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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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That happens all of the time. The cruising life is very romantic to a lot of people who have not tried it and while it can be extremely rewarding and marvelous beyond many people''s dreams you often hear stories of the people who came back.

I have know a fair number of these cases. It happens for all kinds of reasons. Amoungst people that I have known it varies from people that simply run out of money to people who were simply totally unsuited to the life.

Most people I have known that come back prematurely found that the cruising life just did not match their expectations or abilities. There is this image of the cruising life that suggests that it is merely a long carefree weekend cruise. Apparently it is not.

There are the long passages that some people love and others fear or hate. To those a long passage is days of being exhausted and bored punctuated by moments of sheer terror. There is the constant need to keep you home and your transportation operational that has some referring to distance cruising as simply "making expensive repairs in exotic places."

There is compatability issues. One former cruising couple talked about the man''s goal of getting to as many places as he could as quickly as he could. He''d set a time table (loosely based on annual weather patterns)and left to his own devices, would race from place to place without stopping long enough to see any of them. The woman wanted to spend long periods of time in each place and had no goals about where they were goings as long as she did not have to keep "jumping around so much". He also complained that her idea of seeing a new place was to examine their shopping and dispite what she claimed she wanted to move on if the shopping wasn''t interesting. She described the guy as "checking off the boxes" and he called her version "a global shopping spree".

There are couples who have never routinely spend time together without the events of the day to talk about.

There are people who go out there expecting cruising to be a cure all for whatever ails them. Its not. For all of the wonderment of the cruising life, its not a cure all and many problems just move aboard. There are all kinds of emotional reasons whey people opt out. Boats can become claustaphobic to some or some can''t deal with the "lack of stuff" or the inherent chaos of cruising.

You hear all kinds of stories. I think the one''s that make it are people who come in without rigid preconceptions. They work their way in a step at a time or come in as a team. There are some where each has their own life and goals and they have found mechanisms to make both happy. You listen to their stories and you''d swear they were on two separate voyages.

There are those who came ashore involuntarily. I have heard stories of people abandoning boats in storms and because of illness.

But with all of that said, there are a lot of people out there cruising and enjoying the life. Whether it is a circumnavigation or the snowbirds who do the annual trek up and down the coast, wintering in some spot in the Islands and Summering in some place "Up North" to the folks that live aboard and never quite leave the slip, there are a lot of very happy stories out there.

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