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Old 07-05-2017, 04:30   #16
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

This is a really interesting question and gets to the heart of the solo live aboard experience. That said, much of the answer, for any individual person, comes down to their particular personality and psychology and where they are, be it snug in one place or journeying.

Others have pointed out that you can feel lonely in crowded places and blissfully alone in remote places. I was already thinking that as I started to read responses and I think that for many people it's spot on. If I ever feel lonely as a solo cruiser it's when I visit crowded, bustling towns or cities. If you don't know anyone, having people all around you can accentuate that feeling. It's similar to when I used to travel a lot on business, and you have to focus on your own activities and keep yourself occupied.

Conversely, when I'm alone in some remote area, where I have an anchorage to myself, it's spectacular. It's like going to the symphony and being the only one in the audience, a grand performance and just for you. I don't particularly like being alone so that's not why it's great, but rather because there's no one around to make me feel lonely. In those situations being alone becomes a rather special, magical experience, somewhat zen. It's you and mother nature, uninfringed.

I feel the same, or even moreso, doing solo offshore passages. It's just you, and no expectation or need for there to be anyone else.

If you're extroverted, love meeting new people and good at it, then you'll probably jump right in in a city or town and have a great time and have fast friends by the time you leave. If you're a social butterfly then perhaps being alone in remote places may make you feel lonely, hard to say.

I lived for a couple of years at the dock in Annapolis and never felt lonely. There was a big community of liveaboards at the marina, and a whole community of sailors in the town. I've never felt more at home in what is essentially a small city. I think that comes down to where you are. I can imagine being a live aboard in a less sailing-centric location and having a very different experience.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:39   #17
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Well, luckily as a single hander I don't actually know what it feels like to be lonely, on the plus side usually at ancharges I know more of my neighbours in a day than I did over several decades living in London.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:07   #18
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
Take a few minutes to seriously evaluate your favorite activities. List the ten most appealing ways that you enjoy spending your time.

Many people will find that eight or nine of their most pleasing activities are accomplished alone. Others find that the majority of their favorites involve others.

I just can't make decisions without numerical data. In fact one of my most enjoyable activities is to attempt to solve problems with numerical data and I can do this alone!


Wow! When I really nail it down, I could use your number crunching ability as a resource. I don't do that nearly as well...
Thanks, Bill
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:21   #19
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

The difference as I have experienced living aboard and cruising alone is that you never get lonely because of the myriad of jobs big and small that need attending to aboard.
The solitude enjoyed on a long passage cannot be explained to one who has never experienced it.
On the other hand, meeting and cruising with my life partner is a way of life that once experienced is one I would not trade!
As you go through life 2 rules will never bend, don't whittle towards yourself nor pee into the wind!
Cheers, Phil
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:22   #20
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
This is a really interesting question and gets to the heart of the solo live aboard experience. That said, much of the answer, for any individual person, comes down to their particular personality and psychology and where they are, be it snug in one place or journeying.

Others have pointed out that you can feel lonely in crowded places and blissfully alone in remote places. I was already thinking that as I started to read responses and I think that for many people it's spot on. If I ever feel lonely as a solo cruiser it's when I visit crowded, bustling towns or cities. If you don't know anyone, having people all around you can accentuate that feeling. It's similar to when I used to travel a lot on business, and you have to focus on your own activities and keep yourself occupied.

Conversely, when I'm alone in some remote area, where I have an anchorage to myself, it's spectacular. It's like going to the symphony and being the only one in the audience, a grand performance and just for you. I don't particularly like being alone so that's not why it's great, but rather because there's no one around to make me feel lonely. In those situations being alone becomes a rather special, magical experience, somewhat zen. It's you and mother nature, uninfringed.

I feel the same, or even moreso, doing solo offshore passages. It's just you, and no expectation or need for there to be anyone else.

If you're extroverted, love meeting new people and good at it, then you'll probably jump right in in a city or town and have a great time and have fast friends by the time you leave. If you're a social butterfly then perhaps being alone in remote places may make you feel lonely, hard to say.

I lived for a couple of years at the dock in Annapolis and never felt lonely. There was a big community of liveaboards at the marina, and a whole community of sailors in the town. I've never felt more at home in what is essentially a small city. I think that comes down to where you are. I can imagine being a live aboard in a less sailing-centric location and having a very different experience.


Thank you for this post, it was what I was looking for: I imagined the brilliance of offshore sailing alone (presuming no scenarios of dire emergency), and suspected that having mother nature as a backyard would be mostly stunning. Socially, I think our world is changing dramatically... I'm hoping to find ~because of their love of adventure, nature, and forced realism, a kinder bunch of people, that lean more toward humanism.

*I think I just found one.
(Thank you)
Bill
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:30   #21
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
The difference as I have experienced living aboard and cruising alone is that you never get lonely because of the myriad of jobs big and small that need attending to aboard.
The solitude enjoyed on a long passage cannot be explained to one who has never experienced it.
On the other hand, meeting and cruising with my life partner is a way of life that once experienced is one I would not trade!
As you go through life 2 rules will never bend, don't whittle towards yourself nor pee into the wind!
Cheers, Phil


*Sage!
I've been reading that it's a bit of a special trick to keep most women aboard a boat. You sir, are clearly a sorcerer and a magician.

"You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger, and you don't mess around with Slim".

B
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:05   #22
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

It will be 100% up to you. Life's what you make it.

You can make it to be the only liveaboard in the area, then you gain peace and solitude.

Or you can dock in a place with plenty of other liveaboards, their kids, dogs, cats, radios, hp ribs, and the rest of their noisemakers.

It is up to you where you end up.

Make your choice, then place your boat in the marina or anchorage of your liking.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:23   #23
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
In planning to ditch my (lonely) landlubber life for liveaboard life... sometimes there can be a delicate balance between solitude, and abject lonliness... Is liveaboard life going to reward me with more lonliness, or do you see it as more expansive and rewarding? People moving all about seems like fast-friendships are unlikely. Or is there a big piece that I'm missing? I'd like to make some fast friends, but have no idea if that is at all realistic?
Thanks,
Bill
It depends on what is making you lonely. Liveaboard life is no more lonely or less. It depends on what you bring with you. I lived on my boat off and on in a marina over a 10 year period. Many of the friendships I made there have remained for 30 years. But there was a period when I was depressed and it was just as painful then to live there as it was to live anywhere else. But once out sailing, out at sea, that helped, but I lost the passion there for a while.
It is entirely realistic to think you will make some fast friends and good friends among the boaters and liveaboards and shopkeepers and local color of the harbor you make your home. You will have lots of good things to share and a beautiful place to share them in.
And don't be afraid to ask for professional help for the deeper forms of loneliness if you need it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:44   #24
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

I am not a joiner - I'd rather be around one or two people than in a crowd. I'd rather have a conversation than listen to bouts of hysterical laughter, but that's just me. I llveaboard alone (at the dock) for 3 months at a time. We're at a commercial dock, so there are about 3 liveaboards besides myself and a lot of commercial fishermen.

I guess I get lonely when the weather keeps me below for weeks at a time in the winter - that and the dark, short days. But I have a list of projects written on a blackboard and I work 4 hours a day on one of them. I just love chewing that list down, only to be expanded again when something else rears it's head. It's very good now to see that I'm working on "fluffy" projects (sewing, painting the head) rather than "boat sinking" type projects.

When I go out 4 times a day, rain or shine, to walk my dog I say hello to every person I meet. Sometimes we stop and talk. The commercial guys were leery at first but now it's a given. The native fishermen were leery at first, but now they bring me salmon or crab. Now the weather's improving the scenery is heart stoppingly beautiful.

I was out with friends last night - we went to a place where there were about 300 people all laughing and having a great time. I laughed and had a great time too, but when I got back to the boat, I cuddled with the dog, got out my book and smiled.

If you smile and say hello to every person you meet on the dock I can almost guarantee you will never be lonely, only alone when you want to be. I think it's probably the same worldwide, we boaties are a strange but pretty friendly breed. Don't you think? Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:06   #25
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Great topic.

Much like Pee Wee Herman, I find myself to be a loner and a rebel I'm an introvert who's spent a lot of time forcing myself to be extroverted. It can be draining to be outgoing, but it's often worth it. I really do need lots of alone time, though. The funny thing is that I really like people individually but I've become increasingly intolerant of groups of people. In my youth I enjoyed living in large (for Canada) and smaller cities but now I can't ever see living in anything larger than a small town. My preference is actually to live in the country/bush, which has me very interested in cruising.

I've done a lot of canoe tripping over the years and I find that the further away I am from people, the better I feel, so my trips are planned such that I don't see anyone for at least 6-7 days. With the exception of put-ins and take-outs, I never see more than half a dozen people over 2ish weeks. While I have been lonely at times at home, I've never been lonely when camping.

I've become completely disassociated with the Western lifestyle, which has isolated me from the people around me. I get the feeling that I can identify much better with people who have taken up the cruising lifestyle and people who don't live a first world lifestyle. As has been mentioned, the people you meet cruising probably have far more in common with you than most, though you'll still have to make an effort. I enjoy meeting people but I'd much rather have a few friends that I really connect with than lots of friends that I don't.

Quote:
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As you go through life 2 rules will never bend, don't whittle towards yourself nor pee into the wind!
Cheers, Phil
There's a third rule around here: Don't eat yellow snow.
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Old 07-05-2017, 14:50   #26
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Unfortunately, joining any community, also joining the liveaboard community, brings on the danger of this community trying to peck and expel those who happen to stick out. The same story with AA, religions, or political parties. Just a human condition I think.

So, my point is, sometimes it is better to simply buy a boat and start living in it rather than to become a liveaboard.

On the other hand, if you are not interested in living aboard but rather looking for some form of support group, simply join the liveaboard community and yes you are all set up and secured.

b.
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Old 07-05-2017, 14:59   #27
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

"There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. One will empty you and one will fill you. You have the power to choose".

Welcome aboard !
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Old 07-05-2017, 15:30   #28
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

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"There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. One will empty you and one will fill you. You have the power to choose".
Great quote; thanks!
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Old 07-05-2017, 15:45   #29
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

Most of the people attending my boat's christening were neighboring liveaboards. Bless them.

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Old 07-05-2017, 21:27   #30
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Re: Solitude vs. Lonliness

You're never alone because you are surrounded by life. Be that a friendly marine mammal or birds. Then the less obvious like the wind, waves and stars. Don't forget the never ending chatter from your boat. She never seems to shut up, ha!

Take pictures, write about it, share it with friends and the loneliness disappears while remaining in solitude. Technology has enabled many to become more isolated but it has also connected people in many great ways (easy and cheap too, vs just a decade ago, ex. Cheap wifi and skype).

I will suggest a pet.....or even a fake one (remember Wilson?!
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