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Old 01-11-2013, 08:38   #1
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Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

I am looking to purchase a vessel to cruise the Caribbean in the next 3 to 5 years. My wife and I plan to spend a year if possible island hopping. I am trying to educate myself as much as possible on the craft of boating. I would search Google on information for various topics, and would always find the most useful information from the members of this forum. So I decided to become a member!!! I have never been at sea before, but it seems to me that it would be an unmatched feeling of freedom if done safely and with the proper equipment and information!! I can't wait!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:30   #2
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Welcome
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:54   #3
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Hi Jason and welcome.

I had never been sailing in my life, had only barely done any traveling. Fell into a crew spot to deliver a 37' sailboat to a charter company in the Bahamas and changed my life. The feeling is indescribable. Certainly freedom but at the same time a feeling of complete responsibility for yourself. Not to mention being divorced from the petty concerns of being in the rat race and being up close and personal with nature.

Be careful getting on a sailboat. You could be permanently ruined for a "normal" life.
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Old 01-11-2013, 13:06   #4
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Welcome; I'd read this if you have a few minutes.

Cruising Blues and Their Cure by Robert M Pirsig
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:50   #5
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

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Welcome; I'd read this if you have a few minutes.

Cruising Blues and Their Cure by Robert M Pirsig
Man is that article depressing. I have to admit I have run into people in that situation but plenty that fell into the opposite end of the spectrum.
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:46   #6
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Probably the best article I have read regarding the cruising life. Or the working life, or the playing life or the sex life or the , on and on. Life in the end is boring and hence depressing. The goal that Mr Pirsig is pointing to is perhaps best framed in a question, What is on the other side of boredom? Every time we get bored we run off and look for some distraction, diversion, amusement. I once knew a young kid in Philadelphia in around the south st area. We were hanging out one day and he comes along, throws himself in a seat at our cafe table and moans, "I'm bored". This was a time of punk rockers and grunge. He sat there hoping one of the two of us had an answer. I looked at him, he had most of his hair shaved of, no not shaved, chopped off. He had a nail through each eyebrow, through his tongue, ears, forehead, nipples and I'm sure many other parts. He had a tattoo on the side of his head that read. ' something is wrong with the inside of my head when all the time I wish I was dead'. My friend and I looked at our young freind and both said, "BE BORED". Be were you are! We're terrified of being bored. The best part of sailing is boredom. Getting our noses rubbed in the reality that the sea is so immense and we are so tiny. All that we struggle to make real is insignificant. Who will know your name in a hundred years? All the glitter, tinsel, and titillation won't change the reality of the answer to that question. RH thanks for posting R Pirsig' article. It had much the same effect on me as did the book RP wrote some forty years ago. Its uplifting. Offers me the virtue of patience, endurance, tolerance. These lead me to acceptance. The acceptance of my insignificance and truth that the only option is for me to align myself with the wind and waves, the air and earth, Adjust my self to life on life's terms. Don't tell them the title of the book. Let them find out for themselves, it will give them something to do with all that boredom.
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Old 01-11-2013, 17:28   #7
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

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Man is that article depressing. I have to admit I have run into people in that situation but plenty that fell into the opposite end of the spectrum.
Depressing? I found it super positive. The concept that the reality of the western world is really an augmentation of reality developed since the industrial revolution to shield us from the natural world.
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Old 01-11-2013, 17:33   #8
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Check it out. . . You've got an awful lot to learn.
Capt John's Cruising the Caribbean
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Old 01-11-2013, 17:54   #9
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

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Hi Jason and welcome.

I had never been sailing in my life, had only barely done any traveling. Fell into a crew spot to deliver a 37' sailboat to a charter company in the Bahamas and changed my life. The feeling is indescribable. Certainly freedom but at the same time a feeling of complete responsibility for yourself. Not to mention being divorced from the petty concerns of being in the rat race and being up close and personal with nature.

Be careful getting on a sailboat. You could be permanently ruined for a "normal" life.
That's well said!
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Old 01-11-2013, 18:28   #10
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

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Depressing? I found it super positive. The concept that the reality of the western world is really an augmentation of reality developed since the industrial revolution to shield us from the natural world.
The depressing part is all the people discussed in the article were totally immersed in the artificial reality of this society and constantly searching for some external stimulus to make them happy, only to find that when they found it that the results were superficial and fleeting at best.
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Old 01-11-2013, 23:20   #11
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

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The depressing part is all the people discussed in the article were totally immersed in the artificial reality of this society and constantly searching for some external stimulus to make them happy, only to find that when they found it that the results were superficial and fleeting at best.
There was actually some guy on here many years ago that set me straight in that line of thinking. He basically said that sailing around the world will be harder than anything I'd ever done before and if I couldn't find a way to be happy in my 9-5 job with an AC, gym membership, motorcycle, car, and living in San Diego, I wasn't going to be happy anywhere in the world.

It was true for me and I really focused on trying to find joy and contentment in whatever I did. Harder some days than others obviously, but that mindset really turned my life around. It also made the shitty days on the boat (of which there are many) not be some let down where I went into it expecting it to make me happy some how.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:39   #12
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Jason, all this philosophy is great (it is!), but if you want to get practical, sign up for some sailing lessons. They won't teach you much about cruising, but they will get you familiar with sailing a boat, and possibly familiar with different types of boats.

At this stage you don't know what you don't know, so just ease into it and keep an open mind. And have fun!
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:43   #13
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

we were where you are in 2001 - we had never been on a sailboat and i really wanted to try sailing - took the asa 101 course and had a great time - then did 2 more course and chartered a couple of times - decided it was something we wanted to try - in 2003 bought a new jeanneau ds40 - but made sure it was suitable for resale if we wanted out - learned to sail on biscayne bay and at age 62 we cut the dock lines after getting rid of everything and set sail - our initial goal was the bahamas and back safely - after a couple of years of that we decided to try and make the bay islands of honduras -- while in the rio dulce we met some south african cruisers who went to the bay isl with us and talked us into going to panama - panama lead to colombia then across to jamaica and down to trinidad and back up the island chain to antigua and oh what the heck let's cross the atlantic which we did last may - just a 2 person crew and no rally - now wintering over in tunisia we have had a real ride -
problems - damn stright, things break - yep, bored - not really, depressed - nope, scared a few times - out of our whits - discover new land falls - incredible and white knucled at times but always awlsome, meeting new people from around the world - priceless, learning - we are still in kindergarden and hope to get out of it someday,
it is a lifestyle and we love it - it is not for everyone - if you want the comfys of your big house and mall and grocery store ect - stay put and keep reading the cruising mags, but if you want to see new cultures and people and experience all God has to offer and willing to work hard at it - it is incredible
and not overly expensive - we are on social security and do very well

time to head out as i have to go to dermotolgist and get some stitches out from some of the stuff he cut off from too much sun - and then to carrefour and a fresh veggie mkt where the guy now recognizes us and trys to help us select the best stuff, then over the butcher to pick up something for dinner and back to the boat for sundowners with a couple of other boats and talk boats and destinations and family and boats and repairs and boats and destinations

we have lots of more thoughts - jsut pm us if you want them

after 6 years we are terrified of the thought of becoming dirt dwellers - life will be really boring and depressing we fear

just our thoughts and opinions
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia for the winter
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:23   #14
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

really good article. btw svsoulmates, if you were off Italy this year around otranto, your AIS is transmitting intermittently and the range is only 1M (or it was another sv soulmates, which I would guess there may be a few :P )
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:42   #15
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Re: Here To LEARN, LEARN, LEARN

Interesting article. Certainly have met people that have given up early.
In our day to day lives we are well controlled by the system. We wake each morning listening to a Government controlled radio station. We get in our car and drive to work each day making sure to abide by the Government laws. We pay our taxes and are very happy being told what to do. It’s like being in the military and then becoming a civilian only to find we really “do” like being told what to do and when to do it...makes life easier for most of us.
The cruising lifestyle, especially if you are a wanderer and cross oceans is our first real look at being somewhat close to self sufficient. We fix whatever breaks because there is no one else around to do it. We don’t look for help crossing oceans and we make our own rules. Instead of our land life middle ground state we find that we experience true highs and true lows emotionally and for some of us it’s the first time we have ever done this.
Befriending other wanderers seems quite natural and often deep friendships are made in days rather than years. There is no time to slowly remove our veneers so it’s often that the real you is presented and enjoyed by other like minded cruisers.
You start to understand that you have become a member of a sub culture of people that will help others at a drop of a hat and ask for nothing in return. It’s not uncommon to find that the real special part of cruising is not the places you see but the people you meet and the times you shared.
Some of us have continued this lifestyle for too many years to count, others like ourselves have cruised for a few years and then jumped back into society only to yearn to cruise once more and then set sail again. This is the 4rd time for us and will be our last. The first time it was a year, then the second was two years, the third 4 years and now we are open ended. It’s not for everyone, for sure but it’s a bit like a mental drug, once you have been hooked it just keeps calling you back.
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