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post #704 of Old 11-13-2013
captain jack
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Originally Posted by hannah2 View Post
Capt Jack, I'm really not trying to be negative here But I'm saying is if you whine about the problems and distractions of life and don't find a solution so you can go cruising then you are not the one % of sailors that do find solutions and go crusing.
I wasn't saying that I thought you were trying to be negative, per se. it's just that, in that post, you sound like me when i'm talking about the yuppie wanna be bikers with their credit card leathers and 500 mile a year tour bikes. and, I know how I feel about those people. lol. it's kind of the way I feel about people who only learn the very basics of how to sail and then rely on a motor anytime real skills are necessary. disdain, I believe, is the word I am looking for.

you were just stating a fact, as you point out. you were basically saying that only 1% of sailors actually rearrange their lives to go on ocean passages. but your words display disdain. and i'm not narcing on you if you do feel a bit of disdain for those who 'are full of whining excuses' as to why they can't go to sea. the Gods know I have my share of disdain for people I don't feel are truly dedicated to things that I am dedicated to, as I noted above.

I was just saying that I think, when it comes to leaving for months at a time to sail across the ocean, there are some very real situational obstacles. many folks would argue that it would be the height of irresponsibility to just up and quit work and head off to ports unknown without proper financial planning and without having secure knowledge of a job and financial ability when you return. yet, there are those that fling all caution to the wind and set off like vagabonds with no thought of the future and no financial planning.

I have been reading the account of one such individual who did just that in a small plywood sailboat called 'shrimpy'. he set sail with very little money and relied on odd jobs and charity to fund his voyage. it's interesting reading. but, if the large majority of us were to be the type to throw responsibility to the wind, there'd have been no one to give him charity, for him to survive.

I think, when it comes to finding a way to afford such a thing ( I will not discuss the other responsibilities that tend to hold most adults back from just running off ), you can't really say that someone would do it if they really wanted to. that's a bit unrealistic. it's like the people who, when they meet someone that life has taken a royal crap on, love to say, "life is what you make it".

most often, those are people who life has thrown opportunities at or, at least, not crapped on. life isn't what you make it. life is what you do with the things that come your way. if life gives you opportunities and you fail to rise to the moment, then that sentiment is applicable. but, life isn't always so kind. some of us work hard and wrest every inch, we climb, out of life, with the winter gales beating us brutally, only to get tossed back to the bottom, again and again, by things beyond our control. then we get back up and begin the climb again. can you really say to such a person, "life is what you make it"?

note, you can tell my disdain for people who have not had to struggle yet love to say' life is what you make it ' to others who do.

in another thread, I find a $300 cal 27 and am discussing whether I should get it. I did, by the way. it was a opportunity that life gave me. it needs work but it's, ultimately, in good shape. I don't usually get opportunities so I jumped on it.

however, i'm climbing back up the mountain, again, after being kicked down ( something life loves to do to me ). I don't have any money. it took all I had to scrape together the $300. and I had to do that in two installments! the prorated slip fee for this month is $136. I was able to scrape together $37 to put towards that. I need to get insurance and pay the rest of the slip fee by the weekend. my car insurance is due today as is my rent. I managed to line up a few extra side jobs for Thursday and Friday to earn some extra money. but i'm sweating it, pretty hard. will I pull it off? I don't know. I never do know. but I will manage somehow. I knew it would be hard when I took this boat/opportunity, but I also wasn't about to pass up the opportunity.

throughout the years, I have sailed every moment I can. I didn't have a cruiser, just a 9' dinghy and a 20' daysailer. and there have been a lot of years I couldn't use the daysailer for various reasons, so I just had my dinghy ( I really wish there was a better name for such boats. the 5th grader in me snickers every time I talk about 'my dinghy '). and I have sailed that dinghy through winters, in freezing temperatures with layers of long johns on, past ice flows. I have sailed in gusty conditions that had other sailors telling me they thought I was crazy. I keep the dinghy in the back of my truck so I can sail every chance I get, usually several times a week. now, I have bought a cruising boat, that I have to fix up and I really can't even afford the slip fees and insurance for, and am going to add that fight to my list of battles to win.

I love sailing like nothing else, but could I possibly do an ocean voyage, now, or at any time in my past? no. it just isn't and hasn't been possible, from a financial standpoint. if you add the responsibilities that I have no choice but to fulfill, it's been even less possible. have I been whining about it? no. I am just stating facts. facts that are as immovable as a mountain. will I get the chance to sail across the ocean? I sure hope so. it depends on how life goes. I am simply a sailor, sailing across the sea of life. I can not control the winds, only trim my sails and keep her upright and sailing.

what I am trying to say is, not all those who end up not being able to cross oceans are just whiners who lack commitment.

this raises a question about this thread, though. when we say cruising ( for the purpose of this thread ) are we only talking about sailing across the sea to other countries? the title is about the future of the sailing world, not the future of cruising or blue water cruising. I think the discussion has been aimed at cruising and somewhat towards blue water cruising. however, is the future of sailing so narrowly focused?

young people who start sailing dinghies, now, can ultimately work up to cruising and even ocean passages as they get older. is the future of sailing in danger because many young people, in recent generations, aren't just buying boats and sailing around the world?

the baby boomer generation, that did do that in larger numbers, was characterized by young people who shirked the responsibilities of society and just hopped in the old VW bus and hit the road. such people spent a few years just bumming around, getting high...the summer of love. then they all came home to a booming economy. they changed their tie dies out for suits and got in on the ground floor of major financial opportunities and now live in mc mansions.

let's face it, there is no booming economy. there are no ground floors. it's nearly impossible to live, in our modern world, the way that generation of kids did. so, does the fact that most young people aren't doing the hippy thing, today, really endanger sailing, as a lifestyle?

one further question is this: is the future of sailing the same as the future of cruising? not everyone who sails wants to cruise. some are totally happy taking a nice day sail on the weekend. some like to race. some like to just cruise down the bay for the weekend. and, of course, others want to cross oceans. but, aren't all of these people part of the future of sailing, not just those who cruise?

Last edited by captain jack; 11-13-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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