||10-07-2011 10:09 AM
Two of the most liked quotes that I have heard about cruising...
"Cruising Definition: Working on your boat in exotic places!"
"How much will it take to go cruising?... As much as you have!"
There are many wonderful books out there, but how one lives is such an individual endevour that I think it is wise to look up the costs of the things you will need while cruising, in the areas you plan to cruise, and then do your own math.
My first trip cost far more than my last trip! You get better at managing, and at spending with time and experience. Most of that experience is an individual thing! Some folks cruise like they are on a forced march... They hurry from here to there doing the beans and rice thing and trying to get the most mileage and things seen before they have to get back to work. Others have a comfortable retirement and amble ever so slowly from leisure destination to leisure destination while never seeing the untouched places. There are just too many variables in cruising to put a price tag on it.
Our personal experience is a bit different, though we are not alone... We pick a spot central to great sailing and wonderful destinations and then get work. We have found that this allows us to save money for the things we normally could not afford to do on a non-working cruise, and it allows us to see an area more as the locals do. ( Not always a good thing!) We then cruise on our days off. While this isn't always what comes to mind when thinking about cruising, many are doing it just this way.
While we are getting closer to retirement, we have taken the oft' given advice that I think you will find in the Pardey's book of getting out there. TOO MANY PEOPLE WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE! I work as a daysail captain, and hear from a guest weekly that they had planned to do what we are doing, but health issues, jobs, or some such thing always got in their way... And so many of them regretted not just going.
I asked the wife just yesterday if she had any regrets about our lifestyle... She told me that I could keep the house that we own stateside, and she would keep the boat and stay in the Caribbean! Whew... Good thing I have another cruising boat. (Oh, and this was after spending hurricane season here!)
If you AND your spouse want to go cruising then by all means develope a plan and work it! If you are unsure, drop us a line and we will arrange a "taste", so that you may decide! I seldom try to find the "best" books on the subject... I try to find "all" the books on the subject! Often I gleen only one or two nuggets of useful info out of a book, but it was still worth reading the book.
So here I set at the keyboard on our smallish (34 foot) cruising yacht with a hot cup of tea in the Caribbean. In a few hours I will start the dinghy and motor 300 yards to the 42 foot boat that I sail for a living, when we are not sailing the wonders of the islands and enjoying the choices we have made. On-board I will make 6 new friends who did not come here to have a bad day, take them sailing, take them snorkeling, make them a terrific lunch served with champagne, and then sail them home. After picking up the mooring and dropping a safety anchor, they will linger, not wanting to leave... and we won't rush them, because we understand! That, and because it reinforces the decisions we have made, and helps us to really appreciate being here!