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wind_magic 06-07-2012 10:23 AM

When is it time ?
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! ?

justflie 06-07-2012 10:32 AM

Re: When is it time ?
Very good question, wind. I'm interested in the responses. I have the itch but am putting it off for later. I'm turning 28 in a couple of months and have a wife and a good job. Just learned to sail and we are loving it. So "someday" is the answer for me, but I realize others are much closer to leaving than I. It'll be good to know the warning signs of "it's time to go" so I'll recognize it later!

St Anna 06-07-2012 05:01 PM

Re: When is it time ?
There are no magical signs. You either have the mindset and go, or you dont.

Just choose who to listen to; Most people cannot understand why - so they bag you, your views, your boat, your readiness. Just delete these people from your circle. Find like minded individuals and pick their brains.

Have the boat, gear, yourself and your partner/spouse, finances, a rough plan all ready and wait for teh right weather. Then untie the lines quietly and go.

Easy as that.

I've headed off for a cruise 3 times [of a few years duration each]. Returning is the same. Just do what you [both] want to do. Dont have a set deadline. It wont work.

Sometime in the cruising season next year I am going for a couple of months [2-6 months]. This will get my head back into cruising mode and of course see what I may need to fix on the boat. Then I plan a Pacific loop after that. No set plans yet.

wingNwing 06-07-2012 05:23 PM

Re: When is it time ?
Good question.

Um, in our case, we were psychologically ready and the boat projects were ready, a year or two before I was eligible for retirement. I hung up the phone on my last teleconference and we untied the docklines about 30 minutes later.

Over40pirate 06-07-2012 06:35 PM

Re: When is it time ?
I cannot speak for a all-out cruising departure, but I too have had the dream to head out without a timeline. When I was in my 40's I wanted to solo the ICW from Norfolk (or so) to Miami. The goal I set for that trip was by my 50th birthday. Unfortunately that didn't happen. There were a lot of factors that derailed the plans, none of which had anything to do with sailing!

Now as I am looking at 51 coming this year, I am getting back on track for perhaps next Spring or the Spring of 2014 for sure, assumng the Myans missed doomsday by a few years. The best advise I can give is good planning and personal prepration. Life has a habit of getting in the way of such things. Assuming your sailing skills and equipment are up to par, the burden lies on how well you prepare the rest of your affairs.

Good luck; I envy you and wish you fair winds and following seas.

CaptainForce 06-07-2012 06:52 PM

Re: When is it time ?

Originally Posted by wind_magic (Post 881790)
Long time cruisers, when did you just "know" that it was time to set a departure date and leave ?.....................

We've lived aboard and cruised for forty years and many miles, but this event, "time to set a departure date and leave" has never occurred. Maybe I have not left! We have been seasonal coastal cruisers since 1972. We spend time in the Bahamas or Keys and times up to New England. We have not owned anything ashore for many years, but there was no time that we left. We feel a sense of community in about 25 or 30 ports,- know some people and where to provision. We like sailing back to the same places. Maybe someone else has had a more dramatic departure. I don't think we ever "left".

joethecobbler 06-09-2012 09:58 AM

Re: When is it time ?
The time to go is yesterday- if your still at the dock, you missed it and will most likely never leave.
Speaking w/ a friend yesterday in reference to the fall southern exodous fom the frozen yankee town - she said "maybe Next year" been hearing that now for 2-3 years. Always an excuse/reason not to go "this year"
We'll be departing in the fall Oct 2012 southward no destination no timetable and probably no money, as usual.
The one observation I've made about cruising poor is, I'm poor if I stay in one place or if I go to alot of other places along the way. So, I might as well change up the scenery ! still eatin' ramen and drinkin' cheap rum !

who was it that said "where ever you go , there you are"
When I think I'm in a "remote" location I am often reminded that it's just someone elses back yard, a bit farther away from my own.

Capt.aaron 06-09-2012 10:24 AM

Re: When is it time ?
For me It's usually because I've told a bunch of people "I'm sailing down to Mexico in the spring" So as spring nears I just get the stuff I need done and go to save face. I remember One year Promising my girlfriend we would sail south by March and a week before We left I stayed out on the hook untill the boat was sea worthy. I had an old dingy hanging off the stern and I just kept throwing junk I didn't need in to it. My version of sea worthy is a strong hull and rig, a good rudder, and decent sails. Since I all ready had those, All I Had to do was lash stuff well, ship shape and clean the inside and I was ready. I went to the store before we left and BAM we we're gone.

dongreerps 06-09-2012 11:03 AM

Re: When is it time ?
Our family believes "The Good Lord" talks to us. Sometimes you have to listen hard, but he does talk to us.
Years ago we added a new staff person. A couple of months later my wife observed I was now drinking two martinis each night instead of one. I'm outta here.
One trip I was flying at 20,000' in the clouds when the vacuum pump went out. Later that trip the glide slope transmitter went out while I was on approach in intsrument conditions. On the return that trip the gyro compass went awry. We sold the plane.
Was working in a very nice situation when the boss had a personality change, my job description got changed, and a recruiter called me up, all in a two week period. The new job turned out to be wonderful.
At age 64 1/2, I walked into the office one day and said to the manager, "This really isn't any fun anymore. She snarled back at me (she was in fact a very delightful person), "Yeah and you have been groucy for 6 weeks!". Six weeks later I had retired.
Obviously many of the signs come from within ourselves. Monitor yourself. When you are ready, suppress your anxiety over a new course, and go for it. If you never feel ready, you are talking to yourself.

Capt.aaron 06-09-2012 11:42 AM

Re: When is it time ?
If you wait 'till you retire you'll miss out on years of cruising. I was raised cruising as child and have been doing it for 23 years on my own and I'm only 41. I can't imagine waiting another 20 years to even start! It's a life style not a hobby. I think that's the diiference between those that do and those that never do. And if I waited for the Good Lord to Speak ( or TALK as the above so eloquently stated) well...........I don't know what to say about that excactly....... but I'd be willing to bet I'd still be tied to the dock well after retirement.

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