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Old 24-09-2006, 08:01   #46
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Cave Creature :

As they say..."Sailing is like a bad relationship"..."the costs are huge in terms of time, effort & money...but when she's wet & your riding all feels worthwhile" !!

I've always loved that one.

Now response to your original question...

I had a chap out for a short passage a few days ago (5hrs) & we got into this conversation about "why" Mary & I intend to go away cruising.

His argument was really...that this was not the thing to do, as we would be leaving careers (early retirement) & family behind to make it happen.

My response (other than to acknowledge there were sacrifices to be made to embrace the lifestyle) was along the lines of..."Life is about real living (not just chasing $$) & since great experiences don't usually come knocking on your door if you choose to remain at home, you HAVE to go out in search of them (just ask any travel agent)

He also ask..."so what will you be doing all day"..."won't you be bored" ??

My reply was..."well, what do you do all day...NOW" ??

1) Work...(that will change to "keep the boat running" & "manage your time, passages, money...etc"...)

2) Sleep...(same thing...unless the anchor it's just "on the boat" with the views outside that will be changing)

3) Enjoy great times with the wife & friends...(I suspect we'll do more of that when we're out sailing than we do now)

4) Make great memories that will enrich our lives...(basicly the old saying..."we're not going sailing to escape life, we're going sailing so that life does not escape us"

We also talked about...needing less, so paying less house to keep up & no lawn to mow...just move if the neighbours are idiots...being closer to nature...tanning all over (that could be scary)...seeing new places...making new friends...etc...

With all this in mind, I have a final thought (appopriately said) & that is the fact that all of us know we will pass away someday...& so as I look at 50yrs old approaching in 2007, I figure I'll have 20 good years left to REALLY have fun sailing...after that we will be RVing...but that's for another thread.

So the question really becomes..."how do you want to spend the years that you have left" ??

For Mary & I...we don't want it to be just plugged in staring mindlessly at a TV screen, with the biggest thrill of the day being that we ate a nice meatloaf dinner...we'd much rather be anchored off the Bridge of Lions in St Augustine relaxing aboard the boat we love surrounded by good friends content in the knowledge that tomorrow the weather will be fair for our next passage where we will be meeting more friends to all enjoy the annual "whatever the reason" festival just a bit further south.

To borrow the saying from the Airstream association..."Do More, See More, Live More".

That's why we'll be doing it...7yrs & counting down.
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Old 25-09-2006, 20:09   #47
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Cavecreature, Sailing is the ultimate stess release in life. When job pressures become too much then take to the sea. There is a peace and restorative value in putting your life in the hands of the elements and your face to the wind. When we give over to the elements, we stop our concern for the mundane things and take in the wonders of nature. This is the best strss relief I can reccomend
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Old 26-09-2006, 03:14   #48
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Perhaps its only my own perspective, but being out in the middle of a large body of water on a dark night with no moon and no clouds, looking up at the incredible display of the universe overhead with no noise and no light pollution is the closest thing I ever get to a religious experience. I like it a lot better than dressing up in a coat and tie and waiting in a church for someone to pass a basket to me to put money in...
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
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Old 28-09-2006, 21:28   #49
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Smell the wind, feel the swell , enjoy the seas. Must laugh at SailWiz__dolphins laughing... My master skipper advises me that they will follow if you laugh out loud. Be one with the sea and enjoy her quirks.
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Old 12-10-2006, 21:11   #50

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Why go sailing?

For the last 30 years I've lived aboard , semi retired since the age of 26, working a month per year,and the rest of the year doing what the rich and famous work alll year in order to be able to do for a couple of weeks , cruise. I can think of no other lifestyle which allows me , with very little income ,to have 11 months a year off to do whatever I please.
One couple ,for whom I built a boat in 1983 told me in 1989 ,in Mexico " The boat's free. With what we would have spent living ashore , not counting the travelling we've done, we are huge amounts of money ahead of what we would have spent if we hadn't built the boat. We can park her on a reef and walk away and still be money ahead of where we'd be if we had never owned a boat. She owes us nothing."
One elderly couple, who had lived on boats all their life ,were living on Canada pension only. They told me that while people trying to live ashore on that amount were practically starving, they were putting money in the bank , after buying all the needs they ever wanted.
They said if they had life to live over again , they wouldn't do a damned thing different. Now that's the definition of success.
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Old 12-10-2006, 22:09   #51
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Escaping the rat race is what sailing is all about. Don't think it will be easy work, there is a lot to learn from the seas. The feeling out to sea with no one for hundreds of miles is humbling but invigorating. You are one with the sea and all around you. There is a peace and knowledge that navigation will bring you back to civilization. To have been there is to know the feeling (been there). I sailed from Marina Del Rey(Calif) to Puerto Vallarto last year (1300) miles I will never forget the trip, good days and bad.
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Old 13-10-2006, 13:12   #52
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Originally Posted by GordMay
“... is(sailing) satisfying enough to keep one from feeling useless ..." depends upon how an individual defines himself.
Some define themselves by what they do for a living, and some by who they are.
The short answer is YES - if you’re so inclined.
I agree whole heartedly . . . my husband looks at it as a reward . . . besides sailing uses many of the same skills he used as a pilot. He's also an A&P mechanic so he loves fixing things . . . good thing, because there's ALWAYS someting to fix on a boat!

ME, now I've found it more of a challenge . . for so many years I was defined by what I did . . . everything from mother to sales excutive!
I do enjoy the challenge of living in a different country, learning the languarge, customs, provisioning, etc. It's taken me a few months to get over the need to always be doing something! It wasn't until we came back to land for the summer that I realized I REALLY LOVE the sailing life!
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Old 13-10-2006, 16:49   #53
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I'm with Canibul. Being a PK (preacher's kid), I certainly saw the insides of a church. I am well aware of the intent of religion, but I've never experienced it in a church. Frankly, and I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm just talking about myself, my experience with organized religion has been the opposite. I won't talk about God. I think the more we talk about it, the further we get from it.

Walking through a stand of old growth trees. Watching the fog slowly burn off the water. The Olympic Rain Forest. Any of millions of streams and rivers. A snug anchorage at sunset. A wild blow with the lee rail in the water. Becalmed. The water whistling past the hull. Good friends. My wife. A nice meal after a good day. These things are my church. Sailing is just another form of worship.

Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Old 14-10-2006, 14:45   #54
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My satisfaction comes from being as self-sufficient as possible. If it jugging water or fuel, ferreting out a grocery store (or finding a ride there) to growing sprouts, to fixing whatever it is with my own two little hands.
Too many of the magazines and ads make cruising seem like ass cocktail and sunsets. We set aside sunset (and sunrise) every day as a sort of sacred time but then it is back to brass tacks.
Although we're not getting a paycheck for our efforts (being rewarded by someone else for our efforts) we see our product when everything functions correctly (rewarding ourselves for the effort.)
I like my wife's pay scale best of all!
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Old 31-10-2006, 13:27   #55
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Seeing new places, meeting new people, helping people less fortunate, having time to sit, relax, read, play an instrument, learn a language.

Keep mind in order (staves off dementia they say) by performing mathematical calculations in order to establish where you are, trouble shooting issues with the boat and devising ingenious work-arounds until it can be fixed properly.

Keep body in order - swimming, working the lines and sails, eating healthy (it's cheaper). Being aware of your environment.

Improve relations with one's spouse / partner - through having time together and a mutual goal (visiting somelace and actually managing to get there).

Learn the intricacies of fine tuning your sails in order to go faster, go easier, or whatever your pleasure.

Being responsible for one's life, with nobody else to blame anything on but one's self.

Smelling the wind, smelling the land, learning new lands and new cultures. Integrating one's self into a new community - and having a blast.

Nah! I'd rather sit at my desk dreaming about it...
Bill Balme
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Old 31-10-2006, 16:01   #56
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Originally Posted by Cavecreature
His question is this, how can a person who sails around wherever they want and lives that sort of lifestyle find self satisfaction without working hard or having material goods to show for it? It would seem from reading the forums that the average ocean sailor is just drifting through life the easy way.
Guy by us at the marina has a step to aid him getting on his boat. On it are large letters: "WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD."

Non-sailors have this image of cruising as a laid back, easy life style. What they don't realize it that THEY are the ones with the easy, laid back life style--not the sailors.

On a sailboat you are your own transportation department; diesel mechanic; electric utility, both DC and AC; water utility; doctor; refrigeration expert; weatherman; financier; cook; host; seamstress; carpenter; wrench monkey; climber (think mast); general gofer; Mr. Fxit; and a hundred other hats. And, unless your pockets are deep, you had better be good at all them. It is exhausting, educational, and frustrating. Also, it helps to have a stomach made out of granite.

It takes a l o n g time to aquire the skills to be a truly accomplish cruiser.

But so what. Why do it?

Well, very simply because it is the REAL WORLD. Wake up in a beautiful anchorage and share with someone you love the mist rising off the sea, listening to the seagulls cry up the sun, and plan your next anchorage over breakfast, only to end up fearing for your life a few hours later because a storm has swepted in and you've made some elementary mistake you dearly wish you hadn't made and, oh, you just want to get somewhere safe and sound so bad that your mouth has gone dry and your knees are about to buckle, not to mention you might be mildly hypothermic.

I find most everthing more intense on a boat. Certainly more real, harder, and more rewarding. It's one big roller-coaster ride.

But I'm sorry, easy and cruising do not belong in the same sentence. No way.

Here's the deal. If your father is looking for hard work--ha ha, this is a good one--have him buy an older used sailboat. THEN he will find out a thing or two about hard work. Ha! (That's borderline cruel of me).

Bottom line: GET REAL.
John, sailing a custom 36' double-headed steel sloop--a 2001 derivation of a 1976 Ted Brewer design.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:44   #57
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For someone who has never felt the joy of beeing out there on the water it is a hard thing to comprehend.Some of us can really feel the profound joy of very simple things,and I am not sure I can explain that.all I know is that everytime time I come back from a trip,everybody tells me how much I look relax with a big smile on my face.and that is why I make a lot of sacrifices in order to pursue my dreams.we only live once....JC.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:42   #58
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Really good summary from Sailwiz -

'Stand at the helm of a fine boat with 20 knots of wind, close hauled, railing in the water and the boat sailing in the groove. Sunshine, nature, challenge and I'll bet he won't ask why people do it.'

I suspect if he was on the helm as above he'd be too busy unhooking the smile from his ears and reaching for the chilled beer ........

Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:50   #59

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Asking an abstract intellectual question about a visceral experience is somewhat pointless. You might as well ask "Why buy a Picasso? Or a Picasso print?" or "What is the color green like?"

If you need an answer, GO SAILING. Like colors, sex, or art, sailing cannot be explained in a hands-off fashion. Not any fashion that really conveys the experience, anyhow.
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