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Old 07-06-2018, 07:33   #1
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I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Hi, I'm Jerry. A native to South Carolina, I now live in southern Minnesota after a very odd and interesting life which included a career in the Army. I'm 43. When I was 18 and figuring myself out (never finished that job) I wanted to grab a boat and bounce around the planet. Well, life got the better of me. Life is getting shorter as is my desire to continue sitting on my butt.
I joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary recently as part of a longer term plan. They're going to teach my how to be a competent boater while I also take sailing lessons locally with friends. I want in 5 years to put my sails up on the Mississippi River and aim my bow for the South Pacific. My wife knows the plan, but I'm positive she thinks it's only a daydream. Everything I do in the next five years will either serve that plan or be ignored.
That's the big picture of who I am. More will no doubt come out over time!
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:58   #2
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

right on! love to hear when people are focusing on a dream/ vision and going for it. good for you mate...you will never regret it...
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:44   #3
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Hello, JTGoodwin,

Just sail off into the morning fog, eh? Your dream the highest value over all else?

Sounds like a mid-life crisis to me.

If your wife is not on board with the plan, it sounds to me as if you're heading for a split -up, which at the least is an expensive hobby. All of which, of course, is your decision to make. Do not pretend to yourself that there will be no unintended consequences; there will be more, if there are children involved.

Ann
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:52   #4
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

He did say he joined the USCG Aux and is taking lessons as part of a 5 year plan...hardly sounds like a foolish sail into the fog to me.

Do agree he might want to discuss this plan further with the wife...unless she falls into the category of not contributing to the plan and being ignored.
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:57   #5
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Possible spousal complications aside, I applaud you for having a plan.

However...I grew up on the Mississippi (southern end)...you wont be doing much sailing there...better power boat waters...another detail work out.
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Old 07-06-2018, 17:32   #6
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Jerry, I like your plan and it sounds like you’re taking some realistic first steps. But ...

I was a bit surprised by Ann’s response on first reading; on fourth reading I think she’s right. Get your wife involved now, or be prepared to leave her behind when you’re ready to go and she’s not interested. I can give you examples if you like.
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Old 07-06-2018, 18:39   #7
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Okay guys, my wife finds all this exceptionally funny. I was being tongue in cheek when I remarked about her impressions. She's "all aboard" so to say, and is looking forward to this idea of cruising in our retirement.

I'm just south of Lake Pepin, MN/WI. Joining the yacht club there as part of my training plan.

I'm retired from the US Army and have a decent pension coming in. In five years our kids will be in college/military. If this is a midlife crisis then it comes on the heels of being empty nest retirees at 48 years old.

I love you guys. I apologize for not giving every detail right off the bat. Just giving a brief intro.
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Old 07-06-2018, 18:57   #8
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Welcome!

Quick thought, with the cruising lifestyle it can be useful to think of all plans as being written in the sand at low tide then if it turns out not to be such a good idea it's easier to change or revise. And if things do change at least you gave it a go and probably learned a lot.

But it's a great idea, cruising is as good as it gets and the best excuse there is to never walk past a tool shop again
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Old 07-06-2018, 21:17   #9
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Godspeed on the journey. Based on what I've read you'll fit right in out there. And a fellow Minnesotan! We're currently looking for a little farm acreage in SW MN and cruising winters.
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Old 07-06-2018, 22:09   #10
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Not knowing what you're doing is more than just "OK". Knowing that you don't know what you're doing is the first step on a great adventure.

Carpe diem!
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Old 08-06-2018, 15:59   #11
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

If your wife's on board with all this, then it sounds like a doable plan. A64pilot, here, is ex-military (as you may have supposed), and abandoned motor boats for a sailboat, which in his case turned out to be an Island Packet 38.

My own experience is non-military. Started crewing on OPB's (other people's boats), met Jim, eventually we married, and have been cruising a very long time. I think your plan will work, and I would encourage your good lady to take courses separate from you in order that she develop her sailing skills independently. Also, that way, between the two of you, you can experience different instructors' strong points, and have a little more diversity to bring to sailing together. Imo, it's best to back up basic trust with a certain level of skill.

When it comes time to choose a boat, my best advice is that as skipper, you make sure that hardware is scaled to the smaller, least physically powerful of the two of you. It will mean better sleep on night watches.

You will find people here on CF who will be more than happy to share their prejudices about what constitutes an appropriate world cruising vessel.

Good luck with this, cruising isn't for everyone, and there is no shame in looking away from it if it doesn't fit for [both or either of] you.

Ann
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Old 08-06-2018, 16:24   #12
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Has your wife spent any extended time aboard sailboats? Have u?

If not, I would create that opportunity very soon, maybe a charter.

Recent case in point. Had friends aboard for about a week recently. One was a husband who had suddenly developed an urge to buy a cat and cruise in retirement. He has spent time on boats w me before and had a great time, as he did this time too. His wife came along on this trip, and had a good time, but she is definately NOT going cruising.

I think Plan B will be that he goes off and crews while she stays comfortably at home. He's already inquired about crewing for me on some longer runs.
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Old 08-06-2018, 17:59   #13
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Re: I Have Zero Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay

Charter a yacht and take your wife for a short cruise. If she does not show great enthusiasm for the lifestyle dump her and find another whilst you still have enough hair and teeth to attract someone it will not prove too painful to have aboard on a small boat.
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