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Old 03-12-2004
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WHOOSH - How much sailing?


My wife and I have been discussing how much time we will actually be sailing and how much time we will spend in the salon while cruising the Bahamas, VIs and Central America. Based on our bareboat experience, the answer to both questions is "very little". I know this is hard to answer since each couple has different itineraries, but I would really like to hear what your experience was in this area.

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Old 03-12-2004
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WHOOSH - How much sailing?

Hi, Ian...

That''s a really interesting (and important) question and of course the answer varies not only with each crew but for each venue & circumstance for one given crew. For example, Bahamas sailing can very easily be hippity-hopping every day or two, since ther are so many anchorages within striking distance. The opposite will occur along the DR coast (N or S) as the govt and the topography somewhat dissuade one from short hops. Puerto Rico''s south coast invites many easy day-hops while it''s north coast offers almost no hope of that...and so forth. And external factors can compete against one another, too - e.g. the weather making you hesitate and stay put while at the same time you''re urged on by the season, a commitment for a rendezvous or just your general sense of being somewhere by a given day/week/month.

We do tend to have a ''cruising style'', we''ve noticed - something about which we weren''t initially, consciously aware. For us, the joy comes more from ''settling down'' in a place we''ve hopefully chosen with some forethought and then squeezing it empty (insofar as our wallet and time permit) of what it has to offer. OTOH just the other day we were talking with a good friend who described a whirlwind sail from FL down to Trinidad - and back! - in less than 5 months. For him, it just felt ''right'' to be getting to yet another new place, to see what''s over the horizon; for us, it feels better to smell the roses. Obviously, every crew feels some of each, and we do indeed get itchy feet...so perhaps the key is for your wife and you to reflect on what kinds of vacations you have enjoyed the most, or whether you try to cover more miles or stop and ''digest'' more sights when weekending. For most of the Caribbean, you''ll have abundant opportunities to move on and the weather is usually quite acceptable...so it''s more about ''you''.

Having said all that and exempting those seasonal periods of voluntary dormancy (e.g. storm season spent in Trinidad, choosing to relax and explore Horta vs. island hopping in the Azores, or wintering here in London), my very rough estimate is that we probably move the boat every 3-5 days, provided the weather permits us to do so, when coastal cruising or island sailing. (Even as I stretch to offer some kind of ''average'', I wince at how unrepresentative it is from one week to the next.<g>)

I wonder how other cruising sailors would answer Ian''s question? What''s "normal" for the rest of you unique, highly variable types out there?

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Old 03-23-2004
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WHOOSH - How much sailing?

It really does not matter where you cruise the have to be at that port on this date gets real old. Taking your time get up late go for a swim or dive tinker with a long project,this is good for the soul. Take the time to walk to town after a row ashore. Getting around the people who really live on the cuff can be the best reward you will ever get for your cruising effort.Some times the ally is more interesting than the main street it can also spell danger so be wary but see the world as it really is.If you look for the Yacht Club bunch then thats what you will see and allot of the color they have is store bought.
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