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Old 07-05-2018, 14:41   #1
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To go, or not to go, Again ?

My wife and I are in our early 60s
When I turned 35 we sold up everything, bought an old 30 footer and went sailing. I give her (my wife) and the boat all the credit. My wife because she learnt on the way and the boat (a Nic 31) because it took all the situations we found ourselves in !
We spent 9 glorious (and hard) years cruising and working other peoples boats and sailing some 40 000 miles before re-establishing ourselves on land for the last 15 years.
Now the call of the sea and far off distant places has come !
However cruising friends are advising NOT to go off into the blue again as we will be very disappointed with the current world cruising situation !!!
We are asking fellow cruisers for their thoughts and their experiences of going cruising for the second time to the same or different destinations.
In our time in the Caribbean or S Pacific we often had the anchorage to ourselves. I can't imagine waking up to 200 ARC ites anchored on top of me !
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Old 07-05-2018, 14:58   #2
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

We returned from a cruise in our 30 footer in 85 and went again in 98 in a 47 footer. Had a great time both times. But today, I imagine it depends on where you want to go. You dont have to go far to have a great time.
Another alternative is to go in a smallish boat again and return part of the year.
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Old 07-05-2018, 15:05   #3
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

I sure wish we were meeting in a remote anchorage, instead of in this sterile Internet world. Iíd love to raise a pint or two and talk this one through.

I canít answer your specific question about how things have changed, b/c this is my first time. I can tell you Iím lingering in the north, in part due to the same worries you are having.

My cruising life has largely been spent in low-populated, little travelled areas. Where I have cruised so far, it is common to have the anchorage all to ourselves. And marina stops are few and far between.

I love this way of cruising, but Iím worried (a bit scared even) that if we head south, down the NA east coast and towards the Caribbean, it will be much harder to find the solitude and calmness that I so cherish and is so common for me right now.
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Old 07-05-2018, 15:07   #4
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

We have just completed NZ to Japan lots of empty places in the South Pacific and few cruising boats in Japan.

We did cross paths with the 30!bostd of the Oyster Rally and got free food and beer at their party.
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Old 07-05-2018, 17:01   #5
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

G'Day Pirate,

Your question is a valid one, and also nearly impossible to answer meaningfully without knowing you better. But, here's my take...

Ann and I have been cruising full time since 1986, leaving from SF and ending up in the "south Pacific eddy", circulating around the NZ-Oz- SP island orbit since the early 90s. Yes, we've seen lots of changes in the cruising community, and yes, some anchorages have become pretty crowded, and yes, many of the new cruisers have rather different values and ethics and mores than we do... just what you are fearing!

But, all is not lost, far from it. Along with the above characteristics, a lot of the current cruising folks don't stray very far from the yellow brick road, tending to congregate in areas with lots of support, resorts to resort to, "fine dining" at hand and lots of other, similarly inclined people to share the "adventure" with. This means that if you want solitude, it is usually available to those who will venture away from those popular venues. We still find it possible when we want to be alone, or nearly so. And the few folks we find in those less accessible anchorages tend to be pretty good company!

Another factor is that over those thirty years, well, we've gotten older (fancy that!). For us, at least, this has lead to some changes in what we enjoy most. It's a trite saying, but after a while tropical paradises start to seem much the same... non-tropical ones too... and it is the people we meet and befriend that are the aspects of cruising that we enjoy more than the venues. This applies to other sailors as well as local land lubbers... so many interesting folks in the world! You may find something similar if you go cruising again, for you too will have aged and changed over the years.

So, I'd say have a go at it. If it isn't enjoyable, well, there's always lawn bowls and making furniture in the basement.

Jim

PS When we were preparing to leave, older cruisers(the few that we knew) told us we were too late... all the good things in the SP were gone and cruising as they knew it was ruined.
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Old 07-05-2018, 17:16   #6
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

@Mike,

You carry the calm within you, as well as it being situationally specific. If you were to venture to the crowded places, and it bothered you (say the Caribbean), there's the whole of South America just south of there, where there is plenty of solitude for the ones who prefer it. I prefer places where there is no artificial light at night, go figure, but that's how it is for me. Doesn't mean we don't stay where there is light, but we enjoy it when there isn't.

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Old 07-05-2018, 18:46   #7
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

I agree with all the above.

You only have to realize that thirty years ago, when first I cruised, many sailed wooden boats (which might spring a leak), navigated by the stars (so they might get lost), had gasoline engines (which could blow up), cooked on alcohol (which definitely could catch fire), communicated, at best, by Ham radio (so they were often out of touch), had no watermakers (so they had to lug jerry jugs or catch rain), had no radar (so they had to keep a good watch), had rudimentary charging systems (so they barely used electricity), and often very little in the way of refrigeration (so their diets were limited), among other things. And, of course, there was no internet, no You Tube stars, and no blogs. This made cruisers a very adventurous and self-selecting group of people who found much in common with each other. It was a true community. Compare this with what is available today, particularly the ability to effortlessly and reliably navigate (GPS) and you can see how the character of the characters has changed and become more diverse.

With this changing cast of characters has come those who hire out most maintenance jobs, which, in turn, has led to more marinas, more boatyards, and higher costs and hourly wages for technicians of all stripes, as all have to compete with the higher end folks for services.

I have always admired young cruisers, because their solutions to problems tended to be very basic and ingenious. It is a truism that like seeks like. I used to find that the self sufficient and interesting folks stopped by my humble 33 footer and I made many friends from these encounters. Now I sail a 45 foot cat with all the mod cons, and it is folks from that type of boat who stop by! Many have never owned a boat before, let alone done anything really adventurous. They don't do much of their own maintenance, use marinas a lot, and can't imagine a life without complete connectivity....sorry, no offense meant and there are many exceptions. But, to find that ingenious and independent sort, I often have to dinghy through an anchorage, looking for those 33 foot monohulls, because it never occurs to their crews that they and I, on my "palatial" 45 foot cat, might have a lot in common! We are just in different phases of our lives.

So, yes, cruising has changed, and in different ways for different people. Not better...not worse.....just......different.
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Old 07-05-2018, 21:34   #8
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

One of the great things about the cruising life style is that if a place doesn't suit or delight you you can hoist the anchor and go find another one. However, that being said you should not expect a place you have fond memories of to delight you on a return visit, it is generally the case that what you enjoyed so much about a place was the other people who were there at the time and they are not there on the return visit.

Sounds like you are like a lot of folks with the choice of hanging about somewhere whilst you wait to die or get out and fill the rest of your life with new memories.
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Old 08-05-2018, 00:47   #9
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

Not sure why this is in the OpenCPN forum!
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Old 08-05-2018, 00:52   #10
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

Not a ton to add to the wonderful replies but to suggest to Mike that he shouldn't worry much about the trek south. I can't speak for the eastern caribbean, but the bahamas, cuba and the western caribbean... You could get completely lost just in the wild turquoise abyss of the bahamas for a lifetime. You might tire of it after a while, but the option is yours.

More generally, I can't fathom ever thinking I'd seen enough of the world by sailboat unless I was sick of the sailboat part of the equation. No matter how much you've seen and seen slip by, you gotta think there's still an awful lot left out there.
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Old 08-05-2018, 00:54   #11
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

Haven't had the chance to liveaboard full time (we just got the boat, that's for next year and on), but I imagine it's the same as regular travelling. In my late teens and 20s I backpacked around the world more or less, saw almost half of it. My favorites were always places that were undiscovered, your typical hipster ideal of finding the 'natives' and mocking the tourists because you were a traveler sort of thing Ahhhh youth is so stupid... anyway.

One of my favorite places in the world is Cambodia, been there on foot or motorbike maybe 6 times. My first time, the streets of the capital were all dirt, you could hear the odd gunshot at night, NGOs were run by idealistic girls from Norway younger than me, the smell of pot was in the air anywhere you went, mines everywhere and active KR in some of the villages...really rough around the edges, but still amazing and beautiful and 'authentic'. An adventure! I fell in love and went back over and over for a while. Then fifteen years later I'm back, showing the country to my then-partner, walking on paved streets, seeing coffee shops and boutique hotels here and there, white faces feeling safe...bummed me out. I told her about the good old days, ahhh baby you should have seen it, it would have been only you and me trying to get by on sign language and sleeping in a hut. The French owner of the motorbike shop I said this in overheard me and laughs and laughs.... I say what? He says to me: oh, YOU should have seen it ten years before you got here! I was getting shot at when I took a ride, had to travel in a convoy, couldn't go out past pursat.... now THOSE were the good old days!! God I miss 'em

Long story short, I was stupid, and it's all relative. When I sail back again, it'll be completely changed. But so am I. Older, creakier, different goals and needs. So I'll probably bore my loves with stories of the 'good old days' for sure, but I doubt I'd enjoy washing the same shirt night after night in a cracked sink for 3 months these days quite as much as my 20 year old self did then, so I assume it'll be fine I say go for it! You'll find new things to appreciate. And if you're anything like me, you'll find joy in griping about how good things used to be
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Old 08-05-2018, 00:59   #12
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

absolutely great responses!!! "you carry the calm within you" -how true!
we've been away from "the water" now for 18 years, but the days are counting down (15 to be specific) before the adventure of boat-buying will start in earnest. we are 60/62 now & as all the changes that we saw in our 3 rtws between 81 & 99 were "bearable" we anticipate the same again. we actually "loved" all those "ralleys" & ARCs, etc.: the more people congregate the easier it is to avoid "the madding crowd".
& as to
"many sailed wooden boats (which might spring a leak), navigated by the stars (so they might get lost), had gasoline engines (which could blow up), cooked on alcohol (which definitely could catch fire), communicated, at best, by Ham radio (so they were often out of touch), had no watermakers (so they had to lug jerry jugs or catch rain), had no radar (so they had to keep a good watch), had rudimentary charging systems (so they barely used electricity), and often very little in the way of refrigeration (so their diets were limited), among other things. " -
sorry to say, this is mostly untrue:
hardly any wooden boats in the early 80ies, they all had Satnavs & rollerfurlers & fridges & gasstoves & the americans big boats- & believe me: we know, because we didn't, & we were among the very few.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:03   #13
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

...& to some aspects of the "digital revolution" since the end of our last rtw (99) I actually look forward:
to be able to pull an explosiondrawing off the internet order a sparepart online while sitting in the cockpit in a Marquesas anchorage - well that is going to beat the "procedures" from 82: writing a letter to Gibb in England...
& if all else fails: on long passages - we will still be to ourselves...
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:33   #14
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

Itís our first time too, but I have been around the water most of my life on and off.
People are herding animals, and travel in packs, itís apparently their nature.
I canít for the life of me figure out why, why do they want to live in overcrowded cities, but they do.
However even in the overcrowded South Fl, itís possible to be out by yourself, just you wonít be within dinghy ride of the crowded overpopulated tiki bar.

Itís a lot like the overpopulated cities, there are miles and miles of open country between them, 99% of the people never see that, they only go from one city to the other. They want to be stacked on top of each other and sit in traffic jams, they must.

Majority of times we are at anchor by ourselves, occasionally of course we do take a mooring ball or similar to go into town and shop, buy food etc.

This is just the US of course, but surely it has to be even easier to get out by yourself in the rest of the world.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:47   #15
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Re: To go, or not to go, Again ?

"...and cruising as they knew it was ruined..."
& I always was very glad to be rid of hempen ropes & cotton sails & the slavery-of-the-tiller...
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