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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-21-2004 06:25 AM
anybody else in this boat

Same boat. Yes. Hmmm. Well, I certainly WAS, but time passes and things change. Sometimes obstacles seem impossible to overcome, but if you set a course and hold fast, time passes and great mountains wear away. Oh crap. Too much cryptic **** doesn''t say anything. Okay, here''s the readers digest version. I returned from Viet Nam a very damaged man and wanted nothing more than to integrate in society and get on with my life, not knowing that was not to be. One problem after another left me standing on the beach staring at the ocean and wanting only to have a sailboat and cruise away to a new life and adventure in warm places. I was in Boston. But life wasn''t having it. I was now divorced with kids, drinking and drugging WAY over the top, and living in desperate isolation in cheap apartments on the coast, staring out the window at the sea. I started reading. Magazines, then books. I went to the boat shows and wandered around, looking and learning. I stopped drinking and drugging (don''t ask - impossible to relate, but it''s been 19 years now) and bought a 22 foot O''Day that I promptly moved onto. It was hopeful. I had to press my back against the cabinroof to pull up my pants, then kneel on the cabin sole to button them up. After six months, I traded the O''Day and $5500 for a 29'' Warner Cadet with full headroom. After two more years, I bought a salvage fiberglass hull and began building my present boat. The kids were growing and needed college and other things. I accidently started a yacht service in Boston so I could make money to keep going on my own boat, but that turned into a life-draining mind-crushing exercize in human futility, along with having a six-month winter season of frozen death, but enough of that joy. I closed the doors and moved to Naples, Florida, where I went to work for another yacht service. I paid off all the old bills, shipped my unfinished boat down to Naples and struggled once again to get up and running. Two years ago I got this bad news from the VA. Seems they gave me a serious disease during an operation and I needed to stop working and get near Tampa (the big VA hospital) for treatment. This kinda sucked, but at least I could get back to work on the boat and move aboard, which I did. I also looked up a bunch of people out there cruising and started reading their websites, sort of living vicariously through their adventures. There are DEFINATELY some good people out there having great fun. Lunatics, of course, but our kind of lunatics, living our kind of dream. And there are HUNDREDS of them. This past insane hurricane ravaged summer, I made it to Palmetto in my boat. I ran aground for two days and weathered some scary damn storms, but I made it. Next thing you know, the VA says my disease is in remission, I mean like, fading away and healing without treatment, so now I''m on a watch list instead of entering treatment. I found this much better situation in the coolest little live-aboard marina you can imagine, in Cortez, Florida, right on the intercoastal. I''m finishing up working on my boat and gathering charts and shopping for depth sounders and GPS''s and such. The sunsets are great and the future is exciting. I know what the view is like from the shore where you stand. Find all the hope and joy you can by getting books, videos, movies (Riddle of the Sands is great) and watch websites for updates to keep the dream alive. You don''t have to sit on your hands and despair. Also, there is this possibility. Try to wrangle a situation where you can get a little scrap sailboat like an O''Day or a McGregor, something you can put in the back yard and work on a little at a time. It''s a form of therapy, a self-promise that you have something inside that needs attention. It avoids despair. If you can fix it up and sell it, more the better. Get a bigger one and build yourself a cruising kitty. You can always spend it on college for the kids if the time comes, but meanwhile, you''ll walk around smiling, and that''s all you really need.

Ben (Hawkeye) on board ''Falcon''
12-08-2004 02:03 AM
anybody else in this boat

12-08-2004 01:25 AM
anybody else in this boat

My best friend gave me some advice when we were still young. He said, "You need to get sex,kids marriage and all that kind of stuff out of the way while you are young so that when you are fifty you can go hunting and fishing. (Back then fifty seemed old.)
12-08-2004 01:19 AM
anybody else in this boat

"Was that the best you could ofer this person?" Maybe not but it was the funniest.
11-28-2004 08:31 PM
anybody else in this boat

My past was much like yours even sailing the 12 meter yacht and then I found myself in a relationship that took me away from the sea. This went on for several years then was gone and another lady came along a school teacher from Colorado but lived in the Albqurque area for 23 years having never seeing the ocean she was interested and I took her to California and she saw it for the first time.The next time was Destin Florida great beaches and the next was when we sailed our boat to Florida this summer and now she just wants that peace again even the storms did not stop her from becoming compleatly lost in the lure of the sea. We will be in New Mexico for Christmas and then visiting friends in Colorado you can not help but love the west it is beautiful. This is what I wanted but she was willing to try it after a few days of sun and being able to just wear what you want or not. A nice evening with wine a good steak or fresh fish on the grill and some bright moonlit passage some dancing in a beach bar aand the warm breeze and laughter in time you can only be drawn by that sort of thing. My wife gave up her house just off main street a restored 1903 home beautiful to look at warm and friendly place flower garden and all that,friends and family have to write or call and most of them will not come to visit. She is bugging me to head out again this time to Central America go figure.
11-22-2004 11:14 AM
anybody else in this boat


Sounds like sailing is in your blood. There is nothing wrong with that. Sailing and the joy of it can always be a part of your life....and you don''t have to be living aboard for that to happen. You can enjoy talking about it, planning it, reading about it and sharing your love for sailing with your family. And when they feel its draw as you do, introduce them to it.

One poster suggested a trailer sailor that you could take to a nearby lake. Great idea. Make sure it is a roomy, stable boat so that you give your spouse the best introduction to life aboard that you can (nothing worse than bobbing around in a cramped ugly thing getting seasick. Make it a GOOD experience. That will be step 1.

Then make a life plan. Another poster suggested vacationing on the water while looking for somewhere near the sea that you might relocate to. Another great idea. Call that step 2.

Then move up to a serious boat. A comfortable cruiser. Charter, crew or buy. Go with friends. Vacation in the islands.

If you want to share your love of sailing with your family and get them to want to share your are going to have to give them the same kind of experience that you had. Some experience they will love. Cherish and remember. Something transforming. Like the experiences you had.

It is not about negotiating or taking turns. It is about showing them something truly magical. Then they will catch the spirit you have and go where you want to go.

No matter what though, don''t wish your life away. Enjoy life and be happy every day, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Revel in the experience. Learn to be happy and then you can figure out how to change the lives of those in your family.

Hope this helps

s/v Invictus
11-21-2004 12:31 PM
anybody else in this boat

Belliegirl, I was timed out at the station and had to rush my thought, so let me expand a bit before wishing you well.

You seem to have serious commitments where you are so I would say the first thing is to embrace and honor the dreams that brought you there. For myself, a sip of wine or one lick on an icecream cone isn''t very satisfying. I would say protect and keep the sailing dream that is at present stifled. Life is short and yet we do have time to use. In my case I was drawn to sailing in the 70''s and have had a lifelong interest, but because of committments like yours and a lack of time and money I never even considered that I might actually have a boat and act on the dream. Now that I am in my fifties I find I live in a state of perfect freedon that I never expected planned for or would have been able to appreciate 20 years ago when I really ached for it. As for my sailing dream I joined a sailing club for a year and now own a balboa 8.2 which stirs my heart, but my wife''s dream is cycle touring. We expect to be able to sail later into life than we will be able to ride so touring comes first. The surprising thing for me is that cycling is fulfilling a lot of the expectations I had for sailing. The desire I had as a younger man for adventure has grown into a desire for a radically simple life that would be literally illegal ashore. Illegal unless one is a bicycle nomad. Everything we need for comfort and happiness we carry on our bikes. It has become a joke with my wife that as we put on our helmets in the morning and get ready to ride I have to say "I think this is going to be a good day". And usually as we go through the last little routines of the day in our tent I have to say "hasn''t this been a great day". The longer we ride we meet people who have toured different routes and different countries and continents all over the world and the possibilities are so very attractive. I believe that someday we will put Quattro de Mayo back in the water but it is getting really hard to think about saying "I''m through riding".

I hope I''ve understood your appeal and have given something that is sympathetic and encouraging. I would say life is full of blessings so savor the ones you have, protect and cherish your dream and don''t ever pass on a chance to act.
11-20-2004 02:51 PM
anybody else in this boat


I think you have the answer..."Only a mutual compassion and a shared spirit for challenging the sea can set a common course for the captain and his (her) first mate"...the hard part is putting it into practice.
11-20-2004 02:11 PM
anybody else in this boat

A spouse in need is a spouse in greed.

Cliche''s excused, marriage is an endless struggle for some common ground. So much has been written on the differences of sexes (what gives with Venus vs. Mars?) but no single person can calm the storm.

Only a mutual compassion and a shared spirit for challenging the sea can set a common course for the captain and his (her) first mate.

If I had the answer, my life would be better.

11-20-2004 09:55 AM
anybody else in this boat

belliegirl, first things first I say. Keep your spouse happy. My wife''s dream was to go cycle touring so I write from the public library in Las Cruces, NM. on a rest day. When we have finished our (projected) 18 month "circumnavigation" of the US by bicycle we will go back home, sell the house and take up MY dream.
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