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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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I have to admit, we are getting tired of boat living. The past 3 years we seem to have not really gone anywhere, just the same places. Between covid and a broken shoulder half of our time has been mostly living on a boat and not cruising. We really only got into boating to see new places and if we aren't, why put up with boat living? At the moment we are at anchor getting hammered by a thunderstorm for the second day in a row hoping not to blow into the shoal 100' away. And it's HOT in the boat, but cool outside that isn't of use with all the hatches shut. And the lightning just made us jump.

When the suck to fun ratio just gets way out of whack I just have wonder why the hell we are doing this!
I've been sailing my whole life. I've taken breaks from sailing too. It's like the sea chanties: the sailor can't wait to get back to shore after he's been at sea. Then once he's ashore for a while he can't wait to get back to sea. My boat has been in refit and repair for almost 3 years for various reasons the biggest being poor planning and Covid. Just saw the improvements and can't wait to get out. But I'm more interested in the sailing than where I go. If I have to see the same things over and over, that's ok. NE is my favorite because the same place looks different each season. I'd live aboard but my husband would not ever. He learned to sail in his 20s. I don't even know how old I was. It was before I started riding a bike. The new refit is set up for old age, short handed sailing with the comforts of heat and air conditioning, generator, fresh water toilet, electric winches and plenty of shade. All our port holes and hatches open and have screens. Modern boats rarely have opening portholes, hatches, etc. But we do have to choose a lightening rod. Maybe it is time to go ashore and take a break and reassess what you want to do on a sailboat. We went from hard core racing around the world to a day sailor to the current short handed ocean cruiser good for a week or two at a time.
 

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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
I'm looking forward to sailing in the Bahamas. Was hoping ti would be this year. But now it looks like next year. It's better to get the boat in good shape and sail it for a while near where I got it refit in case there's a problem. Then we are off down the ICW (never had a boat that could go inside before) and to FL or maybe cut out to Bermuda and boomerang down to the Bahamas. Will wait and see what the weather tells us. Husband won the Newport Bermuda race years ago with a large crew. I met the boat there. Would like to do that crossing but not sure it would behoove just the two of us until we have more time on the water in this boat.
 

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LaPodella,
what boat are you sailing now? Curious.
While the Little Harbor 45 shoal draft cutter is in dry dock I will get back to day saiing an Alerion 28 this winter in South Florida. The Little Harbor should be ready in spring. The new mast was delayed in New Zealand due to a manufacturing defect, then lack of materials, then shipping back logs. Do not ask why we got the mast in New Zealand. I had picked out an aluminum mast made in the Great Lakes area. Hubby wanted a carbon fiber delivered from New Zealand at the same price. I think he had a relationship with the New Zealand company from our racing days. They gave him a great deal. He claims we will not race this boat. I'm sure we will. But in a different 2-handed, non-spinnaker, cruising category which we've never done before.
 

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You will love the Bahamas. There is a water clarity there that though it's famous, is actually real.

The clarity and what I call Bahamas Blue, a colour of indescribable joy.

😊
Am on Nantucket Sound now. Water clarity is like looking through clear glass to a sandy bottom. It’s beautiful here in the fall. And there’s solitude. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. The water cooled off last week to low 70s. I didn’t test it today. But so beautiful.
 

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Am on Nantucket Sound now. Water clarity is like looking through clear glass to a sandy bottom. It’s beautiful here in the fall. And there’s solitude. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. The water cooled off last week to low 70s. I didn’t test it today. But so beautiful.
Nantucket is nice, particularly this time of year after the tourist season. But what MarkofSeaLife is describing is a whole 'nother level of clarity and color. The attached sailing pic shows some of the blue, and the nurse sharks in the other pic are on the bottom in 12' of water.

We've sailed around the entire Caribbean Sea and some of the Med, and have never seen water like the Bahamas. The water there more than makes up for the flat, dry, ugly land parts.

Mark

Water Sky Boat Blue Naval architecture


Water Underwater Azure Fluid Liquid
 

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I remember driving my dinghy onto a plane in the Bahamas and freaking out when my eyes couldn't see the surface of the water but were only able to see the sand 10 feet below. It was like flying on a magic carpet but incredibly scary. I had to slow down. Most weird experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
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.
 

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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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Hate the tourist Bahamian islands, but love the out islands. The further out the better.
 

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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,
Really not much on land in the Bahamas. Hiking is usually through scrub on short paths in beating sun with no vistas or much interesting to see besides goats. If you think goats are interesting.

Michele likes hiking the land because the Bahamas are in the major bird migratory routes, and she likes to photograph them. I stay in the water.

Mark
 

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I've done a bunch of kayaking in the mangroves on Cat Island. Found a few blue holes to swim in here and there. A fair share of concrete block buildings near the beach, with cold beer, fried conch, grilled lobsters and potato salad. I don't need much more. I'll go back.

I admit to a bit of a creep factor, coming up dilapidated but still operating "resorts" in the out islands. No doubt they were for a bygone era of criminals, just like many of the unattended runways on the out islands.
 

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Bah... if you want crystal clear water and zero crowds, sail up to the north shore of Lake Superior. Just make sure you don't try and go swimming :).
I’ve only sailed in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (racing). Husband did a couple or three Mackinac Races from Chi to the island and to Traverse City. Would love to sail in Lake Superior. Don’t know if it’ll be in my own boat or if it’ll happen in this life. I try to enjoy where I am rather than spend time dreaming of being somewhere else. I guess it’s my age.
 
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