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Old 10-12-2018, 05:07   #1
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advice on preparing for a life at sea

Hello Everyone,


Thank you for allowing me into your community. Now that I'm in, I would really appreciate your collective advice on my future life upon the waves...


Let me provide some background:
This may seem a little premature, but I have always wanted to live out my post-responsibilities days at sea. I'm 50 now, living in Greece, and counting down to my daughter finishing school and university in around 8 years from now...
I'm adventurous (verging on the reckless) by nature, so I'd like to be able to leave the Med and head up to Iceland and down to... who knows where? I have a brother in Toronto and a cousin in Sydney who I wouldn't mind visiting...



Moneywise, I won't be rich, but I will have a small flat to sell in exchange for a boat (50,000 Euros at today's prices), and as a freelance translator, I will be able to continue to earn some money, wherever I am in the world, as long as I have an internet connection. But I will need to be frugal, so sail rather than diesel, and no expensive marinas for the winter.


So, my enormous question is this: what should I start doing to get ready for the change-over?



- Which sailing (and other) qualifications would be best, and where would it be best to get it?

- What sort of boat would I need to go where I wanted by myself on my budget?
- What else should I be doing over the next 8 years by way of preparation?


I know it's a huge and very vague ask, but any feedback would be gratefully received.
I'm still very much outside looking in, but that has to change at some point.


Many thanks!


Michael
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:35   #2
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pirate Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Welcome to CF
Start training your psychology to being selfish and clearing away others perceptions of your so called obligations to others.. the ball and chain to personal ambitions..
Take RYA Courses to the level of Coastal Skipper preferably in tidal waters as Med sailing does nothing to gain valuable experience in the often complex tide ranges and currents found in your stated areas of sailing.. it can make the difference to arriving in a port or.. sitting at 45 degrees in the mud or on a rock that breaks your boat.
The boat.. Max 36ft with decent tankage and proper storage space.. forget watermakers and to many electroc toys.. learn whats needed in conservation and collection of water and what the body really needs as opposed to what the eyes and belly feel they need.
You'll get slimmer and fitter for it..
So.. Time to start your 8yr training regime..
Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:44   #3
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Forget it. The sea robs you of close friends and is very lonely.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:25   #4
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Michael.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:34   #5
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pirate Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by moctrams View Post
Forget it. The sea robs you of close friends and is very lonely.
No.. it allows you to regulate who can be close friends..
If contact is lost either they were not that close as to be bothered.. or you were not as close as you thought.
They dont visit coz we're not worth the hassle of more than a 15min drive.. or unlless they want something.
Sailing is for the Un-Needy..
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:09   #6
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Many thanks, boatman61, for the advice.
I've looking up places where I can do the RYA coastal skipper course in tidal waters at a reasonable cost.
As for friends, since they're few and far between geographically, one of the things I'm looking forward to is catching up with them in the different parts of the world they now live in. And, as you say, to being able to live for myself after many years of putting others' well-being before my own.
Once I've got the ball rolling, the rest should follow.


Thanks you again,


Michael
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:09   #7
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Thank you.
It's nice to be here.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:47   #8
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

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Originally Posted by kkais View Post

So, my enormous question is this: what should I start doing to get ready for the change-over?
You should just go sailing and see if you ever like it. Anything else falls into putting the cart ahead of the horse. People spend all kinds of time an effort to chase the cruising dream just to learn they don't really like boating. That's why there's so many boats sitting around not getting used.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:18   #9
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

True, of course.
I remember a guy on my apnea course who had been fixating on becoming a free diver for years--he had all the stuff (I mean everything). Anyway, every time we put on the thick wetsuits, he threw up--we were bobbing round like buoys, and he couldn't take it...
So, yes indeed, I'll try to make sure I'm not that guy when it comes to sailing.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:38   #10
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Just received my RYA online training package last week...it's a combination of Day Skipper/Yachtmaster (from Ocean Training)...and have to say that the course is everything I would have expected and more. If you purchase - be prepared for a very detailed course outline but the knowledge I'm gaining through this is irreplaceable...
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:36   #11
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Here's another look at it. Your daughter's 12 or 13 now, maybe the two of you could take up a tiny dinghy, like an Optimist, or whatever similar is available where you are, and just spend some time together sailing it together. I wouldn't even have thought of it, but my own Dad made this kind of a deal with me, that I would go to summer school and learn to type so I'd have a skill to fall back on, and he would take me swimming twice a week at the ocean. We both did it, and it is one of my fondest memories of my Dad, who has not been with us for many years, now. Quality time you give your daughter at this time of her life is very important, maybe for you, as well as for her.

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Old 10-12-2018, 14:02   #12
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Thanks, Ann,


That really is something I need to do.
As they're very strict about licenses here in Greece, I'd need to get a RYA certificate to take a dinghy out--but messing about in the sea every summer would make it very worthwhile, both for now and with an eye on the future.


We spend the summer in my wife's village, anyway, which is on the sea and has a small harbour, so it would be silly not to!


Michael
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Old 10-12-2018, 14:11   #13
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

KKais:

Pay attention to Ann (screen name: JPA Cate)! Ann's advice is always sound from a practical and technical point of view, and her concern for the long term welfare of others always shows through.

I feel precisely the same as she does about getting the young'uns off to a good start early. You may not be feeling up to doing the teaching yourself at this point, but - luck is with you :-)!

Google up the NOKT Sailing Club - actually, no need. Here is a link to them:

N.O.T.K. - ATHLETIC SAILING YACHT CLUB TZITZIFIES KALLITHEA - ATHENS PIRAEUS GREECE

Just sit an look at the scrolling pictures for a coupla minutes, and you will see that NOTK "covers the waterfront" :-)! One of those pictures shows youngsters - as young as 7 or 8 yoa - sailing precisely the little dinghy that Ann mentions: The "Optimist". It is a SUPERB dinghy for teaching youngsters the rudiments. By age 10 the kiddies pass on to a dinghy called the "420", and as teenagers they come away from racing those dinghies with a far better understanding of the niceties of sail trim than they could get in any other way.

The 420 is ALSO suitable for adults to learn on ab initio. I have taught hundreds of adults on a very similar predecessor to the 420 called the "Enterprise".

The club can also teach you all you need to know about boat handling in vessels of, say, 27 or 30 feet, and before you know it, club members will ask you to "help out" on races and cruises in many different kinds of boat, which is how you come to know what kind of boat you like - and if you like sailing at all.

All in all, there really isn't a better way to learn to sail than to join a sailing club. Far superior, IMO, to trying go your own way :-)!

For the record: I have no interest in NOKT, and I cite them only as an example of what any good sailing club/sailing school can do for novices.

All the best :-)

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Old 10-12-2018, 14:33   #14
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

Thanks a lot, 30-footer!


I'll definitely look them up--Kallithea is just down the road and it would be great to master a dinghy with my daughter at the weekends (I'm sure she'd be teaching me in a couple of months).
The response to my mail has been wonderful--a real mix of useful and heartfelt advice. Thank you!
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Old 10-12-2018, 14:33   #15
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Re: advice on preparing for a life at sea

My advice, if you want to visit your brother in Toronto. Or your cousin in Sydney. By a plane ticket and sleep on the couch.

You are 50 now, if sailing is what you want to do. Don’t dream about the big perfect boat later. Go by the best little old boat you can afford now. It probably won’t be up to cruising the world but overnight or weekends near where you live.
Get out on the water and enjoy it while you can with the family before they grow up and are no longer interested.

I had the dreams. For me, Life’s other commitments came first. I bought a 24ft old beater just to get out sailing. My only regret I should have bought the little boat sooner.

When life permitted I bought a bigger nicer boat. In many ways I miss the little one. I had a lot of fun with my kids when they were young with it.

If sailing the world or just living on a boat, when you retire is still your plan? Act on it at the time.
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