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Cruisingdad 11-13-2012 10:23 PM

The Cruising Community
 
You know, I have been doing this for a long time, and I am still amazed.

So, in St Pete, I think we know every one of the liveaboards. What a great community! We have dock partys without great reason. We help everyone, motorboat or not, into the slip. We have dinner every night at a different boat. The cruisers in the marina found out my wife was heading out on a trip this week, and all were offering dinners, help, you name it. I just got back from a couple (who never had kids) offering me, the kids and even Fatty to come over. What a great meal too. When I head up to the restroom in the morning, I leave early because everyone catches me on the way and conversations ensue that test my bladder. When Debby came over, we helped any boater out and they helped us. When we come in, the neighbors are running out to help with dock lines. Folks, that is what it is like here.

It isn't quite that way everywhere. I find St Pete a bit of the extreme. But everywhere I go, I am surrounded by people that care and want to be a part of a community. They want to help. They want to give more than their share. I am absolutely blessed with friends I know I can count on and ask for anything. I will throw them the keys to my car. They do the same. We check out with everyone before going to the store if a cruiser has wheels. We split things and often refuse payment. West Marine is a FULL vehicle affair.

The Cruising Community is awesome. Our best friends in the world are cruisers from over a decade ago. THe wife of my best friend just spent the night with us a few days ago. They are going to bring their kids and meet us in the Tortugas. We all get togehter and laugh and have a good time and celebrate birthdays. Sometimes we dont need a reason at all to get together. One person starts grilling and next thing you know, there is a dock party. A dock parth doesn't mean drinking. It is just a congreagation of folks that all start laughing and doing things as a group. We all share a common interenst and live and die by the sea.

The cruising community is a tight bunch. There are the oddballs, but they never show up anyways. How many of you that own homes really know all your neighbors? I lived in several neighborhoods, nice and not so. I have never known such a close niche where everyone is equal and watches out for the other. I know many will dissagree, and many will say how great their home communities are, but my experience is quite the opposite. THe docks remind me of what I remember as a kid: the partys, the laughter, the camraderie, the friendships. Everyone was just themselves. I wonder somehow if those days are gone in mainstream America?

It's a different life out here. FOr those considering making the plunge, I hope you will come. When you do, look us up if we don't catch you first. Have a drink. Have a coke. Just have a laugh and know you are with good friends.

And that... is The Cruising Community.

Brian

Flybyknight 11-13-2012 10:55 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
Brian, Glad you and your family are enjoying the good cruising life, and have so many pleasant social experiences. Pray tell, how small is the smallest boat in your cruising fraternity?
Thanks in advance.
Dick

MedSailor 11-13-2012 11:03 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
Great observations Brian,

Now that I'm landlocked (a temporary affliction I assure you!) one of the things that I miss is the livaboard community. We chose a house with close neighbors, but even at that we are close neighbors with only 3 houses around us and seim-close with 2 others. A couple more we recognize and wave to.

On the docks, I knew everybody. It was a big marina peopled my many livaboards and I was friends with many of them. We could borrow things, get a helping hand, receive advice (asked for and not) and on and on.

I remember lamenting that in the apartments I lived in I didn't even know what all of my NEXT DOOR neighbors looked like. The ones I did I never spoke to. Once on the boat it was instantly different.

I guess we all have the "crazy like us" in common. ;)

MedSailor

wingNwing 11-14-2012 07:20 AM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
What you describe is one of the reasons we encourage new liveaboards to stay in a marina for a while, just to get the community that's lacking if (for example) you are living tied to a friends dock in a waterfront house - just not the same.

Visited St Pete (by land) for 3 days a few years ago when I was there for a meeting and always thought it would be fun to come back by boat for a season.

PBzeer 11-14-2012 07:37 AM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
I agree with Brian, but would extend that to include most Sailneters and other online sailing groups.

Faster 11-14-2012 12:03 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
While we've never lived aboard, we do spend a lot of time aboard in season. We've also known a number of people who did live in liveaboard marinas and have seen/felt the camaraderie that seems to be the norm in those situations.

It's not unusual in BC to share progressive anchorages with the same group, nor to see the same boats in different places night after night.. if you're not shy this can lead to new friendships, social gatherings in a similar way. Our club organizes an annual summer flotilla cruise (plus monthly weekend rendesvous') and it's a great situation for all involved too.

Nothing like being able to gather together with a group of like-minded people. A big plus in this environment is that it's almost inevitable that somebody among the group will be an expert, or at least an experienced amateur, and be able to help with a wide array of issues, problems and repairs in a way that could avoid a significant marina or mechanic's bill.

Tim R. 11-14-2012 12:09 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
We will be leaving soon(spring 2014) and will share a drink when we catch up with you Brian.

MarkofSeaLife 11-14-2012 12:29 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad (Post 948037)
offering me, the kids and even Fatty to come over.

Brian

Others say that cruising means when you remember the names of people's dogs its time to move on!

(I hope fatty is the name of you pet, and not the nickname of one of the kids! ;) )

The cruising community can be very different too... Secluded anchorages in far off countries infrequently visited can at times get boring. So when a new yacht arrives and drops anchor it's all hands to the dinghy to go find out what they're about, invitation to drinks, help sort out he local geography - becoming best friends in 24 hours. And then next day moving on knowing you'll never see those people again in life....

There's still a community... But instead of giving a hand because they have helped you, you gotta give a hand to anyone you meet to earn the karma points to get assistance when needed somewhere else by different folks.

:)


Mark

rbrasi 11-14-2012 02:28 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
I wish my neighbors were sailors.

CaptainForce 11-14-2012 03:08 PM

Re: The Cruising Community
 
We share community with people in about 30 ports along the US East coast and some islands south, but we almost always spend Thanksgiving through Christmas at our "Home" marina. It's not a big place, but there are a dozen liveaboards here and I remain comfortable knowing their dog's names. We have other cruising friends that we come across at various anchorages. They are moblie like us and there is always a great celebration that comes with the chance encounter. Wing n' Wing in post #4 are like that,- we saw them in St. Augustine & in the Chesapeake. It's not such a huge group that you don't come across friends while cruising. Some even know my dog better than me. I remember some cruisers who I didn't recognize when we were anchored in Daytona and they called across to my dog, "Hey, Zorro!".....Always friendly people,- I don't know where they met my dog, Zorro!


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