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Old 08-01-2008, 08:47   #106
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Well said.

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Old 08-01-2008, 09:01   #107

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"Do men pull over to ask for directions when lost or simply go on lost? "
Of course not, because WE KNOW that the person we are asking often isn't from around there, has no idea where we need to go, but they're too proud to say that so they are going to misdirect us and make things worse.
I prefer a map every time. I will pull over and ask--but I also know that often does not help anything and just wastes time chatting with someone whose directions will range from poor to outright unbelievable.
Nevertheless, if you are part of a team (a marriage, a boat crew, whatever) it helps if everyone on the team is reading from the same page.

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Old 08-01-2008, 11:35   #108
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Very interesting thread and I have just a few things to offer.

First I admire the women's posts here, especially Hallie's. Straight forward, to the point, no BS, "gladtameetcha' too Hallie. You remind me of the adage that 'no one will ever treat you better than you treat yourself'.

Second, I think the answer to most male problems, with both men AND women, can be found in the mirror.

Let's think about this, what was the line? "most men live lives of quiet desperation"...One of literature's great truths I think. Now, what is cruising after all? It's an escapist lifestyle. Now that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depends on timing, and intent. Ask yourselves, what is it you are seeking to escape from, or is it something you seek to escape to.

I recently read an interesting report from a cruiser who was somewhere along the red sea at the time when a local asked him very simply something like this:

"Why are you here? You are an American yes? Don't you like America? Don't you have friends? family? in America? Isn't America a wealthy place with opportunities to do anything? Why then do you come here to this poor backward place? Are you not happy in America?"

I have my own answers, I assume each of you have yours. And successful cruising couples, I suspect, have "theirs". Some involve the excitement of exploration and personal discovery, some involve simply running away from a life that no longer holds any meaning....

Next, Frankly I'm more impressed with the average mature woman these days than most men. They have much more the worst of it in these times of transient relationships, denials of personal responsibility and breakdowns in families. How many single fathers do we have out there doing ANYTHING like putting everything they desire on hold and putting all they have into raising children where the spouse has run off, just gotten tired of the work and responsibility, or just fancies himself/herslf as the latest incarnation of womanizer *James Bond*, or "Mata Hari". The answer is very very very few men, and many many many women.

Frankly, I meet a lot more 'old' "boys" than "men" these days...and more so around the yachting type docks. Otoh, I meet a lot fewer girls who should have become women a long time ago. If boys, (and young girls) would worry less about trophy appearance and more about gold standard substance, I think there would be far fewer unhappily married couples running around. As for women, or at least "young girls" (in mind if not in age) frankly, it doesn't appear to me that they often know what it is they want. They know what they THINK they want, but when they get it....well...

The comment on "let's get the sex thing over so we can get to know each other" seems a** backward to me. Love starts, lives, and dies between the ears, not between the thighs. If sex is your first priority, grab a straw hat, and ice cream cone and hit the county fair...back to school young man, no matter HOW old you may be. There's a lot more to learn before graduation.....

Everyone keeps coming back to 'communication', and I'm down with that one too. The caveat being that it has to be *honest* communication to work, and a whole lot of couples these days have some real issues with honesty...Ladies, if you have a fat ass, you have a fat ass and all the disingenuous compliments in the world aren't going to change that. You might try eating differently, eating less, and moving around more. This isn't rocket science, and as for soliciting favorable comments from a spouse: Isn't an honest compliment or expression of affection of far more value than a deceitful appeal to vanity? God I would hope so.

When I was a kid on several occasions I was tagging along with my parents when my father would just up and buy something expensive for my mother and she would get teary eyed, kiss him..and just brighten up all over. Then when she wasn't looking, my dad would give me a look then pantomime going thru the motion of opening his wallet and throwing money into the street then roll his eyes, and wink When I got him alone a minute I asked him about it, and he shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "If that's what makes her happy, well, she's earned it". (I was one of four truly near uncontrollable sons

gawd I miss my dad hehehe.

Personally, the thing I don't like about flowers is that to give them you have to kill I eventually came round to giving potted ones which may look kind of funny, but resonates with me, while still displaying the appropriate intent. I just don't fancy killing things much anymore.

(plus if you're piss'd, you can always give her a cactus) heheheh

I was in love once. Long long long ago, when I was perhaps at my very worst; completely by accident I ran into the proverbial 'love of my life', who brought out in me, my very best.

We had absolutely nothing in common except two things, we each had no fear of any human on the planet; and we loved each other more than life.
Entirely different classes, nationalities, educations, family histories, backgrounds, EVERYTHING different,,and it mattered not one whit.

Unfortunately our time together lasted only her lifetime. She was killed in a car accident, along with my unborn son, and I went back to, well, what it was that I did. Spent ten years searching for her equal, never found her, and settled for a wonderful young lady whom I hoped and believed would make a good mother, which she did, but we were not *right* together, and eventually she found that what she thought she had wanted, she didn't want at all and moved on to another fellow with whom she has been incredibly happy all these many years since, and I am happy for her. It is a miserable existence to be tied to a relationship you no longer enjoy. (Often a major component of that 'quiet desperation' I referred to earlier).

There have been many women for me since, from all walks of life, a full spectrum of ages (all legal btw ), from diverse financial backgrounds, nationalities, all with their own hopes, dreams, and desires; and I have given, shared, taught and learned in turn, from them all, and I am content.

Having 'seen the view from the mountain', however, I offer this last bit of advice: Cars, houses, estates, clothes, boats, fancy restaurants, nightclubs, broadway premiers, operas, Presidential dinners, well, in the end, they are all just "things"...

ahh, but to love, and be loved in turn,

now that is 'life'

and if you have that together, it doesn't matter if its a rowboat or a super yacht, a rural 3 room homestead, or a Park Avenue Penthouse, a Rolls or a Volks, you'll find a way to be happy. The converse is also true, if you Don't have that kind of 'love', then not even this ship and the money to keep and sail her will make that ''quiet desperation' go away.....

(well, it might put a pretty good dent in it tho ..<wink>

I wish you all well.

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Old 08-01-2008, 12:20   #109
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Very thoughtful post.
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Old 08-01-2008, 13:13   #110
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Originally Posted by Seeratlas View Post
Unfortunately our time together lasted only her lifetime.
Thats very sad.

Originally Posted by Seeratlas View Post
"Why are you here? You are an American yes? Don't you like America? Don't you have friends? family? in America? Isn't America a wealthy place with opportunities to do anything? Why then do you come here to this poor backward place? Are you not happy in America?"
Ditto if you replace 'America' with any wealthy western country where most of us are from. Unbeknown to many in poor backward places we do care for them and do wish to find out who they are, and to be friends with them, and to look at the geography of their country, its flora & fauna. We do love our own countries, have friends and family, but we have an opportunity to travel the world that has never been known in history.

I am not running away from anything, except the need for my mothers interpretation of sucess, or my friends interpretation of enough wealth, or the TV ads on what I need to surround myself with in goods.
I am totally sick of seeing a journalist or presenter show me places in the world with the attitude that only he can do it and we are better off at home in front of the fire. Journalists if they don't ouright lie they embelish the truth. I want truth and its only through my eyes. I want to see the world and study it in my own less than academic way

So when someone says "why are you here?" Say "To be your friend so sell me that fuel at a cheaper price!"

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Old 08-01-2008, 15:23   #111
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great post, seer:

Sounds like you've lived well. My wife has earned it, too. Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 08-01-2008, 15:45   #112
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Find someone who's already fallen in love ...

with the ocean...then let her fall in love with you and your boat!

Diving is what got me into wanting to sail. I was the one who suggested diving lessons to my husband 12 years ago. Diving became something my husband and I loved to do together. We spent a lot of time in the Caribbean and loved being on the water, as well as in the water. The next logical step was learning to sail.

My husband thinks it was his idea to buy a sailboat, learn to sail, and eventually cruise away. (It was really my idea, but I'll let him think whatever he wants.)

When we are sailing I love for him to compliment the way I'm handling the boat. I compliment him on his sail and anchor handling skills. I managed to position myself as the primary helmsperson (except when docking).

As far as I'm concerned we're equal partners on the boat. We both have the same sailing classes and level of experience. We're both learning together and we both love being on our boat and dreaming about the future.

I'll happily let my husband call himself Captain, as long as he remembers I'm the princess!

Good luck in finding someone to share your dream. There must be lots of adventurous women looking to sail away into the sunset.
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Old 08-01-2008, 15:58   #113
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i don't know that this is a thread has stuck to couples getting along on a boat, so much, but about getting along, in relationship, in general.

look for your problems in the mirror - that's where you find them (paraphrased from above).

that's it, really. everyone comes down to that point where they are unwilling to grow up the next inch. we all get there. men, women, anyone. it is extremely hard to look critically at yourself and see yourself for who you are. in becoming the people we aspire to be, we will always hit a wall. when we recognize that we have this work to do, on ourselves, whether or not we are working on it in the context of a relationship, it becomes a simple matter - though not an especially easy one. you have to do that work anyway. your partner's presence isn't relevant. it remains *hard* work, but not complex (and unrewarding) as getting this person to do what i want.

this idea that there are two relationships to manage and keep separate (captain/crew vs. husband/wife) rings false to me. it is insulting to men and women both. is sailing (or behaving civilly) such complicated work that you can only manage one at a time? if you can walk and chew gum; read the paper and listen to the soccer game; eat and drive - if you can do these things, surely you can practice measuring your words. there was a point when you could not do these things - it took practice and conscious effort on your part. well, relationships demand practice.
Geordie's first mate (ha!) on Matsu, the mighty Columbia 34

when people lost sight of the way to live came codes of love and honesty
~Lao Tsu

life is dangerous and always ends in death.
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Old 08-01-2008, 18:47   #114
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Originally Posted by hallie View Post
well, relationships demand practice.
well said.

My wife once told me she thought relationships were like the scientific theory of entropy, i.e. the tendency of all things to go to hell over time heheh (like dropping a handful of marbles and they all try to get as far away from each other as possible, or a car left sitting soon fails to start, eventually rusting away.
In her view, accordingly, relationships required constant maintenance, rebuilding, reconfirmation..thru little things like touching, smiling, a kind word, to big things like unexpected presents LOL, she was magnificent with those.

i would add dedication, commitment and most of all desire..and not the sexual kind.
When you lose your desire to 'try' to keep things together, when its no longer 'worth' the effort, its all over, just a matter of time. If you value the person you're with, you'll make it 'job one' to never let it get that far. Just don't hold on so tight that you force them out between your fingers...

Paraphrazing parts of "Marriage" from the Gibran.

"let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you...
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. "

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Old 12-01-2008, 14:29   #115
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I agree that there are ways of facilitating a relationship, rather than not, and that in fact a relationship involves not just the relationship of two people but their individual issues. However in the real world all this is within a context.

"this idea that there are two relationships to manage and keep separate (captain/crew vs. husband/wife) rings false to me. it is insulting to men and women both. is sailing (or behaving civilly) such complicated work that you can only manage one at a time?"

Okay skip the two relationships, and talk about roles or functions or responsibilities in certain situations.

Much sailing can be routine, however in some boats and settings even changing tack and sides while ducking the boom can need to be done properly, or one risks being knocked out and overboard.
in the real world, situations can arise suddenly where the skills of "crew" or "captain" can be found to have been lacking and prompt action is required. These tend to be stressful, more so if the action required to be taken promptly is not because of say a lack of crew understanding or unwillingness.

Desirably any action has been planned and communicated in advance and the crew is able to do it. However, if something goes wrong, while undesirable, it is possible and understandable that a voice may be raised, or the crew may fumble or the captain botch something. Big deal get over it. It happens. Greater competence may well avoid it.

I once considered buying a boat with a woman. She wanted to be captain. Fine by me I said. That means you take the responsibility.

One can have a partnership, discussion, and shared responsibilities, but there will be times when one has to take a lead and perhaps ask for or "order" things to be done in the expectation that they will be. You could describe it as working as a team, rather than as superior inferior.

The more skilled people are the less likely hassles and the less concern over roles at any one time.
However most of us are less than perfect as sailors and at relationships.
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Old 12-01-2008, 15:40   #116
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I remember a song once where the chorus went something like, “if it doesn’t come easy…Leave it”.

The song was about Life but I think the message holds true for how to manage our relationships.

We teach novice sailors that if you are having to fight something on the boat, you are doing something basically wrong, STOP and observe where the resistance is coming from and then adjust your methods so that you work with the natural forces.

Perhaps we should apply that truism more to our sailing partner.
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Old 13-01-2008, 05:44   #117
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I figure "Trust" is important between both Crew and Partners - gotta Trust each other 100% that whatever you are doing is done in the best interests of the other - even if not immediately obvious - so yer each do not feel the need to question the other's every action / request / instruction. I guess that is why it is called "Trust"
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Old 13-01-2008, 06:52   #118
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Not sure I agree with the “Trust” mantra.
Seems to me, that it can be a very easy way to screw up big time if your partner just “assumed” you knew what you’re doing and said nothing. Perhaps I am not as self assured as I should be, but I encourage the rest of the crew to remember that I can make mistakes. Never been a problem in 30 years at sea.
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Old 13-01-2008, 07:06   #119

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There's a difference between "trust" and "blind trust" and assumptions.

As a generally unquotable alleged Texan once said, "Trust but verify". There are times when someone may say "Hard about! NOW NOW NOW!" and if that's someone like the captain or navigator, you just DO IT and ask why later.

If you can't trust them that far, it was a mistake to get on the boat.
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Old 13-01-2008, 08:23   #120
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What it took to keep this woman happy...

I love my life onboard and at this point I wouldn't trade it for anything.

First a preface:
It was my husband's dream when we met as he had cruised in the South Pacific before we met but the stories he told fascinated me and piqued my curiosity. We were both in dead-end jobs and at the perfect spot for a change so I put together a 10-year plan including financial savings, sailing lessons, and everything my naive mind thought would be a good start. By taking an interest I was soon infected and his dream became mine too.
After gaining experience on other people's boats who were less than patient and much less than gracious we decided to begin looking for our own sailboat. 8 years later we fell into an amazing opportunity and walked hand-in-hand into a dream become reality. Holding Pattern is our only home and every posession in the world in onboard.

4 years later and thousands of miles under our keel...

The first thing that kept me happy was the "we" aspect. Yesterday we had to buy a new VHF as our old one's LCD bled out. We talked over which one we opinions are important to Brian and 99% of the time he truly considers my input. Weather forecasts, passage planning, provisioning, etc is always mutual. I help fix the engine and he goes shopping and helps with the dishes.

When I have fears, concerns, moans, groans, etc. Brian usually listens and is very supportive...he has become very good at explaining things. Most women like to know HOW something is going to feel, HOW it is going to happen...and like everyone I like to know what's needed in advance. Of course everything is subject to change and we usually end up on Plan B, C, or D but the important thing is we both understand that sailing and living aboard is not ingrained knowledge, it is not instinct... so we plan well, go slow, and when things go awry we try to find some humor amidst the drama.

I did not trust my husband blindly nor did he trust me. We both had to prove to the other that we could handle emergencies with calm, close contact with grace, and a 40' boat in altogether too close conditions. Yes, each of us can singlehand and we essentially do on passages and watches but it is easier as well as much more enjoyable to do it together.

When we repair, paint, or install something I have my nose and hands in there learning each system. It gives me confidence and makes me feel much more at home. I know every system and instrument intimately and it gives me an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment to fix or fabricate and install something...

Brian is very patient with me. I understand that sometimes he gets cranky...I do too. It is how we deal with it that counts. Sometimes it is necessary to raise your voice to be heard over distance, wind, or conditions but we both agree there is a difference between elevated tone and volume. It's cool to be upset it's just what you do with it that counts... One time he got fed up with my drama and climbed up to the crow's nest with a book and hid time I hit my limit and hopped down onto the dinghy, propped up my feet, and took a nap in the sun.

We have personal mementos onboard. I have sappy dvd's. Although I don't wear makeup his mother makes sure I have perfume and nail polish and I enjoy having a Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Heather side... I can talk engines, guns, or navigation and still get dolled up once in a while even if to me dolled up it a nice t-shirt, shorts, and non-flip-flop sandals.

In the end I attribute it to two things... I was truly interested in the cruising life and my husband is very patient and supportive. It doesn't hurt that my background is psychology and his is education. He also knows he is lucky to have a woman this willing to go runabout in a small boat so he is more than willing to capitulate from time to time (and I know how lucky I am to live this life so I do the same...)

Several days ago someone stopped us a said "You're cruisers."
"Yeah. How could you tell?" I asked
"You're holding hands, smiling, and talking."

Brian thinks it was the sandals, backpacks, and us carrying groceries cross-town. Although I agree I like the first explanation better.

S/V Holding Pattern
Brian & Heather
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