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Old 06-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #1
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Solo Cruising

Being on the boat is my happy place. However the wife has had enough. She might meet me at a destination once in a while, if there is shore power and the boat doesnít rock, but she is not into the cruising part.
I spent 4 months in the keys and Bahamas last year with occasional trips home. I loved it. We just sold our house near Savannah and bought a condo in NC to be near the grandkids. Itís a gated community with all maintainence done by the HOA. Wife is happy and I am free to cruise.
I just wonder how many other guys do that? Is it weird or creepy for a guy to enjoy the beauty and solitude as much as I do?
It can get lonesome. Maybe Iíll get a dog.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:56 AM   #2
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I am solo now, prefer a fun crew...but staying at it for now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:56 AM   #3
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I suspect you'll find a fair number of guys in a similar state. My wife doesnt dislike the boat, it's just not "her thing".Last summer she spent three weeks aboard, a fragment of a five month cruise and seemed to enjoy herself...well, except for being under way in dense fog.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
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Some years ago after retiring and my wife continued to work with no interesr in full time cruising, I headed off on my own. Sailed from Tampa area up to Maine and back to Annapolis.

No real sailing problems, hooked up with cruisers along the way (in the good sense of the word) and in general had a good time. Wife flew in to join me for a week several times.

Must admit the experience wasn’t particularly good for our marriage, but we survived. PM if you would like to know more.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:29 AM   #5
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I am in the same position as others. I cruise alone now. I also stay or live on my boat most of the time when I’m not at work (I do not work a “normal” 8-5 schedule).

My wife and I have finally reached a equilibrium of sorts. She is comfortable and happy puttering around her house, flowers, garden, etc... and I need to do, see, explore. This difference in wants, goals, and desires has ended many a marriage so I am glad we figured it out.

I do not feel weird or guilty because I am doing what I want to do, and she is doing what she wants to do. Where we have common interests we do those things together. So... I am learning how to cruise alone. How to dock alone, and how to explore alone, and how to be happy at that.

This spring I made my first long distance solo cruise, which was a bit ofer 300NM with the nice fishing town of Cordova to explore. That was a fun trip, and a learning experience.

Next week I will be departing on my second long solo voyage, which will involve a approx 150NM open water crossing of the gulf of Alaska. That will be a long day at 8 knots, but I’ll make sure the weather is really good before departing. I’ll explore the fishing and Coast Guard town of Kodiak Alaska, and then make the return trip, all solo.

This is all in preparation for 2021 when I retire and will make the over 3500 mile voyage from Alaska to Baja, solo.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pluto View Post
Being on the boat is my happy place. However the wife has had enough. She might meet me at a destination once in a while, if there is shore power and the boat doesnít rock, but she is not into the cruising part.
I spent 4 months in the keys and Bahamas last year with occasional trips home. I loved it. . . . Wife is happy and I am free to cruise.
I just wonder how many other guys do that? Is it weird or creepy for a guy to enjoy the beauty and solitude as much as I do?
It can get lonesome. Maybe Iíll get a dog.

In my cruising years I met several married solo sailors, & they (& the wives I happened to meet in ports) seemed to have made the necessary adjustments to such arrangements. I also had several women cruising friends who had made agreements with their husbands to cruise for limited times, usually for a year. Each one of them ended up falling in love with the cruising life, & some went on for thousands more miles. That said, I long ago discovered that there is a big difference between East & West Coast cruising styles. I'm from Newport Beach & the majority of cruisers I've known have been sailors, well accustomed to life on the hook & at sea. Most of us will do just about anything to avoid firing up a generator, & even in port prefer a mooring to a dock. In 4 years of bluewater crusing I think I used my microwave twice; the stovetop pressure cooker was faster & certainly quieter. East Coast cruising, especially via the ICW was a totally different experience for me, & my own preference is to be at least 200 miles offshore & away from traffic.


I've lived more than 3/4 of a century, & have learned through my own experience that not only does each couple have to define their own relationship, but that those relationships change & adjust over time, sometimes in unexpected ways. Best wishes to both of you as you discover the best way to navigate forward--
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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My wife might be good for an overnighter or two in perfect weather, but that's it. I'm building a boat designed for two - but knowing I'll be operating alone most of the time. I figure I'll be out with another dude or maybe even another couple as often as I'm out with my wife.

But since I miss her when I'm gone, I'm choosing to limit my cruising area and duration so we're not apart for months at a time. I think the compromise is what works for you and your wife.

I'm comfortable being alone, but I'd rather not be alone for weeks at a time so I'm arranging my cruising life so I don't have to be.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:03 PM   #8
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Very thoughtful words, guys.

My cruising is about 30 or 40% solo. Usually I go for 5 or 6 days and work on a boat project, or do some fishing.
I enjoy solo cruising, cruising with my wife, cruising with friends, or with my children equally. But all in different ways.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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Since I am still working, we haven't had to face that decision. If my wife is gone, I'll usually take the opportunity to get out on the boat. She will be gone for 10 days this summer going to Norway with her Mom and Brother. Just this morning I was trying to figure out if I could get away from the office for a week while she is gone and get a a short trip in. Likely, it won't happen as it is really hard to get away from the office now, but maybe....


I don't feel weird being on the boat alone. I like the solitude. I don't have to worry about others. If I skip a few meals, it isn't a problem. If get up at daybreak, up anchor and take off, I'm not disturbing anyone. It gives me a chance to read or work on boat projects, or take that longer hike.


However, my wife is very jealous of my time and attention. She would NOT be happy if I were to take a week an go off by myself. Maybe that will change once I retire and actually have more time.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:55 PM   #11
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Good thread.

I also enjoy the solitude of being on the ocean myself.

My wife and I spend a lot of time together at the dock, at anchor, and harbor cruising, mostly with her friends.

She has always been a good sport to let me head offshore to fish and dive with friends, including longer trips to the Islands.

I am hoping to retire next year and my wife will continue working for a few more years, so things will change slightly. With more time, I will cruise longer and farther, and my wife will join me for layovers when she can. I don’t plan to be gone too long, and will always spend time with her doing things she also enjoys.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:19 PM   #12
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Still on the same subject, but flipping it somewhat.

It is unbelievable the number of people (usually women) who comment to us after we arrive back from our trips something along the lines of "Oh we couldn't be on the boat that long together, don't you guys get on each other's nerves being that close for so long?"

This was especially true last year when we arrived back from our three month Bahamas trip and were leaving in another month for a couple of months in the Chesapeake.

I guess we are just as happy sitting in the salon or cockpit quietly reading for hours on end and get our solitude together!
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:56 PM   #13
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Count me as one of the fortunate ones. My wife has always loved the boating, cruising and liveaboard life as much or more than me.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:01 PM   #14
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My wife would not like me going out on the boat without her. She loves being on the boat. At the same time, I work in Los Angeles and am there four days a week so we are apart much of the time anyway. Been doing that for fourteen years. Not ideal, but it works. We've been married 38 years now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:18 PM   #15
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My wife cruises everywhere with me and itís great. There is however something to be said for a trip alone. Do what you want, eat when you want. Without having to think about anyone else.
I was a serious diver. I never liked buddying up. I just donít want to have to think about anyone. I would dive solo and loved it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:21 PM   #16
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Fortunately my wife loves boating, probably would not be married to her if she didnít. Our dates back in high school revolved around boating and we are still at it 50 years later.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:47 PM   #17
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My wife has been on my boat one time for about five minutes. Needless to say, I cruise solo 98% of the time. Did the Great Loop in 2017 solo. My wife is a good sport. Her comment is, "your dream, go enjoy it ". Would certainly prefer she come with me. If she doesn't enjoy it or it makes her miserable, I'm just as happy that she is not there.

We talk essentially every evening. To be fair, she does things that I have less than no interest in, and she doesn't try to force me to participate in them. You have to do what works for your family.

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Old 06-12-2019, 07:58 PM   #18
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Ted, does she winter with you once you are down in Florida?
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:55 PM   #19
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Ted, does she winter with you once you are down in Florida?
She spent 3 weeks with me in January in Florida. She will be a university Dean again starting July 1st outside Chicago. So, the next 6 years will be limited time together. Probably doesn't make sense to most people. She's living her career dream; I'm living my cruising dream.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:58 PM   #20
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My wife of 28 years is a wonderful person who simply has different dreams.

Where I dream of retiring and traveling out of Alaska for the winters, she dreams of sitting in our home, and taking care of her pets, and exercising, and leading very much one day the same as another.

We upsized the boat from our cabin cruiser and I think she saw a more comfortable fishing platform to enjoy 2-4 days on the water four or five times a year, and I saw it as a ticket to warmer climates.

We have come to realize that we both have different desires for our older years. She is content traveling to Hawaii a couple times a winter, and that is not enough for me. I have offered to buy a 2nd home in Hawaii to snowbird to, or any place she is comfortable if she does not want to travel by water. I have offered to buy a motorhome.

It took us a long time and almost having our marriage end to realize that there is nothing wrong with either of us. She and I just want different things out of our older years.

So I have quit pressuring here to travel extensively, and she realizes as i wrap up my career that she and I are going to be apart for a few weeks to a month at a time while I travel. I have spent most of my career working 50% of the year in remote Alaskan locations, so itís not like we have ever really been around each other full time. Frinds and family have noticed and commented that we seem to be happier when I am home and then gone again, rather than when I take a local job.

So... I will travel and she will either join me in port, or not, it wll work out eiter way.
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