Re: A Discussion of the Philosophies of Cruising and Circumnavigating
As a kid, I was delivering papers in Saskatchewan in minus 40 weather, to people who obviously hated their lives, and had one I wanted nothing to do with, when I read an article about a couple who sold a small logging outfit , built a boat, and cruised the South Pacific.
"THATS IT" I thought, and the die was cast.
After finishing school , the main focus was getting a boat and heading out. A year later I bought a 36 ft ferro hull, finished her off, and at the ripe old age of 23, I headed, single handed, for New Zealand, green as a cucumber, with some pretty funky gear. I noticed that those who took longer than three years to get some enjoyment out of their project, were far less likely to ever go. Freinds, who insisted on nothing but the best, never made it. That was my first boat. By the time she hit the water, I wished I had done everything different. She was a 36 footer, far larger than I needed. As I worked for tiny Kiwi wages, I began to envy the guys in the 30 footers, as life seemed far simpler for them.On my second boat, it took 8 years before I reached that point. On my current and third boat, a 31 ft steel twin keeler, after 28 years, there is little I would do differently. I have always made quickly getting out cruising, and off the land, my main focus, then adding and embellishing later, as funds allowed. I always started out with Kerosene lamps, then wired my current boat, my first boat with any kind of electrical system, over time, while cruising, as needed. Ditto most electriclal equipment.
I have made many Pacific crossings, and cruised almost all the South Pacific Islands which have ever interested me, as well as cruising 11 months a year on the BC coast since my mid 20's. I cant think of any other lifestyle which would let me semi retire in my mid 20s, on only a labourers earning power. I can't think of any other comfortable lifestyle with as as low an environmental footprint, your environmental footprint being porportionate to how much money you spend. If I had to do it all over again, I would't choose to live my life any differently. I envy no one.
Now, over many decades, I have accumulated all the gear I was planning to buy, when I won the lottery, without having to give up much free time to get it. Glad I didnt wait for it, before going cruising..
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
Last edited by Brent Swain; 07-07-2012 at 08:34 PM.