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Old 30-09-2010, 05:54   #16
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I wish I had known

Not to buy all those electronic charts and guide books for places we plan to go. We have been on the boat four years and some of those places are two years away still. It didn't occur to me it would take us so long to get out SE Asia and charts and guide books are updated every so often.
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Old 30-09-2010, 06:37   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zopi View Post
Get a bigger ipod...

there is no such thing as too much rum..(still in the bottle)

Bored games...like somebody said..long passages are boring.

Get a copy of Ashley's book of knots...and alot of extra cordage..it is seriously addictive..especially looking back on all the money I have made winning bets..I can tie a bowline faster than you, and I can tie one you can't untie..<G>

Load up on little luxury foods...stuff which doesn't not take up much space..you can seriously miss Pop Tarts..the navy quit buying PopTarts..they put out those god awful whole grain pop tarts...who's communist freakin' idea was that?
Great stuff! We have this GI-NORMOUS waterproof external drive on which we're loading ooodles of entertainment with which to supply the old nano a friend is giving us. We've asked our friends to share their favorite books, audiobooks, movies, TV shows and music with us before they go.

I'm really looking forward to learning more knots - I love the idea of betting on it! Too funny!
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Old 30-09-2010, 06:43   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I think if someone said 'don't worry about all that stuff, you'll pick it up as you go along'. That would have been good advice. Where most people say don't leave home till your boat is ready. We have left home and now the boat is getting to a stage its nearly ready to go.... although we have sailed it nearly 30,000 miles

So the boat and cruising are self fixing as you go along...

One thing that may be better to plan for before leaving home is some extra knowledge or hobbies that will make the life aboard more varied, interesting and mentally stimulating.

I couldn't afford the book: Identifying Whales and Dolphins. Now I can't find it to buy! So for those 30,000 miles we being saying look that dolphin has a brown stripe, wonder what it is!
Damn, if I had 2 years up my sleeve it would have been good to do a course in marine Biology, or History, or Geography.... or guitar lessons, or keyboard lessons.... maybe starting a degree that one can do on the boat without time restrictions.

If you are a 37-year-old save-the-world Washington, DC professional you might get bored easily! Going round the other cruisers with 'lets all save the world' might bore the crap outta them, so you might need to find a way to keep you excited without having to rely on others.

A male on board a boat can have an easily fulfilled life with his feet up, cold beer and sneakin the odd 'lil smell out.
A woman can need much more.

What your 'much more' entails is the question that has a valuable answer before you leave home, or as you go along.
Thanks, your first piece of advice is really reassuring. The boat isn't even in the water yet and we are planning to take off in six weeks -- yikes! So much to do but we're hoping to get it down to a warmer spot before, say, re-caulking the deck.

I'm pretty good at entertaining myself with my too-numerous hobbies (painting, yoga, writing, cooking, homemade lotions), as I learned on a 14 month sabbatical a couple of years ago, but I really appreciate the advice about getting the wildlife books before we go. I had put it off as it seems a bit of a luxury right now but I can see how it would be really great to have on board. Thanks!
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Old 30-09-2010, 07:25   #19
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I wished I'd known how hard it is to get Marmite in mainland Europe and elsewhere....
Enjoy.....
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Old 30-09-2010, 07:58   #20
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I splurged a bit a couple of years ago on an audoboune guide book for tropical fish and my husband bought me a wonderful seashell identification book. They have been the source of great entertainment for me when we are in the Bahamas and I wouldn't go with out them. Infact, I plan on "splurging" on a few more of these types of books before we leave for the "big" cruise. I think this was great advice.

PS-If you will be into spearfishing the audoboune books don't tell you which fish are good eating!

Good luck on all your last pre-launch projects.
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Old 30-09-2010, 08:49   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I wished I'd known how hard it is to get Marmite in mainland Europe and elsewhere....
Enjoy.....
So people actually eat that stuff?? I'd read about Marmite in English based novels and was thrilled to find it at a breakfast buffet when I was vacationing in London this spring! "Oooh! Marmite!" I exclaimed, and slathered a piece of toast with it. I nearly threw it up right there at the table!! I even scrubbed my tongue with a napkin. The next time I get a craving for it, I'll go outside and lick the tar off of some hot pavement!
Sorry if I insulted anyone here!
I have heard that peanut butter can be difficult to find outside of the states (I don't know if that's still true or not) and I plan on having a huge supply as our pit bull loves it!
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Old 30-09-2010, 09:01   #22
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What I wished Id known...

That In General Boat yards are not there to serve you..they are there to serve themselves....Learn to "Buck up" and do your own repairs and maintenance....Boat yards are for people with more money then sense.

If you find a honest one that will stand behind their quote and admit to their screw ups and not attempt to charge you for them anyway...well then they are worth there fee other wise stay away and learn to DIY...

Think about it..... 90 % of the work preformed on your boat in a yard is done by 15.00 per hour labor or less...and your paying 100.00 per hour for it...what I dint know is most of that labor is learning on YOUR job.....This goes for a lot of Diesel mechanics shops as well....If the owner of the business is not the one working on your boat walk away....If he is ask for refrences and check out his work first.

Im done being had!
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Old 30-09-2010, 10:51   #23
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My wife, 2 year old boy and I just finished our first cruise from vancouver to mexico on our C&C 43. Here is my entry from my trip over view. May be helpful maybe not.

Things learned:
- no matter how remote the bay or beach there is always a Mexican with a palapa ready to sell you a cold beer.
- good planning and staying one step ahead of the weather. ie being in a safe anchorage before dark when the wind is up is crucial.
- UV rays will destroy A LOT of things, like bungee cords, tape, caulking, vinyl windows.
- I now find myself sitting when taking a piss and I'm not proud of it. But its a lot less messy when under way.
- There is always a better looking boat in the anchorage.
- Something that looks like garbage floating in the ocean is not always that and can be a marker of a fishing long line that you are about to run over. Going down the coast there are lots of fishermen out here and these lines can be so long that you can not see the black flags which are meant to be at the ends or the panga tending them. Between Mazatland and PV we had to stop dead in the water because we could not see the end of a line. We did a few circles and waited, finally we saw a panga on the horizon which was racing towards us down the line. When in front of us they simply cut the line and waved us thru.
- The bottom of your boat needs constant attention to keep it clean. Stuff just grows fast and furious.
- I can handle big winds and large waves during the day but when night falls its a different world. We try as hard as possible to limit our overnight passages and having a radar for these is extremely helpful not only to see traffic but also rain squalls that bring huge wind shifts and tons of rain. Cabo Corrientes is one example, having a southerly 10-12 knots and then in a matter of seconds a northerly 25-30 knots.
- Power and water is always on my mind because we use a lot of it. There is a name for people like me and its the Power and Water Natzi.
- If you are looking at what outboard to buy for a trip to Mexico go with Yamaha. It seems to be all they use so getting it fixed is easy. It was cheaper for me to buy a used Nissan 8hp from another cruiser than to get the part I needed to fix my Johnson.
- Having a 2 year old boy and wife on the boat is directly related to how many beers are consumed at any given hour in the day. No one will look at you funny or even give you a second glance if your crushing beers at 9 am. Trust me.
- After seeing sun and lots of it since august 09, I now can't sit directly in the sun for very long. Most days at sea or around the pool are in the shade. I thought that after spending so much time in it that it wouldn't bother me but one thing that is crucial for any cruising boat is a good sun shade.

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Old 30-09-2010, 11:27   #24
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Welcome to the forum..HB and Pip
Thats a wonderful blog...thanks.
Its been years since I cruised full time....but I think my advice would follow Marks....its not necessary to have it all done before you go.
And...smell the roses..you can miss some really cool stuff by going around too fast.
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Old 30-09-2010, 11:42   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post

Think about it..... 90 % of the work preformed on your boat in a yard is done by 15.00 per hour labor or less...and your paying 100.00 per hour for it...what I dint know is most of that labor is learning on YOUR job.....This goes for a lot of Diesel mechanics shops as well....If the owner of the business is not the one working on your boat walk away....If he is ask for refrences and check out his work first.

Im done being had!
Thanks. We actually don't use the yards for much; we do nearly everything ourselves. But it's useful advice to know to make sure the owner is the one doing the work and to get references. I'm sure that there are things we'll need professional help doing.
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Old 30-09-2010, 17:07   #26
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- There is always a better looking boat in the anchorage.
This is so true, and yet such a lie

I've got the biggest boat in any anchorage/marina 98% of the time, and it's a beauty. But there are huge tradeoffs, and in the end we all think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

The truth is that your boat is what you make of it. If it's too small for 'comfortable' liveaboard status, then you just pack and umbrella beach blankets, and spend your days on whatever beach you've arrived at.

But we're all guilty of trying to one-up our current boat, and this happens most often when at anchor sizing up the boats sitting around us. But just remember, the guys on the 60' bruisers will sometimes wish they had a smaller boat for the increased simplicity and ease (reduced cost!) of maintenance.
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Old 30-09-2010, 18:06   #27
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Consider things that impact the relationship for the two of you. You spend a whole lot of time together! Plan creative ways to provide yourselves with some private time/space. Develop new communication and interpersonal problem solving skills. It's not worth it if it damages your marriage/relationship.
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Old 19-10-2010, 22:08   #28
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Best advice I can give is go as early as you possibly can and if it isn't necessary don't worry aout taking it.
kind regards,
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Old 19-10-2010, 23:38   #29
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I have heard that peanut butter can be difficult to find outside of the states (I don't know if that's still true or not) and I plan on having a huge supply as our pit bull loves it!
That is so not true anymore. Peanut butter can be purchased everywhere. We have visited 37 countries so far, and peanut butter was sold in every one of those countries. Might not be the brand you prefer, but you probably will get over brand loyalty quickly. The best peanut butter we have found thus far was Happy Kids brand sold in Colombia and Panama. Dill pickles, OTOH, seem to be an American thing. It is often difficult. if not impossible. to find any form of dill pickles. Stock up when available if you enjoy pickles on sandwiches. Some desperate cruisers we met in Tonga had resorted to using pickled cocktail onions as a substitute for dill pickles. In some countries they substitute beets for pickles. Not objectionable, but not the same.

What do we wish we had known before starting on this adventure: that we should not believe everything (really, anything) told to us by "experienced" cruisers (or read in books, magazines or online sailing groups). Listen to the stories, read the books and guides, but reserve judgment and temper your expectations; then go to the same place and your experience will more than likely be different than what you were told to expect. We have found that almost everything tends to get embellished in the re-telling amongst cruisers.

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Old 20-10-2010, 02:17   #30
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Best advice? Go slow.

It is so easy to get a destination fixed and go for it, forgetting that you're missing lots on the way.

Once you realise and slow down, taking time to really appreciate each new place, new friends and new experiences, you'll then begin to start filling those memory banks with good stuff.

Enjoy
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