cruisingForABruising

Pros and cons of sailing to see the world vs other means.

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I'm curious what people's thoughts and experiences are on traveling the world via sailboat. Most people fly some where or maybe drive. Assuming a person has a enough income to travel for a year or longer, what are the pros and cons of sailing?

Some pros to sailing:

You have a place to stay already.

The adventure of getting there is part of the experience.

Cons:

You have a boat that needs to be moored. Can be costly. Could be broken into if you were away for extended periods of time.

Upkeep of a boat.

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On a boat you are living wherever you are, not just traveling through.

Entirely different experiences.

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The purpose of traveling the world is to see things and meet people. to get to those goals - it might far better to do that on an adventure motorcycle (of any size) and then rent  or crew on a boat when there is a thing you want to see by water. with the advent of the internet, airbnb, couch surfing, tents, it actually is quite reasonable and enables you to explore the world much more fully than ever before.

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The Pardeys did the opposite back in the 70's - sailed into the Med then bought a cheap bike and explored inland.

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Agree with the above. You need to know why you are travelling... If you want to see the sights, fly.  If you want to see the country, travel overland, preferably however the locals, do (works some places, not others). Note that travelling in your own vehicle is a very different experience than travelling in other peoples (whether public- train, bus, ferry etc or private- hitchiking etc). Do you want to see places (natural? built?) meet people? understand how they live? experience things (again- wilderness itself or man-made excitement?). Or even just do nothing, somewhere other than where you currently are?

 If you want to see the coast, visit the harbours etc then obviously a boat has it's advantages. If you have the time then using the boat instead of a plane to get you to the place you want to tour can work... Some places will be much more amenable to a visit by boat (NZ? Fiji?) than others (Bolivia? Switzerland?). 

 Either way, the open sea is essentially a desert.

 Start from first principles... why are you going? What do you want to do when you get there? Where do you want to go? In most cases it probably makes no logical sense to sail... that doesn't mean it's not the right thing for you to do, though...

Cheers,

              W.

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I have actually thought quite a bit about this same thing and share WGW's thoughts. 

I covered a lot of ocean miles on the big grey boats.  But i didn't see much of the world beyond whatever harbor I was in (pretty well limited to wherever I could walk, bicycle or maybe once in a very long while rent a car for a day).   And sometimes the harbor area isn't the nicest part of wherever you are visiting (ok, sometimes the worst part of town is 'down by the docks').    

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I know this is not original thought "But sailing the most expensive way to travel 3rd class". 

So you need to get your head around this issue if you are going to spend significant travelling on a sail boat. 

 

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

The Pardeys did the opposite back in the 70's - sailed into the Med then bought a cheap bike and explored inland.

So did Robin Graham and his girlfriend, IIRC. Bought a cheap motorcycle in South Africa and left the boat behind for a while.  

30 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

as a combination for exploring  it is hard to beat a boat and a push bike

Sort of my plan.  Well... pretentious folding touring bike with an airline case.  

Maybe Hotrod had the right idea, however poorly executed.  A boat with a Harlysaki garage.  Those folks on "Roam" have the forward part of one hull dedicated as a toy hold with a cargo hatch for surfboards and mountain bikes.  

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The amount of money and preparation to live for a year and see the world on a sailboat would let you travel comfortably for several years by alternate means, and you could leave this week.   It seems to me that if you want to travel by sailboat it has to be about the journey under sail specifically.  

If you travel on a motorcycle you get the benefits of long range and reasonably fast travel at a low cost.  You aren't restricted to plodding along the usual bus/plane routes and can explore a lot more.

You don't have to plan much on land, grab a bit of cash, a bit of camping gear and off you go.  I got a year out of a 70s Honda bike and 3000$.  Wouldn't like to try that on a boat. 

  On a motorcycle you are able(and also forced to) interact much more with what's around you.  To me that was the best balance between being able to get where I wanted, when I felt like going, and traveling fast enough that destinations were easily reached.  It is less comfortable than driving.  However doing it in a car or SUV feels like watching TV between point A and B. 

The above is based on personal experience.  The below is supposition only.

It seems to me that a boat is the farthest opposite end of the spectrum from a motorcycle, the motorcycle is all about new cultures and interacting with other people from far different walks of life.  One day you might be invited to sleep in a squat, the next in a giant beautiful house with a pool, on a bike things are always changing.   The sailboat seems to me much more about challenging yourself, and being independent and isolated.  You must be totally reliant on yourself and your boat for everything, you are far from interaction with others while travelling from A to B, you get to bring your entire home with you, but you are also stuck with only your home and yourself for long periods of time.  So I think it is good to figure out what you want to experience before deciding how you'll go. 

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These two did both on a shoestring budget, for over a decade, starting on the motorcycle. 

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/how-to/road-to-moscow

"

By 1990, we'd already been around the world once. Now we were stuck in Cyprus, the Gulf War cutting off our route through the Middle East to Russia, the next leg of our journey. What we really needed was a boat. We looked for a working passage, but couldn't find a ship traveling that route. Then, one day, Tania walked into a marina and found a 31-foot, 35-year-old wooden sailboat--one full of holes. We knew absolutely nothing about sailing. But with the last of our savings we bought the boat, fixed the holes, dismantled our bike, stored the pieces on board, and sailed away from the war in the Middle East by traveling West--across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.

No sane person would want to dismantle his or her beloved motorcycle and store it in a leaky old boat. We certainly didn't; after all, it was a perfectly good motorcycle. But we did. To get our CX500 on board, we disassembled it on the dock (with quite a crowd watching) and had to squeeze each bit through a hatch the size of a TV screen. The frame was the tightest squeeze; we had to twist and turn it to get it through.

For the next six years, seawater leaked all over our CX, and for long periods the engine itself was submerged in bilge water 8-10 inches deep. Everything corroded. The wiring loom turned to mush. (Now, why couldn't I have destroyed my perfectly good motorcycle by crashing into the side of a truck, or spinning off the road at high speed like any normal biker?)

"

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1 hour ago, dylan winter said:

as a combination for exploring  it is hard to beat a boat and a push bike

That is my plan.....a sailboat, an old, rigid titanium mtb, and a 7'-6" surfboard......now just need to find a home for the puppy that showed up a few months ago!

 

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21 minutes ago, bridhb said:

That is my plan.....a sailboat, an old, rigid titanium mtb, and a 7'-6" surfboard......now just need to find a home for the puppy that showed up a few months ago!

 

dogs on boats are bad news

nearly as bad as plants in pots

 

D

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1. A sailboat can take you to places you simply cannot easily get to by other means. St. Helena (before they got an airport), many small islands in the Pacific, Chagos, small villages in Fiji or Indonesia and on and on. You sure can meet people off the beaten path.

2. When you have the shits from eating some horrible street food, it is very comforting to be in your home (sailboat), in your own bed, and have your daughter pat your head and say "Poor Little Bunny". You do have your home with you and that is mentally pretty nice.

3. You get to sail a lot. Some people enjoy that.

4. You get to fix things a lot. Many people do not enjoy that.

5. You can go inside when it rains. Especially if you have a catamaran :)  On a motorcycle, maybe not as easy to get out of the weather.

6. You can travel inland as much as your budget allows. I've ridden in the back of some sort of motorcycle/mini pickup cross to see monkeys, been terrified by the buses in Sri Lanka, been less terrified by the slow moving trains in Sri Lanka, rented cars in South Africa to visit the big parks, been terrified by taxis in many countries, been given a ride ashore in a tiny outrigger canoe with 3" freeboard...

7. Our budget was roughly 25-35K / year. Depended on how much my wife made, how much I did contracting remotely, how the savings were eroding... Didn't scrimp too much ever. Ate out lots except in countries where it was costly (French Polynesia, Australia)  When we sold the boat we got pretty close to what we put it into it. That was minor amount of $$ in exchange for a place to live for 8 years. I'm not sure how well a family of 3 could see the world on that budget; probably pretty well I think. But it would have been a different experience by car/RV/adventure motorcycle.

p.s. Why do the Brits and Ozzies call bicycles "push bikes". You don't push them, you pedal them. Just call them bikes.

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I've managed to travel over or around 3 continents by motorcycle. A large part of traveling by motorcycle for me was my love of riding. It was as much about the challenge of the ride and spending umpteen thousand miles in the saddle as anything else. I feel the same way about sailing. I want to sail a lot and I want to do it well.

If you're only planning on a year or two trip the cost of a sailboat could fund much or all of a motorcycle trip. A lot of the cost is going to be determined on the life style you want. I like camping but I prefer sleeping in a bed. A campsite in France cost as much as a three star hotel in Buenos Aires.

Someone could steal or vandalize your motorcycle as easily as break into your boat. I also think riding is more dangerous than sailing.

I'm planning on spending a decade or two circumnavigating and in that scenario I think sailing would be much cheaper than traveling by motorcycle. I also really like the idea of being able to sleep in my own bed and drink coffee out of my favorite mug. When I get to Australia I still plan on buying a cheap used motorcycle there and touring that continent and then selling it when I'm done.

Where do you want to travel and how do you want to live?

 

-Hugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I first learned to ride in Nepal, and then continued to ride in a variety of Asian countries. I love how motorcycles allow you to smell, hear and feel as you go along. However I'm probably very luck to still be alive and intact. 

I love offshore passages and how it feels like you've actually traveled somewhere, as opposed to just arriving.  I love it when countries stamp my passport, "arrived by sea". Few do it anymore.  I also like the idea that my bunk has come with. 

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I have never been anywhere in the world where you cannot rent a bike or if there are decent waves, a surfboard. 

Concerning seeing the world by boat, that makes no sense to us. Too inefficient. However, we have found staging your boat around the world as a mobile global second home has been wonderful.

A great way to experience new places fully.

The difference between frequent commuter visits to the boat staged somewhere exotic for a couple years, and just visiting the same place once on vacation for a couple weeks, is the difference between a ribeye steak and a bag of Cheetos.

Keeping one foot in the 1st world and its employment opportunities maximizes your cruising freedom. And the passages you make when it’s time to restage more than feeds your sailing jones.

As musicians that love music know “you don’t have to give up your day job” to follow your bliss.

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38 minutes ago, ChuteFirst said:

I have never been anywhere in the world where you cannot rent a bike or if there are decent waves, a surfboard. 

Concerning seeing the world by boat, that makes no sense to us. Too inefficient. However, we have found staging your boat around the world as a mobile global second home has been wonderful.

A great way to experience new places fully.

The difference between frequent commuter visits to the boat staged somewhere exotic for a couple years, and just visiting the same place once on vacation for a couple weeks, is the difference between a ribeye steak and a bag of Cheetos.

Keeping one foot in the 1st world and its employment opportunities maximizes your cruising freedom. And the passages you make when it’s time to restage more than feeds your sailing jones.

As musicians that love music know “you don’t have to give up your day job” to follow your bliss.

No, but you need a big bag of cash for your bliss.

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

dogs on boats are bad news

nearly as bad as plants in pots

 

D

I nearly dated a nice woman who like sailboats.  Until I found out she planned to fill the inside with potted plants.  I just couldn't do it!  

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8 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

I'm curious what people's thoughts and experiences are on traveling the world via sailboat. Most people fly some where or maybe drive. Assuming a person has a enough income to travel for a year or longer, what are the pros and cons of sailing?

Some pros to sailing:

You have a place to stay already.

The adventure of getting there is part of the experience.

Cons:

You have a boat that needs to be moored. Can be costly. Could be broken into if you were away for extended periods of time.

Upkeep of a boat.

I’ve always wanted to read this guy’s book - Jean Béliveau - link below.  He walked around the world.  Walked.  Around.  The. World.

Imagine the foreign boatyards you’d never see; the endless and banal “what kind of anchor do you have” conversations with people in foreign anchorages with whom you have nothing in common except anchor talk.  Etc etc sailing/cruising stuff.  You’d be able to avoid all of those things.  Instead, you’d actually meet lots of real people on a very visceral, on-the-ground level.

But you’d miss all the fantastic sailing...but I always thought this guy, and what he did, was absolutely amazing...there’s a “crazy” Swiss woman, Sarah Marquis, who does this to - goes on multi-month/year huge walking trips, like across China, Australia, etc.  Super gutsy, as a woman.  

Epic way to see the world...maybe combine it with ocean crossing by sailboat, and you’d have the peak orgasmic world travel experience :-)

Sarah Marquis:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/sarah-marquis-1000-day-walk/index.html

Jean Béliveau:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/jean-béliveau-s-11-years-on-the-road-1.1070673

http://wwwalk.org/en/news.html

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The ability to travel, anywhere in the world, without  having to use an airplane, pack a suitcase, and stay at a hotel, is priceless.

The people you meet doing the same thing are pretty amazing, and the locals never treat you as a tourist when you arrive in the their country, after crossing an ocean by your own boat to simply hang out and take part in the local culture.

Did i mention adventure.

I've been lucky enough to have spent most of my life traveling, and sailing was simply the best way too go, for me.

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4 hours ago, Zonker said:

1. A sailboat can take you to places you simply cannot easily get to by other means. St. Helena (before they got an airport), many small islands in the Pacific, Chagos, small villages in Fiji or Indonesia and on and on. You sure can meet people off the beaten path.

2. When you have the shits from eating some horrible street food, it is very comforting to be in your home (sailboat), in your own bed, and have your daughter pat your head and say "Poor Little Bunny". You do have your home with you and that is mentally pretty nice.

3. You get to sail a lot. Some people enjoy that.

4. You get to fix things a lot. Many people do not enjoy that.

5. You can go inside when it rains. Especially if you have a catamaran :)  On a motorcycle, maybe not as easy to get out of the weather.

6. You can travel inland as much as your budget allows. I've ridden in the back of some sort of motorcycle/mini pickup cross to see monkeys, been terrified by the buses in Sri Lanka, been less terrified by the slow moving trains in Sri Lanka, rented cars in South Africa to visit the big parks, been terrified by taxis in many countries, been given a ride ashore in a tiny outrigger canoe with 3" freeboard...

7. Our budget was roughly 25-35K / year. Depended on how much my wife made, how much I did contracting remotely, how the savings were eroding... Didn't scrimp too much ever. Ate out lots except in countries where it was costly (French Polynesia, Australia)  When we sold the boat we got pretty close to what we put it into it. That was minor amount of $$ in exchange for a place to live for 8 years. I'm not sure how well a family of 3 could see the world on that budget; probably pretty well I think. But it would have been a different experience by car/RV/adventure motorcycle.

p.s. Why do the Brits and Ozzies call bicycles "push bikes". You don't push them, you pedal them. Just call them bikes.

What he said.

The pace of travel is slower. Much slower, and that's a good thing. We see people bungee in and out of countries at resorts and on cruise ships everywhere we've gone. It's not the same.

It sounds stupid, but when you have to dick around with things like figuring out how to do laundry, get food, where you can eat cheap, how to use the local buses...you get a much more in depth flavor of a place than flying in and staying in a hotel or resort.  Yes, you can get some of that if you camp or motorcycle, but then you don't have your home with you.

When you're in an area for a few weeks or more, you start to learn the little details, find out some of the secrets about where the good places are, where the locals go. It seems almost every place we've been there's a "I can't believe we didn't find this weeks ago!" moment at some point in our explorations.

Having your home with you is a really nice thing. It makes a big difference being able to come home, instead of come back to a hotel room or tent. It also makes a big difference being able to manage things like your own provisions, food, water, etc. because you have your home instead of constantly needed to eat out or shop in tiny amounts because you're staying somewhere different tomorrow which might not have a fridge.

Yeah, you could probably chalk up more miles flying in and out, and maybe do it for less annually. Maybe not, because hotels and restaurants burn your money FAST. And anchoring is free almost everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

No, but you need a big bag of cash for your bliss.

An old 37’ sailboat commissioned for blue water is within the reach of many. Say $50K purchase and $150K all-in outfitting.

It can be setup to be comfortable, capable, and relatively easy to operate and operate.

If you can afford a slip for it the USA, then you can afford to slip it anywhere in the world for the same price. So stashing it in foreign marinas is not incrementally expensive. Let’s say $1K/month. 

Today you can fly anywhere in the world in 20 hours for about $1K.

So your come and go travel expenses for say a couple month getaway is about $2K. That’s about all that would be incremental to keeping the boat at home.

If you work your way into a  “day job” in your home country that you can leave periodically for a couple months a year (construction, consulting, etc), you don’t need a big bag of cash to sustain this mobile global second home delicious lifestyle forever.

I submit this approach is a lot less expensive than quitting your job and selling everything to try and tour the world full time by boat.

I see that as potentially a trap, where your employable income earning skills degrade, you are forever anchoring out to preserve the cruising kitty, spending lots of DIY maintenance time to reduce costs, and running the risk of becoming enslaved by the lifestyle.

Some people view cruising as a way to Escape their current life when the goal should really be to Enhance it.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Zonker said:

p.s. Why do the Brits and Ozzies call bicycles "push bikes". You don't push them, you pedal them. Just call them bikes.

It's done to remove the ambiguity- to a motorcyclist a bike has an engine, to a cyclist it doesn't. In Britain, Dylan's comment wouldn't be clear without the prefix. 

 It's not used when the context is clear... though there's also an implication that a pushbike is unpretentious. Someone who's on a bicycle is more likely to be an aficionado than someone on a pushbike... 

 There's no point having three words for the same thing if they all have the same meaning. :-) 

Cheers,

                W.

PS "horseback riding"?

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4 hours ago, ChuteFirst said:

Some people view cruising as a way to Escape their current life when the goal should really be to Enhance it.

Your way of doing things wouldn't be life enhancing for me.

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17 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

I'm curious what people's thoughts and experiences are on traveling the world via sailboat. Most people fly some where or maybe drive. Assuming a person has a enough income to travel for a year or longer, what are the pros and cons of sailing?

Some pros to sailing:

You have a place to stay already.

The adventure of getting there is part of the experience.

Cons:

You have a boat that needs to be moored. Can be costly. Could be broken into if you were away for extended periods of time.

Upkeep of a boat.

We dipped our toes into cruising 30 years ago. My partner and I took a year off and did the east coast milk run, from Vermont to the Exumas. It was fun and I'm glad I did it. That answered what it was I liked about sailing, by showing me what I don't like to do on a sailboat. 

 

I don't like to drive it, daily, for any length of time. 

b472f7e0.jpg

I don't like to turn my boat into a home. For me, it takes away the essence of 'sailboat', which I love. A sailboat is a sleek wind driven vessel. It waits, dormant, on a mooring until you unleash it and sail away. 

 

After nearly a year, I felt I had stopped sailing, which is silly as cruisers can sail as much as they want, but I didn't and I'm not sure why. It probably has something to do with how I like to sail. 

 

I love to travel, by any means. As a matter of travel degrees, I love to sail a handful of miles that are interesting (much, coastal) in conditions of my choice. On my terms. I love my overnight berth, my tiny galley, my tight saloon. I love my half full lockers. I love being onboard for a few days or a few weeks. I love my mooring, 700 feet from where I sit. I love my old house in an old village where I can walk to everything. 

 

I love to travel a long distance with an overnight bag; nothing to check (and lose). A sailor learns how to pack lightly. When I get to another country and find the AirBnB beyond my expectations(isn't that amazing?), I marvel at the sleek traveling machine I can be. 

 

It's funny that my wife, despite never having sailed until she met me (our first date, I took her sailing), says' she would do the trip down the coast again (we've actually done it twice), but I just nod.

 

I'm not doing again. Our sailboat, is too much baggage. 

 

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18 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

I'm curious what people's thoughts and experiences are on traveling the world via sailboat. Most people fly some where or maybe drive. Assuming a person has a enough income to travel for a year or longer, what are the pros and cons of sailing?

Some pros to sailing:

You have a place to stay already.

The adventure of getting there is part of the experience.

Cons:

You have a boat that needs to be moored. Can be costly. Could be broken into if you were away for extended periods of time.

Upkeep of a boat.

Pro - you get to sail from place to place.

Con - you have to sail from place to place.

Sailing is the most expensive and uncomfortable way to travel I can imagine *if you don't like sailing*. The sailboat is an end in itself, not just the means to something else. If your desires and goals don't include the actual sailing and you just want a cheap way to move around, you would hate it. If you WANT to be on a boat, then it can be the best possible way to see parts of the world with water. You are involved in a way commercial package tour travelers will never be. Speaking of the community, I am all for low budget adventures as long as you don't turn into a parasite. Please don't be the guy that shows up with no money, no supplies, no plan, no parts, no gas, and no food and expects everyone to solve your issue for you. We have enough of that and it inspires all kinds of rules that oppress all of us.

Interesting thought exercise: Compare and contrast what the "Bahamas" means to pilots, sailors, and tourists. By boat and private airplane I have been from one end of the chain to the other. It is a truly amazing place and you can be amazingly far away from "civilization" while still a few hundred miles from Florida. The only reason I ever stop at Freeport or Nassau is to buy gas and leave again ASAP. The typical tourist that does "The Bahamas" has been to Nassau or Freeport or maybe both. This is like the difference between going to Europe and going to the European restaurants in Epcot Center (Disney World).

 

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17 hours ago, dylan winter said:

as a combination for exploring  it is hard to beat a boat and a push bike

Don't know what a push bike is but I do know what a fold up is.

Here's a review of 'The Bicycle Diaries' by musician David Byrne. He took a fold up bicycle on tour and hit the ground riding in every city to experience the sights and sounds at a pace unique to pedal power.

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/travel/20armchair.html

 

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I used to travel with a full-sized bike in a hard case.  Step one was to find a quiet bit of sidewalk outside the airport and put the bicycle together.  People walking by acted as if they had never seen such a thing.  Some stopped and took pictures.  

Today, I see that PDX (and probably many airports) has a designated “bicycle assembly area” between the baggage area and the train station.  

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9 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

 There's no point having three words for the same thing if they all have the same meaning. :-) 

We are speaking of the English language aren't we?

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I traveled for a year through MX and Central America on a klr650 staying mostly in cheap hotels or camping, volunteering along the way. Learned Spanish, met my wife, became a truly independent human being. Spent about $4k all-in including buy/sell and prep on the bike.  It’s hard to imagine a cheaper way to travel - maybe a bicycle but that’s a big step down in comfort and range. I agree that motorcycling vs car travel is a totally different feeling. 

Sailing is a totally different ball of wax. One issue for us is that ~1 month is about our max. That’s a really solid tour in a car, but from here on the sailboat it’s the Channel Islands, Sea of Cortez or maybe down as far south as Vallarta before I have to start heading back. Fun sailing, not an efficient way to get a cultural experience. 

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10 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

It's done to remove the ambiguity- to a motorcyclist a bike has an engine, to a cyclist it doesn't. In Britain, Dylan's comment wouldn't be clear without the prefix. 

 It's not used when the context is clear... though there's also an implication that a pushbike is unpretentious. Someone who's on a bicycle is more likely to be an aficionado than someone on a pushbike... 

 There's no point having three words for the same thing if they all have the same meaning. :-) 

Cheers,

                W.

PS "horseback riding"?

In America and Ireland they used to “ride” in “cars” - ie horse drawn carriages - so it would make some sense to refer to riding on the back of a horse. 

“Pushbike” goes back to 1906 at least but is harder to make sense of. 

Yours in pedantry. 

 

 

 

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p.s. Why do the Brits and Ozzies call bicycles "push bikes". You don't push them, you pedal them. Just call them bikes. "

It is a push bike because when you ride you are pushing the pedals, down hopefully.

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@kent_island_sailor I wish I had the social skills to where being a parasite was an option. Not that I would then be a parasite! I'm more the barely getting by but enjoying the cheap beers and doing things solo most the time kind of a person.

Sounds like I need a motorcycle and need to see how I like that vs sailing. The Yamaha TW200 has been on the list of things to buy soon anyway. In the future, I have to at least do some coastal cruising and see how I like that. So I'd like to travel Mexico, Central and South America. Just not sure if it's via sailing/flying/driving. Not really into seeing sights as much as going on some good hikes, swimming new places and getting by cheaply. Do what I should have done in 20's in my 40's I suppose. That gives me 6 years to get my head straight(er).

Thank everybody for your input. Lots of things to think about!

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On 5/10/2018 at 3:15 PM, Black Jack said:

The purpose of traveling the world is to see things and meet people. to get to those goals - it might far better to do that on an adventure motorcycle (of any size) and then rent  or crew on a boat when there is a thing you want to see by water. with the advent of the internet, airbnb, couch surfing, tents, it actually is quite reasonable and enables you to explore the world much more fully than ever before.

And die by road accident.

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24 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

And die by road accident.

Optimist. Dengue fever or massive parasite infection would be my guess. Or killed by drug gangs or bands of roving rogue nuns.

B)

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2 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

@kent_island_sailor I wish I had the social skills to where being a parasite was an option. Not that I would then be a parasite! I'm more the barely getting by but enjoying the cheap beers and doing things solo most the time kind of a person.

Sounds like I need a motorcycle and need to see how I like that vs sailing. The Yamaha TW200 has been on the list of things to buy soon anyway. In the future, I have to at least do some coastal cruising and see how I like that. So I'd like to travel Mexico, Central and South America. Just not sure if it's via sailing/flying/driving. Not really into seeing sights as much as going on some good hikes, swimming new places and getting by cheaply. Do what I should have done in 20's in my 40's I suppose. That gives me 6 years to get my head straight(er).

Thank everybody for your input. Lots of things to think about!

How heavy are you?   How tall are you?

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2 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

@kent_island_sailor I wish I had the social skills to where being a parasite was an option. Not that I would then be a parasite! I'm more the barely getting by but enjoying the cheap beers and doing things solo most the time kind of a person.

Sounds like I need a motorcycle and need to see how I like that vs sailing. The Yamaha TW200 has been on the list of things to buy soon anyway. In the future, I have to at least do some coastal cruising and see how I like that. So I'd like to travel Mexico, Central and South America. Just not sure if it's via sailing/flying/driving. Not really into seeing sights as much as going on some good hikes, swimming new places and getting by cheaply. Do what I should have done in 20's in my 40's I suppose. That gives me 6 years to get my head straight(er).

Thank everybody for your input. Lots of things to think about!

if you just want a cheap way from A to B, forget boats. Also note there is an ongoing low-medium level gang/drug war going on in a fair chunk of Mexico and Central America. Friends with a place in Mexico no longer drive from here to there, they fly.

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I didn't realize things were that bad down there. Thanks for the info @kent_island_sailor

I'm only 5'8" maybe 5'9" and 175lbs @jgbrown

@fastyacht yes I've never really ridden motorcycles because they are dangerous. At the same time I know people who ride that are fine. Maybe I should live a little.

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28 minutes ago, cruisingForABruising said:

I didn't realize things were that bad down there. Thanks for the info @kent_island_sailor

I'm only 5'8" maybe 5'9" and 175lbs @jgbrown

@fastyacht yes I've never really ridden motorcycles because they are dangerous. At the same time I know people who ride that are fine. Maybe I should live a little.

Eh.  I'd rather live a little.  They said the same things when I was heading south too.  One of my deepest regrets was not framing the copy of a write up my uncle sent me that started off with "what kind of irresponsible parents would let their kid out into the world on this cold war era piece of shit" with a photo of me.    Was scared for my life more often with the drivers in the USA.  Don't be involved in drugs, don't be a dumbass.  If I can't save enough money together for a boat+refit I'll be back on the bike again myself. 

I'd say you're too big for the TW200.  They're fun toys for about a half hour.  They suck on long trips, uncomfortable to sit on if you aren't a midget, slide around badly with gravel on hard and tires are a PITA to find, oh and completely and utterly gutless, and that's coming from someone who weighed 140lbs at the time and had been totally in love with the idea of a TW200 before and after heading south.     A GS400 for 1/5th the price did way better on road and I rode it through mud and water over the axles several times in a summer in SK without an issue.  Has 6th gear too.  Light, cheap and simple. Looks similar to bikes you'll see all over the place, unlike the big BMWs etc.  If you break it, you can walk away.  I would strongly consider taking one instead of my CX if I went again.  I like a regular style bike with slightly more aggressive tires for long trips.  

If you want to stay small displacement dualsport, I'd go DR350 (for old school) or WR250R for modern.  Both have been used for long distance travel extensively.  I bought a WRR to stick in my V-berth for a combination RTW trip that I canceled to work more instead.  It was a night and day difference from the TW.   Common tire sizes, fuel efficient, quiet, reliable, fast etc.  

 

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@jgbrownI was thinking for a first bike it would be good but I will look into your suggestions before I get anything. Gotta save up so might as well do more research in the mean time. I think that 6th gear would help a lot for long trips.

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On 5/11/2018 at 6:11 AM, ChuteFirst said:

If you work your way into a  “day job” in your home country that you can leave periodically for a couple months a year (construction, consulting, etc), you don’t need a big bag of cash to sustain this mobile global second home delicious lifestyle forever.

I submit this approach is a lot less expensive than quitting your job and selling everything to try and tour the world full time by boat.

We are just going on a four month sailing/parental leave.

Actually I think what you describe is really more expensive, because you have to sustain two (possibly expensive) lifestyles at the same time. Just leaving for a few month I need to keep up with the rent for the appartment, pay for the car, ... while at the same time having no income.

So for me it would be more  sustainable  to leave for longer periods and selling off the land- based  stuff complete. But I guess that only makes sense if leaving for at least 12-24 month. 

Paul 

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Can anyone suggest a good passage through middle Asia by boat? Didn't think so.

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7 minutes ago, fufkin said:

Can anyone suggest a good passage through middle Asia by boat? Didn't think so.

Put it on the roof rack and drive.  These guys did it with a bathtub, I'm sure an opti would work too. 

 

 

P9010482.JPG

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1 hour ago, fufkin said:

Can anyone suggest a good passage through middle Asia by boat? Didn't think so.

Try reading 'The Other Half of Half Safe' and then get back to me - you might revise your answer.

OTOH you did say 'good' and the author of that book was the all-time Australian nutcase..... nobody else is even close.

Anyway it's pointless - might as well ask the motorcycle crowd how they plan on riding from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. Some things simply can't be done.

FKT

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6 hours ago, toolbar said:
On 5/11/2018 at 2:11 PM, ChuteFirst said:

If you work your way into a  “day job” in your home country that you can leave periodically for a couple months a year (construction, consulting, etc), you don’t need a big bag of cash to sustain this mobile global second home delicious lifestyle forever.

I submit this approach is a lot less expensive than quitting your job and selling everything to try and tour the world full time by boat.

We are just going on a four month sailing/parental leave.

Actually I think what you describe is really more expensive, because you have to sustain two (possibly expensive) lifestyles at the same time. Just leaving for a few month I need to keep up with the rent for the appartment, pay for the car, ... while at the same time having no income.

So for me it would be more  sustainable  to leave for longer periods and selling off the land- based  stuff complete. But I guess that only makes sense if leaving for at least 12-24 month. 

Paul 

This^^. We sold almost everything, and just left a few key things in storage at my parents - a couple of valuable bits of furniture, silver, china & silver, old photos, etc.

I have a mortgage, but only the one on the boat. If you keep a "real life" then you end up with a lot of things you have to pay for twice.

What I don't have is:

  • Property taxes
  • Home insurance (I do have boat insurance, but you'd need that too)
  • Sewer assessments, HOA fees, etc.
  • One or more cars (with property taxes, insurance, monthly payments, etc.)
  • Work clothes & dress shoes. I have what I refer to as the "wedding & funeral bag" with a blazer, a tie, and a shirt at my parents.
  • A second mortgage on a house or rent on an apartment
  • A storage unit for the little bit of crap I'm keeping (keep that grandfather clock wound for us Mom & Dad!)
  • A yard
  • A house to worry about/rent out/maintain
  • Renters to deal with in my house
  • Memberships to health clubs, yacht clubs, etc. Though sometimes we DO join a local club on a temporary basis if the dues are cheap and there's a good benefit, it's not expensive.
  • An electric/utility bill (try turning your power & heat off if you're leaving the house in the winter. You CAN do it, but do you want to?)
  • Long term contracts on cell phones, internet, etc. with cancellation fees (that often can't easily be suspended when you travel).
  • Monitored alarm & security systems

Of course, I don't have a steady income either, except what comes in from investments - real estate, dividends, etc.

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12 minutes ago, toddster said:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44094868

Mexico says round-the-world cyclists were murdered

Chiapas has been a bit of a shit show for a long time.  It was when my grandfather first traveled there.   He had a few close calls there, and that was over 40 years ago while that's unfortunate for the riders, a little common sense and staying away from areas known to have serious issues goes a long way.  The only places I ever felt unsafe there were the tourist destinations or biggest cities, the same held true in Guatemala, El Salvador etc.  The "dangerous" highlands were beautiful and peaceful.  Antigua(tourist trap) was dangerous and sketchy.   Several countries are also issuing travel advisories to their citizens with regards to traveling in the USA these days.  Doesn't mean it's anything to be fussed about beyond a reasonable level of caution. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jgbrown said:

Chiapas has been a bit of a shit show for a long time.  It was when my grandfather first traveled there.   He had a few close calls there, and that was over 40 years ago while that's unfortunate for the riders, a little common sense and staying away from areas known to have serious issues goes a long way.  The only places I ever felt unsafe there were the tourist destinations or biggest cities, the same held true in Guatemala, El Salvador etc.  The "dangerous" highlands were beautiful and peaceful.  Antigua(tourist trap) was dangerous and sketchy.   Several countries are also issuing travel advisories to their citizens with regards to traveling in the USA these days.  Doesn't mean it's anything to be fussed about beyond a reasonable level of caution. 

 

 

I actually traveled the road the cyclists were murdered on in 1999 - a pretty well traveled route from San Cristóbal to Palenque. Absolutely beautiful trip. I weep for México. When I was there the only dangerous place was México City (now among the safest). It was a traveler’s paradise with zero stress.  I go there frequently, and while it’s not bad in the major cities I am too nervous to travel by road through the countryside in many states with my family. 

It was not always like this - things are different now :(

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1 hour ago, socalrider said:

I actually traveled the road the cyclists were murdered on in 1999 - a pretty well traveled route from San Cristóbal to Palenque. Absolutely beautiful trip. I weep for México. When I was there the only dangerous place was México City (now among the safest). It was a traveler’s paradise with zero stress.  I go there frequently, and while it’s not bad in the major cities I am too nervous to travel by road through the countryside in many states with my family. 

It was not always like this - things are different now :(

Yep, I liked Palenque too. I haven't been back in a decade myself, but even when I was traveling through there, some of my family was very against me riding in that area(They live in the Yucatan) because of ongoing squabbling.    You're still far more likely to get run over by a truck in any case, a reasonable level of caution in planning one's route helps if you are concerned about it.   I went anyways then, probably would pick my route with a bit more care now(the only place I avoided back then was Juarez).    If tourists were being specifically targeted, I'd probably ship around, but otherwise I don't see a need to fuss.  If you want to be really clever with money and avoid Mexico, you could fly to Argentina and buy a bike from another traveler there looking to fly out.  Often great deals to be had on fully equipped(if a bit worn) bikes this way.  Then ride up, ship around Mexico instead. 

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On May 12, 2018 at 3:46 AM, jgbrown said:

Put it on the roof rack and drive.  These guys did it with a bathtub, I'm sure an opti would work too. 

 

 

P9010482.JPG

While it seems like a couple of lifetimes ago, I've been on some roads like this. I was playing a series of four tennis tournaments in Uzbekistan. After flying into Tashkent on a brand new jumbo, once the first week was over, I boarded what looked to be some kind of 60s era twin turbo prop plane with a cowboy Russain pilot and got squeezed between two way oversized older ladies in a cabin that, if it were the movies, the prop master would had to have put some live chickens in a coup to complete the atmosphere. After kissing the ground upon landing, there was no way in hell I was doing that again. Problem was I still had two more tourneys to get to. 

So I asked a fellow player of Uzbek origin if he'd be game to get to the next stop over land. Ruslan became my trusted translator, navigator and negotiator. So we packed our gear and made our way to the taxi stand across the street. After some intense squabbling and back and forth between a half dozen drivers it was down to a one toothed greasy looking driver and a slightly better presented candidate. The negotiations were closing in on the half hour mark and I got impatient and stepped into the fray, pulled Ruslan aside and asked him what the problem was and what kind of deal we were looking at for the 8 hour journey. 'Well, we can take the Lada and it'll cost us 12 dollars, or we can take the Daewoo for 14 dollars'...'Well let's take the fucking Daewoo then'

Once out into the desert, early on we passed some troops marching in formation on the side of the road. 'What are those guys for?' 

'They're for bandits. They hide just behind the sand and swoop down onto the highway to rob cars'

'Alrighty then, good thing they're here I guess.'

Every couple of hours we'd get waved over by an armed officer of indeterminate origin, each one it seemed in a different uniform, to whom we'd pay varying amounts of money to in order to proceed. I guess this was their version of a toll booth. To me it felt more like a shakedown. A couple of times they wanted to see what was in the trunk, and as soon as they saw tennis gear they lightened up and it all made sense to them. The president was a huge tennis fan.

At certain points, these flat sand dune areas gave way to more mountainous regions, that were a bit more lush. Going up the side of one mountain, sheep began to fill in the roadway causing a road block. Just behind them, out of nowhere, right up the side of the of the mountain and on to the road,  a Muhadeen looking dude with full black garb and a rifle, appeared riding one of the most beautiful black stallions I'll probably ever see. 

'Who the fuck is this guy?' to which Ruslan answered, 'He is the rich man'

Apparently these modern day shepherds, would ride for weeks if not months at a time, ignoring borders (they said he was probably from Afghanistan), doling out one sheep per family for what to them was a small fortune. The sheep would last them over six months(I had trouble understanding that part) at which time he'd show up again and sell them another one.

Anyway, we made it to the next two stops alive and were richer for the experience of going overland as opposed to flying over.

......many, many other stories to tell, but hey...if there's one takeaway for me at least in terms of travel, the more remote or dangerous the place, the more your probably gonna have to rely on locals. They always, always see you before you see them, so choosing your guide/translator/money changers etc wisely is key. In many a far flung place this has always been my philosophy...learn quickly who you can trust and who to steer clear of, and don't make the mistake of trying to go it alone in the wrong place...

 

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On May 12, 2018 at 5:31 AM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Try reading 'The Other Half of Half Safe' and then get back to me - you might revise your answer.

OTOH you did say 'good' and the author of that book was the all-time Australian nutcase..... nobody else is even close.

Anyway it's pointless - might as well ask the motorcycle crowd how they plan on riding from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. Some things simply can't be done.

FKT

Ok you got me on that one!! 

 

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12 hours ago, fufkin said:

...once the first week was over, I boarded what looked to be some kind of 60s era twin turbo prop plane with a cowboy Russain pilot .... After kissing the ground upon landing, there was no way in hell I was doing that again. Problem was I still had two more tourneys to get to. 

So I asked a fellow player of Uzbek origin if he'd be game to get to the next stop over land. ...

...

Every couple of hours we'd get waved over by an armed officer of indeterminate origin, each one it seemed in a different uniform, to whom we'd pay varying amounts of money to in order to proceed.....

...

Anyway, we made it to the next two stops alive and were richer for the experience of going overland as opposed to flying over.

....

 

So, in hindsight do you still think it was safer than flying?

 Scariest part of my south american backpacking experience was a taxi ride through Buenos Aires... way worse than when the hotel in Lima was held up by armed robbers... or the fairground ride of a landing in Punta Arenas in a Twin Otter...

Cheers,

               W.

 

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Scariest travelling experiences by boat:

1995 - Visiting Oakland CA by bus to get our Heart Inverter repaired and then pick up windvane parts at Scanmar. The repair guy "oh some motorcycle cops got shot on that corner right there last weekend." "WHY?" "Oh no reason".  Scanmar guys "There's a bus that goes here?..."

1997 - hiking down Pacaya volcano in Guatemala. We had an armed guard with us because of bandits. Nearly off the mountain slope and BOOM - a huge eruption that sent glowing rocks bigger than cars down the slope. We had been standing there less than 1 hour ago. 

1997 - Panama City taxi driver, with his girlfriend in front seat. Having a huge argument with her, and not paying any attention to driving. Drove through very sketchy part of old city where locals pounded on the roof as we drove through without stopping. Driver received no tip after getting lost, nearly killing us, and getting us robbed.

2012-2014   bicycling in Brisbane, Australia - very unfriendly driving culture to bicyclists. Lots of horns, near misses and people yelling at me to ride on the footpath (sidewalk)

2015 - Sri Lankan bus drivers. I've ridden in lots of crappy third world buses and taxis but these guys were in a master class of trusting whatever god was on the dashboard to protect them. Super, super sketchy.

Notice the lack of pirates :)

 

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I am not as well travelled as Zonker but yes scary things tend to happen on the road rather than at sea!

2004 : Crossing Bogotá in a taxi, my wife asked if we could get there at x o'clock, the guy said sure then went onto driving across the city speeding at times at 80mph while explaining to us that had Montoya been a taxi driver in Bogotá before he would have won the last Formula 1 Grand Prix!

2008 : India I don't think that I will ever get used to this concept of having to "horn" to let other know that I am here.

2009 : Crossing Wales on a push bike at night,  a lorry with two trailers full of Circus stuff pushed me on the verge as he underestimated its length while overtaking me.

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6 hours ago, Zonker said:

Scariest travelling experiences by boat:

1995 - Visiting Oakland CA by bus to get our Heart Inverter repaired and then pick up windvane parts at Scanmar. The repair guy "oh some motorcycle cops got shot on that corner right there last weekend." "WHY?" "Oh no reason".  Scanmar guys "There's a bus that goes here?..."

1997 - hiking down Pacaya volcano in Guatemala. We had an armed guard with us because of bandits. Nearly off the mountain slope and BOOM - a huge eruption that sent glowing rocks bigger than cars down the slope. We had been standing there less than 1 hour ago. 

1997 - Panama City taxi driver, with his girlfriend in front seat. Having a huge argument with her, and not paying any attention to driving. Drove through very sketchy part of old city where locals pounded on the roof as we drove through without stopping. Driver received no tip after getting lost, nearly killing us, and getting us robbed.

2012-2014   bicycling in Brisbane, Australia - very unfriendly driving culture to bicyclists. Lots of horns, near misses and people yelling at me to ride on the footpath (sidewalk)

2015 - Sri Lankan bus drivers. I've ridden in lots of crappy third world buses and taxis but these guys were in a master class of trusting whatever god was on the dashboard to protect them. Super, super sketchy.

Notice the lack of pirates :)

 

Two things noobs and non-sailors almost always ask about when they learn we're cruisers. 

1) storms

2) pirates 

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17 hours ago, Zonker said:

Notice the lack of pirates :)

 

Well, that's why the Global Warming.

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11 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Two things noobs and non-sailors almost always ask about when they learn we're cruisers. 

1) storms

2) pirates 

You left off "where do you stop to sleep at night" :rolleyes:

For 1 and 2, cruisers generally avoid the time and place where these are common ;)

 

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My main fear is sharks. Totally irrational and not a factor in my decision. Same for pirates. Not sure about storms?

Sailing is sounding like the safer route. I thought I was going to get a lot of flack for asking such a questions. Where else can someone get such great replies? Thank you all!

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11 minutes ago, cruisingForABruising said:

My main fear is sharks. Totally irrational and not a factor in my decision. Same for pirates. Not sure about storms?

Sailing is sounding like the safer route. I thought I was going to get a lot of flack for asking such a questions. Where else can someone get such great replies? Thank you all!

I got over worrying about sharks by diving with them and taking photos of them. 99% of the time they have other things on their minds than eating people. The only close call I ever had was washing a stew pot over the side in the Gulf Stream at dusk. A shark smelled the beef stew juice and I yanked the pot out of the water just in time to keep it (and my hand!) :o

Pirates - go where they are NOT ;)

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42 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

Storms are real. And no fun.

Well sure - you will get in storms. But that said, most long term cruisers don't hang around hurricane areas in hurricane season, cross the North Atlantic in winter, sail past Cape Horn in winter, etc. etc. Battling epic storms, icebergs, and hurricanes should not be a common thing. Statistically cruisy-type passages are more likely to have not enough wind.

The sailors on a break from work or doing deliveries are the ones that get nailed. I have BTDT, sure the weather blows but vacation is running out, man up and deal with it :o

* storm can be kind of fun too in a way. The fury of nature is amazing to see and flying at double digit speeds down the face of a 25 foot wave is something :D unless you screw up the landing at the bottom :o OTOH storms have been described as an airplane crash that never ends.

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I have to say we sailed around the world and highest sustained winds we saw were around 25-30 knots for a few days, a few times. So not even a gale. We were better than most at amateur forecasting & conservative about the weather and I think that really helps. We did not look at wfaxes and GRIBs and "hope" that the best forecast would come true.

I do not count squalls which come and go very quickly, nor winds at anchor (where we saw a few times 50+ and once 85+ knots). We did not hang around hurricane areas during hurricane season.

A trade wind circumnavigation is usually pretty benign. You get in trouble getting out the tropics (W Coast of Oregon/California, Bay of Biscay, approaching S.Africa, to/from NZ)

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6 hours ago, cruisingForABruising said:

My main fear is sharks. Totally irrational and not a factor in my decision. Same for pirates. Not sure about storms?

Sailing is sounding like the safer route. I thought I was going to get a lot of flack for asking such a questions. Where else can someone get such great replies? Thank you all!

Always respect the weather, the weather will determine every move you make.

Don't worry about sharks, their in the water, your on the boat, choose your swimming time wisely, until your comfort level changes.

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

I have to say we sailed around the world and highest sustained winds we saw were around 25-30 knots for a few days, a few times. So not even a gale. We were better than most at amateur forecasting & conservative about the weather and I think that really helps. We did not look at wfaxes and GRIBs and "hope" that the best forecast would come true.

I do not count squalls which come and go very quickly, nor winds at anchor (where we saw a few times 50+ and once 85+ knots). We did not hang around hurricane areas during hurricane season.

A trade wind circumnavigation is usually pretty benign. You get in trouble getting out the tropics (W Coast of Oregon/California, Bay of Biscay, approaching S.Africa, to/from NZ)

We're pretty conservative too. We've sailed in the 30s with gusts close to 40 for a day or two at a stretch, but never been nailed in a huge storm, knock on wood.

The best way to avoid storms is to be hell and gone from an area before they become probable there.

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11 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

We're pretty conservative too. We've sailed in the 30s with gusts close to 40 for a day or two at a stretch, but never been nailed in a huge storm, knock on wood.

The best way to avoid storms is to be hell and gone from an area before they become probable there.

Big mental gear shift from racing/short term cruising/deliveries!

I have been in worse weather than that more than once. The deal is the "finish line" with new parts and supplies is days or a few weeks away. I would have to rethink things to where the "finish line" is years away and the crew did not sign on for getting their asses kicked 24/7 and the crew is not 6-8 people either.

 

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25 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Big mental gear shift from racing/short term cruising/deliveries!

I have been in worse weather than that more than once. The deal is the "finish line" with new parts and supplies is days or a few weeks away. I would have to rethink things to where the "finish line" is years away and the crew did not sign on for getting their asses kicked 24/7 and the crew is not 6-8 people either.

Nor can they be prepared by telling them about it. I'd guess 85 kt winds would get a few spouses calling the airlines, not that appears to be much safer these days. No question that modern tech has changed sailing in lotsa ways. Still, I was just reading about 60-80' waves ....

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:
12 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

We're pretty conservative too. We've sailed in the 30s with gusts close to 40 for a day or two at a stretch, but never been nailed in a huge storm, knock on wood.

The best way to avoid storms is to be hell and gone from an area before they become probable there.

Big mental gear shift from racing/short term cruising/deliveries!

I have been in worse weather than that more than once. The deal is the "finish line" with new parts and supplies is days or a few weeks away. I would have to rethink things to where the "finish line" is years away and the crew did not sign on for getting their asses kicked 24/7 and the crew is not 6-8 people eithe

No, we avoid ass kicking. We are in a race nowhere, so we can take the time we need to, leave when we need to. My crew is my wife and kids, so we assess decisions differently. There are no prizes to be won beyond a safe arrival.

The whole idea that you don't have to be anywhere on a short term scale really changes your outlook. The absolute worst weather I've been in - sixty knots of breeze or so - was heading back from Block Island on a Sunday because my wife had office hours (or was it surgery?) on Monday. Fortunately that was just a short, white-out squall. But I wouldn't have considered for a second leaving that day with my mindset today.

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No particular issue other than excessive fees (bribes) that are sometimes requested by local officials. Maldives is very costly ($1000/2 months) but those are all official government fees. Madagascar we had to pay a few fees that were clearly unofficial but they were small.

Theft can be an issue in some parts of the world, but usually these areas are well known. Read www.noonsite.com a few countries ahead.

Personal violence is rare and piracy areas are very well known as well.

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