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Old 01-01-2008, 05:08   #1
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What can I expect in my cruising life?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a happy Christmas and are having a fantastic new year so far!

I am new to sailing and I am just about to pack up life on land and go crusing with my boyfriend next month.

I was wondering if you might have some advice and stories etc to share with me as I am really looking forward to life at sea, but it is all new to me.

I know there are some good books on the subject suc as "The Crusing Womans Advisor" which I will be reading, but I also would love to hear about your life and experiences on board a yacht.

Are there any golden rules? Things I should think about before living on a boat? Anything tips that will, or can make life a little more relaxing on a boat?

Any advice or assistance would be wonderful!

It is all so exciting and I can't wait to start on my new adventure and new life with my wonderful boyfriend (he is a very experienced sailor).

Thanks so much!

Have a wonderful day!

Smiles and Laughter

Nicolle (Australia)
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:54   #2
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It's supposed to be fun - all of it.

You'll fair best if you start learning all you can. It really works better with two people that can do most all the things that need to be done. Sitting around smiling gets old after a few days. It's better to be active in the whole operation. There is a tremendous amount to learn so enjoyment while learning is a requirement.

When things seem strange and unfamiliar you can lose all the feelings of it being your home. You make mistakes and always feel uncomfortable. It becomes not fun at all. The more you know about it all, the more comfortable it can be. We all want some familiar things around us.

There are a lot of styles to cruising. About all they have in common is it's all done on a boat. You need a style that works for both of you. You both need to find it.

It really is all supposed to be fun. Think about that when the day seems to be not going so well.
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:59   #3
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Quote:
Are there any golden rules? Things I should think about before living on a boat?
So I'd like to know where, you got the notion
said I'd like to know where, you got the notion

to rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby
rock the boat, don't tip the boat over
rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby

I do not live on my boat (yet). So I can not give real advice other than to have fun.

Good luck Nicolle
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:09   #4
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Hello Nicolle, Paul is spot on with regard to learning and living on board. Always remember that there are thousands if not millions that dream of a life on the water. There will be very trying moments and delights few can imagine. The transition from land living can be a shock but this will morph into a routine of boat and bliss.

Best of luck and smooth sailing.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:38   #5
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Paul, I agree with most of your thoughtfull comments but there are days that are not fun. Some times being aboard is simply hard work or crummy conditions make life aboard miserable.

That said: for me there is nothing better then being aboard a sailboat, enjoying a day or a week sailing, and being with other sailors. And there are some days that do indeed end with a perfect sunset on a golden beach with a mia tia. Enjoy them when you get them.

Happy new year all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
It's supposed to be fun - all of it.

You'll fair best if you start learning all you can. It really works better with two people that can do most all the things that need to be done. Sitting around smiling gets old after a few days. It's better to be active in the whole operation. There is a tremendous amount to learn so enjoyment while learning is a requirement.

When things seem strange and unfamiliar you can lose all the feelings of it being your home. You make mistakes and always feel uncomfortable. It becomes not fun at all. The more you know about it all, the more comfortable it can be. We all want some familiar things around us.

There are a lot of styles to cruising. About all they have in common is it's all done on a boat. You need a style that works for both of you. You both need to find it.

It really is all supposed to be fun. Think about that when the day seems to be not going so well.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:43   #6
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Nicolle, you've got the right attitude! Read all that you can first, including all the sailing books you can find - they will be confusing at first, and maybe boring to you, but as you read them you'll absorb more and more and it will start to click. Just knowing the basic terms will make it so you can help out more than you realize. Have fun, but realize it's not all fun. Learn as much and as often as you can to be sure you're an active member of the crew - keep that as your goal and you'll do fine.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:45   #7
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Nicolle:

learn about sailing and repairs and navigation and anything else on boats that interests you. IMHO for a crusing couple to survive the "ideal" cruising life the man and the woman need to have complimentary skills. I have seen more than a few relationships fall apart (as evidenced in the number of fully outfitted boats in downwind spots like San Diego, Mexico and Florida) because there is no equality in the relationship. Thus the more you learn about boats and sailing the better chance you have of enjoying yourself.

Good Luck and let us know how things go for you.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:09   #8
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"Sit DOWN< SHUT UP, and HOLD ON!!!"

heheh well, actually you don't EVER want to hear this from your captain /boyfriend.

A few things to do right at the get go:

1. get out on the water on someone else's boat and find out how easily you get seasick, or don't. This is NOT something you want to discover your first few days out...Frankly, some people are just not suited to sailing, sorry. Fortunately *most* are, and there are a number of drugs and devices that work for most people to ease the transition to your sea legs. Find out if and which ones you need and will work for you in advance. Trust me. You'll be off to a far better start.

2. Sit down with your boyfriend, soon to be 'captain' and get one thing straight..."DO NOT EVER YELL AT ME !!!!", "ESPECIALLY WHEN ITS ABOUT SOMETHING YOU WANT ME TO DO TO ALLEVIATE YOUR MISTAKE!!!"
Once this kind of thing gets started, its like cancer, and almost impossible to cure...so..don't let it EVER get started. (this applies whether you end up on a boat or not

3. spend some time sitting in the boat 'to be', read your boat books there, spend the nights on it if possible, get some 'living' time on the boat..get used to it, where things are, how things work...if possible get in some day sails...get used to the confined quarters, the places you can bump your hips, your head whatever...

4. Download Google earth and zoom in on some of the exotic fun places you're going to go... it's extremely motivating and a lot of fun.

5. Have a backup plan in case the boyfriend turns out to be Captain Bligh, Bluebeard, or both, and you find you REALLY want to get off that boat at the first opportunity. Be sure you have things in order so that you aren't stranded penniless and without options in some place you really don't want to be. This is a 'modern world', you're obviously a 'modern' girl, and with that territory comes the necessity to be able to take care of yourself when you need to. Plan accordingly and hope that day never comes.

Lastly, you need to find away to 'let go' of the land. Think of it as finding yourself in a new world where you don't call your mom or friends on the phone every hour; where tv is a distant memory, and where you don't have to be somewhere 'right at 8:30' ...Sounds silly but you'll see Instead, watch the world around you in detail, turn on senses you havn't used in ages, feel the wind across the hairs on the back of your neck, smell the fragrances that shift with wind and tide, listen to the rhythms and sounds of the sea and its creatures, delight in the phosphorescent light shows in the wake, and marvel at the mystery and vastness of the universe as it reveals itself overhead at night.

It truly is a new world, and one well worth exploring.

good luck to you, and welcome to the "club"

seer
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:42   #9
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You wanted to know what to expect. You can expect to see some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises while under way that you have ever seen. You can expect seas breaking over the boat that will inspire shear terror. You can expect to be anchored off a beautiful white sand beach and get that feeling of total contentment and then sit up all night listening to the howling wind and waiting for the anchor to start dragging you into, at best the next boat and at worst up on the rocks. You can expect equipment to stop working just when you need it most. I could go on all day but I think you can get the idea. Many cruising plans end in the first week while others last for decades. It really depends on your outlook, stamina, and compatibility to each other and the lifestyle.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:29   #10
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Nicolle,

All of the above has pretty well described it, but no one has asked, "What kind of boat and how big is it?" That can have a big influence in what kind of experiences you will have.

So, what kind of boat is it?
Steve B.
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:32   #11
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Nicolle:

Boats get smaller and smaller with each passing day. There is no place to hide and privacy is limited. Quite a few people who bought a boat, sailed south to the islands and then sold the boat because it was not what they were expecting. Before you make the big jump, you might want to do some "test" sailing to see if and how you like it. There is no rush, you have the rest of your life ahead of you to get it right.

Welcome to the fabulous world of cruising!

BTW, there is a fun book you might want to read, it is not about sailing but about exotic places, the kind of places you find at the end of a cruise. Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk.
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Old 01-01-2008, 13:46   #12
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I won't bother you with tips on what you need to have or need to know about boats and sailing them before you go cruising - Except to say that you need an attitude. You must be humble, curious, and confident all at the same time. This will be the most intimate experience of your life. Most of all, you must be able to laugh at and with each other. And that means you must be able to laugh at yourself. For some insight go here:

Cruising World - The Log of ITHAKA

All of the Bernon's logs are good.

For an example of two other people with the right attitude, go here:

The Destiny Calls Home Page!!!

Fair Winds
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Old 01-01-2008, 14:07   #13
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Nicolle,

lol, just checked your photo. Forget what I said about being 'stuck' in the middle of nowhere. I can practically guarantee you will find a berth anywhere cruisers congregate . Makes me remember why I want to return to the land of Oz..

good luck to you and the boyfriend.

seer
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Old 01-01-2008, 14:21   #14
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Nicolle;

Feel free to check my fiance's blog; she has a list going of pros and cons, and we've tried to be really open about the adjustment. It's under "Charlotte's Blog":

Rebel Heart - The boat and her crew - The Saga of the Rebel Heart
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Old 01-01-2008, 21:19   #15
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Smile Thank you all so much:)

Thank you all so very much for those wonderful words of advice.

I really appreciated reading your thoughts and suggestions, thank you for so kindly sharing those with me.

I forgot to add in my first post that I have done an introduction sailing course to learn how to sail, well the basics anyway.

Also my boyfriend is a wonderful source of knowledge and he kindly explains things to me and answers all of my many questions too!

I really enjoyed reading some thoughts from other people too. I agree it will be important to have fun and have a good attitude. I am sure there will be great moments and then some more challenging ones too.

All in all, I am so very excited and really looking forward to living on a yacht and sailing the seas with my wonderful boyfriend.

My boyfriend and I make a great team, and when I say this I don't just mean "We are so perfect together etc", I mean we work really well as a team in making important decisions, supporting each other, working through and solving problems, communicating, we are really honest with each other, we always try and improve ourselves each and every day. We respect each other and we never yell at each other. We do have our moments and sometimes we do get a little annoyed at each other or disagree, but we always know how to say sorry and get over things and move on with life!

I really admire his knowledge about sailing and the sea and look forward to learning more from him. I also agree that I need to know what I am doing myself and I am learning more and more everday about how I can be a good crew member on our yacht.

I was recently part of a crew for one race on the Sydney Harbour, Australia as part of my course and we came first! It was very exciting

I am going to be a very much hands on, get my hands dirty, fix-it, learning everday, working hard, storm loving on the boat kind of girl - in the good times and the bad!

I am looking forward to the many beautiful sunsets, and also seeing my first Grey Whale (they are my favorite). My boyfriend and I both love nature. But I am also looking forward to my first storm too, and having the courage to stay calm, stay safe and ride it out and still function as I need to in rough and difficult weather & seas.

As for the sea-sickness....hmmm I am not really looking forward to that part of sailing, but I know that I will very likely suffer from it and I am ready to just get on with things the best I can and ride it out. My boyfriend says the best thing you can do is just get up and walk around or run around the boat and get some fresh air etc and focus on other things.

I am very lucky to be about to set off with my loved one and have some amazing adventures!

We have not got our boat yet but will be getting something around 40ft most likely and we just adore Beneteau yachts.

Thanks again for your advice and thoughts. I will take everything on board and remember some of those words of wisdom when I living my "life at sea". I will have a look at those links and the book that was so kindly mentioned too.

Have a wonderful day!

Smiles and Laughter

Nicolle
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