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Old 16-08-2016, 16:41   #1
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Crowded?

One of the things that draws us to sailing is getting away from crowds. We load up our boat and head out for a week at a very quiet mountain lake. We are often the only folk about except on weekends.

I realize my view is somewhat colored by the work day grind. Im tired when I get home (we both are) and full up of people. Being away from people is a huge draw.

Anyway, Im sure our lack of sociability will change as we get to know other cruisers and are not pressured by demands from bosses and clients. But many places look quite crowded and full of people. Carib, the med, pacific islands...these are very popular places. Some descriptions sound like aquatic cities with just more folk on boats than in cubicles.

What are your experiences? Are there places in the world with less folk? Are their quiet places and peaceful places?
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Old 16-08-2016, 16:53   #2
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Re: Crowded?

Oceans and bays are much larger than lakes in Colorado.

Your whole state which is quite large has a population of around 5 million people. My local area has almost 2 million yet I can sail for 5 hours and anchor in a spot where I am totally alone...............looking at the stars.

Sail another day north and you can get to a spot where you see nothing but the lights of Islands like Tangier and Smith plus a few channel markers

Escaping on a sailboat is easy. The question will be can you deal with it.
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Old 16-08-2016, 17:10   #3
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Re: Crowded?

For the South Pacific, we've found that even in popular destination areas it is pretty easy to get solitude when you need it. One secret is to look at cruising guides for an area... and then go to anchorages NOT shown in the guide! This almost always works for us.

But as you mature as cruisers, you may find that you will not shun other cruisers so much. They become your ersatz family, your friends, your aides when in need of help, and your source of stimulation beyond that upon your own vessel. With some thought, one can modulate your exposure to others to fit your own needs.

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Old 16-08-2016, 17:27   #4
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Re: Crowded?

Boats seem to congregate. They'll fill up an anchorage while a mile or less away may be a totally empty Bay. There are places on both coasts where there may be a crowd like Catalina Harbor in SoCal. In Summer it's crazy crowded especially on weekends but Two Harbors and the Isthmus just a little ways down the coast are sparsely populated and there's all the other Channel Islands just a little farther on. Am sure it's the same for the PNW, NE, Bahamas, etc. You don't have to go to the 'In' spots and can find peace and solitude if you'll explore a little farther afield. Also the season makes a big difference. Spring, fall and even winter, weather permitting, even the 'In' spots may be deserted. Though usually have found the popular spots to be places we'd not want to be even when they aren't crowded. Read your Pilot and cruising guides or just explore on your own to find the out of way places in even high population areas.
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Old 16-08-2016, 17:51   #5
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Re: Crowded?

For a weekend sail it's easy to be "full-up with people." Cruise a little longer and that can change. You' might miss people after enough isolated bays.

I think most people like a mix, but like any people, it varies.
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Old 16-08-2016, 18:12   #6
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Re: Crowded?

Yes, humans, on boats or otherwise, tend to congregate. I prefer more isolated places too. E Carib tends to be crowded, much of the W Carib and Central America much less so. Easy to get away from the crowds there.

Even in some popular areas like the FL Keys and Bahamas, its still easy to find more isolated anchorages...especially with shoal draft.
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Old 16-08-2016, 18:19   #7
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Re: Crowded?

I doubt that there are ever more than a few dozen cruisers at any given time in this 450,000 square miles, frequently far less than that.
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Old 16-08-2016, 18:35   #8
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Re: Crowded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, humans, on boats or otherwise, tend to congregate. .................
I find this statement to be very true within our typical cruising range from Maine to the Bahamas. There are clusters like Northeast Harbor, Booth Bay, Gloucester, Newport, Annapolis, Norfolk, Beaufort and the other Beaufort, St. Augustine, Vero Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Marathon, Key West, Marsh Harbor, Hope Town, and George Town. We stop at these places for a few days at a time and enjoy them for a short term.

Between each if these cluster areas there are great numbers of places where people don't regularly stop,- 'lonely wilderness anchorages with peaceful surroundings.





Isolation is magic!
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Old 16-08-2016, 19:04   #9
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Re: Crowded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
But many places look quite crowded and full of people. Carib, the med, pacific islands...these are very popular places. Some descriptions sound like aquatic cities with just more folk on boats than in cubicles.
Yes. Everywhere is far too crowded.
It would be much better for you to trash your cruising plans and stay at work.
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Old 16-08-2016, 19:06   #10
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Re: Crowded?

We have cruised a very very tiny part of coast line but it gets to the point, seeing another mast is pretty exciting.
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Old 16-08-2016, 19:09   #11
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Re: Crowded?

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Yes. Everywhere is far too crowded.
It would be much better for you to trash your cruising plans and stay at work.
There is no raspberry emoticon....therefore "I fart in your general direction!"
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Old 16-08-2016, 19:18   #12
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Crowded?

The herd mentality is quite prevalent, though easily understood and dealt with. Most times it's as simple as sailing around the corner to the next bay. Although, many times an anchorage can be made even better by having a few other cruisers in there with you.
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Old 16-08-2016, 20:19   #13
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Re: Crowded?

In some areas, deserted anchorages are awesome. In other areas, there is safety in numbers.

For me, most of the time less is more.

There are plenty of places in the world that are not crowded, but going there requires more self sufficiency.

The great thing about sailing, is you can make it into whatever you want. Hot/cold. Crowded anchorage/solitary anchorages. High latitude/low latitude.

That's part of what still makes it an adventure. You get to choose.
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Old 16-08-2016, 22:44   #14
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Re: Crowded?

That depends on where you go and how you pick your anchorages. It also depends on your notion of what crowded means.
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Old 17-08-2016, 11:32   #15
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Re: Crowded?

Even in urban areas, it's surprisingly easy to find an isolated anchorage.


As others have suggested, a night or two in isolation is a great way to unwind but it doesn't take long before a steady diet of isolation gets boring and you want personal interaction. There are people who are exceptions but I would say most want some level of interaction on a fairly regular basis.
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