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jameswilson29 05-04-2014 09:05 AM

Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
What accounts for all the absurd circumnavigation threads?

I would guess some percentage less than 1% of all keelboat sailors ever circumnavigate. I would also guess fewer than 5% even become blue water sailors (I don't include ICW snowbirds in this category). The vast majority of sailors are satisfied by racing, daysailing, and weekend cruising. Yet a significant portion of the threads involve a planned circumnavigation. These threads regularly border, at best, on the ridiculous, and, at worse, on delusional thinking.

This would not appeal to me. From my reading, it would be time consuming, expensive, uncomfortable, and arduous. Living aboard a small boat and crossing oceans for several years would likely be torturous and unpleasant. Both Robin Lee Graham and Tania Alebi (?) wrote about how much they hated it at times.

Is this a Walter Mitty issue? Someone wants an achievement? Purely a fantasy detached from reality? So lacking in experience that they have no conception what it involves?

Why psychology lies behind the circumnavigation threads?

caberg 05-04-2014 09:16 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
If you go on a mountain climbing forum there are probably a disproportionate number of threads about climbing the Seven Summits, or some other goal that is claimed by relatively few. Everest without oxygen perhaps. Why? Why not.

juggleandhope 05-04-2014 09:47 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
I'd also guess that the virtual world inspires more fantasy - probably down at the yacht club the focus shifts back to fixing the broken winch and trying to figure out local currents.

MarkofSeaLife 05-04-2014 09:56 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 (Post 1802914)
These threads regularly border, at best, on the ridiculous, and, at worse, on delusional thinking.

They say that more people summit Mt Everest each year than complete a circumnavigation. (No climbing Mt E this year, of course)

The thing that irritates me about those threads is that mostly the responses to the threads are encouraging "Go for it DUDE!" Non-circumnavigators saying this, of course.

The fools that enhance the delusions on this and other forums are, imho, worse than the original posters.

For those who are interested in the reality "out there": the average size cruising boat is above 40 feet. Mine at 39 feet is QUITE below average size.
There are NO 27 foot boats circumnavigating that I have seen. There are VERY few 30 footers... I.e. I haven't seen one.


MikeOReilly 05-04-2014 10:18 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
I see this kind of artificial goal much like most of the the other "bucket list" ambitions so many people have these days. Our culture turns everything into a competition, a race. We're taught that we have to have a plan, something to achieve, to conquer. So naturally sailors must circumnavigate, usually at break-neck speed. And we all cheer them on (know full well most will never get off the dock).

SVAuspicious 05-04-2014 10:21 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
People have dreams. Not all accomplish them. Ft Lauderdale is full of boats for sale by people with big dreams that reality did not reflect.

SailNet and other fora, publications, and the yacht club bar are reasonable places to explore those dreams. The best we can do is to help more of those dreams be realized so the dreamers can come back and contribute to the next generation.

Pay it forward.

MarkofSeaLife 05-04-2014 10:35 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
1 Attachment(s)
I checked up the word "fora".

So finally forums have taught me something. ;)


Cruiser2B 05-04-2014 10:45 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
People have something to aspire to, dream of doing. something to work towards. Many people race, play amateur sports and so on. Most dream and wish to be in the big leagues. The circumnavigation seems to be the pinnacle if you will.

For me it was my wifes idea to become cruisers. I latched onto it and it has given me a new meaning, purpose or dream to follow. Before sailing, cruising and idea of living aboard I was a racer, semi professional on a budget and after wasting tens of thousands of dollars and creating more debt than I care to think or talk about I had enough. My wife and I were very deep in the american dream, Homeowners, new cars and gadgets and as a result in debt. We both decided we wanted simpler and less, less of everything including WORK. So we started looking at minimalist type living and have slowly but surely working our way to our new goals. This is our new goal and direction. We want to sail and see parts of the world. Live more work less. Our small sailing home hopefully will take us there.

We have no idea if we will become cruisers or liveaboards but for right now we are dreaming and working towards that dream. Some days is seems achievable other days itseems like we are stuck in the rat race for ever.

So I think many people come on here and other sites to find out how others accomplished a circumnavigation or became liveaboards in hopes of finding something or a bit of information that will let them get closer to their dream

capta 05-04-2014 10:47 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
Marinas, boatyards, anchorages and shorelines are littered with the dashed dreams that the reality of circumnavigating has left behind. Honolulu, St. Martin and Grenada, to name but 3, where some pretty nice boats are lying and dying, because this thing, voyaging, that some of enjoy as a lifestyle, just isn't what most imagine.
We constantly meet folks who have sold EVERYTHING, bought a nice boat and after a few months are headed home, disillusioned, disappointed and financially unable to reclaim the life they so cavalierly abandoned.
This is not an "extreme sport", with wonderful moments of adrenaline pumping excitement, interspersed with relaxing times around the hotel bar with blow dried hair that it looks just right, a nice bed after a shower, a shave and dinner with like minded individuals. You can't just call a cab if things are getting a bit unpleasant and looking like they will get worse. It has been described as 99% sheer boredom with 1% sheer terror, by some.
There are those few, who are drawn to the sea, and they will get out there on whatever they can, however they can, with little fanfare and hype. They are not the macho type, seeking fame, fortune and notoriety by doing it youngest, fastest or smallest, nor do they ask silly questions on forums where a simple search would produce hundreds of posts to answer their attention seeking questions.
As with anything, the looky loos are always there, kicking the tires with neither the true desire, courage nor the where with all to actually become "buyers".

scratchee 05-04-2014 10:50 AM

Re: Why All the Absurd Circumnavigation Threads?
I think it's becoming more and more easy to buy "accomplishments." Seeing large numbers of people buy these "accomplishments" leads other people to falsely believe that a particular feat is a singular goal in and of itself, when in fact most extremely difficult feats in our history have been the FINAL ACT that tops off years of preparation, learning, and collaboration among experts.

Nothing is more irritating than developing a skill and expertise over many years, and then discussing it over beer with someone and they say, "So all I have to do is...?"

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