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Old 24-04-2006, 11:45   #1
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Drifting on in

Why the handle? Because it is time in my life to do exactly that. I imagine that like many in this fascinating forum, I have spent most of my life so far intentionally not drifting. You know the drill: get good grades so you can go to college; do well in college so you can go to grad school; do well in grad school so you can get into a good career, so you can have a prosperous life and give your kids a head start (and, “rinse, and repeat”). Then, we find ourselves in our 50’s, pretty much having completed this major phase of life and feeling pretty good about ourselves, I might add. The kid’s going to be a fine person, a good citizen, a caring and loving spouse and parent.

But, other things begin happening, too. The old career’s just not as fascinating as it used to be. Dear friends, long known and loved, get sick and, sadly, too many times, die. One of them without warning, on the first day of his dream vacation in Europe. 150 miles into his first well-earned retirement trip, another felt the first symptoms of the cancer that a year later would kill him. Yet another is fighting his battle, now, having spent most of his life giving to others and taking almost nothing for himself.

You have all heard (and probably quoted) that Mark Twain saying about the only things regretted are those you didn’t do. As the relatively younger couple among our group of friends and colleagues, this convergence of events got us thinking, and talking.

We look at each other and the conversation went something like:

“Well, so what do we do about it all?”
“Do you think we could do some things we want? If we do, we better get on with it.”
“Yeah, sounds good.”
“Uh, what?”
“How ‘bout traveling? We’ve got this long list of places and things we want to see.”
“It’ll take us years to save up to do all that.”
“We could (tentatively suggesting), uh, sail it?”
“You mean, like, sell our house, buy a boat, and just go from place to place like a couple of high-plains drifters?”
“Uh, yeah.”
“I like it.”

That’s the “why”.

Although both of us have been around the water and boats most of our lives, we really hadn’t done all that much sailing, and certainly not anything of this magnitude. Neah Bay to Cabo (and beyond) is a little more challenging that a day sail on Puget Sound. So, over the last year we’ve been learning, reading, taking classes. Talking to former cruisers (fortunately, there’s quite a few around here), perusing web sites, going to boat shows. Reading books, taking demo sails, comparing features, checking off, writing off, and writing in.

Part of us is also, to be honest, a bit concerned -- can we really do this? Is my older brother right when he looks at me like I’ve grown a third ear on the end of my nose? Are we f***ing delusional?

Might be. On the other hand, at the risk of offending a few around here, I also ran into the Bumfuzzle site awhile ago. If they can do, we can do it. No offense to Pat and Ali, but I already know how to splice, and I already know that unconnected little wires coming off of engines are bad things and should be connected to their proper place, quickly.

How?

When we first started, I’ll admit to being really quite taken with several beautiful boats. I recall a Malo, a Waterline, an Island Packet, a Valiant, an H-R. It is lots of fun to have 25 knot wind and green water coming over the lee rail. But, to do that for two to three weeks? Will I really need to sleep with a lee cloth? The idea of going on a wet, pitching foredeck to wrestle with a sail at night is a bit scary. I’m just not quite as light and nimble on my feet, as I was when I was 25. Then, my wife started asking questions about catamarans. Frankly, I had never even considered them, but after doing some reading and taking an afternoon sail on a 35’ Tobago, I was sold. Not as exciting, to be sure, but we’re looking at RV’ing, not racing. Besides, “Gentlemen don’t sail to windward.” At least, we try not to.

New or Used?

Always a dilemma, for all the usual reasons. We decided to go with new. Sure, it will cost more, up front, but we get what we want, how we want, and with at least some reasonable expectation of fewer problems in the first several years after shakedown. The less time spend fixing things is more time spent enjoying the drifting.

The other part of this decision is being able to take advantage of emerging technologies. We really like the diesel-electric hybrid idea. I’m all for the idea of less maintenance, quieter motoring, and (hopefully) less fuel consumption. While we are taking somewhat of a leap-of-faith, we decided to put our money down on a Lagoon 420. Ours will be number 70-something. Since this is the second generation of their hybrids and they will have had 70 or so of this model come before to learn about and resolve problems, we are trusting that Lagoon will have it down by the time ours goes down the line. I know that can’t be guaranteed, but I also have to trust that a company as large as Groupe Beneteau has the resources and smarts not to foolishly invest so much of their resources into a white elephant. We know, as do they, that word of a major problem travels fast in the yachting community. While I won’t go so far as to say that they are betting the company on this technology, they are very much betting a large chunk of it. I’ll take the odds in favor of success.

I guess that’s about it as far an introduction is concerned. I would like to add this, though: as a long-time lurker here, I’ve already learned a great deal and I thank you all for that. I know I’m going to have many, many more questions and I thank you in advance for your patience, wisdom and indulgence. I hope I will be able to return at least a bit of it, in kind.

Intentional Drifter
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Old 24-04-2006, 12:50   #2
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Welcome to the BB.

We all come to our senses at some point. Sounds like you have a pretty good plan. I've avoided Cats and tri's but with so many people thinking of them I am going to have to look. The thing I try to remember is that most accidents at sea are caused by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you have the time to wait most foul weather can be avoided. If you are careful with your navigation and use redundant bearings most problems can be avoided. There are so many different ways to cruise that I think that you should be able to find something that suits your style.

Fair winds,

Charlie
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Old 24-04-2006, 12:52   #3
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My favorite little story is "sleep awhile, fish alittle". If you don't know it, do a google on that title. I think you will get a smile from it.
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Old 24-04-2006, 13:14   #4
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Google

Google gave me a few billion hits what story is this?
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Old 24-04-2006, 13:21   #5
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Welcome aboard, Intentional Drifter.

I'll just start calling you I.D., from now on!!
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Old 24-04-2006, 13:22   #6
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Yeah Alan.

I second Charlies findings.

You sure you're not talking out of your cakehole again?
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Old 24-04-2006, 13:25   #7
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Ah, yes, Wheels. Quite an appropriate story. Thank you.

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Old 24-04-2006, 13:29   #8
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Oops, replied before seeing the rest. I think he means this one?:

A management consultant, on holiday in a African fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock at the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.
"Not very long." answered the fisherman.
"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the consultant.
The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The consultant asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon's rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs..... I have a full and happy life." replied the fisherman.
The consultant ventured, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you...... You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe even in the United Kingdom, from where you can direct your huge enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the fisherman.
"Oh, ten, maybe twenty years." replied the consultant.
"And after that?" asked the fisherman.
"After that? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the consultant, laughing, "When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" pressed the fisherman.
"After that you'll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings havings drinks with friends..."

"I.D." is fine -- I think I'll do the same!

ID
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Old 24-04-2006, 14:03   #9
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That's the one. Many different versions, but the general theme remains the same in all of them.
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Old 24-04-2006, 14:04   #10
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Ok now I get it. Heard a different version as a joke but the point remains the same. How much is enough?

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Old 24-04-2006, 15:45   #11
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Hey ID... thats a great intro! I look forward to more.

The version I heard of the story, the setting was in Mexico....

Cheers
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Old 24-04-2006, 15:58   #12
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off shore

If you want a really fine cruiser and don't ever want to go on deck to reef the main, if you want to stay warm and dry all the time, if you rarely want to put on your weather gear">foul weather Gear.
take a look at an Amel.

Sail magazine said "if it isn't the finest cruising sailboat ever buit it is the next thig to it".

fair winds
eric
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