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Old 04-08-2010, 18:37   #1
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Ditching Tenure for the Sea !

Hello,

My name is Rebecca and my current home port is Chapel Hill, NC where I teach at both Duke University and for American Public University. My husband, Aaron, is a tenured prof at UNC in the Geography department. Together, we've decided that academia isn't where we want to be anymore. We have two daughters, ages 4 and 6, who are good travelers and almost always up for an adventure.

So, we plan to ditch our high-falutin' academic jobs and become a cruising family soon, perhaps within the year. We don't have tons of sailing experience or experience with boats in general so I'm learning a whole lot from this forum!

We're still deciding on where we will begin this journey. We need a bit of time to get settled and used to living aboard (er, we need a boat too!) and so are looking for a new home port. We're considering FL and Santa Barbara, CA where we have connections but are open to other options as well.

Because our plans are in their infancy, I've really enjoyed "meeting" other folks on the forum who are getting started as well as those with lots of "been there" advice.

Looking forward to some non-ivory tower discussions,
Rebecca
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:03   #2
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It sounds like you have a plan. I wish that I had started sailing offshore when I was younger. We started our circumnavigation when I was 47. I wish I had done it ten years earlier in my Westsail 32. Our Privilege 39 catamaran was great, but it delayed the departure by more than a decade.

Tenure can be a trap. It offers the illusion of security, but it is also like standing in wet concrete and watching it dry with the full knowledge that you won't be going anywhere soon.

Here are my thoughts about security:

GO AHEAD
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:10   #3
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A warm welcome to the forum from a fellow academic currently standing in wet concrete. Oops, in my case it seems already to have dried.

Santa Barbara is a fine sailing venue with a fabulous university and some great islands within a day's sail. But no slips. If you're considering a liveaboard situation, you might want to check out Ventura or Channel Islands Harbor.

Again, welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:14   #4
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@maxing out: Your essay is just what we need to read at this point.

@Bash: You know, concrete does crack sometimes, doesn't it? We've checked out the situation in SB Harbor and it's not... cheap. You need to buy a slip permit (currently at about $150K for a 40' slip) and then pay the normal slip and liveaboard fees (about $500/month). The good news is that the slip permit is a safe investment; the bad news for us, is that it would eat up a gigantic part of our accessible cash. We have family in the area, though, so there is some reason to head in that direction.

I keep thinking that there must be a good training ground for us in Mexico or some other potentially affordable area.
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:24   #5
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Not only does the Baja provide an excellent training ground for cruisers, but there might be good opportunities for someone with a bit of Spanish and an interest in biogeography.

Check out La Paz, and check out CIBNOR.
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:28   #6
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
I liked Santa Barbara when we pulled in on a Navy Cruiser but all I have to say about 150K for a permit is "Wow!" Must be a lot of rich folks round there.
kind regards,
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Old 04-08-2010, 20:52   #7
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If you come west and want a liveaboard slip, go to either San Francisco Bay or Oxnard/Ventura marinas in Kali. Investment in an overpriced slip in SB is a potentially debilitating distraction in a deflationary enviroment. Leaving academia for a life of adventure on the sea? Awe inspiring!
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Old 04-08-2010, 21:57   #8
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Ah yes the adventure begins, deciding coastal or offshore, big difference in ventelation and natural light. Finding the right "floor plan", need an enclosed shower? I would not limit myself to where one has shoreside ties,as the point of going cruising is cutting those ties and being independent and self reliant. I am sure you will do your research and visit many different models (we traveled from Texas to Maine and everywhere in between in our search). Enjoy!
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Old 05-08-2010, 16:39   #9
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academia
Aren't those nuts that go well in white chocolate chip cookies?

Seriously, welcome aboard.

What are you doing next Friday 11/13? My wife Lynn (Entlie on this forum) and I are doing a short seminar called:

From Dream to Reality
Real World Advice for Beginning Cruisers

at the Fairfield Harbour Yacht Club, New Bern, NC from 0900 to 1200 Friday morning. There is no cost and we are donating our CD at this venue. We usually sell it for a nominal cost.

This seminar is also offered at the Seven Seas Cruising Association gam in Melbourne, FL this November, schedule to be announced.

If interested, PM me on this forum or email george@stateham.com and I will get more information to you.

For more information about us, visit the boat web site at 1994 Prout 38 Sunspot Baby and http://www.stateham.com/skippergeorge/Seminars.htm

Otherwise, we would be glad to chat with you and help in any other way we can.

Getting started is exciting, we hope it goes well for you.

Fair winds,
George
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Old 05-08-2010, 17:01   #10
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G'day, Rebecca, welcome aboard. Take a close look at New Zealand to base this lifestyle out of. It's a great place to raise the kids on board. Cheers.
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Old 05-08-2010, 17:35   #11
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Hooray for you, Rebecca! And thanks for the link, Maxingout.

I ran into one of my mother's cousins at a familly gathering not too long ago, a guy who disappeared into the Carribean on a sailboat something like 30 years ago. I told him I wanted to go, too. He asked, "Well, do you have a number in your head?" I was the only one there who understood the question and said, "Yes." He didn't ask for the "number," but said, "OK, you'll never make it. When you get to HALF your number, GO!"

I am so close to half that number I can smell it. Best of luck to you and FWIW, the East Coast will offer better cruising grounds in which to get your feet wet than the West. But that's just me.....
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:46   #12
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I love it! Consider Clear Lake, Texas area. You may even find your cruising boat here, we have one of the largest concentration of boats in the US.
Happy adventure!
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Old 14-08-2010, 06:54   #13
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Thanks for attending the seminar. Lynn & I enjoyed meeting you face to face. We hope you found it helpful.

George
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Old 14-08-2010, 07:05   #14
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Giving up the career for the unknown is pretty brave. Why not learn to sail, and then do some charters over a period of time, 2 yrs. ? What if one of the kids is seasick constantly, or yourself? It's not uncommon that folks sell everything to go cruising, and 3 months later the boat is for sale in some foreign port. BEST WISHES in it working out for you......i2f
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Old 14-08-2010, 08:49   #15
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Welcome aboard. Heed the post by i2f. Last year, I took my brother along on a cruise from the Chesapeake to Key West. Even though he sailed a lot in the Seattle area, he developed severe seasickness when the seas got rough. He stayed sick and I did permanent watches. You never know how your family may react.
jim
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