Originally Posted by TheWollard
How did the older cruisers survive AND raise kids aboard?
Where did food come from? Gas? Water? Was cruising cheaper in the past? Did you do day labor or have jobs lined up when you arrived in a new port? Did you need special visas to work in foreign lands?
I'm interested in the logistics of living on the water. I assume you were able to live on the hook "rent free." Did you older sailors leave land behind with a sack full of cash or earn it as you traveled? If so, what did you do?
Wollard, I'll try and answer your questions as best I can remember. Early 70's for me first time, S. Pacific. I think there was 12 boats that crossed from N. American west coast. Others came through the canal from USA east coast and Europe. A few Europeans came via Cape Hope. Plus there were boats that had been in the S. Pacific for 2 or 3 years.
Kids were home schooled just like to day. In those days the American kids did the Calvert system as it was about the only educational home school program available. Today there are so many great programs and home schooling is so much a common thing now.
We did live on the hook a little more then because there were not as many Marinas. If there had been more marinas cruisers would have used them more. We all looked forward to a marina once in awhile after 2 months on the hook, land food, hot showers and resupply beer.
Food was more dried goods than today, rice, beans canned meat. Ice boxes then and ice lasted about 6 days in the tropics. More food available around the world today, even in isolated islands. All most all fuel came in 55 gallon drums when you could find it. Did not have the great engines like today so one had to be careful with fuel. Passages were less safe because no real weather forecasting and one did not motor through light or no winds. Had a good friend get caught in the famous Fiji cyclone of 72 because he had no way of running away from storm, he made it but never wanted to go through that again.
Cruising I think was about the same cost wise as today when you look at the dollar value now and then. Boats may have cost less to maintain as they were simpler but the gear was not as good as today and broke far more often.
Working in foreign countries was a bit easier except New Zealand. But anyplace was good if you had something they wanted and you could find work. Diesel mechanics did very well, waitresses and waiters did well in bigger places, same today. I picked fruit in New Zealand under the table and in Austraila I actually got payed to play ice hockey for a season and I did some stone work.
We did not have bank or credit cards back then so you had a letter of credit from a major bank and traveler checks. You could only cash in at a bank. Most sailors had money hidden somewhere on board nothing changes there.
Sailing was great then and still is just as good today but it was a bit different. I enjoy today because of great navigation products of today and instant weather you can go to so many more places now. By the way I still think the island women are just as beautiful today as they were in the 70's. The most beautiful smiles in the world.
I really think it is the same as you can see from my previous posts that young people have the same chances today as back then. You just have to have the same commitment as we had back then and find the way to break away from the lambs and the wolves.
Good luck to you all.