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Old 06-02-2018, 19:46   #46
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple



Peter also has a center console powerboat. You might want to consider that approach.

Powerboats can be fun and peaceful too, you know.
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Old 07-03-2018, 19:39   #47
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

This is my first post on this forum, but I felt inclined to post instead of lurk. I worked in hospice for a while and I finally understood that above all nothing mattered more than quality of life. As a grown man I will never presume to tell another man what he needs to do, but I can share what I would do. If it was me, I would go through hell and high water to make sure that she could come on any sail she cared to. Life is finite, and I would want us both to enjoy it however we choose to. I'm more than positive she would relish in having her duties on board rather than be at home thinking about all she can't do and I'm sure you would enjoy another way to share your lives.
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Old 07-03-2018, 21:41   #48
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

I just read Smedley.tracey's post above, and want to say that imho, YES, it is the quality of life that is most important of all.

Ann
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Old 08-03-2018, 15:14   #49
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Good thread, thanks for posting it and for the useful comments. I haven't sailed for 20 years but am in the process of buying a boat to get back out there on the water. Like posters above, my wife is small (4'10, 40kg) but also has MS and so gets severe fatigue -- she is usually up for 2-3 hours at a time and then needs to go back to bed. We also have boys aged 14, 8, 2, and a baby, who need me to look after them the majority of the time.

Sailing is going to be pretty much single-handing with occasional but unreliable help. As long as we plan short trips like that and have fun doing them in good weather, the boys will gradually become more useful (and, I hope, come to enjoy the sailing) and we'll be able to do more trips. It's one of the few ways we've come up with that we can all have short holidays as a family together, as my wife can duck out to sleep throughout the day while everyone else carries on doing what they were doing.

Tricky finding the right boat, which needs to be big enough to allow everyone to get on board (plus perhaps a nanny sometimes), but small enough to be easy to sail and dock single-handed. And we're in NZ, where there are not a large number of nice boats for sale. Hoping to be all set up for the new season starting in September...

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience of this kind of sailing...
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Old 08-03-2018, 17:49   #50
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Welcome aboard CF, Tillsbury.

Your 14 yr. old, only needs experience, and he will be able to do anything a man can do. Plus, it will build his self esteem like gangbusters! It sounds to me like you'll want 3 cabins, so you're going to be looking at 40 ft. or more in a monohull. Your good lady needs a berth that will be quiet under all points of sail, if she is to rest meaningfully. It is all doable, if you all have the will for it. The sad thing is that the elder son will only be with you for a short while before he goes off to uni or other career training. Good on you for your September schedule.

I am not sure how a nanny will work into that. Such a one might be willing to room with the two younger ones, but she/he will need his or her own space somewhere, even if it is only curtained off. You may find you are looking at catamarans. Three staterooms plus one for the nanny. Some boats have a dining table that makes into a bunk--that can do for you and your wife at anchor, but not under way. You and your wife need to get clear what is likely to be needed for the foreseeable future, and then, also, further down the road. The working together around solving the difficulties as they arise (imo) is critical to success of the venture.

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Old 08-03-2018, 20:54   #51
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I imagine she'll be good help keeping a lookout, and making plans, and operating navigation and communications gear, but she will be unable to operate the boat for reasons of strength and mobility.

I'm thinking of adding some additional steps and handholds to the companionway to make it a little easier for her, but haven't settled upon any other changes to the boat.

I would appreciate any advice and support from people who have been in a similar situation.

I am unwilling to stay home, and I am unwilling to tell her that she has to stay home.
Seems she has much to offer! Let her master the non-physical duties while you focus upon the rest. A comfortable berth, good food, and watching for a good weather window will also go a long way.
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Old 08-03-2018, 23:24   #52
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Good thread, thanks for posting it and for the useful comments. I haven't sailed for 20 years but am in the process of buying a boat to get back out there on the water. Like posters above, my wife is small (4'10, 40kg) but also has MS and so gets severe fatigue -- she is usually up for 2-3 hours at a time and then needs to go back to bed. We also have boys aged 14, 8, 2, and a baby, who need me to look after them the majority of the time.

Sailing is going to be pretty much single-handing with occasional but unreliable help. As long as we plan short trips like that and have fun doing them in good weather, the boys will gradually become more useful (and, I hope, come to enjoy the sailing) and we'll be able to do more trips. It's one of the few ways we've come up with that we can all have short holidays as a family together, as my wife can duck out to sleep throughout the day while everyone else carries on doing what they were doing.

Tricky finding the right boat, which needs to be big enough to allow everyone to get on board (plus perhaps a nanny sometimes), but small enough to be easy to sail and dock single-handed. And we're in NZ, where there are not a large number of nice boats for sale. Hoping to be all set up for the new season starting in September...

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience of this kind of sailing...
I am in the same boat, no pun intended. My wife also has MS and unfortunately sailing has become too much for her. The lack of balance, strength and fatigue just cause her misery. On the plus side she turns me loose to tear about Lake Ontario with several good friends and I am able to take a few short duration cruises a year. She used to enjoy sailing tremendously in our earlier years but accepts the limitations this disease has imposed upon her. I can't say I am totally disappointed in her decision to remain ashore. Having to constantly monitor someone with a chronic illness doesn't make it much fun for anyone. The paramount issue is safety. Can they safely manage to move about the boat in a variety of conditions without aid? If the answer is no it is often better to have them remain ashore. In my wife's case she arrived at that conclusion on her own when it was obvious her presence required virtually constant assistance. But hey, we have our memories of sailing off into the sunset together. No one can answer this type of question for you. Only you will be able to determine the nature and duration of your adventures. Good luck and best wishes.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:01   #53
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

^^^

Thirty years later, thanks for the honesty above. It hurt me to read it, but I acknowledge the courage it took to post it, and the good will. Good on ya, mate.

Ann
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:04   #54
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

That does sound terribly sad, I’m sorry. My wife is only 41 so I’m hoping we have some years yet to get the memories laid down before the looking back at them stage starts.

I’m supposed to hear back from the owners of a boat we have an offer in on today, so let’s see what happens! Multihulls are a no-no because of the marina locally but I’ve never been particularly comfortable in boats that are more stable the wrong way up anyway. Yes, we’re looking at 40-45 foot monohulls with three cabins which should do us. Budget is not immense, sadly, as my wife won’t work again and I get very little time to raise funds because of the caregiving aspect, so we have to be a little careful.
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Old 09-03-2018, 14:02   #55
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Yes. All full time caretakers need to have a respite. I am glad you do still get to go sailing. Way back when Jim and I lived in the Bay Area, he found weekend sails very healing after the frustrations of the everyday world. I can only imagine how welcome it must be for you. "Chapeau" to you for accepting the task...lots of respect.

Ann
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Old 09-03-2018, 14:59   #56
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Thanks Ann and Tillsbury. I don't want to paint too bleak a picture. While our dreams of fixing things in exotic lands may resemble the Hindenberg our life overall is fulfilling. We have accepted what is but with an understanding wife I have acquired virtually an all female crew. Since they all have been introduced to my Mrs. they appreciate knowing I am not going to make any advances on them which lets them relax and focus on the sailing. It's a wonderful opportunity to sail with some pretty terrific people not to mention some therapy for me.
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Old 09-03-2018, 16:02   #57
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Ho ho! Whilst I'm sure my wife will be fine with me having quick day sails with my friends (as long as everything is prepared and there's a babysitter for the duration), maybe I'll stick to male crew for the moment. Some things are asking a little too much! :-)
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Old 09-03-2018, 18:19   #58
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Let me tell you about a couple of ladies I know who are hero’s of mine.

A few years ago we met a couple where the wife could not stand independently for more than a couple of minutes. She has a small motorized wheel chair to get around. They bought a boat in Australia, sailed to the PNW where they cruised for many years. Ow they have shipped it to the Candian Maritimes and sail out of Lewisporte, Newfoundland. They take long journeys to lonely places.

She fully takes part in boat maintenance and is independent as hell. Her husband tells me she does most of the foredeck work, pull herself around.

My lovely wife has two disabilities of sorts: sever sea sickness and almost zero spatial awareness. If she walks into a McDonalds she can not find the door she walked in, literally. She has found ways to cope with the mal-de-mare and has about 8,000 miles with me. The spatial awareness is still a challenge; she can read a map like I can sing, babies howl and dogs cry. She can stand watch and let me sleep IF there is NOTHING hard she can hit within range at maximum speed because otherwise she will. She scarred the **** outta me just last week. This is not easy for her to face, it is humiliating. But she is working on it and making slow but diligent progress.

In fact I am more relaxed when I single hand, just less to worry about. But I’ll never ever leave port without if possible for she is my soulmate and as dedicated to our marriage as I. I could never replace her, and if saw what I look like you would heartily agree.
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Old 09-03-2018, 21:37   #59
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Re: The unequally capable cruising couple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smedley.tracey View Post
This is my first post on this forum, but I felt inclined to post instead of lurk. I worked in hospice for a while and I finally understood that above all nothing mattered more than quality of life. As a grown man I will never presume to tell another man what he needs to do, but I can share what I would do. If it was me, I would go through hell and high water to make sure that she could come on any sail she cared to. Life is finite, and I would want us both to enjoy it however we choose to. I'm more than positive she would relish in having her duties on board rather than be at home thinking about all she can't do and I'm sure you would enjoy another way to share your lives.
Welcome aboard Tracey!
I agree with you. In fact I don't know if I have ever gone out with someone as equally capable as I, except on the deliveries. Enjoying the experience together, sharing it, in spite of differing capabilities, is the fun in it for me. Occasionally I'll take my boat out alone without my wife and kids.. and at first it is really nice, just me, the boat and the sea. But after a while, it's just me the boat and the sea and I miss their company too much, I miss the fun of sharing it with them. It is worth it to me to make whatever accommodations my family needs to be able to do it too. Sometimes the accommodations are physical things, sometimes it is just being sure the weather and sea conditions fit what they are ready for, and sometimes it means coming back in just when I am having fun but they are not, and that is ok with me.
It helps a lot that I am comfortable and prepared to sail the boat alone, I'd say that is very important, crucial, for anyone taking folks who can't or don't know how to sail very well.
Jammer, I think your plan to have short trips and an easy out if needed is absolutely the way to go. I bet there is a way to enjoy the experience together very much in spite of the limitations. You can make it work and you'll be glad you did.
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