment has simply worn off..........then you would be an idiot to carry on. A big world out there and a squillion adventures to be had - most of 'em don't require a boat.......
Well said.
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Old 13-11-2011, 09:47   #15
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Re: A Blog Post Actually Worth Reading

Like his book............I don't really understand what he said.
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