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  #21  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Mark--- You old Rattle Snake.

Reading Brian's post, you can see why I suggested you visit the west coast of Florida. I think the Fed's are still admitting Aussies,
Had 3 months in New York City. Wonderful!

I am actually in Florida right now. I'm about to go to the tourist office and complain and get my tourism dollars back: it's COLD here! And wet! And windy!

I'm in St Augustine working on a engine problem, waiting for a part. Then heading south to Key West for Christmas.

I did ask some locals on the East coast of Florida about the west coast of Florida and they said: Where?

Bahamas feb to may, then cross the Atlantic again to go back to the Med for the season

So it's all nice and rolling along.

I dunno if I will get to the west coast of F. I might if I get kicked out of Key West... But would have to drink a lot to get kicked out of there!!!

What about you? Doing a cruise this year? come down to the Keys!


Mark
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 11-15-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

One added thought to Brian & Dave's comments. No one asks/cares about one's political affiliations. The only divisions I see are Stink Potters verses Rag Baggers. NO?
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

This is my first extended cruise, and at my age, it may be my last. I've met so many wonderful people from the head of Chesapeake Bay to south Florida, folks that have been friendly, always willing to help when problems arrise, and I'm more than willing to assist them in any way I can. They are from a diverse life, but all seem to have one thing in common - the love of sailing.

As an entertainer, I'm constantly in contact with large numbers of individuals, many of which could care less about sailing, or boating. Most tend to live in small communities where no one knows or talks with their next-door neighbor. Things have really changed over the years, particularly with the advent of IPhones, the Email, and the impersonal aspects of the Internet itself. While technology is a wonderful thing, to me, at least, this same technology has eroded the personal aspects of everyday life.

A few days ago I visited my brother and his family. Everyone was physically attached to their IPhone. It never left their hand, they were constantly checking for text messages, emails, etc... The world beyond the end of their fingers didn't seem to exist. Little babies were allowed to freely run around the house and constantly get into things that could potentially harm them. The only time the phone was put away was when a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass was heard in another room.

People walking down the streets in this small community were glued to their IPhones as well. Young ladies were out walking/jogging, wearing headsets, and every one of them had a phone in their hands. Many were not paying any attention to where they were walking, some walked across busy streets without looking up from their phones and I was amazed that none were killed or injured while I was there.

The same holds true for those driving cars. While in many states it's illegal to talk or text while driving, it's a law that's completely ignored. Nearly every driver had a phone jammed in their ear, and many were seen texting with their Iphones and IPads resting on the car's steering wheel. This is INSANE!

Fortunately, in the sailing community, life seems to be a bit like it was before IPhones and similar devices. Sure, most sailors have them, but that electronic device doesn't seem to dominate their lives. To me, at least, this is a breath of fresh air. People introduce themselves to perfect strangers, friendships are developed, and old friendships are rekindled. That's the way life should be.

For me, that cellular telephone plays a minor role. It's a great form of communications, but it's secondary to the best form of communication - interaction with people by reaching out and shaking their hand, helping them with the docklines, inviting them for dinner, mixing them a Green Coconut Margaretta, and in my case, having fun while singing with me during one of my musical performances.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I remember that too. In college, it was a bit different. But afterwards, in the city, it was not. I sometimes wonder if the people change or the environment?

Brian
Ha! I've often commented that dock life reminds me a lot of dorm life ... right down to everyone noticing that one of the singlehander guys had the same woman over several weekends in a row But in lots of ways - we have small personal spaces, relatively few possessions, and lots of shared common space, whether its the marina lounge or the campus quad, and all share at least one common interest, whether its sailing or final exam pressure. And of course the keg parties.

Does this environment attract a certain kind of person, or shape them?
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  #25  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

My first trip on a sailboat was a month long trip around Lake Michigan. We left Chicago, headed for the Michigan shore, sailed up north to Mackinac, hitting harbors along the way, and came back through Green Bay and along the Wisconsin shore, our last stop being in Milwaukee before heading back home.

I already knew boaters were a great bunch of people. I had already seen that in the harbors in Chicago. When we stopped at the first harbor on the trip, it was the same thing. And the same at the next and the next. If there was anyone near on the docks, they would be there asking you to throw them your lines. At times I would see a boater running over to help.

I was in my mid 20's at the time. A time of life when one can be somewhat self-absorbed. But the boating community was teaching me how much better it was to give, to help, to be open and friendly. I grew up on the south side of Chicago. Some neighbors I knew, some I rarely saw. Boating was such a different experience.

At first I didn't think of the differences. I just loved the friendliness of the marine community and didn't question it. But when I did think about it, I thought maybe the difference comes from the fact we are all challenged by the same thing, Mother Nature. At times she can be pleasure and at times she can be your worst enemy. We all know this and that becomes the tie that binds.

Whatever it is, I don't care. I love the community and I miss it a lot.
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Had 3 months in New York City. Wonderful!

I am actually in Florida right now. I'm about to go to the tourist office and complain and get my tourism dollars back: it's COLD here! And wet! And windy!

I'm in St Augustine working on a engine problem, waiting for a part. Then heading south to Key West for Christmas.

I did ask some locals on the East coast of Florida about the west coast of Florida and they said: Where?

Bahamas feb to may, then cross the Atlantic again to go back to the Med for the season

So it's all nice and rolling along.

I dunno if I will get to the west coast of F. I might if I get kicked out of Key West... But would have to drink a lot to get kicked out of there!!!

What about you? Doing a cruise this year? come down to the Keys!


Mark
It's looking like You, Brian and I will all be in Key West at the same time. We may be obligated to crawl in the back corner of my neighborhood pub and swap sea stories ( I know You've got some good one's I 'd like to hear) and maybe have an enlightened discussion over paper vs. Computer navigation. Let me now if you'll do me the honors of buying you a pint and shot, I'll be kicking around the dock's.
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Had 3 months in New York City. Wonderful!

I am actually in Florida right now. I'm about to go to the tourist office and complain and get my tourism dollars back: it's COLD here! And wet! And windy!

I'm in St Augustine working on a engine problem, waiting for a part. Then heading south to Key West for Christmas.

I did ask some locals on the East coast of Florida about the west coast of Florida and they said: Where?

Bahamas feb to may, then cross the Atlantic again to go back to the Med for the season

So it's all nice and rolling along.

I dunno if I will get to the west coast of F. I might if I get kicked out of Key West... But would have to drink a lot to get kicked out of there!!!

What about you? Doing a cruise this year? come down to the Keys!


Mark
It's good to hear from you. I am sure it's very cold in St. Augustine. (We won't go north of 28º N from about 1 November to 1 April. Our blood's gotten too thin!) Key West will be a great improvement but you'll be surprised at how cold it can get, even there, in January. Endurable however. Our cruising plans are kind of up in the air this season but we may try to make a run down to the Keys if we can get a few daze and a weather window between fronts. It takes use about 30 hours to make Key West with any decent wind. We'll let you know, if so. (Or we may just drive down.) In any case, be sure to get together with Brian while you're there. He's not a bad sort and you'll like his boys.

How did the trip north from Cumana go? I kind of expected you to shoot up to the Caymans and zoom around the west end of Cuba and show up at our marina (we kept a couple of cold and frosties for you just in case). Did you beat all the way back to the windwards? (Damn fool if so, you know you're taking you life in your hands with those darned Bendy Toes.) Were the Natives civil in New York et al? (Sometimes folks north of the Chesapeake can get pretty crusty.)

N'any case, we're happy to know you're well and healthy and that Sea Life is hanging in for you. (Hopefully all's well with Nic too, where ever, eh?)

Cheers!

/s/ Scott
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
Brian, I really enjoyed reading this as it evokes a lot of thoughts and emotions about the dreams and goals of my wife and I. We spend a lot of time reading, researching and planning for a day when we can sell the house, buy a bigger boat, and go. Which leads me to....

a slightly off topic issue, and maybe too personal, but I can't help asking how anyone who lives aboard and cruises with their family is able to do it from a financial standpoint.

I know different people do it in different ways-- work sporadically, work online, commute from the boat to a place of work, or be independently wealthy. In our situation, our only realistic option for now would be to live aboard and continue to commute to a 9-5, which is not appealing to either of us. Or we could quit our jobs, sell the house, and probably cruise for 3-5 years and then be penniless. Also not appealing (maybe if it was just the two of us, but won't do that with kids).

So, care to quench my curiosity?
THat is a very good question. I am certainly happy to answer it. You will have to forgive me if it is not a simple fill in the blank. I do not think that would do it justice. So if you can stay awake long enough to read, I will share our story. Let's see, Once Upon a Time (snicker)....

Jump back circa early 90's. I was always fascincated by boats. Me and my young wife would often drive to the docks or even the parkinglots of marinas and watch the masts sway. We would walk down where we could and talk to other sailors and just look at boats. I have always been mesmerized with them and loved the unique sound of masts ringing in the wind (though sometimes that same banging halyard drives me crazy as a live aboard!!).

We purchased out first sailboat not long after that. It wasn't real expensive - a 25' Catalina. But it gave us an opportunity to see how much we enjoyed it. Truth be told, those boats are great for what they are, though they are more of a camping trailor than a yacht (and I mean that in a positive way). But it served its purpose and helped us to realize that was exactly what we wanted to do with out lives. We had no kids, but saw no reason why the two should have been separated. You would be surprised at the number of people that put off buying a boat, sell it, or give up on their boating dreams because of kids. The reasons for that are many fold (you have kids, so I am sure you understand). Expenses are certainly one... but many people believe a child needs a land home and the concept of raising them on a boat is not even up for discussion. So that you know, we do not believe that. In fact, we believe quite the opposite. Chase was aboard at 5 days old.



Glen has really known nothing other than boating. We did own a house at the time, in fact we have owned several off and on during our marraige, but we always came back to the boat. We had no issue taking our children with us, anywhere, and still don't.

I was not born wealthy. In fact, quite the opposite may be true. I never grew up in what I consider poverty. I never went hungry. I generally had what I thought were good presents under the tree. My mom got to stay home much of my young childhood. However, life certainly had its difficulties. I will leave it at that. It is because of certain difficulties in that childhood, I determined to make money and be very succesful. The problem, of course, was my lifestyle didn't necessarily mesh up with my profession (boating and recruiting).

THe details of this are irrelevant, but because of our interests, I was determined to have a job that allowed me the financial means and personal means to live aboard. It wasn't easy. It took me both building up a nest egg and working my way up the company into ownership/partnership. We lived vastly below our means and we spent most of our time boating if not living aboard. WHen I made partner, I was committed to having an office by the water and made that happen. Due to circumstances which are irrelevant here, I left that firm and started up my own independent firm and worked off the boat while cruising. In fact, I closed my last two deals anchored off the keys (if memory serves)!!

Technology played into my favor but also restricted me. However, I have always had one passion in life - one even stronger than boating or sailing or cruising: writing. I love to write. I began writing books when I was 13. I always wrote for fun and never tried to publish until recently. So some time back, I put my business on hold (which with any luck will be permanent) and now write books fulltime. I hope to have one available for purchase within the next month... maybe two. It is a YA (Young Adult) Science Fiction novel. It took me two years to complete it. I have another novel which is completed and in editing in Historical Fiction (also Young Adult). THat novel was started over five years ago. I have a trilogy I need to review to see if it is worth revamping or just tossing and starting over (also Young Adult).

Maybe of interest to you is I am outlining and have begun writing a book called, "The Guide to Living Aboard... and boating with children". Its focus is specifically on living aboard a boat, what it is like, what works, what doesn't, choosing a boat, how to make the life a happy one for everyone, etc. It is not about cruising, per se, though I discuss that. It is more focused on how to make a boat work for a home... basically what 99.9% of us have to deal with that make the plunge. Sailnet has already agreed to help me promote it and I soon will be an official advertiser here!! Kinda cool, huh?

So, that is how we have made this work. My wife's career is very similar in that she specifically chose a profession that allowed her to work remotely and allowed us to be anywhere (though truth be told, she did not work for many parts of this adventure).

I would urge you when reading this not to think, "Ghosh, you are lucky you have a job that allows you to work remote." Instead, I hope you will think, "How can I alter my career or make what I do work remotely?" If your parameters are that you have to maintain or exceed your income, you have a better imagination than I do (and I gotta good one!). I doubt that will happen. I think instead, you have to be ready to accept the repercussions and balance them for the positives.

Let me tell you something which I hope will sway you: I spend every moment with my kids. I get up in the morning and they lay beside me as I sip coffee. I fix them breakfast. I help them get set up and go to homeschool on the boat. I am both teacher, coach, and parent (and unfortunately, sometimes principal). Afterwards we fish together or we go throw a baseball or football. SOmetimes we ride bikes or explore in the tender. That evening I start supper and we work together around a stove, grill, and sink to get it on the table (and clean it up). Afterwards we play a board game (generally Monopoly... I suck!!) or read a book together as a family (one of my great classics being the famous author I am... snicker). I put my kids to bed. And the next day, we start all over again. I remember doing this a couple of weeks ago while anchored off of Emerson Point. We walked the trails early in the morning for "PE". I stared out across the bay to the Sunshine Bridge. It was stop and go traffic. I have no doubt that bridge was filled with parents, both moms and dads, who had dropped their kids off at Daycare and were on their way to work. THat evening, they will be sitting in traffic doing the same, getting home at 7 after they pick up the kids from daycare and stop for some takeout. Do they know their kids? More importantly, do their kids know them? Or have we become a society where mom and dad both work to make ends meet and our children are raised by a public school system, televisions, and daycares? I spend every second with my children. I am responsible for every aspect of their well being and education. I have taken total responsibility for every part of their lives, both good and bad. It is not all wonderful. I won't lie. We bump into problems and issues all the time and the boat can REALLY get small (especially when it is raining outside). But my kids will grow up knowing their parents and all of us being a part of each other's lives.

The tradeoff (other than it being a lot of work), is that I have thrown away a LOT of money. I don't have nice cars anymore. In fact, my last car is about to be up for sale. My kids don't wear really nice clothes, they don't have their own TV, and I have to say, our college fund for them isn't great. THey will probably have to work through college and get scholarships. And instead of a first car, they get an old leaky tender (remember the pics??) that at BEST runs most of the time. Our Christmas persents for them will pretty much be limited to our cashback check from our CHase CCard. Many consider this irresponsible. Some of our family members (and many of our land based friends) think we are crazy and have said as much.

Still, for me and Kris, the tradeoff was worth it. At least, we hope it will be. We will keep trying to make this work until we can't make it work anymore. But the trick is, at least for us, making it work. It is a committment that has a lot of repercussions. Many (if not most) of the people sitting on that bridge in 8:00 am traffic will have a much larger retirement than me and my wife. Some will say they did it 'right'. All I will have is a mountain of pictures and memories of me, my wife, and my kids... and the time we spent together when they were young. But honestly, the toughest thing for this old dad isn't trying to figure out how to make the boat work right now while they are here, it's trying to figure out how I will make it work when they are gone.

All my best,

Brian
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
It's good to hear from you. I am sure it's very cold in St. Augustine. (We won't go north of 28º N from about 1 November to 1 April. Our blood's gotten too thin!) Key West will be a great improvement but you'll be surprised at how cold it can get, even there, in January. Endurable however. Our cruising plans are kind of up in the air this season but we may try to make a run down to the Keys if we can get a few daze and a weather window between fronts. It takes use about 30 hours to make Key West with any decent wind. We'll let you know, if so. (Or we may just drive down.) In any case, be sure to get together with Brian while you're there. He's not a bad sort and you'll like his boys.

How did the trip north from Cumana go? I kind of expected you to shoot up to the Caymans and zoom around the west end of Cuba and show up at our marina (we kept a couple of cold and frosties for you just in case). Did you beat all the way back to the windwards? (Damn fool if so, you know you're taking you life in your hands with those darned Bendy Toes.) Were the Natives civil in New York et al? (Sometimes folks north of the Chesapeake can get pretty crusty.)

N'any case, we're happy to know you're well and healthy and that Sea Life is hanging in for you. (Hopefully all's well with Nic too, where ever, eh?)

Cheers!

/s/ Scott
Hey Scott,

Come to the TOrtugas with us! Leaving circa Nov 26th. I am getting a bunch of boats from the Harborage to go. Captain's meeting this Sunday at the lounge. You interested?

Everyone else is invited too. If you have never been, I believe it is the most beautiful place in the US (excluding PNW which has its own beauty but different).

Brian
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  #30  
Old 11-15-2012
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Re: The Cruising Community

There's nothing wrong with the way that you're doing it.
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