Re: Young cruisers
I reread this again, because it is something near and dear t my heart, though I am not sure I would be called young in anyone's thinking, I am not yet old either. The day you make the decision, and know in your heart that nothing is going to hold you back you begin to make a new set of friends, people who will fit into your new lifestyle. Cruising is just that, it is a way of life, and others probably do not easily understand it.
As a younger man I drove long haul semi trucks over the road here in the states, and back then you would be expected to stay gone away from home for no less than 45 days at a time, and 60-90 was probably average. Almost everyone I knew well enough to say they were friends were driving, or dispatching or family of drivers. The work paid very well, I was earning over $50,000.00 a year in 1986, most lawyers did well to earn that much back then. The other thing was that almost all of the other men, and eventually myself, got divorced. Our wives were not in the same lifestyle we were in, they could not understand that the road literally called to us, after three days at home we were ready to go back to work. Three days out of 45-90 days does not a good marriage make. At the time husband and wife teams were unheard of, women rarely drove trucks, the companies would not hire them, and there was a reason for it, women just could not make it work most of the time.
Now women drive, they run solo, and they run in teams with their husband or boyfriend. They could always have done the work, but the lifestyle was what kept them away. Now most companies do not keep a driver out more than about 21 days at a time, and they get a week off usually. Cruising is a very similar situation, your gf or wife is not going to like it if you stay out of contact with family for three to six months at a time, but today we have Skype, Yahoo, and other things to allow us to use video chat for free. We have Pactor email services, and radios that we can send messages on, as well as satellite phones and SPOT trackers. We can communicate far better and we can actually live our lives far from other family members while still maintaining a feeling of closeness to them. If someone becomes ill, or some family emergency pops up, we can make port and fly home, if we have the money. If we do not have the money we can at least send flowers or call or Skype with the family to help us feel closer in times of need.
What you have to do if you want to be a cruiser is decide to make it your life. There really is no knee deep way to cruise in blue water. You have to commit to it, you have to plan to educate your own children, to make sure you have money for health and dental issues. You must train every member of your crew from one to 101 on how to help take care of the boat, and one another. Most of all you have to have a spirit in you that craves exploration, and investigation of new and curious places and people. You have to desire to go more than you desire to stay and then you will find that selling the crap you thought you were so attached to and pulling up stakes and going is far more natural than staying.
I will say it again, if the company that I have my current contract with were to come to me tomorrow and say they were going to pay the penalty for early termination of our deal, I would leave within a couple of weeks. I would go out buy one of the top ten boats I am looking at right now and get on it and start making the preparations to leave as soon as was humanly possible. I might be nervous about some things, but not about actually going, unless you call being about to explode with anticipation and excitement being nervous.
I am willing to bet that there are hundreds on here in similar situations, maybe not exactly the same but pretty close. I may need a chainsaw to cut the land ties I have, but I have that saw in its case in my garage here, and it has gas in it.
It is good to learn from your mistakes, but much better to learn from the mistakes of others...