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Senior Smart Aleck
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What accounts for all the absurd circumnavigation threads?

I would guess some percentage less than 1% of all keelboat sailors ever circumnavigate. I would also guess fewer than 5% even become blue water sailors (I don't include ICW snowbirds in this category). The vast majority of sailors are satisfied by racing, daysailing, and weekend cruising. Yet a significant portion of the threads involve a planned circumnavigation. These threads regularly border, at best, on the ridiculous, and, at worse, on delusional thinking.

This would not appeal to me. From my reading, it would be time consuming, expensive, uncomfortable, and arduous. Living aboard a small boat and crossing oceans for several years would likely be torturous and unpleasant. Both Robin Lee Graham and Tania Alebi (?) wrote about how much they hated it at times.

Is this a Walter Mitty issue? Someone wants an achievement? Purely a fantasy detached from reality? So lacking in experience that they have no conception what it involves?

Why psychology lies behind the circumnavigation threads?
 

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If you go on a mountain climbing forum there are probably a disproportionate number of threads about climbing the Seven Summits, or some other goal that is claimed by relatively few. Everest without oxygen perhaps. Why? Why not.
 

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I'd also guess that the virtual world inspires more fantasy - probably down at the yacht club the focus shifts back to fixing the broken winch and trying to figure out local currents.
 

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These threads regularly border, at best, on the ridiculous, and, at worse, on delusional thinking.
They say that more people summit Mt Everest each year than complete a circumnavigation. (No climbing Mt E this year, of course)

The thing that irritates me about those threads is that mostly the responses to the threads are encouraging "Go for it DUDE!" Non-circumnavigators saying this, of course.

The fools that enhance the delusions on this and other forums are, imho, worse than the original posters.

For those who are interested in the reality "out there": the average size cruising boat is above 40 feet. Mine at 39 feet is QUITE below average size.
There are NO 27 foot boats circumnavigating that I have seen. There are VERY few 30 footers... I.e. I haven't seen one.


Mark
 

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Old soul
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I see this kind of artificial goal much like most of the the other "bucket list" ambitions so many people have these days. Our culture turns everything into a competition, a race. We're taught that we have to have a plan, something to achieve, to conquer. So naturally sailors must circumnavigate, usually at break-neck speed. And we all cheer them on (know full well most will never get off the dock).
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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People have dreams. Not all accomplish them. Ft Lauderdale is full of boats for sale by people with big dreams that reality did not reflect.

SailNet and other fora, publications, and the yacht club bar are reasonable places to explore those dreams. The best we can do is to help more of those dreams be realized so the dreamers can come back and contribute to the next generation.

Pay it forward.
 

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I checked up the word "fora".


So finally forums have taught me something. ;)




Mark
 

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People have something to aspire to, dream of doing. something to work towards. Many people race, play amateur sports and so on. Most dream and wish to be in the big leagues. The circumnavigation seems to be the pinnacle if you will.

For me it was my wifes idea to become cruisers. I latched onto it and it has given me a new meaning, purpose or dream to follow. Before sailing, cruising and idea of living aboard I was a racer, semi professional on a budget and after wasting tens of thousands of dollars and creating more debt than I care to think or talk about I had enough. My wife and I were very deep in the american dream, Homeowners, new cars and gadgets and as a result in debt. We both decided we wanted simpler and less, less of everything including WORK. So we started looking at minimalist type living and have slowly but surely working our way to our new goals. This is our new goal and direction. We want to sail and see parts of the world. Live more work less. Our small sailing home hopefully will take us there.

We have no idea if we will become cruisers or liveaboards but for right now we are dreaming and working towards that dream. Some days is seems achievable other days itseems like we are stuck in the rat race for ever.

So I think many people come on here and other sites to find out how others accomplished a circumnavigation or became liveaboards in hopes of finding something or a bit of information that will let them get closer to their dream
 

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Master Mariner
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Marinas, boatyards, anchorages and shorelines are littered with the dashed dreams that the reality of circumnavigating has left behind. Honolulu, St. Martin and Grenada, to name but 3, where some pretty nice boats are lying and dying, because this thing, voyaging, that some of enjoy as a lifestyle, just isn't what most imagine.
We constantly meet folks who have sold EVERYTHING, bought a nice boat and after a few months are headed home, disillusioned, disappointed and financially unable to reclaim the life they so cavalierly abandoned.
This is not an "extreme sport", with wonderful moments of adrenaline pumping excitement, interspersed with relaxing times around the hotel bar with blow dried hair that it looks just right, a nice bed after a shower, a shave and dinner with like minded individuals. You can't just call a cab if things are getting a bit unpleasant and looking like they will get worse. It has been described as 99% sheer boredom with 1% sheer terror, by some.
There are those few, who are drawn to the sea, and they will get out there on whatever they can, however they can, with little fanfare and hype. They are not the macho type, seeking fame, fortune and notoriety by doing it youngest, fastest or smallest, nor do they ask silly questions on forums where a simple search would produce hundreds of posts to answer their attention seeking questions.
As with anything, the looky loos are always there, kicking the tires with neither the true desire, courage nor the where with all to actually become "buyers".
 

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I think it's becoming more and more easy to buy "accomplishments." Seeing large numbers of people buy these "accomplishments" leads other people to falsely believe that a particular feat is a singular goal in and of itself, when in fact most extremely difficult feats in our history have been the FINAL ACT that tops off years of preparation, learning, and collaboration among experts.

Nothing is more irritating than developing a skill and expertise over many years, and then discussing it over beer with someone and they say, "So all I have to do is...?"
 

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I am the dreamer. An old man in need of one "Last Adventure". I read every thread in hopes of gleaning some scrap of information. Derek Lundy's Godforsaken Sea is enough to give second thoughts to anyone. Some of the threads on here are almost as frightening, but I still need that last adventure.
The happiest times in my life have been while my life rested in my own hands. I suppose that I am an adreanline junkie.
Why others desire to buy a boat I wouldn't know, as for me the thrill, the adventure, and the freedom hopefully will remind me of my foolish youth. When I did more than a few things that should have been fatal.
As I learn more about boats my picture of a functional voyaging boat has matured, still a long way to go.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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What accounts for all the absurd circumnavigation threads?

Not sure. but people might just want a little more variety in lives that can be pretty boring and stultifying at times.

I would guess some percentage less than 1% of all keelboat sailors ever circumnavigate.

I suspect that the number is much, much less - perhaps 0.01%, but so what?

[snip]
These threads regularly border, at best, on the ridiculous, and, at worse, on delusional thinking.

Unless you are have some sort of certification in psychology your estimate of delusion is basically as useful as mine, i.e. we are both welcome to have our opinions.

This would not appeal to me.

Then I suggest you do not do it.

From my reading, it would be time consuming, expensive, uncomfortable, and arduous. Living aboard a small boat and crossing oceans for several years would likely be torturous and unpleasant. Both Robin Lee Graham and Tania Alebi (?) wrote about how much they hated it at times.

Perhaps you need to broaden your reading then. There are a few circumnavigators on this forum and I don't think any of them would use these descriptors of the experience.

To view 'time consuming' as a a negative makes we wonder what better ways you have to spend your time - a lot of golf dates or something? We only get a certain amount of time on earth, might as well spend it doing something that is really meaningful for us. Lots of time to play golf after you are dead.

The two circumnavigators you mention were both quite young. Perhaps older folks approach it differently and have more life experience that allows them to approach it differently.

Is this a Walter Mitty issue? Someone wants an achievement? Purely a fantasy detached from reality? So lacking in experience that they have no conception what it involves?

I can assure you that doing a circumnavigation is very attached to reality. Unfortunately some posters do not have much of a connection to the reality of the experience. So what? They need to start learning about what is involved in the experience. I thought that SN existed so that people could learn about such things
Why psychology lies behind the circumnavigation threads?

I suspect that pretty normal, average psychology in a group of people who have not bought into the American (Canadian et al) Dream of more consumption and production.
Anyway, that would be my reaction to it.
 

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Corsair 24
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good on ya killarney for that response

its a dream...whatever someone thinks about it can go suck it in my opinion...its up to you to make them a reality

simple really
 

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'One man's meat is another man's poison.'

If you are content to sail, cruise or race locally or in confined/sheltered waters that is your prerogative. If your dreams of being on a boat do not go further than spending an afternoon on the bay, so what? They're your dreams.

The beauty of dreams is that they are unfettered by reality - I mean I've had some dreams about Halle Berry that were totally unfettered! But I digress....

I happen to be one of the Walter Mittys who do dream of sailing off into the sunset. My wife on the other hand does not yet share that dream. The reality of relationships is that there must be a respect for the needs and desires of each partner. It is this reality that has prevented me from fulfilling my dream. This is not to say that I haven't come out ahead as my life experience has exceeded my wildest dreams. (except for that thing I mentioned about Halle Berry.)

However, after over thirty years of whining, browbeating, begging, threatening etc. I think that I may have convinced my wife that my dream (of sailing) may be a viable option. We are actively taking steps to fulfill my - now our - dream. We are studying, training, planning budgets etc. in order to make the dream a reality.

So when I read threads about circumnavigating or blue-water crossings, or anything related to those pursuits, I dive in and pan for the gold that some of them contain.

You can't deny that people have circumnavigated - in fact a few contributors to this site have done so. The information and insight that I glean from their posts goes into the vault. Sure there's a low signal to noise ratio on many of the threads, but so what? Don't you ever sit in your cockpit, or at the marina bar and shoot the bull with your sailing buddies? A lot of what is said is total crap, but there is often a glimmer of knowledge that comes out - a truth that you would not have otherwise found. That is how I feel about this site and many of the threads.

If you can't get together with a bunch of sailors and air your sailing dreams and fantasies where can you?
 

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95 percent crap spewed and 5 percent gold...

take that 5 percent and run with it!

a dream is a dream...its part reality but mostly a fanstasy, its when those fantasies turn reality that the importance of life can be appreciated....

what I think is absurd is always the amount of naysayers and people who are so bought into living the dream on land that they often forget that life can have other things and epxeriences in it...
 

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Barquito
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My circumnavigation dreams are in multi-step tiers. I realize that there may be any number of reasons why I can't or won't want to complete a circumnavigation. My goal is to cruise the Great Lakes for an indeterminate amount of time. If I want to go further, have more, time, enough money, trust my boat... then I will cruise the Caribbean. If that goes well, then I will make other plans. At any step of this plan I may decide what I have done is all I want to do.

I really don't think there is anything wrong with setting lofty goals, and discussing them in a clear-headed way with other sailors.
 

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Old soul
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I've got nothing against the dreamers. All reality starts with a dream. My gripe (if I have one ... I really don't care that much) is with our tendency to turn everything into an extreme sport. It's not good enough to go sailing or cruising, you've got to go fast, go far. You've got to visit everywhere worth visiting, and see it all. You've got to stare down the face of Nature, and you've got to win! You've got go, go, go.

Bah...

There is wonder and beauty everywhere. I don't need to sail around the world to find it, and I certainly don't have a check list of buckets I have to see and do. I set off soon. I may meander my way around the world, or I may find myself the perfect little anchorage and never move again. The real journey is within.
 
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