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Old 14-02-2018, 22:51   #196
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Eric50 View Post
As European having had the chance to work few weeks in USA, but not fortunate to sail there, I would like to add my own experience of USA in this thread:

Working on 4 continents since decades, my first rule when I go abroad is "at Rome, do like romans".

Therefore, whatever I have to deal with and that is new or difficult to me, I will not complain about it.

About the people, I experienced during 4 weeks in Morgan City, Louisiana, the most friendly and socially developed people, open arms I ever met.

I was absolutely astonished to find (although I am very familiar with anglo-saxons people due to my work) out, at the end of the day at the parking lot of the hotel that in few minutes people that were totally unknown from each others were organizing BBQ and drinks almost each end for the day and introducing themselves as it was completely natural behavior for them !

This was lasting the week, until the week after newcomers were arriving and old ones were leaving, and it started again...if that is not really living together, I don't know what it can look like ?

Another thing that astonished me is the way the police was integrated, accepted and fully part of the community : every lunch time I was in a steak house and could see 4 policemen from the city arriving and saluting everybody like they were from the same family, knowing every body first name, asking about everyone if they felt great, or had any issues, exchanging jokes before having their own lunch...I whish it could happen in my country !

So, based on my experience; American people are very nice ones, indeed and they seems to have a very good way of life. I do not ignore that this is not fantasy land as well, like any other country, but it is definitely one of the top one in the world, no doubt about it.

About the customs and procedures, it is like everywhere else in the world, this can vary, depending on which officer you'll deal with, my first concern will be to ensure that I am aware of all the rules and to stick to them. Nothing particular on that side, but it can be much worst in most of the other countries in the world...so USA is again in the top range.

About the anchoring day signal, the "ball", it is normally an international rule as I know, but they are also NOT applied in my country, or barely, on the opposite of northern country in Europe were most of the sailors are using them...So USA is may be not the best example...but they are not the only one !

About the shipyards / shipchandler, the low level of workmanship is not only in USA, you should come in my country to realize how bad and expensive it can be at the same time !!!!!

About the 6th of June 1944 and the overlord operation, I have a very special feeling about it and the American, not to forget the English, Canadian and very small amount of my fellow citizen that came that day to be killed 15 miles away from where I live in Normandy.

For me these heroes, died for my freedom, and I will never thanks them enough and never forget that, I think about them and their nations every time I am alongside the coast where everything happened, we will never be grateful enough to them.

I am not quiet sure by the way that it was a useless operation as Staline did asked many time and for a long time to have a 2nd front opened in the west, as he was felling at the verge of being defeated at some point in the conflict...who knows ?

According historians, it takes about a century to establish the truth and according Napoleon "history is lies that everybody agrees on..."

So considering all of this, I am looking forward to go back to USA with my boat this time and have the chance to spend as much as possible there and enjoy the people and the country.

On the opposite of numerous countries I have been to where I hope I will never have to go back again !!!!
Thank you for the long report, Eric! I am very happy that some of my fellow countrymen treated you with the same hospitality that I would have myself.
The thoughts on Normandy are much appreciated. There is quite a special bond between us that can easily be felt with a visit to the Normandy cemeteries. Nobody's small words can change that feeling.
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Old 15-02-2018, 01:20   #197
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"D-Day... did absolutely zero to change the outcome of the war. "

So, you mean, the Allies could have retaken all of Europe without ever entering it? Or, that the southern invasions would have been enough? No, wait, we could have retaken it all through Russia?

The entire Allied high command was wrong to invade that way. OK, I can see that. I'm just not sure what moves would have been "righter" then.

Perhaps the thousand plane raids would have sufficed...Which choice are you suggesting?
Just because the Normandy invasion didn't change the outcome of the war, doesn't mean it was useless and certainly didn't mean that the Allied command was wrong to do it.

On the contrary! If we hadn't invaded NW Europe, the Soviets would have rolled right through to the Atlantic. So by invading Normandy, we saved 2/3 of Germany from Communism, and probably Benelux and maybe France, and that's a very good thing indeed.

Maybe I shouldn't have written "outcome of the war" -- I meant to say beating Hitler. Hitler was beaten already. That's not what D-Day was about.
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Old 15-02-2018, 03:11   #198
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Some here seem to view the 'D-Day' invasion the same way that Lady Astor viewed the Italian campaign..... but all things are a sum of all the parts....

'We're the D-Day Dodgers out in Italy
Always on the vino, always on the spree.
Eighth Army scroungers and their tanks
We live in Rome - among the Yanks.
We are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

We landed at Salerno, a holiday with pay,
Jerry brought the band down to cheer us on our way
Showed us the sights and gave us tea,
We all sang songs, the beer was free.
We are the D-Day Dodgers, way out in Italy.

The Volturno and Cassino were taken in our stride

We didn't have to fight there. We just went for the ride.
Anzio and Sangro were all forlorn.
We did not do a thing from dusk to dawn.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

On our way to Florence we had a lovely time.
We ran a bus to Rimini right through the Gothic Line.
On to Bologna we did go.
Then we went bathing in the Po.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

Once we had a blue light that we were going home
Back to dear old Blighty, never more to roam.
Then somebody said in France you'll fight.
We said never mind, we'll just sit tight,
The windy D-Day Dodgers, out in Sunny Italy.

Now Lady Astor, get a load of this.
Don't stand up on a platform and talk a load of piss.
You're the nation's sweetheart, the nation's pride
We think your mouth's too bloody wide.
We are the D-Day Dodgers, in Sunny Italy.

When you look 'round the mountains, through the mud and rain
You'll find the crosses, some which bear no name.
Heartbreak, and toil and suffering gone
The boys beneath them slumber on
They were the D-Day Dodgers, who'll stay in Italy.

So listen all you people, over land and foam
Even though we've parted, our hearts are close to home.
When we return we hope you'll say
"You did your little bit, though far away
All of the D-Day Dodgers, way out there in Italy.
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Old 15-02-2018, 03:14   #199
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Just because the Normandy invasion didn't change the outcome of the war, doesn't mean it was useless and certainly didn't mean that the Allied command was wrong to do it.

On the contrary! If we hadn't invaded NW Europe, the Soviets would have rolled right through to the Atlantic. So by invading Normandy, we saved 2/3 of Germany from Communism, and probably Benelux and maybe France, and that's a very good thing indeed.

Maybe I shouldn't have written "outcome of the war" -- I meant to say beating Hitler. Hitler was beaten already. That's not what D-Day was about.
Of course the only reason the Russians were in the position they were in is because the Germans couldn't focus on Russia. They had to keep sizable resources fending off invasion from the UK. If they had finished off the UK and then turned to Russia...we might be talking about a whole different result...of course now we are wandering into the realm of speculation and Russia could have used that as an opportunity launch an attack and so on....

But really the old "don't start a war on multiple fronts" is what took down Germany.

Also, while the battle may not have been the biggest, grabbing a beach head allowed far more troupes to follow. That's the whole point of grabbing a beach head. It doesn't have to be a big battle to have a big impact.

Of course, it's easy to play monday morning quarterback and as time passes, it's hard to tell how much was historical fact vs propaganda vs revisionist history.

Looping back to the main subject, don't be afraid to come to the USA. As long as you get your ducks in a row, there is some red tape but every country has that.

All the doom and gloom you hear in the media is political posturing that has little to do with real life. Unless you go to a demonstration and pick a fight, liberal or conservative, you will find people friendly and welcoming to visitors.

For reference we spent time in Barcelona this last year and everyone was afraid for us...but it was fine. People were happy and friendly. No problems. Same thing going the other way.
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Old 15-02-2018, 04:17   #200
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Of course the only reason the Russians were in the position they were in is because the Germans couldn't focus on Russia. They had to keep sizable resources fending off invasion from the UK. If they had finished off the UK and then turned to Russia...we might be talking about a whole different result...of course now we are wandering into the realm of speculation and Russia could have used that as an opportunity launch an attack and so on....

But really the old "don't start a war on multiple fronts" is what took down Germany.

Also, while the battle may not have been the biggest, grabbing a beach head allowed far more troupes to follow. That's the whole point of grabbing a beach head. It doesn't have to be a big battle to have a big impact.

Of course, it's easy to play monday morning quarterback and as time passes, it's hard to tell how much was historical fact vs propaganda vs revisionist history.
Yes, very much so. What we learned in school during the Cold War was heavily distorted by propaganda. We are getting a much better picture of the whole conflict now. An excellent place to start (for anyone who is really interested in the war) is the official German history of the war, which is now complete but for the very last volume, and which is available in English for those who don't read German. Recent stuff by famous historians like Keegan and Beevor also give a much better picture.

The other things you say are also true, more or less, but the Germans DID focus on the USSR for more than a year. Barbarossa started more than a year before the first British troops set foot in North Africa. The Germans actually came pretty close to winning the war in November-December, 1941, when they came very close to taking Moscow. If they had managed to bring down Stalin and take over the Soviet productive and military capacity, AND if they had been smart enough not to try again to invade Britain, then there is almost no way to imagine how we would have ever challenged them on the Continent. The world would be speaking German today instead of English. A bunch of big IF's, of course.


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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Looping back to the main subject, don't be afraid to come to the USA. As long as you get your ducks in a row, there is some red tape but every country has that.

All the doom and gloom you hear in the media is political posturing that has little to do with real life. Unless you go to a demonstration and pick a fight, liberal or conservative, you will find people friendly and welcoming to visitors.

For reference we spent time in Barcelona this last year and everyone was afraid for us...but it was fine. People were happy and friendly. No problems. Same thing going the other way.
Indeed. Give a personally insecure loser a badge and authority to write tickets and you have the potential for problems in any country. I find U.S. LEO's, border guards, etc. (and I are a Yank myself) to have a particular propensity for bullying and hassling (not the majority, but a certain percentage), and what Europeans often don't understand is the degree to which they expect an attitude of humble submissiveness. Have your papers in order and ducks in a row and behave in the accepted humbly submissive way and you won't have any problems. Throw any 'tude, though, and watch out. The same is true anywhere, when dealing with LEO's and petty officials, but especially in the U.S., unfortunately.

But it's still worth it. U.S. petty officialdom and U.S. people are two completely different things. I have never met a single European (in more than 30 years in total living here) who didn't have a fantastic time as as tourist in the U.S. Most of them come back again and again. Carsten (the OP) doesn't count at all because he went to high school in the U.S., spent most of his life working for U.S. companies, and knows the culture like his own, and speaks perfect Yankee (he's my old shipmate, so I know this from knowing him personally). If anything, he's more American than I am, and no one would identify him as a furriner at all if they don't notice his Danish flag.
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Old 15-02-2018, 04:39   #201
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Yes, very much so. What we learned in school during the Cold War was heavily distorted by propaganda. We are getting a much better picture of the whole conflict now.

Not sure that I can agree that we are getting a clearer picture. Lots of historical revisions driven by agendas. Lots of history professors need to justify their existence and repeating the old story doesn't set them apart. So off into the land of revisionist history often seeking grants from those with political agendas and guess what...the research just happens to match the agenda. So when you have one propaganda replaced by another propaganda, I see that as muddying the water.


Indeed. Give a personally insecure loser a badge and authority to write tickets and you have the potential for problems in any country. I find U.S. LEO's, border guards, etc. (and I are a Yank myself) to have a particular propensity for bullying and hassling (not the majority, but a certain percentage), and what Europeans often don't understand is the degree to which they expect an attitude of humble submissiveness. Have your papers in order and ducks in a row and behave in the accepted humbly submissive way and you won't have any problems. Throw any 'tude, though, and watch out. The same is true anywhere, when dealing with LEO's and petty officials, but especially in the U.S., unfortunately.
I haven't seen where US LEO's are any worse than other countries. Sure, you can pull out the stray example but nothing I haven't seen in other countries. I don't care where you are, if you get pulled over and start giving the officer attitude, expect it to go worse than if you are polite and respectful. In theory, you should be able to call them all kinds of nasty things and it shouldn't impact the result of the encounter but only idiots antagonize someone who's in the process of deciding if you should get a traffic ticket, visa, etc...

What's really amazing is how level headed some are when they are being berated by a fool but they stick to the facts and keep the emotion out of it. Not all but no worse than other countries that I've seen when considered on the whole.
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Old 15-02-2018, 05:25   #202
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pirate Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, very much so. What we learned in school during the Cold War was heavily distorted by propaganda. We are getting a much better picture of the whole conflict now. An excellent place to start (for anyone who is really interested in the war) is the official German history of the war, which is now complete but for the very last volume, and which is available in English for those who don't read German. Recent stuff by famous historians like Keegan and Beevor also give a much better picture.

The other things you say are also true, more or less, but the Germans DID focus on the USSR for more than a year. Barbarossa started more than a year before the first British troops set foot in North Africa. The Germans actually came pretty close to winning the war in November-December, 1941, when they came very close to taking Moscow. If they had managed to bring down Stalin and take over the Soviet productive and military capacity, AND if they had been smart enough not to try again to invade Britain, then there is almost no way to imagine how we would have ever challenged them on the Continent. The world would be speaking German today instead of English. A bunch of big IF's, of course.




Indeed. Give a personally insecure loser a badge and authority to write tickets and you have the potential for problems in any country. I find U.S. LEO's, border guards, etc. (and I are a Yank myself) to have a particular propensity for bullying and hassling (not the majority, but a certain percentage), and what Europeans often don't understand is the degree to which they expect an attitude of humble submissiveness. Have your papers in order and ducks in a row and behave in the accepted humbly submissive way and you won't have any problems. Throw any 'tude, though, and watch out. The same is true anywhere, when dealing with LEO's and petty officials, but especially in the U.S., unfortunately.

But it's still worth it. U.S. petty officialdom and U.S. people are two completely different things. I have never met a single European (in more than 30 years in total living here) who didn't have a fantastic time as as tourist in the U.S. Most of them come back again and again. Carsten (the OP) doesn't count at all because he went to high school in the U.S., spent most of his life working for U.S. companies, and knows the culture like his own, and speaks perfect Yankee (he's my old shipmate, so I know this from knowing him personally). If anything, he's more American than I am, and no one would identify him as a furriner at all if they don't notice his Danish flag.
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Old 15-02-2018, 06:12   #203
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I haven't seen where US LEO's are any worse than other countries. Sure, you can pull out the stray example but nothing I haven't seen in other countries. I don't care where you are, if you get pulled over and start giving the officer attitude, expect it to go worse than if you are polite and respectful. In theory, you should be able to call them all kinds of nasty things and it shouldn't impact the result of the encounter but only idiots antagonize someone who's in the process of deciding if you should get a traffic ticket, visa, etc...

What's really amazing is how level headed some are when they are being berated by a fool but they stick to the facts and keep the emotion out of it. Not all but no worse than other countries that I've seen when considered on the whole.
I don't have any statistics and don't know if there's even a good way to measure this. I'm only describing my personal experience and impressions. YMMV.



Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Not sure that I can agree that we are getting a clearer picture. Lots of historical revisions driven by agendas. Lots of history professors need to justify their existence and repeating the old story doesn't set them apart. So off into the land of revisionist history often seeking grants from those with political agendas and guess what...the research just happens to match the agenda. So when you have one propaganda replaced by another propaganda, I see that as muddying the water.
I'm talking about serious academic history, not crackpot popular stuff.

The serious historical study of WWII has matured enormously in the last 25 years, and one thing which has happened is that we know much more what is written by the other participants in the war and have a bigger picture than we did during the Cold War. The Soviet archives were only opened after 1991, so we didn't even know a lot of basic facts about what happened in the East. Now that everyone has access to the same sources, there is much more agreement between what is written by Americans, British, German, and Russian historians -- and they communicate more and have started to harmonize their views.

So, as an example, the great British WWII historian Antony Beevor is one of the first of a new generation of historians who has had access to all the sources and who has really studied the war as a whole, and not just our own narrow experiences in the war. He wrote a (fantastic) book on D-Day, and another (fantastic) book on Stalingrad, for example (and he wrote yet another book which exposed the massive scale of rape carried out by the Soviet Army in Germany, which earned him a ban in Russia).

Beevor, who wrote probably the best book ever written on D-Day, wrote that "Ultimately, D-Day was simply a formality that assured an already probable Allied victory." "Probable" is English understatement, in my opinion, but you get he point.

We have of course jingoists on both sides -- a few Russian historians who claim that we did nothing and were fighting only the dregs of the Wehrmacht in Normandy, which is simply false (in fact there were crack forces involved on the German side), and some Western historians who continue to exaggerate the importance of the Western front. But the mainstream point of view is now very much like Beevor's.

Beevor again on the relative importance of the Eastern and Western fronts:

"By measure of manpower, duration, territorial reach, and casualties, the Eastern front was much as four times bigger the scale of the conflict on the Western front which opened with the Normandy invasion." According to the official German history of the war, more than 90% of German casualties took place on the Eastern Front. None of this means that we didn't do anything in the war, but we should be clear that the Western allies did not play the major role in the European theatre of WWII -- that's just a fact.
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Old 27-02-2018, 03:03   #204
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

May I ask which cruising guide book you used when cruising USA?
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Old 27-02-2018, 06:13   #205
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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May I ask which cruising guide book you used when cruising USA?
We used the Waterway guides - they were excellent for sailing the ICW and had a fair bit of information regarding going ashore - for the historical stuff - we used diverse guidebook - most of them danish (where we are from) and some local ones we picked up along the way
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Old 27-02-2018, 07:35   #206
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Active Captain is a probably the best guide for the ICW.

Cruising guide paper version will never be able to stay up to date compared to an online tool.
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Old 27-02-2018, 07:43   #207
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Active Captain is a probably the best guide for the ICW.

Cruising guide paper version will never be able to stay up to date compared to an online tool.
Different strokes for different folks I guess. On-line versions are fine, but you don't always have a good internet connection while sailing -

we're old-fashioned - we like paper charts which we feel are much better to orient ourselves with than a on-line anything.l

we also have a chart plotter with new charts.

We also like to have books in our hands
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Old 27-02-2018, 07:47   #208
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Active Captain is a probably the best guide for the ICW.

Cruising guide paper version will never be able to stay up to date compared to an online tool.
With Garmin mucking with access to AC data, it's now less desirable....
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Old 27-02-2018, 10:16   #209
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Active Captain is a probably the best guide for the ICW.

Cruising guide paper version will never be able to stay up to date compared to an online tool.
Waterway Guide has both a paper AND online component. While the paper publication is updated annually, the online version is updated constantly. And unlike pure crowd sourced tools like AC, WWG uses both user-data AND actual paid humans (Cruising Editors) who are knowledgable and cruise the areas they cover.

https://www.waterwayguide.com

Disclosure: I am one of those editors, but not for the ICW.
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Old 27-02-2018, 11:22   #210
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Different strokes for different folks I guess. On-line versions are fine, but you don't always have a good internet connection while sailing -

we're old-fashioned - we like paper charts which we feel are much better to orient ourselves with than a on-line anything.l

we also have a chart plotter with new charts.

We also like to have books in our hands
Nothing like the reassurance of paper in your hands. I often (erroneously) trust a document much more than the (likely) more up-to-date electronic version!
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