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  #11  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

I think it is like reefing the sails: If you have to ask, you should have already done it.

If the stuff that has to be done has been done, go for it. Life doesn't get any simpler as you get older and by the time most folks can "retire to cruise" there will just be other problems, health issues, always something coming up. Not to mention, MORE red tape and fewer pristine places, in the places you want to see.

Now on the other hand I knew someone who a bug that after so much refitting and modifying, he simply HAD TO GO despite a lack of shakedown cruise or experience solo. He did, and four days out was lost at sea, off the NJ coast, in bad weather. Because he HAD TO GO NOW and wouldn't even wait 48 hours for a storm to clear.

So don't skip the important things, like a shakedown cruise, or taking baby steps to make sure you've got the important things down before you take the plunge.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Long time cruisers, when did you just "know" that it was time to set a departure date and leave ?

I'm curious about that well known phenomenon of people endlessly preparing for cruising without ever actually leaving to go cruising. You know the people, one project after another, preparing the boat, squirreling away the cruising kitty, adding more gadgets and safety gear, etc, but not actually making a commitment to throw off the dock lines and leave.

It is a big leap, I understand, so for those who did it, when did you "know" ? What was it that flipped the switch in your brain and took you from making preparations to cruise, to being someone who was leaving to actually go cruising ? What made you set that date, to start doing project triage to do what needed to be done and letting go of what you didn't have time to do ? What was it that finally made you decide, this is it, it's time! ?
I see my old friend Wind_Magic is still around! How are ya!???

When is it time? Boy, that's a toughie. I will say that it would be really hard for me to quit a great career and good paying job and just tak off. I know people on here talk about doing it. Tom Neale did it. Others have too. My approach was different. Instead, my wife and I worked towards getting careers that allowed us to work remote, we saved a long time like crazy, outfitted the boat, and got out.

Biggest mistake I made, and that I suspect many sailors make, is the need for crap on the boat. I am guilty, so this is not me being hippocritical. But when you haven't done it, you need all these electronics and gadgets that quite frankly, will hardly ever get used. You buy a $5000 life raft when you are coastal cruising. You buy a watermaker when you will be marina hopping every night. I am not saying that is what I do, I am saying that people spend a gazillion dollars on lots of junk because their perception of what is cruising and what it really is are two different things. Unfortunately, you can't ride a bike unles you fall a few times and gain the experience on what you need for balance. Same in boating. I am wiser now on what I need and don't, but it cost me a lot to get there.

Cruising is all about attitude. Some people love it. Some people don't. I would NOT sell the farm, buy the boat, and just go. I would put everythin in storage, get the boat, live on her a bit, see what you like and don't, and begin exploring from there. There are basics you need to make it safe and enjoyable (each of those defined by the individual). However, most of these things you can get on your travels and in some cases I learned, less expensively than anywhere else!

After a period of time, if you stil love it, sell your crap and go further. If you don't, sell the boat and you can still move back into your old life. But I would sure try living on a boat before quittnig a good job and sailing off on the perception of cruising. Perceptions can be wrong and that would be an expeisive mistake.

Now, on the flip side of that coin, you only live once. I think everyone should pursue their dreams. I would rather my bank account be empty on my deathbed and my head full of aweesom experiences I have shared with my family, than my bank account be full and the experience and time with family lacking. In the end, the impact you make on your family and yourself is what fills the soul. And THAT you can take with you.

My opinions.

Brian
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

I just worked jobs I could quit. Barback, $200 a day, house painter $900 a week, Waiter $200 a day. Save up, sail away, come back, get a job I could quit. Round and round... Now, as an adult I am a merchant marine. We work hitches. perfect for cruising a little and working a little.
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

"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" Mark Twain
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

I dunno, every time I think I'm ready to go I read about something bad happening to cruisers. Back in January I was all set to go then got a little freaked about the attack and rape of boaters off Placencia.
A little later I read of cruisers who essentially lose their boat due to not having a zarpe and that worries me, i put off the trip again.
Now I'm getting ready again and I read about cruisers boarded and robbed at gunpoint, 3 miles off of Punta Sal, Honduras. These three things happened within the last six months in the very area I was going to head off to, and where I had cruised 5 years ago with no problem.

So am I chicken? paranoid? Looking for an excuse not to go? Prudent and careful? I don't know.
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

The economy has really helped us in our decision.

In mid 2007 the business the wife and I own took a nose-dive. It was apparent that our retirement funds were going to take a hit, too. We decided then that we could work until we were in our 80's or start investing in our "retirement home" now. We did and are close to a point where the economy and other political situations will finally motivate us to cast off for the last time.

The boat is ready, so south Pacific here we come!
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Last edited by tomperanteau; 06-15-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inshallamiami View Post
I dunno, every time I think I'm ready to go I read about something bad happening to cruisers. Back in January I was all set to go then got a little freaked about the attack and rape of boaters off Placencia.
A little later I read of cruisers who essentially lose their boat due to not having a zarpe and that worries me, i put off the trip again.
Now I'm getting ready again and I read about cruisers boarded and robbed at gunpoint, 3 miles off of Punta Sal, Honduras. These three things happened within the last six months in the very area I was going to head off to, and where I had cruised 5 years ago with no problem.

So am I chicken? paranoid? Looking for an excuse not to go? Prudent and careful? I don't know.
You need to dress down.Don't have your boat all gidget gadget rich looking. I have a house in Guanaja Honduras and cruise that area a lot. Placencia used to be a nice place 20 years ago but I avoid it now. Anchor in the anchorage near other occupied boats. I don't care what the law is, I have fire power, I actually showed the Gutemalan's I had guns and they told me to keep 'em. The few times I felt threatend I just pull out the gun and have it in my hand. The pirates in that area are lazy gutless S.O.B.'S and will run at any chance of conflict. Besides, I look kind of poor with my modest boat and nothing of apparent value in sight, I tell my girl to cover up when pangas come close. Just be smart and attentive. They smell fear as well. Be angry in stead of scared, they sense it. And you can print a Zarpe on line for Mexico or get one out of the back of the Blue Book. Clear into Isla Mujeres. It's the easiest. The Mexican's won't mess with you, all that cartel stuff is in town. If you look like a preppy yachty you are asking for it. Try and look like a tough mean son of a bitch with with an attitude. Better yet, be one!
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
You need to dress down.Don't have your boat all gidget gadget rich looking. I have a house in Guanaja Honduras and cruise that area a lot. Placencia used to be a nice place 20 years ago but I avoid it now. Anchor in the anchorage near other occupied boats. I don't care what the law is, I have fire power, I actually showed the Gutemalan's I had guns and they told me to keep 'em. The few times I felt threatend I just pull out the gun and have it in my hand. The pirates in that area are lazy gutless S.O.B.'S and will run at any chance of conflict. Besides, I look kind of poor with my modest boat and nothing of apparent value in sight, I tell my girl to cover up when pangas come close. Just be smart and attentive. They smell fear as well. Be angry in stead of scared, they sense it. And you can print a Zarpe on line for Mexico or get one out of the back of the Blue Book. Clear into Isla Mujeres. It's the easiest. The Mexican's won't mess with you, all that cartel stuff is in town. If you look like a preppy yachty you are asking for it. Try and look like a tough mean son of a bitch with with an attitude. Better yet, be one!
Poor looking boat? Check
Zarpe from cbp? Check
Un-preppy appearance? Check
60 year old wife covered up? Check
Smart and attentive? Check
Mean son of a bitch with attitude? Not so much.... I want to go cruising to ENJOY myself. If I'm gonna spend the whole trip playing recon patrol leader I don't want to go there.

And speaking of don't go there, Mexico really really frowns on guns, to the point of take your boat and put your ass in jail,so what am I gonna do -- stop off in caye caulker and ask around where to buy one? I look like a old cop for gods sakes...I never seem to be successful at getting stuff "under the counter"

My point is, maybe it's not time for me to go THERE, cause maybe I'm just too afraid! Or sensible.


Sorry for thread drift.

Last edited by inshallamiami; 06-10-2012 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Added sensible to be fair to myself.
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  #19  
Old 06-10-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

west coast of mexico does not demand zarpe when you come in from usa, if you are usa citizen.
they WILL take your boat for contraband---ie, guns, drugs, fishing gar without any fishing license from conapesca.

i left sin diego because i had 2 moored boats and permission is suddenly only given for one--so i moved out a lil early --boat not quite allegedly ready--is fixable underway, and has been being done in such a manner. i still have a boat moored in sd.... but i also have a cruising boat in la cruz de huanacaxtle.....only a couple of things to do yet....each place i sail to , i fix another thing..usually something major--is fun, this cruising thing....yes parts are available most everywhere.
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2012
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Re: When is it time ?

I have never had a Mexican Board my boat when clearing in. I clear in Isla from the hook. The same pistol has been in the same well hidden spot on my boat since I was 8 years old. I have had mexicans board me in the middle of no where and all they want is to see your paper work and maybe a soda. As for the S.O.B. attitude, Thats for when some fisherman you don't know is coming up to your stern with a dead fish in hand and you've given the sign that you're not interested. That will hapen sometimes in Belize and Honduras. Other wise I'm the nicest Gringo you'd want to meet. I owned a night club in Mexico for a while, I lived in Belize City for 2 years and I now own a house in Bay Islands Honduras. I'm fluent in Spanish and Creole. There is a time to smile and a time to look mean, trick is to know when.
Sorry as well for thread drift, I just don't think people should not go because of the off chance they will get pirated by those lazy, cowards that jack the occasional cruiser down there.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 06-10-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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