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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2008
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What does "cruising" mean to you?

Out of respect for Nancy Dryden, I'm posing this question in a new thread rather than hijacking the one where I found this link.

Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator :: View Forum - Rio Dulce Forum

I didn't read too far. Actually the following quote is from the first thread I followed, and I didn't follow it very far. (Heck it's hard to find the time for one forum).
If you can spare a moment, read a little of what Brady has to say and then consider my question.

What does cruising mean to you?

My name is Brady, and this is my 2nd season on the Rio. Because I tend to keep to myself, very few of you know me. However, I feel the need to respond to what has and has not happened over the last few days.

I am amazed with the lack of communication amongst us (the "cruising" gringos) who claim this as our community. The morning VHF net and this forum have provided very little open discussion, and it seems that the protection of the Rio's economy is the prevailing underlying theme. Are we not recreating, in some way, what we were trying to separate ourselves from—a system where special interests take precedence overall?

I have read so many arguments based on the contention that we deserve some special security over those who are true Guatemalans because our dollars have created and continue to sustain the economy. With such a view, are we not becoming just another branch of the elite who are provided with protection from a police and military force whose primary goal is to protect the wealthy? This does not put us more in touch with our neighbors, "the locals," but creates a greater gap between us.

Another often repeated view is that this is a freak occurrence in Guatemala, while back home (pick your city of choice) robbery, rape, pedophilia, murder, etc. happen on a daily basis." Those crimes undoubtedly happen here on a daily basis as well, but we hear little about them because much of it does not actually happen to us. Thus, these events become irrelevant in our plight for paradise. Crime for us is only an issue when we are directly affected. Comparing the crime rate of a city with a million+ people to this community of a few thousand, where crimes that do occur are rarely reported, is absurd. Another often-repeated sentiment is that "this could happen anywhere." We are not talking about anywhere. We are talking about here, the Rio Dulce. We are not talking about what COULD happen; we are talking about what IS happening.


There seem to be a number of ways that people define what Cruising means.

Is cruising simply taking ones lifestyle and values to another part of the world, settling down and expecting everything to run just as smoothly as it did in the marina back at home?

Doesn't the word itself imply movement?

I can readily understand why some fall in love with a place and decide to settle down there. But to my way of thinking, at that point, they're not cruising anymore.
I can easily relate to having to stay somewhere long enough to regroup and prepare for the next leg of ones voyage and I understand that communities naturally seem to form wherever there are like minds. But it seems to me that there should be a rotation of community members. No one should stay forever and still be considered cruising.

Brady's line "Are we not recreating, in some way, what we were trying to separate ourselves from" really struck me.

It's a real drag that bad *** happens in beautiful places, but in my experience, if you don't stay too long there's a much smaller chance that bad *** is gonna happen to you.

What do you think?
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Old 08-21-2008
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As with many things, there really isn't one exact definition. But to me, cruising is a lifestyle, where you move from point A to all other points of interest.
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Old 08-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
As with many things, there really isn't one exact definition. But to me, cruising is a lifestyle, where you move from point A to all other points of interest.

I suppose that there may be many exact definitions. But I guess my point is that when people in effect stop cruising, they shouldn't be too surprised when stuff happens that remind them of why they decided to start cruising in the first place.
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Old 08-21-2008
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Quite true.
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Old 08-21-2008
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Steve...good post!
I'll come back to the Rio shortly but I think there are lots of different "groups" that fit the definition of cruisers.
1. Those that still work but get away for extended cruises to explore new places on their boats. Some leave there boats at their destination and pick up the cruising "next year".
2. Full Time Seasonal Inland Cruisers...who stick pretty much to the coast within the country and do a bit of exploring but make the North-South trek each year.
3. Same as #2 but extend the range to Mexico, Canada and the Caribe...may head south below the hurricane belt instead of north for 1 or more years of extended cruising.
4. Blue Water Voyagers...who cross oceans to fulfill their cruising dreams.

These are all distinct from liveaboards who may cruise to a spot and stay forever. You CAN be a live-aboard cruiser...but a plain old live-aboard is often like the ex-pats who retire to an enclave in Costa Rica or somewhere because life is cheap and easy. Not particularly interested in sailing or exploring...the boat is a vehicle to a lifestyle.

Many cruisers cruise just to enjoy the sailing and seeing new places without any real desire to involve themselves deeply in the culture of the places they visit. Others love to immerse themselves before moving on.

It is a fact of life in the Caribe that you MUST sit below the hurricane belt during the season, so July-November means the boat stops moving unless you want to head several Thousand miles north.
Such is the situation in the Rio...you have the live-aboards who are in their marina enclave full time and who may or may not become immersed in the culture..but the marina is "home". They are supplemented by seasonal cruisers who come in and stay for 4 months. So...it is not surprising that they look at things a bit differently.
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Old 08-21-2008
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This should be a good read

Quote:
2. Full Time Seasonal Inland Cruisers...who stick pretty much to the coast within the country and do a bit of exploring but make the North-South trek each year.
We almost fit this discription, due to work our exploring is limited to the local area, ( mexican border to Point Conception) however, we have enough in this local area to last our life time and that works for us at the moment.
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