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Rather radical to write on this site. I totally understand. For sure to the "new sailor" getting to and seeing new places is a huge part of the thrill... and being surrounded by lovely scenery... Some people switch to RVing and they can see some wonderful parts of the country. So it is analogous to sailing with few to no weather concerns. Sailing is one of the most satisfying ways to travel... you do it in your own cozy home... you live a life without collecting possessions that you really don't need and because you don't have the space to hoard... a dirt living affliction.
Then of course older you get the more difficult it is to sail. Doable but more difficult.
But the a true bummer is when you lose the thrill of the new and the familiar is doing nothing for you. It's hard to get motivated to raise anchor. Maybe for perfect weather? Maybe to meet a friend of some specific event... Newport Jazz Festival...
I am transitioning out... But it's very hard to let go... as so much of your "life": and identity is invested in the sailing life ... especially when you are retired. Play golf? Watch TV? Write a book?
I hear you Don... I hope you can find your next.
 

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There is a point in cruising, and you might be at it, where the novelty is gone and it feels like the same old thing every day. Yes, even when you are anchored in tropical waters with beautiful views having nice snorkeling followed by cocktails and grilled lobster. I think everyone reaches this point, and everyone's response when getting to this point is different - some sell the boat and do something else, some move to winter cruising and summer house, some get a bigger cruising plan and set off for more distant shores, some just ride over that hump and keep going as they were.

Mark
Frankly I became bored with the eastern Caribbean. It's very beautiful and was fabulous to explore. And I got out during the summer to cruise etc in Southern NE... and sail the Canaries on a friend's boat. New places keep your wanderlust batteries charged. I was not motivated to go around the world as many are.... it's even a bucket list item for many. When the more robust internet appeared fabulous travel content came with it... and I am not referring to the sailing YouTubes.
What I did really miss is what a region like NYC metro area provides... concerts, museums, incredible dining.. cultural diversity... Opera, Ballet, Cinema, Theater, Jazz... it's perhaps the cultural capital of the world. You can find it all here.. When I returned I immersed myself in that.. no longer taking it for granted.. as I had glowing up here. I loved sailing and resumed local sailing to all too familiar places. It's expensive and everything desirable is in short supply...whether is concert tickets or a mooring or garage. Real estate in expensive.
My wanderlust has lost it shine... My wife wants visit some Euro capitals.. and maybe road trips. We've become fair weather sailors and that weather is less frequent this millennium so far. Time to transition to an armchair sailor.
But nothing beats a beam reach at hull speed under blue skies
 

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For a live aboard like Don... options are few...
 

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?????????
I meant if you don't have a dirt house to move to and postpone your decision... or even take a long break... Maybe "fewer" would have been a better word.
 

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I cruise for 4 years and lived aboard for another 6…if you accomplished everything you wanted to do you won’t miss it….except on those days when the weather is perfect as you walk along beach. ;-)
I think for some the live aboard and be free to travel to anywhere is somewhat non specific. For many the anywhere implies the entire world... for many the moderate climates... others it's exotic tropical place...for some it's to escape their dirt life and all that it entails.

You dint know what you had till it's gone.

You get what you wanted, but lost what you had.

For many this life means another new beautiful place to experience and notch on your belt. There seem to be so many and the world is so big. But I suppose at some point you get tired of eating lobster... every meal as there isponoy so many ways to prepare it,

If a goal can be defined with specificity it can be attainable... and maybe less stimulating...

Everyone craves new, few crave the familiar.
 

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I get bored with anything, if I can’t keep moving. What’s the alternative? A dirt house would be worse. Talk about the same sights. Some RV. If funancially possible, mixing it up between dirt and boat works for most.

One should never get off the trail, or give up the summit, on a bad day of hiking. At the end of a good day, if it’s no longer desired, it’s time to move on.
Often it's not simply boedom. It's rather the knowledge that there is more out there to experience. And for cruising it means a new harbor to discover. Getting there becomes less and less the reward... being there less and less... something new and different there is what's left.
You need to be removed from something to appreciate it often... liking pining for sailing in the dead of winter.
 

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After 13 years of cruising, we have never been bored or run out of new places to see in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Europe or in America. Everyday is special. With the proper equipment and a comfortable boat, one can go anywhere.

The world outside the East Coast of the US is a wonderful place with many nice people to meet and get to know as close friends, people from all parts of the world. Covid has not slowed us down, we focus on going where we CAN go and spend zero time dwelling on where we CAN’T go at this moment.

We’ve both had covid, had our vaccinations, yes we got quite sick, but we’re not dead yet.
Well duh... it's "self evident" that the world is filled with places to see... and quite the variety as well.

BUT...

Have lived / cruised in the Eastern Caribe... I can say that there are more similarities in these Island nations than there are differences. And I am guessing it's the similarities which are the impression of "the East Caribe" one is left with,
New and unique is the draw... But sometimes it means quite a long journey.

Go sail for a few years and find out and then write a book or make some YTs.
 

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We started in Athens yesterday morning before landing here in Istanbul, yes the world is much larger than the ICW, Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean. Sorry, but I’m not interested in writing a travel guide or youtube.
I think is admirable sailing all around the world to places that one finds compelling. People that can do this are special and rare. You know it takes, the right boat, sailing skill and experience...and of course fund$. So unless the travel is a "self funding" it's a pretty costly way to live... or not less that living on dirt. Living on dirt you don't need much skill and there's not much to see.
If you are lazy... you can't be a sailor/cruiser.
 

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I'm making general comments here. Not directed "at" Don. Nor am I saying anything less than complimentary to Americans.

Yes, boats are squishy and uncomfortable compared to a house/condo/apartment etc. There needs to be some counter-balance to the discomfort of small toilets, tiny showers, minute kitchens and foam mattresses instead of innerspring queen or kingsize beds one doesn't have to crawl over their partner at 2am. And then at 3 am, 4am and at dawn.

Its the same with RV's. Some spend $250,000 on an RV are are bored with it as there is no balance.

Yes, many people in all walks of life don't plan their retirement. They say we'll retire and live on Easy Street doing whatever we want. "We Have No Plans AND Are Sticking To Them" - Thats the most stupid theme I can ever imagine.

Plans give balance! You want to climb Mt Everest, of course you must live in a tent. Living in the tent is PART of the Everest adventure. Living in a tent in your home city is no fun !

Many Americans retire, grab a boat and then STAY at home. in their own bay, or in the USA. I say Get the hell out of Dodge because living on a boat at home is no adventure. Theres no balance.

With Don its really interesting as we have been able to look inside his life for the past 5 years, month by month. He complains we don't give him enough feedback for each months figures, but they have been SO illuminating. He is/has not gone anywhere, has done northing to give that balance. Maybe a few weeks in the Bahamas (but see below). His monthly figures prove it. Marinas, booze and eating out but no tourism... exactly the same as when he was living in his house but in a marina. For those 5 years I have been telling him it will be better when he is living on the hook in the Caribbean (or wherever).

However, the "wherever" can't be, cannot be, a place associated with you. It can't be the ICW if you're from the east Coast USA, or the Great Lakes if that's where you're from. Similarly it can't be the Bahamas because the Bahamas are like the USA without the supermarkets. Its not "full of Americans and Canadians" its exclusively Americans and Canadians. You might occasionally see a European boat, or a Kiwi or Aussie but really, its American and Canadians.

Its cant be Puerto Rico - thats American; its Cant be the USVI. (It can't be Cuba for now). It can't be Mexico - there's reasons be too long to explain). It can't be the BVIs as the people speak with a put on US accent (too true!).
The closest you can be to the USA before cruising is cruising, before the balance starts is the east Caribbean Islands (No, dont believe what SanderO says. The Caribbean islands are FANTASTIC!!!!).

The first of the accessible islands is St Martin/Sint Maarten. On the French side you are suddenly in another country. They speak French. The supermarkets are French, the food is French, the American brand labels do not exist - yes, theres no Aunt Jemima's! No theres no Monterey Jack, thers real stinky French cheese; theres bread not baked the American way but baked without chemicals so if you dont eat it this morning its stale this afternoon. The History is not about the Civil War (American) or the War of Independence (OK it is, but not the American war of independence!). NO Blackbeard was not American! But most important of all is suddenly the majority of the boats, most boats are not USA or Canadian flagged. Suddenly you are in a foreign culture with a foreign history; foreign food and no Budweiser!!! Suddenly you're having Sundowners with Aussies, Norwegians, Dutch, Italians, even the odd Kiwi.
That then gives you balance to live on your small dinghy boat because adventure awaits you every day!

Then when you've had your fill of that island you move to the next for a totally different experience... and EVERY Island in the Caribbean is totally different: St Barts billionaires; Stacia and Saba weird hermit communities on hermit islands get for hiking up cliffs. Antigua for the British historic base with Nelson's English Harbour, the slaves of Barbuda whose family's haven't moved. Monserrat with its active Volcano. Guadeloupe with is few original Carib Indian families desperately hanging on.... and so on down the island chain, Dominica where they cop every hurricane every season and earthquakes every other season and mud-slides associated with both.
Down to Grenada where you're forced every Hurricane Season and have to make the choice: Do I anchor in the "southern bays" with all the Whities? Or do I go meet the locals?

The Caribbean is the closest place to give you Balance. To make that boat your adventure palace, to make all the dopey maintenance work worthwhile.

And the moment you are satisfied you've done the Caribbean there........... Europe, the Med, Norway, North Africa, South America, Brazil, Panama, the Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa....

Theres a lifetime of Balance!



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Mark
Mark,
Good post. I am from NYC and spent 5 years in the Eastern Caribe from St Marten to Trinidad. I loved getting off the boat and into each island... I loved the French Islands and spent lots of time on/at them. I loved the "set up" of Nelson's Dockyard - Falmouth... met interesting people and very Americans actually. But did met a NY guys who was super and is still sailing 20 something years on. I think he in Columbia. Back when I met him... he had sailed his wife and small daughter and left them anchored in English Harbor... returning when he could get away from his dental practice. I met him because of the young daughter...maybe 7 or 8 waiting for her mom to retrieve her from the Dockyard, one morning. Seeing a little girl alone caused me to ask her where her parents were. She told me so we called her mom on their boat and I asked if it was OK for me to dink the child back. She was OK with it. At the time I had two white kittens I got in St Marten and asked the little girl if she would like to play with them... if so, hail me on the VHF and her mom can dink her over or I will pick her up. That kid was amazing! She made this drawing on board for me:

Handwriting Rectangle Font Line Wood

I still have it hanging in my home office.
So one day I was in Newport maybe 5 -8 yrs ago and I saw Ghost Boat... and my friend Rick was on board. 2 decades had passed....Rick... how is your daughter...her name was Faraday???? She's a captain, a would class racing sailor of
big boats.. done trans Atlantic deliveries. YIKES!!!! She grew up

Who knew?
 

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It's only life. Do what brings you joy. If it's no longer fun, do something else. Boredom is a state of mind. Only you can change your mind. One thing I do know (for me) is that there is joy and wonder everywhere. I don't have to go anywhere in particular to find it. It's all around.

We sold our land house in 2015 and have called our boat our home ever since. We've kept to seasonal cruising because so far we've been slowly exploring eastern Canada (Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and most recently Newfoundland). Wintering on board really isn't an option, so we are on board for about 1/2 the year, and we do other things the other half. Other things mostly include house sitting at locations across Canada, but one season we spent motorcycling around North America.

So far this has worked for us. But I know this is not forever. At some point we'll shift to other ways of living. Could be heading south with the boat, or perhaps east. Could be selling the boat and getting an RV, or perhaps a remote cabin somewhere. Whatever it is, whatever we do, it's all just life. Try not to take it too seriously.
Mike... I like the house sitting - sailing mix lifestyle. How do you get the house sit gigs?... seasonal all that...
 

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We stopped living on our sailboat over 5 years ago. We enjoyed it, but I don't miss it.

Next we got into trailer sailing. Spent about 4 years doing that.

We enjoyed trailer sailing and will likely go back to it, but this year we are trying RVing.

I think it's great.

More comfortable than living on a boat and easier to cover miles. It is similar to cruising on a boat in the range of options.

You can stay at a highly serviced RV park with loads and amenities and little privacy.

You can totally off grid and just park off a logging road by some mountain lake.

And there is just about everything in between.

Lots of stuff to try.
I see that RVing is somewhat analogous to cruising... operative word - somewhat - But the similarities don't make RVing appealing to me, My not boat travels I stayed in hotels, motels, homes and so on... drove, flew to location... local transport or rent a car. Didn't do the wild... did the "culture"... Not a camper, or a hiker either... and at this age not even possible.
 

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There are a number of online matching services out there; probably a dozen or more. These are the ones we currently use:


You can peruse through the offerings, but to actually be able to make contact you need to sign up. It's a modest annual fee for house sitters. House owners post for free.

We've been doing it long enough now that we also get a fair number of sits through word of mouth.

This winter, we have four lined up. Two in larger cities, and two in semi-remote/rural areas. It's a fun, and cheap way, of exploring different areas. It's a great way to travel.
cool.. Obviously the houses vary... what are they like... and aside from sitting do you have to care for animals and so forth?
 

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Why do so many people want someone to house sit? I leave my house for a month at a time and just turn the lock and leave. There is a security camera that alerts my phone and a cleaning lady that comes every other week. I can’t think of why I’d need someone to live there.
water the house plants?
feed the cat?
water the lawn?
 

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If some here think I wanted or expected unknown posters here to "fix" my boating attitude etc.

THEY ARE WRONG!
I have only met a handful of Sailnet members. One I count as a very good friend... two others as good friends. I had the pleasure meeting Mark for a lunch... all others are known only from SN.

Who takes advice from anyone about anything these days? :p

But we are members to share and learn... so opinions abound.
 

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Perhaps sailor's idea of why they are sailing (goal) changes over time... makes sense. And of course there could be and likely are several goals and different priorities.

Goals... seems part of the human experience to have goal, an objective.. a change from what you have to what you want to have. Maybe most goals need money,,, some don't... they need time and some sort of skill...

So clearly there are multiple goals for sailors to choose from or motivate them to become sailboat owners. They can and do over lap... and the importance of a goal may wax and wane.

Sailing off to "discover" new places is a biggie. World has more than enough to see. When has one seen enough of them? No one eats different foods for every meal in their life... and most people usually eat to live and so the "pleasure of dining" is not of daily importance.

And we know that when you live on a boat... land things become less "doable"... like skiing. Trade offs...

Our nervous systems' senses informs our experience... smell, taste, sight and so on. Our nervous system "habituates" to stimuli that repeat or extend in time, Our focus moves to something new and more interesting... been there done that... this interests me now. Time to weigh anchor.

As varied and complex that sailing can be... there is a lot if repetition... especially the longer you are in "the game", Some love the relaxing and some the exciting... and most both at times.


When trumpets were mellow
And ev'ry gal only had one fellow
No need to remember when
'Cause ev'ry thing old is new again

(Dancin' at) Your Long Island Jazz Age parties
Waiter, bring us more Bacardis
We'll order now what they ordered then
'Cause ev'ry thing old is new again

Get out your white suit, your tap shoes and tails
Let's go backwards when all else(forward) fails
And movie stars you thought were long dead
Now are framed beside your bed

Don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When ev'ry thing old is new again

Get out your white suit, your tap shoes and tails
Put it in backward when forward fails
But leave Greta Garbo alone
Be a movie star on your own

And don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When ev'ry thing old is new again

I might fall in love with you again
 

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I find the thing that makes any boating location and the inevitable boat issues more tolerable is making local friends. We typically do. Often a neighbor in the marina or anchorage, sometimes it's just the familiar face of a bartender who recognizes us and listens to our griping. There are certainly days where I need solitude too. But having a friend nearby to open a beer with makes most challenges easier.
Makes sense... I don't hang a bar... I sometimes with eat at a restaurant with a bar... even sitting at the bar. But even in NPT where I was for years I didn't / wasn't able to bond with the bar tender or any of the regulars.
When I spent long periods in English Harbor I did meet other cruisers who were there for more than a pit stop and made some friends there... and also in Philipsberg St Marten. But my time at eastern Caribbean anchorages was 5 seasons and most other locations... not much. I did actually run into a St Kittian called Sunshine who had a littler restaurant on the beach...grocery shopping one day up here. I guess his biz was seasonal and he had friends to visit in the area. Very unexpected encounter. Very nice fella!
 

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I think for most people they have some sort of vision of their future. Many invest a lot of time and money to make that future their present. That future vision has "things" which appeal to each of us... a trip to the Louvre... anchor off a tropical island... ski the Alps. If it's experience the world is full of them. Living aboard is a future... cruising is another one...When the future becomes the present it may not have the same appeal... especially when it lacks "newness". New is something of enormous appeal and motivation. It might be a reason people divorce.

You get want you wanted but lose what you had.
 

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I'm definitely at that place and time where I just want to get the winterization and decommissioning and unpacking over with and walk away for a bit. It's exactly like moving in and out of your house annually. Same thing every year. The frustration lasts almost exactly 4 weeks, while I do some home based activity, then I wish I had the boat back.
Aside from removing and bending on sails....my winterizing the engine and plumbing is not difficult. I do remove clothing which accumulates in summer and I do it over time as I make regular visits to the boat. Staying in water has also meant less time in winterizing and re commissioning. I don't have a cover to put on and have a sub contractor shrink wrap if I want that. Not really necessary... sure you have less UV impact... but boats are meant to be in the weather.

Routine repetitive stuff is boring and feels a waste of time. It is.
 

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First time I went to the Bahamas I had to stop looking over the side because it always looked that I was running aground. The water is about the only reason to put up with the Bahamas.
I have sailed through the Bahamas on a delivery. Water was incredible but did do anything in the way of land exploration as I had done in the Eastern Caribbean...which were fabulous for hiking. The Canaries were also great for dirt activities. I did anchor in some amazingly clear water. It was very cool to see the bottom,
 

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I think there comes a time when.... the boat is too much work... and not enough time to enjoying sailing and to new places. I suppose in the beginning everything is new and exciting and a challenge.... and over time this can fade.
 
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