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Old 06-12-2020, 06:19   #571
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

You retire. You did learn to slowdown, or find small things to keep yourself busy. Or you just start to go crazy. Doesn't really matter it it is on/off a boat. Lots of us here on CF I bet are only here as part of “keeping busy”.

Some here who haven't retired are doing it and have still gone crazy.
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:50   #572
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by theDangerz View Post
Regardless, if discussing failed second careers is your goal (while I'm still not certain why it's valid in a "cruisers forum"), then why not go start a thread called "completely unrelated to cruising... but anybody else have stories of friends who changed careers and all failed miserably... I'd like to hear it"?
No, it is not my intent at all to take this thread off on another wild tangent. (One is enough.) I have watched an inordinate number of people who have been highly successful in important and very well paid occupations fail miserably when they attempted to strike out into an area where they had no experience. I wonder if that is also true of highly paid, successful, important individuals who attempt to become cruisers. My wife and I have lived on our boat for five or six months a year for each of the last thirteen years traveling from North Carolina to the Bahamas and back. We are at best part time cruisers. (Post # 42) I was just wondering if full time cruisers with more experience than I have have seen failures among those with "big careers" who take up cruising.
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:08   #573
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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No, it is not my intent at all to take this thread off on another wild tangent. (One is enough.) I have watched an inordinate number of people who have been highly successful in important and very well paid occupations fail miserably when they attempted to strike out into an area where they had no experience. I wonder if that is also true of highly paid, successful, important individuals who attempt to become cruisers. My wife and I have lived on our boat for five or six months a year for each of the last thirteen years traveling from North Carolina to the Bahamas and back. We are at best part time cruisers. (Post # 42) I was just wondering if full time cruisers with more experience than I have have seen failures among those with "big careers" who take up cruising.
Gotcha.
I guess I would hesitate to call any of them "failures" but in the 2+ years we've been cruising we have certainly met and talked to several people who have turned around and gone home for any number of different reasons/choices.
I'd say that's true regardless of high income/good job status but obviously, that takes some common reasons like "ran out of money" or "need to go refill the account" off the table here.

Some obviously were simply done with the time/years they had originally planned to spend cruising, some simply missed family/friends or their lifestyle back home (or had family obligations come calling).


In terms of those who were pretty fresh/new and chose to go back because they were "struggling" with the cruising lifestyle... we've been constantly amazed that it almost never has anything to do with the sailing (which is honestly what we thought all those years would be the issue before taking the leap).

For the record - we also haven't met a single cruiser (either still cruising or turning back) who mentioned anything even close to boredom!


In most cases, the things that seem to wear on people or that they didn't expect or haven't been able to acclimate to are:

- small space/tight quarters
For us, this was pretty easy because the boat is actually well larger than the vans we had spent several years living/traveling in... but if you've spent your whole life living in a big house (and rarely even seeing your significant other because you both spend most of each day working, or end up in separate parts of the house) it can be a pretty big shift to suddenly spend 24/7 together and also "stuck" in a small space together for all of those hours with nobody else to talk to/entertain each other.

Combine that with limited cell/wifi/connectivity that pretty common out here and it apparently becomes a pretty big issue for many.

- nomadic living
It's also simply "harder" to live nomadically than it is to live at a fixed address (worth it, but still harder).
Again, we had grown used to this during our years traveling full-time on land, but it's still something that wears on people.
Everything from figuring out where you're going next, to getting groceries, mail, spare parts, repairs etc is simply more difficult in this lifestyle and when something does go wrong you can't just call AAA or swing by a mechanic or pick up a pizza on your way home.

Again, in our minds it's well worth the trade-offs and perks that also come with this lifestyle... but if you've always been accustomed to simply calling the mechanic, the delivery service or chef, this may be a difficult shift.
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Old 06-12-2020, 16:42   #574
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

For what it is worth, when I first started full time cruising, I was interested in all sorts of statistics. This was in 1991. How many had roller furling jibs....about half. How many had GPS.....very few. How many had radar, watermakers, and so forth. After awhile I became interested in what people had done previously, back in the "real world". In those days, when you went cruising and were asked for how long you expected to cruise, the standard answer was , "as long as it is fun". I am sure Jim and Ann Cate said those very words, many times! Sabbatical cruises, planned that way, or six months cruising, six months back home, were rare, at least on the West Coast. Quite a few people would go home for Hurricane Season but that was just a short few months. So when you asked what people had done back in "the real world", it was usually something that they had left, more or less for good.



The answers were quite revealing, but indicative of a time when there was no internet, relatively few places to leave or store a boat, difficulty communicating, much less travelling "home", not many marinas and boatyards, and Sat Nav and Loran were about as good as it got, unless you did Celestial Navigation.



Just about everyone had a tangible "physical" skill with a problem solving component. There were plenty of mechanics, pilots, doctors, nurses, machinists, engineers, firemen, teachers and so forth. I was a golf professional. There were very few corporate types or bureaucrats, such as lawyers and administrators, people, it seemed to me, that were used to committees and collaborative decisions. Discounting people like teachers and firemen, it was six years before I met my first "government employee!" I concluded that this sort of career did not promote self sufficient adventuring and decision making, what I dismissively called "getting things done".


Which gets back to the OP's question. I am guessing that when one asks about people with "big careers" being disappointed and bored with the cruising life, it will matter considerably from what type of career they came from. Cruisers, nowadays, do not have to be nearly so self sufficient as before, when very few people would simply drop everything, take a sailing course, buy a first boat with every gadget available, and set off on a circumnavigation.



I believe that there was much more "natural selection", finely honed sailing skill, and psychological preparation in the days before you could buy solutions, and every type of solution was available. This might make a good new thread!
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Old 06-12-2020, 16:55   #575
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

So it looks like the real tell all answer is right here......somewhere in these past 573 posts!

Those that are retired and out there "cruising?" for some reason are pretty much doing the same thing as us working folks which is discussing cruising online.......

(but) I actually think we weekend/vacation/working " cruisers " are actually the ones that are doing most of the sailing!
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Old 06-12-2020, 16:58   #576
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Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Having sailed now for 30 years and been in and out of most “ waypoint “ ports.

I’ve seen many people give up the “ dream “ over the years but not because they had previous “ big careers “ ( whatever the hell that term actually means )

I’ve seen couples chuck it largely because the female partner was always the reluctant partner and eventually got tired of boat living.

I seen people give up due to financial issues or more commonly health issues

I’ve seen people give up because the lifestyle wasn’t what they expected.

But never out of boredom or regret about “ careers “

I’ve never met anyone that said to me “ yah , I’m selling the boat cause I miss the office”

Anyone looking for this aspect , simply is either trolling or simply doesn’t “ get it “
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Old 06-12-2020, 17:05   #577
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Anecdote warning and some slight thread drift!!

Quote:
There were very few corporate types or bureaucrats, such as lawyers and administrators, people, it seemed to me, that were used to committees and collaborative decisions.
I'm reminded of a chap I met in Tonga quite a few years ago. He was a Kiwi who had sailed up with the commercial rally bunch, and while an experienced sailor, he was on his first longish cruise... and he, like very many other such folks, was having battery issues.

I went to his boat for a consult, and after some discussion it was clear there were no system faults, but that he was simply using more energy than his charging systems could supply, and the SOC was slowly degrading. I was having a hard time explaining this (to me simple) concept in a meaningful way when he mentioned that back in the long white cloud land he was a bank manager.

Ahaa! sez I... and suggested that his electrical system was like a bank account which one deposited electrical energy into and withdrew from, and with a negative interest rate, so that one needed to deposit more than one withdrew, just to stay even. His eyes lit up with understanding, and after that we were able to suggest some ways to improve his situation.

Never ran into him again so can't say if he continued to cruise, but it was clear that his highly skilled position had not prepared him well as a cruiser.

Jim
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Old 06-12-2020, 17:24   #578
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Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I think it’s a fallacy that you need to be “ capable “ of fixing things or understanding everything , sure that helps a lot.

Firstly in every anchorage there are people ( like me ) with lots of technical skills to lend a hand.

What I have realised is good cruisers display the 3Rs

resourceful”
“resilient “
“ ready “ , ie prepared

It doesn’t matter if you can’t fix everything on board. It matters more that you can cobble workarounds , know where to find “ the man “ etc.

Then you are resilient. You don’t easily give up. You can live with workarounds and deprivation if needed

And finally “ ready “ you do everything you can to mitigate failure , spares , good planing , thoughtful execution etc.

I don’t believe in “ olden days “ yachities “ were more capable. There was always the “ gentlemen “ yachtie or the “ cheque book “ yachtie or equally the guy that could fashion a main mast out of a telegraph pole and bailing twine
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:14   #579
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I think it’s a fallacy that you need to be “ capable “ of fixing things or understanding everything , sure that helps a lot.

Firstly in every anchorage there are people ( like me ) with lots of technical skills to lend a hand.

What I have realised is good cruisers display the 3Rs

resourceful”
“resilient “
“ ready “ , ie prepared

It doesn’t matter if you can’t fix everything on board. It matters more that you can cobble workarounds , know where to find “ the man “ etc.

Then you are resilient. You don’t easily give up. You can live with workarounds and deprivation if needed

And finally “ ready “ you do everything you can to mitigate failure , spares , good planing , thoughtful execution etc.

I don’t believe in “ olden days “ yachities “ were more capable. There was always the “ gentlemen “ yachtie or the “ cheque book “ yachtie or equally the guy that could fashion a main mast out of a telegraph pole and bailing twine
Very interesting!

We've seen a lot of this in terms of "natural gravitation" among cruisers since we've been out here, especially the further south we got.
You quickly saw a selection of cruisers who made the leap to get out here, but also weren't fully comfortable on their own, which means they form into groups of "buddy boats".

Early on it appeared common that a couple boats would find a more experienced boat with "the man" onboard and then essentially play follow the leader, always looking to that person (man or woman) for the next destination, weather window, etc.

Those all ended in a various array of stories.
Some working well long-term, some ending with "the man" feeling annoyed at the unbalanced and somewhat "parasitic" relationship over time and some just naturally growing apart/moving on as new groups formed or different destinations dictated.



We found ourselves somewhere in the middle... very far from confident but also aware that if we joined up with a more proficient buddy boat that we would never be pushed to learn and make decisions on our own - so we intentionally avoided ever traveling with other boats until we found more confidence and felt self-sustainable on our own.

Now, a couple years in we find ourselves beginning to gravitate to other boats but now based entirely on where friendships form and common destinations/lifestyles dictate.

While we certainly catch ourselves asking lots of questions about systems maintenance and best practices, and timing sails it's (hopefully) a more balanced conversation than a parasitic one... and at least we know each boat is deciding the next destination (and weather window to get there) entirely on their own so that no one boat has to accept more stress or liability for any other. More of a "see you at the next stop whenever we get there" than "Okay, what day/time are you picking up anchor".



The cruising community is amazing!!
While I know that many struggle with the "leap and the net will appear" approach that we took when we started sailing/cruising with zero knowledge, the simple fact is that it is very much possible to learn as you go and much of that is true specifically because of those out here with more experience and willingness to share/help as needed (whether that be on the forum or at the dock/anchorage).

We just know about ourselves that we simply prefer to go to the source, hopefully with our 3Rs (and maybe a couple beers) in tow... and I cant wait until a decade or two go by and we actually know enough to be the ones offering advice/help to others!
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:35   #580
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

And, the good news is, no matter what your experience level, sailing or around boats, you will quickly get better when you are full time cruising and living on your boat.

I always laugh at how horrible we are at everything (sailing, anchoring, docking, fixing stuff), when we first depart, compared to how good we are at it, a year later, when we went on our two long cruises.

And, I have been boating since I was seven (first time I soloed in boat, I still remember the day, LOL), and sailing since I was 14.
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:27   #581
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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...

The cruising community is amazing!!

...
A month or so ago we were out day sailing. Before we went out the inlet, we were doing docking drills on the fuel dock and practicing back and fill turns in the ICW. This was on the ICW during a week day so there was very little traffic.

Two funny things happened.

The boat we rent is owned by the sailing school and is so marked. A guy on shore, who has attended the school, thought we were having trouble, since we were going up and down the ICW and doing circles all over the place, so he called the school owner and mentioned one of his boats was going in circles.

The school owner called us to see if things were ok and of course they were. I suppose some people might get upset that the guy on shore "ratted us out" to the school owner but I would rather have someone call in and not need help vs not calling in when someone needed help.

Same day, just a little while later, we were practicing docking on fuel dock. It is on a long, straight stretch of the ICW, and a sail boat saw us making approaches to the dock, then circle back away from the dock and repeat. They thought we needed help and came close to us to ask if we needed help. We told them what we were doing and thanked them for the offer.

Again, I supposed some might be upset with the offer of help but we thought it was very thoughtful.

Much better than some of the usual antics one sees on the water.

Later,
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:45   #582
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Teaching ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran, we spend a good bit of time doing very tight circles around a mooring ball, trying to keep the same distance throughout. It's a great drill especially with wind and current, and hones the ability to very precisely position a boat with twin engines. Can't remember how many times a very helpful person dinghies up and asks if they can help us pick up the mooring pennant!
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Old 07-12-2020, 14:17   #583
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

The best way to go about it though would be to get some sailing and systems experience before you go cruising.

This should be obvious though, but I guess it isn't since I have seen sailboats being towed in when the wind is perfect for sailing in.

As far as the systems on your boat, you should know how they are hooked up and how to fix them if they fail or if it's navigation related have a clue as to how you will get to land.

Sextant, etc.

It's also nice to have back ups which is why using a Raspberry Pi Computer is so nice. You can buy them for a little as $35.00 and you can do everything with them from making your own chart plotter to getting on the internet.

And the cables attached to them can hold them in place.
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Old 07-12-2020, 14:23   #584
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Teaching ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran, we spend a good bit of time doing very tight circles around a mooring ball, trying to keep the same distance throughout. It's a great drill especially with wind and current, and hones the ability to very precisely position a boat with twin engines. Can't remember how many times a very helpful person dinghies up and asks if they can help us pick up the mooring pennant!
Racing can help with that as well (and you don't have to pay an instructor) especially beach cat racing since you want to be right at the start/finish line before the white flag, but if you get there early, you have to hold your boat in position without crossing the line sometimes for a minute or two with just the sails.......and without fouling/hitting another boat

This is a pretty good example.

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Old 07-12-2020, 19:30   #585
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Wow!
To think we almost... almost just made it through an entire page of posts completely on-topic and without a sidebar from someone who prefers to ignore the topic of cruising (much less early retirement) because they'd rather talk about themselves and sailing beach cats instead.
Not bad considering!
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