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Old 09-25-2021, 12:44 PM   #1
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What makes someone want to do blue water cruising?

Is this a desire that always exists or something one develops? I’ve always liked cruising within sight of the land as I enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape. Rugged landscapes preferred.

In many ways I think I’d be unsettled by just pure blue water. My father though loved that in his sailboat. So for me coastal cruising is what I enjoy.

Did others develop a taste for long ocean passages or did you always have it?

I like the concept of true blue water boats, but I’d never use the features in actual long ocean voyages and therefore the tradeoff is too great for me.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:10 PM   #2
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There may be as many answers as there are individuals that love bluewater sailing.

Mine is that I've never felt as free and in control of my destiny as I did when I was
1000 miles from any land in my small boat. It was exhilarating. I long to repeat it.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:13 PM   #3
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For power boat blue water cruising, you need serious money with a serious boat with serious insurance with serious fuel tanks. To blue ocean cruise in a sailboat, none of the above is a requirement. Heck, Lynn and Larry Pardey sailed half way around the world in their home made sailboat with out an engine.

For me, blue water cruising was an acquired taste, but one I enjoyed thoroughly when acquiring it. The Canadian Navy took care of all the above power boat requirements I listed.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:27 PM   #4
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I liked being alone. Miles from the nearest other person. It was as close to being in a space capsule that I will ever be.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:59 PM   #5
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State of mind...... some can feel alone in a crowded room...others dream of space travel.....
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:18 PM   #6
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The ability to travel to amazing, sometimes isolated places, using just the resources you left with and your own (and your crews) abilities is quite a rush. Seeing Africa come up over the horizon was a highlight, but there were many.
It's a little different starting from New Zealand of course. Some of you guys can go to another country for lunch. We have 1000 miles of fairly bumpy water to get anywhere.
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:53 PM   #7
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As mentioned above, I'm sure there's not one universal answer.

For me, I grew up with small boats: skiffs, dinghies, canoes. The minute I discovered that you could actually live and travel on a sailboat, that's what I wanted to do.

What do I enjoy about it? Just some stream of thought answers....

-Self-sufficient island feeling. Basically managing your own little world.
-24 hour day with no set times you are supposed to be awake or asleep
-Just the feel of it, being out on the water for days and weeks, in your own world but in the big world, floating on its surface. Swells, stars, the moon, your thoughts, books, birds, bioluminescence, the sounds of sailing the boat.
- Little things become important rituals (dinner in the cockpit with both crew, etc.)
-Being part of a team yet being alone (if double-handed then basically solo when on watch but part of a team overall).
-Being out there and doing the planning/navigating/marking your spot on the small-scale chart every day.
-The relative independence. Freedom and responsibility.

After the bluewater:
-Ability to visit places and not arrive at an airport or via a highway.
-Anchoring out on your own boat as a visitor to a foreign land.
-Dinghy/shanks' mare for every day transportation
-Snorkeling and swimming right over the side (also possible without doing bluewater depending on where you live, I grant).

Just writing this I yearn to be back out on a long passage. All stowed up and ship-shape, heading out in a few hours....

(Then too, I enjoy inland river cruising. You never know what's around the next bend, interesting mix of commercial and pleasure traffic, quiet anchorages, watching the banks slide by...)
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:40 PM   #8
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Even in the Navy serving in six different warships I recall how we as a crew always longed for the chance to get underway on deployments and away from the cloying presence of all the "helpers" and staffies we dealt with. Sure, were we leaving loved ones and sometimes anticipating combat at the far end of the voyage, but just getting out into the blue where we could run the ship as we'd trained to do was a relief.
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:44 PM   #9
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Blue water is fun and exciting.. Not many places in modern life where you are at mercy of Wx and your own resources if you have an engineering issue... Still chicken of the sea..
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:10 PM   #10
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For me, each blue water passage affected me. Deep-water offshore sailing brought home the immensity of the ocean, and the triviality of so much about daily life. The ocean is utterly and permanently indifferent to success or failure. Confronting that alone, or nearly alone, from the deck of a small vessel beneath a night sky alive with the lights of stars and other planets, turns our minds to the great question about creation.

"Oh God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small," is a translation from an old Breton fisherman's prayer. Admiral Hyman Rickover gave a plaque bearing that prayer to new submarine captains, and also gave one to President John F. Kennedy, who kept it on his desk in the Oval Office.

I wouldn't trade anything for the days and nights I experienced the ocean offshore. I did my thing and am no longer compelled to go back. But I heartily second the parting advice of Captain Joshua Slocum: "To young men contemplating a voyage I would say go. The tales of rough usage are for the most part exaggerations, as also are the tales of sea danger. To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that it was made to be sailed over."
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:56 PM   #11
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I liked being alone. Miles from the nearest other person. It was as close to being in a space capsule that I will ever be.
Thankfully we, don't have to go blue water to achieve that.
We can anchor in spots 20nm from a capital city here and not have another neighbour for miles.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:11 PM   #12
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For me, it's the horizontal version of mountain climbing.
The ocean can (and will) play any card in the deck at any time, and ya have to be able to play a card that will meet or beat it. Lesson: you can't beat the ocean, best case is a draw.
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:53 PM   #13
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I can completely understand the desire for the challenge and the feeling of subsequent success. Im still nervous about the vastness though. Maybe that will fade.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:30 PM   #14
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I can completely understand the desire for the challenge and the feeling of subsequent success. Im still nervous about the vastness though. Maybe that will fade.
vastness? Where are you considering going?
I have been 300 miles offshore and it is no different after you no longer see the mountains at about 20 miles. That is if you want to lose site of land.

Desolation and beyond there is plenty of away from it all places. Heck the San Juans and Gulf Islands have hideaways. With the Fleming 55 you can go most anywhere.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:35 PM   #15
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At sea it's quiet and there's no other people.
If I could swing it, I'd go to sea, have some way of receiving supplies, and never come back.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:35 PM   #16
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Once you get out there the nervous part is when you are approaching land. It's when the water gets shallow that bad things are more likely to happen.
Your whole perspective of time changes as you get into the rhythm. The moon rise and/or set are a big deal if the skies are clear. Now if I'm less than two days from the destination I'm getting close.
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Old 09-26-2021, 06:01 AM   #17
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They say “a man who has gone to sea is ruined for land”.

Passage making is all consuming. You spend years learning skills (sail trim/handling, mechanical, weather etc.). Then time prepping the boat and choosing crew. All of it is worth it 2-3 days out when the watch routine and sea mentality sets in.
In the modern world you’re never alone. That’s even true hiking, running single track or remote coastal. The sounds of air and land traffic or the occasional visit of another fellow traveler breaks your isolation.
On passage after the few days your world both shrinks to your boat and expands to the sea and sky. The sea doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve done in the past, what you left behind on land. There’s only the here and now. You’re both liberated by having no concerns about land based issues but a slave to the sea. However, any issues are real and concrete.
Once you’re in the watch routine your biorhythms are in synch with your world. You know what you need to do and when. Stress leaves as you realize how trivial you are and how trivial your concerns.
Then there’s the endorphin releases. It’s night. There’s no light pollution. The Milky Way is a dense band surrounded by thousands of non twinkling stars and few planets. Sails are perfectly trimmed.boat has a bone in her teeth, porpoise in the bow compression zone. Alone on deck. Totally in touch with nature. Totally there but completely absence as a name just a living thing.
And the companionship. Most of passage making is doing nothing but sitting around. People bond and become totally honest and open. They want nothing from you and as captain you want nothing but competent watch standing. Both the life stories and the philosophical discussions are amazing.
Think blue water small boat sail is comparable to riding a motorcycle and coastal power being in a car. On a bike you’re in the world alone. Ride your own ride even in a group. You smell, feel and directly see the world. In a car you’re sitting in comfort inside a car with an interface between you and the exterior world. Both are wonderful things to do and make for different opportunities. But the harmony and rhythm of the sea in a small sailboat is addictive.
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:23 AM   #18
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Then, of course, there is the definition of "bluewater." Sounds sort of like the OP considers "bluewater" to be anytime he is out of sight of land. Heck! I've taken a Hobie 14 off the beach and far enough to be out of sight of land!


I think most people equate the term with long passages. Most especially, a passage that is long enough that you spend multiple days between landfalls. For instance, if you go from Virgin Gorda to Anegada, in the BVI, you will be out of sight of land for a period of time. I would not, however, by any means consider that to be a "bluewater" passage.


Others would probably argue that a "real" bluewater passage means crossing an ocean, or at least a sizable sea.


So, in the end, it all depends on the individual, and what they consider "bluewater."
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:46 AM   #19
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If I could swing it, I'd go to sea, have some way of receiving supplies, and never come back.
Based on what has occurred in the last 8 months in the U.S. I have the same mentality. Im recently retired and when people asked me for my plan, Id often joke that we might sell it all, buy a boat big enough to live on and tell the world to fark off.
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:16 PM   #20
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Then, of course, there is the definition of "bluewater." Sounds sort of like the OP considers "bluewater" to be anytime he is out of sight of land. Heck! I've taken a Hobie 14 off the beach and far enough to be out of sight of land!


I think most people equate the term with long passages. Most especially, a passage that is long enough that you spend multiple days between landfalls. For instance, if you go from Virgin Gorda to Anegada, in the BVI, you will be out of sight of land for a period of time. I would not, however, by any means consider that to be a "bluewater" passage.


Others would probably argue that a "real" bluewater passage means crossing an ocean, or at least a sizable sea.


So, in the end, it all depends on the individual, and what they consider "bluewater."
No. I was really thinking of blue water to be crossing the Atlantic or Pacific for weeks at a time. Not just out of sight of land. I don’t know where I would draw the line between just a quick crossing and blue water. Also I was thinking of large waves not a placid voyage. At least in what made me feel uncomfortable.
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