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Old 06-28-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

This is my 11th year as a cruising liveaboard, 7 years in my 40s and now retired aboard in my 60s. In this time I have seen a few for whom the dream has turned sour. here are some of the reasons I have been given or observed or guessed at.

1 They get a fright, either a bad passage or just a realisation that away from home and out cruising they have to rely on themselves. I always remember the total disbelief in the voice of someone calling for help on the VHF when they found there was no towing service and worse still the coastguard boat was either broken or perhaps just out of fuel.

1 a This is related to the above and can be best seen in places like Portugal or Panama, people coast hop to there and bottle out when faced with the big one. You can find some real cruising bargains there.

2 They get bored, the most extreme example I remember was a couple on a beautiful old woody which they had spent a couple of years restoring. They were 24 hours out of Florida crossing the Bahama Banks when they realised they just could not cope with the speed, well lack of. We had talked briefly in No Name as we waited for a weather window and they had passed my 4 knsb with ease. I spotted them heading west instead east and gave them a call in case they had a major issue. Nope they said just bored out of their brains counting starfish and were heading back to sell the boat.

3 They get fed up fixing the boat or waiting for people to fix the boat for them. This tends to be people with complex systems in bigger boats. 50 footers plus esp.

4 RUM ! It is pretty social out here although it seems to be less of a problem than it was. I always giggle when I remember the Marsh harbour morning net announcing three different AA meetings each interspersed with a bar offering a happy hour.

In my own case one of the reasons I wanted to get back to the real world was longing to go to the same supermarket each week knowing that I would have everything I needed there. Instead of trailing from shop to shop in the hope that someone would have soy sauce or a lettuce.
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