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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.

We’ve both had covid, had our vaccinations, yes we got quite sick, but we’re not dead yet.
 

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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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I have friends that continued into their 70's full time cruising, made it nearly fully around the whole blue ball. They have a different personality than we do, they just love it. They tried to come ashore, and couldn't take it, left again.

We find living on hard near the water and having a boat to be the ideal combination. Daysailing, fishing, and comfortable shore living. Shore living includes being part of a community, doing other things, volunteering in retirement, etc. And with age, comes increasing value on comfort like letting the shower just run, a big bed, a big laundry room, and a trip to the store that doesn't involve a dingy.

Everyone is different. I remember meeting you in Hadley's Harbor when you started out on this voyage in and wishing you well. I think you've lived the life and made it happen. No one can decide what's best for you next. All I know is do what makes you truly happy. Don't dwell to long in a major compromise. And as a wise friend once said, you may run out of money, but for sure, all of us, eventually run out of time. Figure out the life you want to live and live it.

Best of luck!
 

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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.
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.
 

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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!



Water Font Natural landscape Sailboat Horizon





Mark
 

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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.
Depends. The Bahamas are many, many islands spread out over a large distance. There certainly are the well-trod ones full of Americans and Canadiens and everyone else - more Europeans, Kiwis and Aussies in these places than elsewhere too.

Then there are wide swathes of Bahamain places were I've rarely seen any Americans or Canadians. Sometimes you see nobody at all for months, but mostly you are spending time with a few Europeans, Kiwis, and Aussies. The Americans and Canadians one does see in these places are searching for the same experiences as us, the Europeans, the Kiwis and the Aussies.

We predominantly spend time in these latter areas of the Bahamas. They tend to be too "uncomfortable" for North Americans, with no organized reindeer games.

I'm with SanderO on the E Caribe. We have spent much time there cruising and are way over it. Yes, there are pockets of culture like the French islands, but mostly it is homogenized and tourist-oriented. Mixing with the locals usually has a feeling of them doing so for a different motive than friendship or a good time, and language is almost never a barrier challenge. If you need boat work or parts, it is about as easy to obtain as in the US, so no getting out of one's comfort zone there.

The Western Caribe, South and Central America is entirely different. You really are in different cultures with noticeable and unique changes from one country to another, and often even within one country. You will learn some Spanish or not get by. Mixing with locals is not only necessary, it is highly rewarding and genuine. You will be self-sufficient with your boat.

On a different note, after several years of cruising actively year-round, we realized that the summer months are generally terrible cruising experiences. Too much heat, rain, lightning, bugs, no wind, etc. This is the same even if one decides to cruise the summers in the Chesapeake or even New England (to a much lesser extent, though). It is definitely worse further South.

So we started putting the boat to bed for those three worse summer months and expanding our experiences land traveling. We began by extending visits with our families, but also taking long trips to places we can't reach by boat. A few months in Peru, for example. Putting the boat away in Guatemala and taking extended trips into the mountains and countryside while using the boat as a base to regroup for a few days and plan another trip.

The only downside is that boats tend to break themselves if one is not actively using it and giving it the constant evil eye. I don't know how or why this happens, but if I turn my back on the boat, it does something stupid to itself. So there is always a mad dash upon returning from an absence to whip the boat back into shape to take off for the next 8-9 months of cruising.

Mark
 

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Fyi - if people think i haven't see anything the last 5 years they are greatly wrong!

And those that are edging toward snarky remarks I have advise for you, but Mark would send me a note, so don't go there.
 

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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!



View attachment 140723




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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Beneteau 393
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Great story!

Dunno if I'd start talking to any child nowadays. It made me wonder how many mentors kids miss out on now.

Glad she's done so well. 😊
 

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Old soul
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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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Didn't do the wild... did the "culture"... Not a camper, or a hiker either... and at this age not even possible.
A lot of the RV's I see around here aren't really doing the wild camping thing. The RV is a means to travel, sometimes seasonally, some times more frequently. Many are 50 amp service water and sewage hook ups' big screen TVs. They are every bit as comfortable as 4 or 45 ft sail boats, and then some due to the outdoor living space.

This guy pulled in down from us Friday night. Big class C, with electric slide outs. The trailer it's towing is a fully equipped motorcycle garage with tools, lights, air compressor and 2 motorcycles; street bike and a competition style dirt bike.

Cloud Vehicle Sky Motor vehicle Plant


Then there are your buses and 5th wheels, they can be pretty comfy too.
Sky Tire Plant Vehicle Wheel


There are some nice ones that are more like a trailer sailer in comfort, just a bed and place to cook, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Tire Plant Wheel Motor vehicle Tree
 

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Beneteau 393
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I wanna the blue one with the red bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They must be a pain in the butt to drive through the historic part of any town. Let alone circumnavigating Central Park, NYC!

😁
 

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Dirt Free
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[QUOTE="MarkofSeaLife, post: 2051726160, member: 182167"
"We Have No Plans AND Are Sticking To Them" - Thats the most stupid theme I can ever imagine.
[/QUOTE]

Sorry Mark, Don't disagree with you often but you are off the mark ( :) ) on this one.

Been living this way between Lake Superior and Antigua since 94' and have no "plans" of changing our lack of "plans" status :)
 

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Old soul
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Mike... I like the house sitting - sailing mix lifestyle. How do you get the house sit gigs?... seasonal all that...
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.
 

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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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