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Old 03-07-2008, 02:42 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

This is one fantastic site. I must admit that there is so much here and so many people that one can learn from.

I have a question. Some may think it's a silly question, but I've learnt over the years that there aren't really very many silly questions.

Does anyone have a reason to travel the world on a boat, apart from the simple reason to travel? As I said, some of you may think it's a silly question. But think about it.

Don't get me wrong. I want to travel. I want to see things that I've only read about in books or seen in travel shows. I want to meet new and different people.

But there has to be more 'purpose' to travelling than simply travelling…..doesn't there?

I'm a young, fit 52 year old former police officer, fireman, soldier and project manager, amongst other things. I'm single and constantly learning more and more about sailing and I'm getting closer and closer to buying that 35'– 40' yacht to sail the world with.

Is there anyone out there with a different view on travel? Something 'outside the square'……or is this a silly question?

I have some ideas; writing, photography, aid work. I need some direction……is that the right word?

I look forward to your replies, whatever they may be.

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Old 03-07-2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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Welcome to the addiction of sailing. You can go where the airlines go, or you can go where you want to go taking your home with you. I think the phrase is somethinglike this. Travel via sailboat is the most expensive way to go third class. It's true too, but I wouldn't do it any other way.........BEST WISHES

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Old 03-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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For me the simple answer is:

Cruising on your own yacht is NOT that "10 day package" - you can go almost where you like and spend much longer in places you like without counting the days left before taking your flight home.

You do however have to free yourself from commitments back "home".


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Old 03-07-2008, 05:55 PM   #4
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Someone, far wiser than I, said it is not the destination that is important but how you get there.

I agree with that sentiment. When travelling on business my sole need is to get from A to B as quickly, safely and comfortably as possible but that is because the steering factor is work and efficiency. My employer is not going to pay me for a week on a transatlantic liner (if there were any) when five or six hours in an aircraft would do the same job far more cheaply.

On the other hand, when travelling for my own benefit I tend to choose slower and more gentile modes of transport. I love good trains although I loathe bad ones by which I mean trains which are dirty, noisy and overcrowded but put me on a good train with clean and comfortable sleeping compartments and a good dining car and I am a happy chappy indeed. I like to travel at a slower pace than jets, enjoying the views and appreciating the travelling in itself.

As for going places in my own ship; well the satisfaction is more than doubled. As a young ship's officer of a mere 21 years of age I navigated an 80,000 ton bulk carrier from Gibraltar to the Rio Orinoco on my own due to the second mate being sick and a first officer who refused to bother himself with taking sights. I am sure he was as ill tempered as he was because he felt he had unjustly been passed over for command of a ship. I wonder why that was? However, bad as the situation was it gave me an enormous sense of satisfaction to have navigated this ship safely across the Atlantic arriving at the landfall buoy about 20 miles offshore as predicted. Remember, this was before the days of GPS and the ship was fitted with neither LORAN nor OMEGA.

Whilst this crossing will always stand out in my mind as a milestone, any voyage, no matter how long or how short, which one accomplishes on one's own keel is a test passed. There will always be immense satisfaction in it as it is a combination of a successful application of navigation, seamanship and other skills combined with the admiration most of us feel for our little ships. It is an achievement shared with the little ship with which we have a love (or sometimes love - hate) relationship with and like any shared positive experience it is enhanced by the sharing.

I feel that my explanation is unsatisfactory as emotions are difficult to express but I think you get the idea.

Aye // Stephen
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



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Old 03-08-2008, 12:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by oneman View Post
Don't get me wrong. I want to travel. I want to see things that I've only read about in books or seen in travel shows. I want to meet new and different people.
Hello Oneman,

Good philosophical question - possibly one you already answered? :-

"I want to see things that I've only read about in books or seen in travel shows. I want to meet new and different people."

From a cruising point of view , the urge to travel to far off places may only start after having seen and experienced one's own nearby coastal areas and then wondering : 'what is on the other side of the fence?' Man's 'innate curiosity!'

Having a sailing yacht provides the freedom to explore, different to that of traveling to scheduled destinations by plane, train or bus. Living aboard and meeting fellow yachties enjoying that mode of life - exchanging at first hand the stories and images of peoples in really far off places - seeing this picture, would really stimulate curiosity - a place where many Typhoons are born :

Click image for larger version

Name:	yap_Sunset.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	73.1 KB
ID:	364

(Photograph of sunset at Colonia, Yap - taken on May 24, 2002 by Eric Guinther (hey, I live a great life!) and released under the GNU Free Documentation License. *'''Source:''' English Wikipedia)

Where is Yap? Somewhere visited by cruising yachts - seldom by other travelers.

In my own travels I believe I have satisfied for myself the correctness of that old adage :-

"people make places", that understanding has motivated my urge to travel and enjoy the company of other peoples.

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Old 03-08-2008, 06:01 AM   #6
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I think Richard got it spot on with the ability you've got when cruising to meet new peoples, and the others have got it spot on that there is a sense of great satisfaction getting to them under your own steam, and finally it is a cost effectvie way to travel and live, albeit slow!

Add it all up and I guess thats why so many people are taking up the cruising life.

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Old 03-09-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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I was surprised to find that the people who cruise around on the world in small boats are so varied, with backgrounds and interests sometimes dramatically different from each other. Just the act of cruising on a boat introduced us to such a variety of people who shared our interest in cruising. That prepared us for the incredible variety of people in the many places we visited.

Our first year cruising in the Caribbean we reached Grenada, where we had expected to spend hurricane season, having read glowing reviews about the island. In truth, it is a beautiful place, but we and another cruiser were becoming increasingly annoyed with the grasping, dishonest islanders we met. After several weeks of increasing annoyance with the people we encountered*, our new friend said "I am ready to leave this place. How bad can Venezuela be?" Off we went, and found that Venezuela wasn't bad at all! In fact, it was pretty wonderful. As we were getting ready to leave Venezuela to head back up island for the season, another new cruising friend suggested we try Trinidad, after all, how bad could it be?** We found it was even more wonderful. This was in the 80s, when few boats went to Venezuela, and even fewer went to Trinidad (our friend and we were the second and third boat to arrive that year, and it was December). That reset our attitude towards expanding our "comfort zone", and it set the tone for everything that followed in our cruising adventures.

Peter and I both believe that you have to like sailing to enjoy cruising, though it is still the destinations that we look forward to.

Considering how different we are, we both agree that Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are two of our most favorite destinations. And when we discuss it, it's for the same reason; we would not have been able to visit many of the places we did with any other means of travel. Backpackers risk malaria in these two groups of islands, the best locations and people are where there are no hotels or easy transportation, and we were very comfortable in the most desolate places with our boat.

When talking with the land bound, I tend to downplay the "courageous, adventurous" comments they make about our lifestyle (truth to tell, sometimes it's "why would you want to do that?!"), and describe it as little different from a tortoise that travels quite slowly while carrying its home on its back.

Yet there are almost as many cruising styles as there are cruisers. There's the "we're on a circumnavigation and we can't slow down."; there's the "this is the only way we could have afforded to travel to these places"; the "I'm not interested in the people from the countries we visit, we just wanted to see these places." And so many other cruising styles.

* and ** We had been using Street's cruising guides to the Caribbean, and found them to be invaluable. However, he clearly had an agenda with Grenada in recommending it, and Trinidad in warning of the crime and danger there, and we did not find his information and comments regarding these two islands to be as accurate. I briefly touch on our issues with these two islands in our log, "Dash down the Caribbean chain," http://www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon36.asp

Whatever your goals and cruising style,

Fair winds,

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".

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Old 03-10-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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I agree with the other posters, there are many varied reasons to cruise. Early in our lives, hubby and I discovered that we loved traveling "the slow way" to see things--we figured out that we should cruise when we were in the middle of a 1300 mile bike ride across Ontario Canada. At 60 miles/day, its pretty slow and one can be reflective about things. We talked about the practicality of seeing the world by bike. Well, not exactly practical--riding through a cold downpour for a couple days with only one change of clothes made us think having a little home go with us would be great. We decided that having a little self-contained boat was the ideal way to travel.

Plus, sailing...oh, I love sailing. There's just something about being on the water, no engine noise, only the wind and the waves and the boat. And the feel of it, the up-down all around water. The movement of the ocean is awe-inspiring. As long as the supplies last, I feel like I could be on the boat sailing forever. Of course, we're just beginning our cruising life, so I'll have to get back with you about the reality of long ocean passages!

We sailors are truly blessed to be able to experience the world's oceans and to peek into little coves and harbors near and far. Every day I tell my husband that we're very, very lucky people. Everyone of us who has a boat and the ability to cruise, we're all very, very lucky people.
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Old 03-10-2008, 03:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
We sailors are truly blessed to be able to experience the world's oceans and to peek into little coves and harbors near and far. Every day I tell my husband that we're very, very lucky people. Everyone of us who has a boat and the ability to cruise, we're all very, very lucky people.
Yea and amen! Whether we sail big ships or small boats, go far or near, the act of slipping along the water, hearing clearly the lovely sounds of waves and wind and sails: oh, can anything be better?!

My husband laughs and tells people we're going so he can be certain the world really is round. I doubt we'll circumnavigate: too much to see along the way and we don't really want to end up where we started.... But, whatever. I just can't wait to leave. And because we're sailing out on a big fat old girl, I'm taking a sailing dinghy along so I can do the fun little gunkholing I so love.

And imagine all the places we can go! All the people we can meet! All the languages we can practice!

(I know, far, far too many exclamation points. I know better. But I just couldn't resist. I want you to see the joy on my face as I imagine what's just around the corner.)

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Old 03-10-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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That pic makes me want to leave all over again.......VERY BEAUTIFUL
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:27 PM   #11
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Thankyou everyone,

Again more thoughts and ideas from you all for me to ponder.

I think 'Lighthouse' read into my question more deeply than I thought anyone would and answered in a very clever and courteous manner by saying that I should leave my 'commitments' (do you mean 'work commitments') back home, or am I reading too much into your answer. What I was trying to say I suppose, as a 'non travelling part-time sailor' at the moment is "there has to be more purpose to travelling the world in a boat than simply going from A to B" but then you've all answered my question in your own different ways. I wont harp on my question any longer and I do understand and take on board all of your answers but if anyone has any more specific answers as to a 'purpose' to it all I would still be interested in hearing more thoughts. Thankyou all again. I can't wait to join you out there on those beautiful oceans.

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