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Old 07-24-2015, 08:23 AM   #1
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When did you start Cruising?

Ok, here's one that may have been answered already. If so, please feel free to delete it.

I'm almost 59, and we're just now starting to plan our future adventures aboard. It's still probably a year, 2 maybe 3, away from fruition for a few reasons, non of which can't be otherwise resolved pretty timely with a little doing.

Here's the rub. Sometimes I feel like I've wasted too much of my life on crap that didn't/doesn't matter, and may have waited too late in life to really start following a passion.

Don't get me wrong. Through a law enforcement career, military (USCG) service, and my time in the private sector, I've had a great ride!
And like others here in their own right, have seen and done some things that others will only read about.

Maybe it's because I've had a few friends my age and younger, become ill or pass away recently, that's made me think? IDK?

Regardless, for those of you that didn't have career's on the water, at what age did you either decide that this was what you wanted to do, or actually started doing it?

Thanks,

OD
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:22 AM   #2
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OD

two phases started cruising as a very young child at 8 on the Mississippi and the Land between the lakes area and then we moved to Florida living on the water

by the time I was a very young adult I did not even own a boat

I will be 52 in a couple months and we bought our go slow boat 19 months ago and agree wish I had done it sooner but at least your heading that way

we have some great friends cruising in the late 70s to late 80s
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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Many people equate cruising with fulfillment of dreams.

They are doing many things they like now, just aren't doing it by "the cruising life". They are getting fulfillment from vacations and think cruising will be like one long one.

You meet these people all the time...they buy their dream cruising boat and within a couple years they have an annual slip, another dirt dwelling and ties to the community. Sure they may take a few short cruises here and there....but not a lot of difference when they were working.

Most people who have never cruised extensively or lived aboard, dont have the capacity to fully guage what it would be like....but not unusual for "dreams".

Not a direct assessment of anyone here...just pointing out that carefully tuning your dreams to reality takes alot of effort. Many of us would agree that our lives turned out drastically from our childhood dreams of life....cruising life can be a mini version of ups and downs too.

Often you can see the beginning of the whole process when someone asks what kind of boat, posters reply "what are you going to do with it" and the replies go from sail the seven seas to not being sure about anything.

Reality for most of us is somewhere in between....just where that goes ....nobody really knows......
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:47 AM   #4
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Well, OD, at 73 I have you by a few years. Circumstances being what they are I am still working by choice. Because it is difficult for me to pursue long range cruising, we still cruise and see areas on a pretty regular basis. We next week will be moving Moonstruck from Fort Pierce to Jacksonville where it will stay for several months.

To answer your question more directly I started doing some coastal cruising in 1973. Over the 42 years we have covered the area from the Chesapeake south to the Bahamas, the Keys, and around to Louisiana pretty well. As I have often said, "if it weren't for short trips, we would have no trips". So don't wait. Take advantage of any window you have. There may not be another.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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"Sometimes I feel like I've wasted too much of my life on crap that didn't/doesn't matter, and may have waited too late in life to really start following a passion."

I think we all have felt that way at some point in our life. I know I have, however it is never to late in life to follow your passion. The main things is, to do it! You will enjoy the time that you are following your passion.



"Regardless, for those of you that didn't have career's on the water, at what age did you either decide that this was what you wanted to do, or actually started doing it?"

Answer: About 5 years of age. G.Father took me out and I was hooked.


Happy Cruising to you OD. Cheers.


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Old 07-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #6
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Boat the boat at age 55, retired and started serious cruising at age 62.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:15 AM   #7
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Well, OD, at 73 I have you by a few years. Circumstances being what they are I am still working by choice........

"if it weren't for short trips, we would have no trips". So don't wait. Take advantage of any window you have. There may not be another.
Although I am older than Moonstruck, he is my hero! (except for that "still working thing.") Don is one of the reasons I went back to a faster boat! I got so sick and tired of reading about the cruises to the Bahamas and other distant destinations that he made that I decided to take the bull by the horns and update! I'm so glad that I did! (Even at my age!...74.)
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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Really what you are is asking is when you backed off of the working life to pursue your dreams, whether they be cruising or some other dream.

That is really a mix of what you find important in life and finances. As I get older I am seeing more people that work because they like working, or work because they don't have any real hobbies. They have spent a lifetime being a (insert profession here). I underlined "being" because thats how they picture themselves. they "are" a what ever their job is.

The percentage of people like that in my field of electronics is amazingly high at something over 50%. They are easy to spot. Guys that are so serious about their jobs. Guys that have 500 hours of vacation on the books.

I do not fit into that mold. I really enjoy my profession but I have hobbies that I enjoy more. So, for me its all financial.

As to when that is, any one of us could leave and go pursue our dreams at any time. It just depends on how much we are willing to give up to chase those dreams. People can and do lead minimalistic lifestyles both on land and at sea, and are quite happy out of the "rat race". Sailboaters cruise the world, many on almost nothing financially.

so, when is dependent on many things...
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:09 PM   #9
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"Maybe it's because I've had a few friends my age and younger, become ill or pass away recently, that's made me think? IDK? "


OD, for me, the easy answer to your question is I started at age 5 with my rowboat. Man, I was CRUISIN'!


But the introspective thinking it appears you're doing is natural when you get to your age. You start thinking about "What am I doing here?" and "Is this what I really want to be doing in a few years?"


For me, I left LE at age 44. Way too young to retire and way too far from being financially ready to retire. I made a couple of job changes over the years that set me up (mentally and financially) for retirement and took the step at the end of 2010.


I was so ready for retirement. I loved my job and liked my clients but was mentally ready to pull the plug. I purposely let all of my licenses expire so I wouldn't have that safety net of being able to go back to work if I changed my mind.


Looking back on my decisions I made, I've never regretted them. Yeah, there are days when I'm bored but there are a lot more days when I'm really enjoying being able to do what I want, when I want and how I want.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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I cannot wait to read Janice aboard seaweed's reply to this thread. All things being equal folks, that woman truly is my boating hero.

In answer to the op, decide now what is important to you and dispose of the rest. I'm not referring to the physical act of moving aboard a boat neither, the above sentence is meant to be far deeper than that.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:22 PM   #11
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I had a friend that would comment on my short trips. He would say something like I wouldn't go to DC unless I had the time to do everything I wanted. Well we did that a lot of places, but due to time restrictions had to do it over time. Sadly, he passed away without ever doing any of the things he so wanted. He just refused to take what window he had. We carried him along with his hopes to the grave side. We had several conversations about just that over the years.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:57 PM   #12
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My first cruising was in college days. In the summer I took a 14 day cruise in my old 17' varnished mahogany OB cruiser powered by a 35hp Johnson.

Went across to the San Juan Is being amazed by the kelp and currents near a rock about 10' below. Went to Friday hbr and had lunch. Later went across the channel and anchored in a very small bay. Probably the first time I'd ever anchored. Used a small Dan as I recall. Nothing's changed it seems as I still use a small anchor, a bit of chain and nylon. Don't think I set the anchor in those days though. So that's way different.

Cleared customs at Pender Is and went out Active Pass and across the Strait. Two foot or so seas on the beam. Slowed down to 7 knots and leaned out the carb for a nice smooth economical run across Georgia Strait. Passed under the Lion's Gate Bridge and into Coal Harbour. Bought some fuel at one of the floating fuel barges .. oiled up to 24-1 and headed east. Went up Indian Arm to the end and anchored for the night. Never will forget having a beer sitting in the stern enjoying the calm summer evening.

Back into Georgia Strait and up the north fork of the Frazer R. Went up the Frazer past New Westminister and up the Pitt R to Pitt Lake. Passed the stern wheeler Sargent Preston in Pitt River. Went back down the Frazer a bit and anchored in a back channel. Float plane took off in the morning and scared the crap out of me .. right over my boat at full power using a high thrust prop.

Spent a lazy day going downriver amazed at all the commercial trafic. Especially one tug that was rolling a lot for no appearent reason. The next day I fouled a plug heading for Sand Heads but managed to make it back to Ladner. Fixed the plug problem and had a good long run home. First cruise and one of the best.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:12 PM   #13
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What do you consider 'Cruising'? I have a buddy that have a huge set of criteria for what he wants in his 'perfect boat'. The problem is, he is so set in it, that nothing else will do. As a result he has NO BOAT.


I would love to cruise fill time, however I'm 44 years old and the admiral and I need to work to pay bills while we fund the retirement plan.


We 'cruise' 1 to 2 weeks a year and take as many long weekends as we can. We're on the water from Friday night until Sunday afternoon every single weekend. We arrive, load the boat, cast lines and set Anchor on Friday night, then pull it and head back to the dock every sunday.


Am I 'cruising'? Probably not, but I'm getting out there the best I can. I try to balance life decisions with boating. I treat the cost of boating as a NEED, not a WANT. I have a retaining wall leaning over and will topple is a few years. When it does, i'll deal with it. This sun is shining and its summer, the lines are getting cast and it is what it is.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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What do you consider 'Cruising'? I have a buddy that have a huge set of criteria for what he wants in his 'perfect boat'. The problem is, he is so set in it, that nothing else will do. As a result he has NO BOAT.


I would love to cruise fill time, however I'm 44 years old and the admiral and I need to work to pay bills while we fund the retirement plan.


We 'cruise' 1 to 2 weeks a year and take as many long weekends as we can. We're on the water from Friday night until Sunday afternoon every single weekend. We arrive, load the boat, cast lines and set Anchor on Friday night, then pull it and head back to the dock every sunday.


Am I 'cruising'? Probably not, but I'm getting out there the best I can. I try to balance life decisions with boating. I treat the cost of boating as a NEED, not a WANT. I have a retaining wall leaning over and will topple is a few years. When it does, i'll deal with it. This sun is shining and its summer, the lines are getting cast and it is what it is.
Let's go swimming!!
Swim straight out 100 yards, turn and come back (or?)
Swim out to 6 foot depth. roll onto back and FLOAT
Put on face-mask and fins (maybe wetsuit and weights), then submerge.

Not all swimming?

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Old 07-24-2015, 01:49 PM   #15
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Let's go swimming!!
Swim straight out 100 yards, turn and come back (or?)
Swim out to 6 foot depth. roll onto back and FLOAT
Put on face-mask and fins (maybe wetsuit and weights), then submerge.

Not all swimming?

Ted
It beets sitting on the beach (or my deathbed) wishing I had done something, regretting having done nothing.

Or are you saying that it's all for naught and why bother trying? Has the time been wasted in your eyes?
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:59 PM   #16
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Nope.
What I'm saying is:
Get in there, do it whatever way you can that suits you and your abilities.
Enjoy it. Every time will be different if you pay attention to the details
surrounding you.
Make the most of what is available!!!!

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Old 07-24-2015, 02:27 PM   #17
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It's never too late to live happily ever after.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:41 PM   #18
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First, as to boating, often in a fashion very similar to cruising. I started boating in my own boat rather than parent's in 1983 at the age of 13. First boat was a 17' Sea Ray and I've owned a boat since then. My wife started in 2001, the year we married. She was 21 when we met, 22 when we married.

So, boating to us was Lake Norman in NC.

We made a rather sudden decision in June of 2012 to leave our jobs, mostly retire, move to Fort Lauderdale. We started cruising in October. I turned 42 that October, she was 33. When we started it was full speed ahead and we spend an average of 240 days a year on cruises of some distance but then we spend another 40 to 50 days cruising locally.

We came in knowing nothing about coastal or ocean boating beyond our desire to do it. The biggest boat either of us had "cruised" on was a 30' Cobalt Bowrider. We both went to Maritime school, we hired a captain to train us, and our current licenses are 200 Ton Near-Coastal. Our first licenses were 25 Ton Inland.

We're truly fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity at a relatively young age. It's not something we anticipated, but the day we realized that we could, we did. Our dreams had nothing to do with the kind of cruising we do. We hoped to retire by my 55th birthday but our idea of retirement cruising was the Tennessee River. We'd made one trip there with an acquaintance and we thought it was just like our lake life but you could go on and on, so much further. Nothing at that time in our imagination extended beyond the Tennessee, Cumberland, and TN Tom.

We absolutely love seeing the world from the water. We love being on the water. We like the destinations but we like the trip there. We have no desire whatsoever to travel by land or plane. Planes are just to carry you back to the boat. I've always loved the water and my wife says it was contagious. I can't explain it well, but it was always the one place that all the stress of life went away. It was me, my boat, and the water. What was going on at home or school or work didn't matter.

Yes, we do some work today from the boat, but we basically say, "that's fine, you handle it" or "great news" and the moment we hang up the phone or close the program, it's out of our minds. We very carefully compartmentalize our time too. We don't take business calls. (Will take an emergency call obvious, but haven't had one). We do schedule times we'll call and talk. We don't check our business email until night, normally from bed.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:00 PM   #19
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I traded a car for my first boat back in the 1970's. Lots of memorable times of cruising the Salish sea for up to a month at a time.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:26 PM   #20
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if cruising means getting rid of the dirt house and moving full time, it probably won't happen for us. However, we bought our first boat in 1985 and have spent every spring, summer and fall weekend aboard and moving. We have also spent between 2-3 weeks every year in the Caribbean since 1977 (me since 1969). I'm 66 now and just gave my boss notice on Wednesday that i'm going to hang it up this year and spend more time on the boat. I feel blessed to have spent 46 years on the water. just not continuously. One year ago today i had the first of several operations for throat cancer. Had I waited until now to start boating I would have missed out on a lot of past experience and memories.
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