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  #141  
Old 03-04-2014
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

Have just read through most of this thread. As an American with a blue water capable boat, having time and entering the cruising life I think I might be representative of our general thinking.
Five years ago I spoke with my wife about world cruising. She pointed out we would need to transport the boat by ship across the Indian Ocean/Suez or go down and have a peek at Table Mountain. Since then things have gotten even worse. After discussion she and I decided we did not want to have transits that long and arduous. We had already decided we have no interest in the Southern Ocean or even just doing the Capes.
Next we discussed doing the North Atlantic gyre with loops out to see the Shetlands/Baltics/Scandinavian states and another loop out to do the north shore of the Med. After looking at cruising guides and weather this would be a multi year endeavor broken by periods where safe, enjoyable sailing was not feasible. So maintenance of a land residence would be required. Weather limits the north shore of Germany, Denmark etc. Weather can be ferocious in Bay of Biscay ad west coast of Portugal at the wrong time of year. Getting out of the Med and back into the Atlantic can be problematic as well. Typical weather patterns over a year make this make this a potentially very difficult cruise.
Then we talked about either doing the east coast of US and then Thornless Path or straight shot to BVIs. She was OK with this.
Two years ago we built the boat. Over the last year she has done multiple transits of open water 500m+ and she is now much more comfortable on blue water. By spring the boat with be fully found with all we want on her.
We re discussed the Med. deciding neither she nor I have the interest. Most of the things we want to see in Europe are inland. Perhaps a canal barge cruise is in our future but we are not taking our boat there.
Rather snowing birding from Eastern Caribbean to N.E. for 2 years. Then down the coast to the canal to the Pacific to Thailand is the tentative plan.
When you sit down and plan the voyage, look at the paperwork, look at the expense, look at the quality of sailing, look at the uncertainties and other factors it did not make sense for us to go to the Med. A hop to Ireland makes more sense than the Med. It's not just visa issues. Even the British Navy went to Halifax before going home timing things with the hurricane season
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  #142  
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

One thing I don't believe has been noted, yet: We Yanks truly fear the prospect of Med-mooring... :-)

It's more complicated than that, of course... But there is one thing we Americans tend to value a bit more than many Euros. Namely, our personal 'Space'... As so many of us have been reared in suburban or rural settings, in very general terms we are simply not as accustomed to living in as close quarters as Europeans appear to be... As a result, the very tight crowding found in many Mediterranean harbors has little appeal for many Americans, and even our most popular cruising grounds and harbors don't come close to rivaling the way boats are packed into the quays in places like Croatia, in August... American sailors can be surprisingly resistant to the notion of rafting up, for example, and while many Europeans accustomed to such close quarters at home think nothing of anchoring 'on top of' a neighbor in places like the Caribbean, it seems to be primarily Americans who become a bit more uptight when confronted with such crowding...

I've explored most of the European shoreline of the Med by land, the only sailing I've done has been in Croatia... Absolutely wondrous part of the world, I'd love to get my own boat to parts of it someday... But I tend to favor avoiding the crowds, and the prospect of spending August in any of the more popular destinations would have little appeal, to me... Should I ever make it to Europe, it would more likely be to places like Scotland, or Norway, in an effort to better maintain the integrity of my own personal 'Space'... :-)
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  #143  
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

I stand in total awe of Killarney or a friend who posted here as HannaH2 now taking his Boreal to high latitudes. Having done some minimal planning for such voyages I realize what a huge undertaking such travels really are.
To the poster who mentioned that he didn't have any thing to prove and didn't like that sailboats are slow. I think it's the voyage as much s the destination. It's really very nice to be on a boat sailing independent of the troubles of land. The troubles at sea ( weather, equipment failures etc.) are real. The troubles on land are mostly man made. Have yet to meet a cruiser doing because they have something to prove and seriously doubt I will but it's early yet.
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  #144  
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

Europeans -- except Russians-- spend six times more per capita on travel than Americans. When travelling abroad I see relatively few Americans. I think we chose to spend on bigger houses and cars.
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  #145  
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

There is that little issue with vacation time that I haven't really seen mentioned in this thread. For those of us still working, most get only 2 to 3 weeks of time off during the year. And it seems alot of companies prefer we not take it all at one time. That said, there really isn't enough time for most of us to sail to Europe and back and still have time to see or do anything. At least flying leaves a few days to explore.
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  #146  
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

Quote:
Originally Posted by momclarissa View Post
There is that little issue with vacation time that I haven't really seen mentioned in this thread. For those of us still working, most get only 2 to 3 weeks of time off during the year.
I've been at my job for 15 years, so I finally got 4 weeks of vacation. Party!
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  #147  
Old 03-04-2014
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

… And that’s how we got to the moon. Then we got bored and left. And when we did, we left a car up there.. with the keys still in it… Why? Because we’re the only guys going back!...

Love that commercial, but not enough to buy an electric Cadillac.

Yes, we work too hard and take too few days off, but our rewards are a pretty enviable standard of living.
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  #148  
Old 03-04-2014
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

I do agree that US residents cruising from the populous northeastern USA to Florida, the Bahamas, or Caribbean are making a comparable effort to northwestern Europeans sailing to the Med.

Because of our colonial past, some Americans may still have half-buried mixed feelings about Europe, which could contribute to less travel there. For some Americans, Europe was long the only authentic standard for culture and civilization and things American weren't good enough, whereas some other Americans found Europe and Euro-centric thinking to be culturally repressive and an impediment and competitor to home-grown arts, letters, and culture.

And, there are still probably to be found some examples of Americans with perhaps some feelings of cultural insecurity and remaining residual examples of Euro-centric condescension toward American culture. Certainly the Third Reich tried to take advantage of this in one of their infamous WWII propaganda posters that tried to show America as a barbarous, vulgar exporter of death and moral dissolution.

As an aside that might have enough interest to merit general mention rather than a private message, when Paolo and perhaps others seemed puzzled by an American cultural reference, I think it may have been that because his English is quite good, some US forum members might have expected him to catch an indirect US cultural reference. "Separate but equal" in the US refers to racial inequality and particularly to a historic period of mistreatment of African-Americans that was bookmarked by the landmark legal cases Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. Board of Education. It's a sensitive subject. So, the idea that Med and the Caribbean were "equal but different" might have struck an unfortunate chord among some Americans. And that might in turn go back to American cultural ambivalence about Europe perhaps being one more contributing factor to Americans, and cruisers among them, sometimes not being so eager to travel to Europe.
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

Thank you everyone for your replies.

It has been an interesting thread and many of you have been very open in answering the original question.

I asked it because you don't see many Americans sailing abroad and you have all given valid reasons to you for not sailing in Europe and I respect those reasons.

In a year or two many of the reasons you give for not coming to Europe will be the same problems we will have to get over in going to America and beyond.

I mentioned before we had a dream that was world cruising and we will do our best to finish that dream.

In the meantime we will do what we can to help and befriend American sailors as we do sailors and cruisers of any nation we meet.

After all, no matter what country we come from we have chosen to sail and we are all part of our own special family.

Once again thank you all for your answers on this thread.
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  #150  
Old 03-05-2014
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Re: What stops Americans cruising the world?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
One thing I don't believe has been noted, yet: We Yanks truly fear the prospect of Med-mooring...
Amazing isn't it? Such a basic skill that scares the bejeepers out of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
American sailors can be surprisingly resistant to the notion of rafting up
Also interesting. There is a complete culture and etiquette for rafting alongside on docks that Americans in general just don't get.

I'm as protective of my boat and my personal space as the next tightly-wound American. At the same time I've had some great experiences rafted up. I've rarely found issues with the proximity to strangers.

At the end we are all citizens of the world. Let's go see it.
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