Psychological Effects of Cruising - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-07-2009
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Psychological Effects of Cruising

I came home a week ago from a two week delivery. Five days of that were in the ICW. When I first got home I was loving the smell of flowers and a good night's sleep. Though I did feel a bit lost with no watch to stand, and even driving a car was a bit weird.
Now every night I dream I'm on the boat. Most nights I awake, see trees outside, and think we're too close to the bank. Who the hell is steering? The other night I spent a minute trying to figure out why the fathometer read 1:13 before I realized it was the clock on the tv.
I'm not any crazier than I ever was. I am surprised what a strong effect only two weeks had on me. I wonder how odd it is for long term cruisers?
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Old 06-07-2009
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Old 06-07-2009
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We talk all the time about what it's going to be like when we get back in 2010 after being out for two years. We've actually talked about just staying out since we don't want to deal with "The Return". The few times we've stayed at hotels we've had the same issues. After a several day passage, you wake up with a start, see your wife next to you and bolt up - "If she's sleeping here, whose on watch??!!" The lack of noise and movement gets you worried. We know we're going to have a tough time adjusting to food and water availability, the size of our house, etc.
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Old 06-07-2009
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I don't know how many times, after coming home from a long trip, I woke up convinced my bed had run aground!

Erika
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Old 06-07-2009
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After my January single handed Gulf crossing I tied up in a marina for a few days to just be able to rest and avoid the anchor watch I was so spent. For the first five or six nights I woke up repeatedly throughout the night in complete panic knowing something was wrong.

Five months in now those late night starts have faded. It seems my body and mind have become used to the transition between being on guard 24/7 during a passage and the relative calm of being on the hook in a protected anchorage. I still wake instantly at the slightest unusual sound that could indicate something isn't right, but most nights I sleep soundly even after coming off passage.

I too am curious what the transition will be like if when I do ever move back to shore. For now, I'd rather wake startled at the sound of the anchor alarm due to a wind shift than to an alarm clock telling me it's time to s***, shower, and shave cause I have to go to work.
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True. I really didn't mind waking at 0530 when anchored (though 0630 was better) or even getting up at 0245 for the 3-6 watch. I did not look forward to getting up at 0545 this morning for work. Hmmmmmm.....
I'm glad I'm not the only one with transition trouble. It is disorienting.
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Old 06-07-2009
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A couple of years ago when on the hard. I awoke at night to some guy screaming to his wife they had run aground. He had just been blocked next to me that morning. I guess your normal.
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Old 06-07-2009
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Red lights! They're close and they're high! It must be a huge ship bearing down on us! Maybe it will miss us, since there's no green light? ... Oh, never mind. I fell asleep on the couch and the red lights are just brake lights reflecting in the window.

Then there was the night I woke up, convinced I had to check on the boat. I got out of bed, went out the door, walked down the driveway, and expected the boat to be on the road. I wasn't completely crazy, I didn't expect it to be floating, I expected it to be blocked in the middle of the road. Through my confusion I told myself that the boat wasn't anywhere near there, but I still just had to check. It wasn't there....

It seems it's normal to suffer from odd disorientation after a trip.
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Old 06-07-2009
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Lots of people will get "land sick" after a long passage. Its worst in the shower when you close your eyes.
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Old 06-07-2009
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After the first time I did 3 continuous days staying on the boat it felt strange being on land where nothing was moving. I'd get sudden vertigo attacks.

Mychael
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