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Old 07-09-2007, 17:06   #1
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Mid-life Crisis? Nawww! =;)

Hello from the wilds Alaska!

I'm not a sailor/cruiser, but I want to be. I crewed for a few (laid-back, just for fun) yacht races when I was about 15 in the San Juan Islands. Now, almost 30 year later, all I can think about is sailboats. (I think reading Dove when I was a kid is what got the bug into me.)

We live 6-8 hours from the ocean, but there are lakes around here and I'm looking for something "lakeable" to get me started.

I know you've heard it hundreds (thousands?) of times before from people who don't know what they're getting into, but honestly, what I really want to do is move the family onto a boat and just live there for the next umpteen years (in a warmer climate than Alaska).

I work from home, we homeschool the kids, and we've done other very unconventional things in life (Oh, don't get me started!) so for us it wouldn't be as huge of a leap as for a "normal" family.

In fact, if someone wants to trade the $50K equity I have in my house (Large Wasilla Home on 5 Acres) for a sailboat big enough for a family of 4, I'll see if I can talk my wife into it. =;)

I'm going to go read all of the posts here in the forum now, but I wanted to introduce myself first. (Now I'll probably go read something that makes me realize what I dork I just made of myself.)

Thanks!

Jay Jennings
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Old 07-09-2007, 19:06   #2
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Going sailing with your family is a great idea.

We also lived an unconventional lifestyle, but we worked in Arabia rather than in Alaska. When we purchased our catamaran and went sailing our teen age kids had a great time. They would not trade their time sailing around the world for anything.

So, you are not a dork. Go ahead. Do it. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 07-09-2007, 19:45   #3
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Welcome aboard. If you work from home and homeschool the kids, why not move near the sea as a first step?

You sound like you and you family have a leg up on life afloat with homeschooling and all.
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Old 07-09-2007, 21:50   #4
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Dave - That's the kind of thing I love to hear! My kids are 11 and 13 and I'd like to give them some 'adventures' before they hit adulthood -- I think that sort of thing helps kids realize that the "normal" routine most people do isn't a requirement, that you *do* have choices.

Dan - Our house is for sale right now (we're downsizing) and that's something I've thought about. My wife's family is all in the Seattle are so she'd love it if we ended up back there (my family is all in Alaska). And Puget Sound would give us more sailing opportunities year-round than AK does. Hmmm...

Thanks for the welcome from both of you!

Jay Jennings
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:49   #5
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Welcome Jay,
Thanks for sharing the plan and think you'll find lots of sensible support from fellow site users. Go for it and enjoy.
Cheers
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Old 13-09-2007, 01:36   #6
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Thanks, John.

It's weird, but after being self-employed for a few years (okay, some days it's felt like unemployed!) I just spotted a job opening for which I'm a dead-on fit...

..and it's in Milwaukee. Now I don't know for sure, since I'm a newbie, but I'd guess that getting some sailing experience on one of the Great Lakes would be the next best thing to being on an actual ocean.

So I'm trading emails with the company and we're getting closer to the "interview" stage. Which means if all goes well my "master plan" could be moving forward, but in a different way than what I first thought. =:)

Jay Jennings
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Old 13-09-2007, 02:59   #7
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Great plan, and you seem to have the "mental worry" hurdles overcome. Yes, a move nearer any body of water would seem a sensible start - it's also research time - with two young adults ever growing you'll need a boat to suit your needs so don't rush into a tempting purchase and repent at leisure! Envious of the home schooling bit - if I had that one down I'd already be on the water! Three kids, two about your kids age, one just starting school, so have to be content with coastal and summer cruising at the moment . . anyway, welcome, and keep us updated!!
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Old 13-09-2007, 07:32   #8
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Things rarely work as planned, but they often turn out better than you had hoped in the first place.

I'll tell you how my life has been. I keep falling backward through a trap door blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back, I land on my feet, and then I keep on trucking.

My life plans are firmly set in jello, and I am ready and willing to alter my destination according to the wind and seas in my life.

It seems to work for me, and it will probably work for you. Go with the flow. Life is good.
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Old 13-09-2007, 17:26   #9
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Aloha Dave,
Welcome aboard!! Good luck in your pursuits. Lots of GLakes sailors on the forum to correspond with. I visited my brother in Green Bay several years ago and it looked like a great place for summer sailing.
Kind Regards,
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Old 14-09-2007, 07:02   #10
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My father in Law put 3 kids and a dog on a boat and did not come back for 10 years. My wife does not spell so well but she is not lacking in common sense. A rare commodity. Do it!
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Old 16-09-2007, 00:58   #11
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Welcome aboard and good luck. Your on the right track. Remember the destination is not as important as the journey.
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Old 17-09-2007, 02:50   #12
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Thanks to all for the additional comments.

My wife doesn't think my idea is "realistic" considering our financial situation, etc., -- but I don't consider that an insurmountable problem.

And a few days ago we had a couple hour road trip to one of my son's football games and listened to two episodes of the Furled Sails podcast -- the ones with the interview of the crew of Exit Only.

I think hearing Donna Abbott (wife/Mother/woman) talk about life under sail made the idea "less scary" for my wife and a couple days later when I made an offhand remark about a sailboat, she said, "We need to get one of those catamarans, I don't want to go sailing tipped way over." So Dave, if it was your wife talking that swings the deal, I'll owe you guys big time! =;)

On the other hand, a catamaran is twice the price of what I was looking at, so that's kind of a bummer. =:)

So, all I need to do is make a bunch of money and learn how to sail, navigate, anchor, fix broken motors, fight off killer sharks, ... (That's all, right?)

Jay Jennings
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Old 17-09-2007, 04:55   #13
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Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
... Remember the destination is not as important as the journey.
Unfortunately, we’ve endured many a journey; where the only reward was the destination.
Fortunately, there’s almost always a reward, at some time & place.
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Old 17-09-2007, 08:36   #14
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women and sailing/cruising

Hey Jay! This is Donna replying. Thank you for telling us that my comments as wife/mother/woman/first mate were helpful to your wife. I actually did "choose" catamarans because I liked the idea of not heeling ("leaning over") and I was quoted as saying "I could go around the world on a boat like this" when we first went sailing on a catamaran at the Miami Boat Show.
The two most important facts about women and sailing are 1) have fun with it...enjoy and 2) don't think you have to sail around the world to enjoy sailing/cruising...start small and do what is fun.
Referring to #1 above, I would suggest going on a charter boat that is similar to one you might like to long-term cruise on. This will help your wife see what sailing on a catamaran is really like and give you all a small taste of what living and cruising on a sailboat is like. A trip like this that is relaxing and fun will go a long way towards making everyone more comfortable on the water and more able to see possibilities for future boat adventures.
Referring to #2 above, I would suggest chartering in a nice area that is relatively easy to access from home and has options for daily cruising in a small area. Start building your sailing experience. As everyone's comfort level and understanding of boats and the lifestyle increases, the promise of future boat adventures will become a reality.
The best way to have a sailing adventure is work on it... one day at a time.
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Old 19-09-2007, 00:54   #15
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Donna -

Thank you so much for the comments. I had my wife (Wanda) read it and she said you wrote exactly what she liked to hear: basically, take it a step at a time and start small.

I think she was afraid I was going to pack us on a sailboat next week and then learn to sail as we headed out across the Pacific. (Okay, that does somehow sound appealing to me!)

If my new job situation works out we'll be living in Milwaukee next year and we're already planning on going to the Strictly Sail show in Chicago and then when "sailing season" hits Lake Michigan we'll start looking for opportunities to do some sailing.

Small steps to get us headed in the right direction -- with no reason to freak out. =;)

Thanks again!

Jay Jennings
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