Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: On the boat.
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Re: Those of us who are above, lets say, 60 please muster up.
Couple of thoughts from the feminine side of geezer cruising. We started our long-distance cruising when he was 63 and I was 60--in 2006. I was (and mostly am) scared by open ocean sailing. We've had the usual non-fatal disasters (engine fires, 80-knot squalls, 6-knot currents, near misses in the dead of night) and we're still afloat. Our health was lousy (heart problems, cancer) when we started and we've both had unexpected (and unrelated) medical problems involving 3rd world hospital stays and surgery. When we started neither of us was particularly fit. We're not particularly fit now (how do you exercise on a tiny sailboat?). Our boat--the basic boat, that is--has been terrific; the gen set has cost us many hours of repair time--with each failure we say to ourselves, "We've got to get rid of that thing." Our boat has been broken into--and consequently filled up with rain water--while we were away; all the wiring and the canned goods in the bilge corroded. Of course, being full of water made the mildew go crazy. That said, we've made good friends of doctors, nurses, diesel mechanics and outboard repairmen, been invited to heivas by snack (small restaurant)owners and expats, become very fond of cruising kids, learned how to make dill pickles (they don't sell them west of Hawai'i except in Samoa), and most important of all, learned that you _must_ add 25% to any wind velocity prediction on a GRIB of the south Pacific. Now our biggest argument is whether we a) return the boat to the Pacific Northwest (an uphill slog), b) go through Indonesia and head via Mauritius (maybe) to the Cape (pirates expanding operations every year, and friends of ours were killed last year), c) put the boat on a ship and have it taken somewhere interesting (Toulon?) even though it costs a fortune, or d) sail for the Horn in the Roaring Forties.
It's been quite an adventure. I don't know how to sail any better than I did starting out, but I sure know how to sail smarter. And you know what? About 80% of the cruising sailors we've met out here have been our age. It's also been super nice not hearing about US politics, not being marketed to all the time, and getting to know a different view of life. And we discovered a side benefit: we both get seasick, so nobody wants to eat (or cook) on any passage. Solves the weight problem and means we don't have to provision much between ports ;^)