Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Lake Michigan
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I know alot of people including myself that share your thoughts on the rat race completely. I am currently doing what you are planning and would not change it even if someone was holding a gun to my head! You will find many family, friends, and even other boaters who have different beliefs/dreams but stick to yours. Here are some quotes I read regularly to keep my mind "right". ("right" to me anyway)
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn''t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as messing about in boats. Simply messing about in boats...
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
We are a systematic people. We have a systematic approach to almost everything- from raising children to getting buried. Somehow it is the male’s duty to put the best years of his life into work he doesn’t like in order that he may “retire” and enjoy himself as soon as he is too old to do so. This is more than just the system- it is the credo. It is the same thing that prompted Thoreau to say in 1839: ''The majority of men lead lives of quiet desperation.''
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea – “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
Little has been said or written about the ways a man may blast himself free. Why? I don’t know, unless the answer lies in our diseased values. A man seldom hesitates to describe his work; he gladly divulges the privacies of alleged sexual conquests. But ask him how much he has in the bank and he recoils into a shocked and stubborn silence.
I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it.” What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
-Sterling Hayden (1916-1986)
If you dream of cruising start today. Take the small cruiser you have now and go cruising. The perfect boat is not the one you dream about. It is the boat that takes you cruising.
Don Casey and Lew Hackler from Sensible Cruising
When I was living aboard Independence in Key Largo in the late 1980s. I bumped into an old friend, also a sailor who sailed back from the Bahamas to restock his cruising funds. But he couldn't get a job, any job. He was down to eating ramen noodles and balogna which was about all he could afford. After telling me his situation he said."It's getting so bad it looks like I’m going to have to go back to eating lobster and swordfish!"
The point - all one has to do was dive over the side to pick out a lobster or throw a line in to catch the freshest seafood in the world! Civilization – pah!
A New York City businessman goes to Mexico. While wandering along the beach he sees a fisherman pulling his boat up onto the shore early in the day.
The New Yorker says to the fisherman, "Hey, why are you stopping so early in the day?"
The fisherman says, "Well, I just did a little fishing and now I am going home to play with my children, play some music, lay in the sun , and maybe later I will go out with my wife."
The businessman says, "Oh no, no, no! Take it from me, you should fish all day, then sell the surplus fish to make more money. Then hire some helpers to work with you and then you can get a bigger boat later on. Once you do this, you will be making even more money, so then you can buy more boats and get more people to work for you. Eventually you can move to New York and operate your business from the twin towers to sell your fish world wide and make even more money!"
The fisherman says, "Why would I want to do that?"
The New Yorker says, "Because in 30 years or so you can sell your company and make millions! You could retire to a little beach town in Mexico and just relax, do a little fishing, play with your children, play some music, lay in the sun , and go out with your wife at night!"
The fisherman just smiles at the New York businessman and walks away.
- Unknown author (slightly edited by me for length and to strengthen the point)