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Old 12-25-2008, 06:59 PM   #1
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Greetings from Nashville, TN.

Just joined your network yesterday. I have been surfing this web site and am impressed with the quantity and quality of the postings and information. My boat is actually located about 2 hours northwest of me, on Kentucky Lake. I dream of tossing off the docklines and sailing away to the tropics like so many of you already have, and this site is a great primer. You've already confirmed what I knew, that my boat is way too small for serious blue water cruising. I'm already sort of kicking the tires on potential replacement boats, and hope to have the right one picked out within the next 12-24 months.

My business requires more of my personal time now with the economy like it is, but I'm hoping to be in shape to cruise in the next couple years. My wife is a reluctant cruiser, however. She doesn't feel the allure of cruising that I do so that's a hurdle to overcome. I look forward to learning how others have resolved similar issues.

Anyway, glad to be here and looking forward to learning more each time I log on.
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard! I am sure that you will learn as much here as I do everyday from this friendly, truly international crew.

Grab a tankard and settle in - the beer is on me today.

Welcome!
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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My wife is a reluctant cruiser, however. She doesn't feel the allure of cruising that I do so that's a hurdle to overcome. I look forward to learning how others have resolved similar issues.
If you wife dreams of travel AND either loves to sail or loves to be on the water, it will all work out.

You can't force someone to dream and you can't force them to like something they don't. If she likes the ideas of travel and likes being on the water, read on...

It does seem that many women who have "issues" with the cruising life also have issues with aspects of any lifestyle which require one to re-assess topics of comfort, hygiene, cleanliness, and safety as well as social issues regarding these expectations, family ties, as well as status in our culture.

We're taught certain things from an early age and have "expectations" of a certain way of doing things which are socially acceptable to our peers. These expectations significantly color how we see the world and how we're willing to live our lives. Many people spend their whole lives building a social network and family relationships "proving" that they are OK, they've made it up a certain social ladder and have a certain level of success. If someone is dependent upon the props of their existing lifestyle for affirmation, then its very hard to take that person out of their existing lifestyle and expect them to be happy.

We all need to feel secure, safe, loved, respected and a host of other things. If we cannot feel safe because we don't understand sailing and how our boat is built to keep us safe...we're not going to be happy if we had no say in which boat we're cruising the world aboard and which aspects of its design were worth splurging for and which we had to scrimp on.

If we cannot feel secure and loved because we're far away from family and our significant other is not treating us the way our society tells us he must to show his love (e.g. hard to bring her roses in the middle of the Pacific, or hard for her to believe you think she's beautiful with no makeup on since you've always told her how pretty she is only when she's dressed up WITH the make up...);

if we cannot feel respected because our mothers taught us from an early age that one must have one's house spotlessly clean and one must take care of one's family and even live life a certain way to get respect...well, Mommy never lived in a 35' boat on the rolling ocean nor dealt with a composting toilet;

and if we cannot even feel clean because we've been taught that one has to have a certain way of performing hygiene to be clean...not to mention that we've been taught that we cannot wear our clothes more than once before washing and here we are in the same sweater for a week!....

Not even getting into the issues of social order and how if you're living frugally to extend your cruising years, there are going to be a lot of folks looking down their noses at you. A strong sense of self-worth needs to be had, for sure.

The list goes on and on and on. Women in the USA are most certainly bound by the expectations of society to look, act, and be a certain way. If your wife has bought into that...its a little bit hard to say, "Honey, lets throw away our life as we know it, yea, change our life, our safety, our security, our methods of cleaning and hygiene, our looks, well, honey, lets change it all. The rules are different--aren't you excited about this??"

Welcome aboard to you and your wife. One of the best things you can do to get HER excited about cruising is let HER lead some aspect of your cruising plans. Whether is researching the boat, planning the finances, figuring out the destinations to start with, etc--if she's not the lead on any aspect of it, you are not assuring that you've got some buy-in from her.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:29 PM   #4
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redbopeep,

Good advice. Her issue is mainly one of family, and the security her home gives her. She has never been much of an adventurer, and the thought of throwing off the dock lines for a long cruise is scary to her. She is specifically fearful (says she will not do it under any circumstances) of ocean passages.....she will spend a few weeks with me on the boat in remote locations, but wants me to fly her in and then fly her back home before I take off for the next leg. She doesn't want to be away from home and family and friends for more than a few weeks at a time. She does love the water, and loves our little Catalina 320 sailboat (this is the 4th sailboat I've had)....but for her it's an ocassional (weekend) get away, not a primary means of transportation or a place to hang your hat long term.

So, I have work to do.

Thanks.

John
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:11 AM   #5
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Women in the USA are most certainly bound by the expectations of society to look, act, and be a certain way.
Not wishing to start a gender war but is the same not also true for men? Well, without the make-up bits. We too are expected to fit into little boxes during the varying periods of our lives; go to university, get a degree, find a good job, get a nice car, buy that house, marry that respectable and well adjusted woman described above, have 2.4 kids, dress well and grow old gracefully whilst belonging to the right clubs, playing the right sports and keeping good company (whatever that might be).

As I mentioned, I have no wish to start a gender war but there is an interesting question here. Is it easier for a man to give up his "slot" in society than a woman and go cruising? I don't think it is - it is just that we are more likely (for an unknown reason) to see the advantages of a cruising life or maybe more inclined to take risks. Wherever the truth lies, it would be interesting to read your opinions. Once we understand why we make the leap then maybe we are on our way to giving our lovers and wives the necessary spark to kindle the desire in them for a cruising lifestyle?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Not wishing to start a gender war but is ...

Aye // Stephen
Guys get "brownie points" for doing risky things--living life fully as they say. Women are looked at as being a bit "off" if they're such risk takers.

Also, tons of men out there joke about their fun times camping, hiking, sailing...all away from the "requirements" of society. Also, bragging about not shaving, not having to keep things clean (after all, the "little woman" is back at home...tending the homefire...keeping everything nice, safe, clean, etc). For a fella, the "cruising dream" could be looked upon as a return to boyhood adventure and living...

Different social expectations on the small aspects of daily living.

Women tend to have their ID totally wrapped up around these smaller aspects of daily life--our society post-WWII has demanded it--while its changed a bit in the last 15-20 years here in the USA, our underlying social identities are still very much old-fashioned. Men do have an "extra" burden to bear in that when they stop working their job to take up sailing full-time their peers may look at them as "throwing away a career" or the fella may indeed have folks jabbing at him about his work and career in a way that they are unlikely to do with a woman. Oh, yes, and the fella's wife may be also pushing him to consider his career and their finances--she may take no responsibility for the big financial picture of making money--she may place that solely on the fella's back and resent it if he says "lets take off for a while."

Different social expectations and different social pressures do go with the different genders. We can pretend it's not so--but I believe it it.

I agree wholeheartedly with you that we must understand our motives and motivations so that we and our significant other can truly enjoy voyaging
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