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Old 03-30-2007, 06:55 AM   #1
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Greetings enthusiasts -

- I've been reading and drooling over much of what the internet has to offer on the topic of cruising (Seerose and Prrrfection's logs are 2 of my favourite reads). But in all of this, its sometimes hard to spot the downside of that lifestyle. I tend to fixate on how wonderful it must all be, and forget that a lot of work and effort and pain must go into making all the good bits happen. Does any of you care to comment on some of the more down to Earth and even terribly bad aspects of the cruising life?


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Old 03-30-2007, 07:23 AM   #2
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:03 PM   #3
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Hi Spock,

Yup agreed.

All too often the beers far to chilled.

The seas too warm.

The sun makes you go all bronzed.

No one cares a shot about dress sense.

Your sense of tate and smell goes into overdrive.

You relax far too much.

You laught too often.

You'll tend to have too much nooky.

and as for the drinking............................

Does indeed make you wonder what the upside really is.

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Old 03-30-2007, 06:45 PM   #4
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* After a while the photo oppurtunities decline, as every island starts to look the same,

* And it's just another sunset, kind of like the last one; They always, ALWAYS happen in a Westly direction, followed by darkness.

* You loose the oppurtunity of having a raging arguement with the Super Market Chain Manager over the sign on the cooler proclaiming: "FRESH FISH" in bold letters, with a tiny foot note down in the corner that says: "Previoulsy Frozen - Product of some country 12,500 miles away". That just torks me! {Not the sign; the lack of entertainment}

* You never get to push the lawn mower around the yard on a weekly basis.

* You never get to shovel the driveway (Exhibit A)

* You can not sit on the water (Exhibit B )

~ Take note of the "white caps" in the exhibits; just awesome; spellbinding, occupying one for hours on end.

~ Noteworthy - These so called "White Caps" occurred overnight.

~ Noteworthy - (At Starboard In thumbnail #1) The cargo hold of vessel "Chev-something?" is nearly full in volume capacity.

So why are so many interested in cruising with all those "Cons" associated with the life-style?

It must be the newest "Best Thing since sliced bread" Craze, with a "Follow the Crowd" mentality.

Seriously, I doubt that is what Spock had in mind.
When in doubt, do the right thing.

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Old 03-30-2007, 10:11 PM   #5
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Welcome Aboard!

You ask a sincere question, and the first responses came from "enthusiasts". Similar to asking a salesperson, "Why should I NOT buy your product?"

I think this board can provide better answers to your sincere and very good question, than Swagman and I first provided.

Rethinking my first post we should redirect and focus on your question, not on our enthusiasm and life style choice.

Like you, I am studying the topic of cruising. This really is a good place to fill in the blanks, in spite of us enthusiasts.


When in doubt, do the right thing.

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Old 03-31-2007, 01:13 AM   #6
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Hi Spock,

As with all life`s experiences, attitude makes a huge difference to the way in which we describe them. The storms, huge `greenies` trying to share the cockpit with you, rolly anchorages, mozzies, the ratbag with the country music and noisy generator who just anchored two yards from your bow, the other clown who has a large barking dog, the fellow who zips past in his dinghy at 400mph just a metre from your boat. These can all be a blasted nusiance. But many of the same experiences can also be the subject of fun and adventure....and you can always sail your home to a better neighbourhood!

Jeanne, in a previous post, spoke of doing her washing communally and ashore, and fetching water in containers....many people see this as a primitive chore, others see it as a chance to meet and talk, laugh and have a beer with like minded souls.

You will never make a million as a cruiser, you will never have the same level of comfort as you have at your land based home with a workshop, car, and proximity to the supermarket....but what happens when you live aboard and cruise is that you have to work at just `living`.

Activities which on land seem mundane and which can be taken for granted, can at sea be seriously challenging. I guess what all this adds up to is a change of focus. Living, loving, laughing and caring very directly and in a true survival sense, for your loved ones is your top priority; on land the system shares that responsibility and provides a safety net in the event of personal failure. All of a sudden you are `IT`!

If you value living more than you value the accumulations of a land based existence, you will find the balance sheet in your favour on a boat. If not...you may have a poor time on a boat.

The biggest liability I have found is dealing with bureaucrats. On land we do it as second nature and with little thought. The freedoms of living and cruising afloat, remove us from the daily grind. Coming back, if only briefly, to bureaucratic reality becomes a huge pain.

It can all be summed up in the words of the owner of one US cruising magazine, who says the only difference between ordeal and adventure, is attitude.

Best wishes

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 03-31-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Nicely said Auzzee!

A lot of things which would bother me on land seem to become part of the "experience" of cruising and add to the enjoyment of the adventure. Laundry was mentioned but the search for water, fuel, parts and produce can also be adventures...but fun! It's all about getting to know the people and nearly everyone wants to help. Other things I don't even think about...TV, radio, politics. All lost importance along the way.

It's not all fun though. Meeting corrupt customs officials, being in bad harbors like Rarotonga in a swell, or worrying about the weather (number one topic discussed amongst cruisers). If you have an easy going personality then the cruising life will be very rewarding. If you find fault with everything then all of life will be a disappointment to you and cruising won't help. JMO
A`ohe `ulu e loa`a i ka pokole o ka lou.

No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:44 PM   #8
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I am back on line after 3 days of no contact with the world, and I'm in the US! We decided to cruise into the Florida Everglades. Where we chose to start is far from the only two settlements, Flamingo and Everglades City, so there is no cell phone access, no houses, no nothing! Absolutely quiet. Because we're anchored in mangrove swamps, the water is the tannin brown of strong tea, and I'm not too keen to go swimming. Each day Peter promises he'll catch a fish, but so far all he's gotten are catfish, which I am not fond of (blame it on my father).

No TV. We do, however, have satellite radio, so we are not completely cut off. Even before satellite radio we could always get a radio station if there were people living in the area, except for the most sparsely inhabited out islands. And even then we had BBC Radio and Voice of America (we both prefer BBC to VOA) over the SSB radio.

I have met a number of women who were not enamored of this life, but I've met far more who enjoy it immensely.

Speaking from a modestly sized boat (both our sailboat and our power boat), what is different - and I say that rather than "con" because it is not necessarily bad, sometimes just the absence of "good".

Laundry done in a 5-gallon bucket or in a clear stream on shore (latter is preferable, but not all that common), with the goal of not using more than 7.5 gallons to do a week's worth of wash! Lugging that much water is not onerous, but it is work. When we were in Thailand we found some good platic jerry jugs, about 7 or 8 gallons, which at first thought were a more efficient way of carrying water to the boat from a land source. And that they were, except that 8 gallons of water is aboug 65 pounds, a lot to lift from the dinghy six feet up to the deck. We would tie a line to the handle and as I hauled up from the deck Peter would lift/push from the dinghy to get it on deck. 5 gallon jerry jugs are 5 gallons because 40 pounds is a manageable weight for one person.

Amusing yourself without television and immediate access to the Internet.

Every single new port, having to find: water, propane (or other cooking fuel), fresh produce, meat, spare parts, and post office. Every country means new products, some really, really good, and some really, really awful. Finding a familiar product and discovering that it's not made in your country and caters to the local populace's taste. [Americans when they first arrive in Australia see all the common brands, Kraft, Heinz, Best Foods/Hellman's. Then they taste them, and there's twice the sugar as what US-made products of that brand contain. And it's not just Australia where you find this, it's just easier mention them today.] Never going into a store and knowing where to find things.

Having to find transportation. Feeling like a pack mule as one carries all the day's purchases back to the boat in your backpack and bags in both hands (that wonderful cart on wheels that your brother gave you as a going-away gift didn't last a year before you traded it at the last cruiser's swap meet).

Cultural differences that are sometimes quaint, sometimes difficult. Not understanding just how great an offense to local cultural sensiblities you have just committed. Wonderful people who forgive you anyway.

Living for days or weeks on end without setting foot on land in a rather small space. Minimal privacy. Language barriers. Even when the locals speak English, the mistakes and misunderstandings can make everyday commerce difficult. The best favor you can do for yourself is to learn some of the local language; sometimes it is very difficult and seems hardly worth the effort, even though it is.

Really dreadful weather that kept you in port when you really, really wanted to get going. Nasty weather for three days that turned all your routines on their head and finally reduced your rations to cheese and crackers and breakfast bars.

The seas calming and the sun coming out and preparing a really good meal while underway to celebrate.

I met a fellow who had sailed into St. Martin in a 28-foot sailboat, 7 days of "accelerated trade winds" and a very uncomfortable crossing of the Anegada Passage. When asked how the trip was, answered "not bad, I guess. The sunrise this morning was fantastic, I've forgotten yesterday's lumps."

I once extolled the wonderful trip we had from New Caledonia to Australia, only to reread my logs two years later after friends had a terrible trip, to discover it wasn't so great after all. Selective memory.

Cruising must be terrible. We're still doing it - willingly, enthusiastically - 21 years after we started!

Fair winds, and barring that, a good sense of humor,

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:01 AM   #9
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We were caught at night in 3 surface fishing nets, several miles long, midway between Maldives and Salalah. Once freed ourselves, twice by fishermen, who are from Iran. Latter stole binoculars even though we had given them presents. As this is near a pirate area, pretty worrying.

On policy of start engine if under 3 knots, same journey we motored 65% of way - no fun there.

Burocratic shore operations in India and Middle East

Working on things that go wrong on the boat - most people seem to have big problems with generator sets, watermakers, fridges, instrument electrical connections. Some days the list gets longer even though you work all day.

The fact that most people seem to think you are filthy rich if you have a boat. We, along with several others we have met, sold their house to buy the yacht. We may be rich by local standards in many parts of the world, but not by 1st world standards, nor judged against the wealthy of third world countries. Dishonesty is not justified by poverty, especially from reasonably well paid officials.

It is not all bad, but as you asked, you deserve a straight answer


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