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Old 06-07-2013, 17:27   #1
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pirate I'm In

I live about as far from an ocean as you can in the western hemisphere (Fargo, ND) but I recently made the firm decision that barring horrible mishap, I will be getting a boat and I will be sailing it in the Caribbean and possibly other parts south. None of my friends or family know of this decision, but it is made.

I've visited the ocean (Atlantic and Pacific) and I've done some sailing on Hobie Cats and little Lasers and the like but never been aboard an oceangoing vessel, or indeed anything bigger than maybe 18 feet. That will change when the time comes. I do have some waiting to do before I'll be free to pursue the rest of my life and these forums are one part of how I plan to spend the next couple of years preparing.

I'm as handy as the next person, but not particularly so. I'm very good at "roughing it"...I spent 6 summers living in tents and working at a Boy Scout camp, and I don't demand sugar with my tea. I'm more of a black coffee sort anyway, and if I have some mac-n-cheese handy I'm set for supper too. I don't need a lot of "stuff" to feel comfortable and I don't have a lot of pretensions. I suspect my sensibilities will likely mesh well with a liveaboard lifestyle.

Right now I know the very basics about sailing and not much more. The experience I do have was gained by jumping on a small sailboat whenever the opportunity presented itself and starting to sail, sometimes by myself. I'll probably need more education than that when I get closer to the launch of my new life, but I tend to fly by the seat of my pants in most things and this probably won't be much different. I'll try to keep it safe, but beyond that I won't demand to know all there is to know before heading out on my first cruise. Life is too short not to start living it.

I don't yet know how I plan to arrange my work life. I'm a software developer, and I have good reason to believe that I'll have at least some extra money to buy a good smallish boat and spend some time not working, but I'm not the silver spoon type and if I do take a break, I'll have to work again before TOO awful much longer. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I may even decide to drop software altogether and become something else if that seems the best way to be happy when I turn my attention to it. First thing for me right now is to finish out other obligations and prepare for my next life.

Finally...I've been told by many that I should write a novel, and I plan to, once I get into my sailing life and get comfortable. If the first one goes well, I'll write more. If it doesn't maybe I'll stop, though I've never been accused of being a quick learner and I might try two or three before it dawns on me that I'm no good at it. If I find after awhile that sailing isn't my thing, I'll park it and live on shore...but I'm pretty sure I'll always stay near the ocean from that time forward and I'll always try to find excuses to sail. There are those who love the inland prairies and mountains and those things certainly have their own beauty...but give me the rushing surf and steady wind and high sun and the cry of the gulls. If I can have those things for a time, I'll die a happy man.
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Old 06-07-2013, 17:37   #2
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Re: I'm in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
I live about as far from an ocean as you can in the western hemisphere (Fargo, ND) but I recently made the firm decision that barring horrible mishap, I will be getting a boat and I will be sailing it in the Caribbean and possibly other parts south. None of my friends or family know of this decision, but it is made.

I've visited the ocean (Atlantic and Pacific) and I've done some sailing on Hobie Cats and little Lasers and the like but never been aboard an oceangoing vessel, or indeed anything bigger than maybe 18 feet. That will change when the time comes. I do have some waiting to do before I'll be free to pursue the rest of my life and these forums are one part of how I plan to spend the next couple of years preparing.

I'm as handy as the next person, but not particularly so. I'm very good at "roughing it"...I spent 6 summers living in tents and working at a Boy Scout camp, and I don't demand sugar with my tea. I'm more of a black coffee sort anyway, and if I have some mac-n-cheese handy I'm set for supper too. I don't need a lot of "stuff" to feel comfortable and I don't have a lot of pretensions. I suspect my sensibilities will likely mesh well with a liveaboard lifestyle.

Right now I know the very basics about sailing and not much more. The experience I do have was gained by jumping on a small sailboat whenever the opportunity presented itself and starting to sail, sometimes by myself. I'll probably need more education than that when I get closer to the launch of my new life, but I tend to fly by the seat of my pants in most things and this probably won't be much different. I'll try to keep it safe, but beyond that I won't demand to know all there is to know before heading out on my first cruise. Life is too short not to start living it.

I don't yet know how I plan to arrange my work life. I'm a software developer, and I have good reason to believe that I'll have at least some extra money to buy a good smallish boat and spend some time not working, but I'm not the silver spoon type and if I do take a break, I'll have to work again before TOO awful much longer. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I may even decide to drop software altogether and become something else if that seems the best way to be happy when I turn my attention to it. First thing for me right now is to finish out other obligations and prepare for my next life.

Finally...I've been told by many that I should write a novel, and I plan to, once I get into my sailing life and get comfortable. If the first one goes well, I'll write more. If it doesn't maybe I'll stop, though I've never been accused of being a quick learner and I might try two or three before it dawns on me that I'm no good at it. If I find after awhile that sailing isn't my thing, I'll park it and live on shore...but I'm pretty sure I'll always stay near the ocean from that time forward and I'll always try to find excuses to sail. There are those who love the inland prairies and mountains and those things certainly have their own beauty...but give me the rushing surf and steady wind and high sun and the cry of the gulls. If I can have those things for a time, I'll die a happy man.
Get Crackin,Kraken..goodluck
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:09   #3
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Re: I'm in.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kraken.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:19   #4
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Do you have any lakes near you? Buy a small boat now and spend as much time as you can boating. Or do what we did when we got tired of lake boating, find a job on the coast if you can. At least you can do what you love while working toward your future life. Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:16   #5
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Re: I'm In

Congratulations on your decision. Husband and I are 3 years away from moving and buying our boat. Joined Michiana Crossfit to get in better shape and stronger and learning spanish to pass the time. Made the decision 3 years ago and the time is flying by. You will not regret it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:36   #6
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Re: I'm In

with your minimalist lifestyle you could do a super small sailboat.
The Minimalist Cruising Sailboat | ruminations of a hobo
you could leave port with $10,000 in the boat, and $10,000 in the bank.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:52   #7
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Re: I'm In

Software is a great job to do on board. You can probably do a lot of your work offline with occasional (or frequent) need to go online. These days high speed internet connections are available just about everywhere EXCEPT offshore. Once you get out of 4G range of the coast you are limited (quick search will find you a dozen previous threads on this subject) to slow or expensive (no not expensive, extremely expensive).

Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:19   #8
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I second the recommendation to do as much lake sailing as you can till you get to the coast.
There is no better platform to learn to "feel" the boat and sense the wind.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:36   #9
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Re: I'm In

Thanks for the greetings and tips, all. Yes, I do get out sailing on the lakes...I live maybe an hour from Minnesota's lake country, and most marinas and such have small boats to take out. I used to own a Hobie, but got tired of dragging it around and storing it. If I'm going to own, I want to live on it. It's not that expensive and much more hassle-free to just rent one when I get the chance to get out to the lakes, which I do several times a summer. I'm leaning toward taking a few months off when I make the jump and joining someone who needs a hand and is willing to teach/be patient to make a few passages and get Big Water experience.

That minimalist boat idea might appeal to me, scoobert...I did a stint as an over-the-road trucker a few years ago. If you can live in a small metal box, you can probably live on a <30' boat...and probably with less chance of breakdowns or getting stuck in anytown, USA for days at a time with no way to get out, and the same opportunities to meet people and have fun.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:23   #10
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Re: I'm In

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. You have some sailing experience but I'd still recommend the book "Start Sailing Right!" just to learn everything you can about sail trim and some rules of the road.
You're looking at the right sized boat. I always recommend 32-36 for a liveaboard. That's from experience of overnighting, owning, crewing on boats from 22 to 55.
My part time in Hawaii friend is in North Dakota now and owns a Cheoy Lee 27 here in Hawaii. He snowbirds it but doesn't liveaboard while here.
kind regads,
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:53   #11
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Re: I'm In

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. You have some sailing experience but I'd still recommend the book "Start Sailing Right!" just to learn everything you can about sail trim and some rules of the road.
You're looking at the right sized boat. I always recommend 32-36 for a liveaboard. That's from experience of overnighting, owning, crewing on boats from 22 to 55.
My part time in Hawaii friend is in North Dakota now and owns a Cheoy Lee 27 here in Hawaii. He snowbirds it but doesn't liveaboard while here.
kind regads,
Thank you, sir. I don't blame your friend for snowbirding. My parents and others I know do that....I've lived around here all my life, and I am *so* done with winter. Last winter was actually the final straw....solid white from early November to nearly May. Can't be outta here right now, but I can start dreaming and planning.

Part of that is books....I'll gratefully take your suggestion of the book, and any others you think are of the "bible" type for sailing/living aboard. I'm likely to do a LOT of reading before I get any real practical experience. That's okay because I learn well that way, but it's going to get frustrating I think.
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:24   #12
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Re: I'm In

Wharram catamarans is all.
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