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  #1  
Old 11-30-2006
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chuck711 is on a distinguished road
Retire or Hiatus Cruising Changes your Life forever... Just simple and Better

My company went out of business in 2003 so at the age of 49 I dropped 50 K into a sailboat outfitted it for Living aboard fulltime and left for passages south. Now realize I had 6 children and worked for 1 company for 28 yrs. Very stable.

Left Detroit in August 2003 and voyaged until 2005. My first mate Ann and I have comfortably enjoyed cruising Canada, eastern US coast and voyaged the Caribbean Islands. During that time we anchored every day except about 6 times. We found our boat "Fairwinds" capable and easy to handle. "Fairwinds" never failed us and our trust was well founded.

Luckily we were fast learners. It helped that both of us were typed A people and failure was not going to happen. Also we were Lucky in that we had a 10 year Springer Spaniel aboard. Because of Hershal we went to shore twice a day. Also because of Hershal we met so many nice people. Also aboard was a 15 year cranky Siamse cat Stosh never left the boat.......

We found ourselves part of a cruising community that enjoyed adventure. Cruising also kept you in great physical and mental condition. Most cruisers we met were in their 60's and 70's. Even a few in their 80's! We lived on $500 a month in the islands. That including sightseeing and travel!

After Lots of adventures we made our way back to the USA and now live in North Carolina. We like the temperate climate and people here. What a stark contrast our previous life! Our home cost us 62,000 vs the 240+ home we had in Michigan. Also we can enjoy the outdoors during the winter months. Cruising really changed our lives and needs. Much simpler. Better!!

Sadly our boat now is up for sale. $48,500. 1988 Cal 33 Hunt Design. Dockage is less than $200 per month that includes a clubhouse,pool,TV,water and ice. We bought it for our trip and had an unbelievable time. We followed the race boats south in 2005 by chance we were in St. Martins for the Heinken Regatta. St. Barts for the Bucket Cup. and Luckily in 2005 and 2006 for Antigua Race Week. In 2005 we raced on a wooden boat from South Africa and in 2006 a 2 1/2 million yacht fron Sweden.

Our future plans in about 6 years will be to cruise the Med. I really don't see ourselves as great sailors. There are a lot better sailors than us. However in using technology and common sense we traveled 8000 miles and saw probably the easiest and best part of the islands. We only had to sail 4 night passages to reach Trinidad. Most of our passages were day sails......
Any questions send me an email clcjr54@hotmail.com
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Old 11-30-2006
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Good stuff Chuck! I'm perhaps 5-10 years behind you. I'm 31, living in Michigan with my wife and 2 young children working on a long-term cruising plan, preparations, SAVINGS, sailing education, experience etc. on the Great Lakes.

You provided another piece of the inspiration puzzle for me. Thanks again.
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