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Old 07-24-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Why we boat

The "What our boats say about us" thread got me thinking about why I even deal with boats and boating in the first place. It's expensive, it takes time, and if you do a lot of the work yourself, it can be frustrating. So why bother? My wife and I could spend more of our free time flying (and letting the A&P deal with the maintenance) or canal boating in Europe or fly fishing or whatever if we didn't have this old Grand Banks to deal with.

So why do I bother? It's a question that one could write a book in the course of answering but I'll try not to do that....

I boat primarily because I love the mood of a marine environment. Or I should say, of the marine environment here. I absolutely love boating in fog. I love the look of it, and I love the challenge. I love boating in misty rain. Boating on nice days is a pleasant contrast and I enjoy it but I much prefer the days where things drift in and out of the mist as we move through the islands. I love seeing the animals--- the birds, whales, porpoises, seals, otters--- in their environment in which we are guests. I love staying on the boat in the middle of winter when the wind is gusting to 60 and everything around us is rattling and clanging and the sailboat rigging is moaning and the waves are smashing against the breakwater.

I love what some call the "BC Raincoast," the maze of islands, channels, and bays that form the Inside Passage from the Gulf Islands to Prince Rupert. It's got a mystery to it that I've found nowhere else on earth. So far, other than than my initial ferry ride down it and boating in the lower end of it, my experience along the Inside Passage has been in a floatplane. But the same moods hold true for flying the area as boating it.

It's a bit intimidating and scary, too, up the Passage at times. Flying or boating among mountains that drop straight into the water certainly drives home our insignificance in the overall scheme of things. Even the river otters on shore are better equipped to survive up there than we are if you take away our boats and planes and radios and iPads and cans of chile. But I've found the apprehension and even nervousness about heading into this country by water or air is worth it because of the reward of simply being there. And the challenge and degree of uncertainty makes me feel alive like nothing else does, at least not in the same way.

So for me, boating is a way to get into country I love being in and that I find inspirational. I have no interest in the social aspects of boating. Marina parties and dock visits leave me cold although I do like boating with select friends who I know feel the same about the area as we do.. With the exception of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, if I lived anywhere else along the Lower 48 US coast I very much doubt I would bother with boating at all other than perhaps the fishing aspect. From photos and videos and reading about it, I don't see anything about the rest of the country that would interest me at all from a cruising aspect.. I would find some other pastime that provided the same sense of wonder that boating produces here.

In short, boating makes me feel part of an environment that never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I like running the boat and always learning how to run it better. And it's important to the quality of my boating experience that the boat itself be one that I want to run and that looks like what I think a boat should look like. But the main thing is the getting out there and being a participant along with the ravens and bears and porpoises in this wonderful experience called the Inside Passage.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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The "What our boats say about us" thread got me thinking about why I even deal with boats and boating in the first place. It's expensive, it takes time, and if you do a lot of the work yourself, it can be frustrating. So why bother? My wife and I could spend more of our free time flying (and letting the A&P deal with the maintenance) or canal boating in Europe or fly fishing or whatever if we didn't have this old Grand Banks to deal with.

So why do I bother? It's a question that one could write a book in the course of answering, but I'll try to keep it short, even for me.

I boat primarily because I love the mood of a marine environment. Or I should say, of the marine environment here. I absolutely love boating in fog. I love the look of it, and I love the challenge. I love boating in misty rain. Boating on nice days is a pleasant contrast and I enjoy it but I much prefer the days where things drift in and out of the mist as we move through the islands. I love seeing the animals--- the birds, whales, porpoises, seals, otters--- in their environment in which we are guests. I love staying on the boat in the middle of winter when the wind is gusting to 60 and everything around us is rattling and clanging and the sailboat rigging is moaning and the waves are smashing against the breakwater.

I love what some call the "BC Raincoast," the maze of islands, channels, and bays that form the Inside Passage from the Gulf Islands to Prince Rupert. It's got a mystery to it that I've found nowhere else on earth. So far, other than than my initial ferry ride down it and boating in the lower end of it, my experience along the Inside Passage has been in a floatplane. But the same moods hold true for flying the area as boating it.

It's a bit intimidating and scary, too, up the Passage at times. Flying or boating among mountains that drop straight into the water certainly drives home our insignificance in the overall scheme of things. Even the river otters on shore are better equipped to survive up there than we are if you take away our boats and planes and radios and iPads and cans of chile. But I've found the apprehension and even nervousness about heading into this country by water or air is worth it because of the reward of simply being there. And the challenge and degree of uncertainty makes me feel alive like nothing else does, at least not in the same way.

So for me, boating is a way to get into country I love being in and that I find inspirational. I have no interest in the social aspects of boating. Marina parties and dock visits leave me cold although I do like boating with select friends who I know feel the same about the area as we do.. With the exception of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, if I lived anywhere else along the Lower 48 US coast I very much doubt I would bother with boating at all other than perhaps the fishing aspect. From photos and videos and reading about it, I don't see anything about the rest of the country that would interest me at all from a boating aspect.. I would find some other pastime that provided the same sense of wonder that boating produces here.

In short, boating makes me feel part of an environment that never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I like running the boat and always learning how to run it better. And it's important to the quality of my boating experience that the boat itself be one that I want to run and that looks like what I think a boat should look like. But the main thing is the getting out there and being a participant along with the ravens and bears and porpoises in this wonderful experience called the Inside Passage.

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Well said.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Boating is an easy way to spend your money fast.

But even better, it is a quick method of entering "another world."

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Old 07-24-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Well said, Marin, and as you and I have discussed before, what is perfect geographic beauty for one may not be for another. Your photos are magnificent, by the way.

For me, I love the feeling of being "away" my phone doesn't ring all the time, we play cards with the kids, I drink a beer and go swimming at 2:00 in the afternoon sometimes.

It is weird, but I like the winter too, and before you all scoff, it gets damn cold on the water in the winter in North Florida. I like the feeling that being in a well anchored (or tied to a secure dock) boat in bad weather gives me. It is sort of like nesting, I think.

On the last night at anchor of our Bahamas cruise in July I woke up at 4:00 am (I have to do that a lot of nights now that I am in my 40's :-) ) and went up on deck to check the anchor. It was pond calm but the air had that tropical feel that we don't get at home. The bazillion stars were now 2 bazillion because they were reflected everywhere. I could clearly see a conch shell on the bottom in 15 feet of water with just the moonlight. I don't feel that way on land.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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I don't feel that way on land.

To me that is the essence of boating. It is a totally different environment. We pay the price in money and adapting to it, but it is so totally different that it is worth it. I too like boating or just being on the boat in rain or inclement weather. To be so close to nature and snug inside with a book is great. Navigating in the dark or inclement weather takes your full concentration. I never rest any better than when we anchor or tie up after that.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:49 AM   #6
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I don't feel that way on land.
Very well put. It sums up why I cannot generate any interest whatsoever in RV-ing.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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Among other stuff, Marin wrote...

.........In short, boating makes me feel part of an environment that never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I like running the boat and always learning how to run it better. And it's important to the quality of my boating experience that the boat itself be one that I want to run and that looks like what I think a boat should look like. But the main thing is the getting out there and being a participant along with the ravens and bears and porpoises in this wonderful experience called the Inside Passage.


Yup...Like he said...except in my case the love developed on the NZ waterways and continued here in Queensland. "All time long same..."
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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I'm at rest when I'm moving. Boats are always moving.
My generation tends to be one of hurried greedy fingerpointers...I can escape that to a large degree on the water. I like the adventure of being responsible for my fate (rather than blaming others).
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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I have just spent the evening with god friends, on our boats,of course. In Garden Bay, at Pender harbour, BC. The weather here is beautiful, friends are close, what could be better. This is why we boat.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:13 AM   #10
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Boating i have never worked so hard in my life after i retired and started my hobby refinished 3 boats in 3 years, It is a labor of love a long day working on the boat or boating down the ICW at night is like another world with none of the problems and issues we incounter daily !
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:18 AM   #11
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Live Worthy Boat, out on the water... while cruising, hooking, or beaching becomes its own world... it creates a separate-world. Car, Motor Home, Airplane, House does not produce the same separate-world creating feeling we get on our boat.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:34 AM   #12
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Like all here-I just do not get the same feeling on land as on water. On the one hand-we leave the dock and have total control over and responsibility for, our existence (and those with us). yet, we all know that control is but an illusion that can be taken from us in an instant. An interesting dichotomy and much like life itself. Total control and total insignificance in the same moment.

I have always maintained that no one who ever is out at sea in a smaller boat (as opposed to a cruise ship!), on a still, moonlight, cloudless night with phosporescence trailing in a wake, will ever look at things the same way again. To me, it was magic the first time and it remains magic each and every time since.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Like all here-I just do not get the same feeling on land as on water. On the one hand-we leave the dock and have total control over and responsibility for, our existence (and those with us). yet, we all know that control is but an illusion that can be taken from us in an instant. An interesting dichotomy and much like life itself. Total control and total insignificance in the same moment.

I have always maintained that no one who ever is out at sea in a smaller boat (as opposed to a cruise ship!), on a still, moonlight, cloudless night with phosporescence trailing in a wake, will ever look at things the same way again. To me, it was magic the first time and it remains magic each and every time since.
Very poetic. You reminded me of a crystalizing moment that's high on the list of reasons I boat.

Several years ago I was at the helm of a 76-ft Alden cutter-rigged ketch bound for the BVIs. We were in the southern latitudes hundreds of miles from land, on a beam reach and flying all the sails she had -- making a solid 10 knots. it was about 2 in the morning, the air was crystal clear and I glanced over my shoulder to see the wake glowing with phosphorescence stretching as far behind me as I could see. The guy on watch with me was napping and I had this moment entirely to myself--pretty much an out-of-body experience. I hope that's a memory that lasts as long as I do.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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When our sons were very young we would anchor for the weekend at Cape Lookout. At night before we would let them shower on the boat, we would put them in the cockpit. Then we would take their bathing suits off them to dump the beach sand. We would turn on our salt water wash down to rinse them off and the sand out of the boat. The turbulence created by the wash down pump would activate the phosporescent elements in the seawater. It is a great memory to think of those little guys standing there with little sparklies all over their bodies. They still say that our time boating is the best memory they have of their childhood.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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In our 60's now. The wife and I still enjoy going out to the same beaches we had our toddlers on. Presently our 30 year old son is in Kuwait doing army intelligence work, 23 year old daughter preparing for sept 1st departure for 2 year peace core mission to Etheopia. But the coastal Georgia Bradley Point beach and sand dunes they played on are still there, and I can still see them playing in my minds eye. Whenever they are home which is now rare, they still want to "go out in the boart".
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:48 PM   #16
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IMHO - We on TF and those of other forums, as boaters... with past boating memories and building memories every boating experience... are about the luckiest people in the world. If the big Cahona asks me after passing what hobby/pastime/passion I'd like most to enjoy if I were to be given a new life - - > "Boating" would be my one word reply.

Nearly every family member, in each generation, asks us during most chats - "How are your boats doing? And, we can hardly wait to join you two again". Makes me bout as happy as I can be. Pleases the heck out of Linda too. Included with other factors... boating has kept us in great family favor for visits that include Boating Fun and Boating Adventure.

Grand kids are a BLAST! We love to teach em and watch em grow!

Big Smiles!! - Art and Linda
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #17
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IMHO - We on TF and those of other forums, as boaters... with past boating memories and building memories every boating experience... are about the luckiest people in the world.
Well said, X2!
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:02 AM   #18
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Why I boat?? Hmmm.....

Love being on the water, love being with my family.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:22 AM   #19
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I have just spent the evening with god friends, on our boats,of course. In Garden Bay, at Pender harbour, BC. The weather here is beautiful, friends are close, what could be better. This is why we boat.
Now they are friends worth having!
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #20
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I live in Alaska. When I leave the harbor I am Master and Commander of my own design. There are the exhilarating moments of danger when the sea works against you and the moments of Serene solitude when there is no one around for miles and miles.

As I stand at the helm or on the deck I know that I am in control of my own fate.
I know my boat from stem to stern and every system on her because I made it myself.
It is also the knowledge that that control can be taken from me by the sea and give me white knuckles and sweat on the brow.
God I love it. It makes me feel alive.

SD
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