Why We Stopped Cruising


Because we were done :)

While we were leaving French Polynesia we realized that we had about the same amount of fun left in our cruise as we did money in our bank account. In about 3 or 4 years, depending on how many things went wrong, we would need to head back to land to replenish both our fun factor and our savings. We also knew that our various qualifications in our previous careers were evaporating and so it was a good time to think about returning to work for that reason as well.

At that point we decided we would start keeping our eyes open for work that was both fun AND lucrative. We also decided that if nothing had come up within two years we would start looking for work that was fun OR lucrative and in about four years we would start applying to be greeters at Walmart!

Within the first year we had a number of possible opportunities that were both fun and lucrative, some of which dissolved, one of which suddenly came to fruition. Thus, it was on a high that we were able to finish our cruise - still having fun, still having money, but seeing the end of both in sight.

One of the most interesting things about finishing our cruise is the variety of responses we have had to our stop. The friends who know us the best tell us they are looking forward to seeing what we do next. Many of our cruising friends understand why because either they have finished their own cruise or are seeing their own sense of completion and ending in sight.

The weirdest part for me though are the number of people who see finishing our cruise as a failure or a tragedy of some sort. I think that there is a strange assumption that when people set out cruising, it is forever and that when the cruise invariably ends, that there has been a failure to achieve a goal. I know a few people who are trying to cruise forever. I also know people who desperately wanted to continue cruising, but have issues that cause them to stop (health, money, etc). So, I get it kind of - some cruising finishes are not what the person cruising wants, but the vast majority of cruisers I know are out "for as long as it is fun" or for a finite period of time that they have in their minds even if they don't voice it publicly. They aren't out forever.

Photo by Ryan Lewandowski
We set out on an open ended cruise. We were "going cruising" and we would stop when "we were done". We had no idea what we would think of cruising when we took off, or what specific number of years that cruising would continue to be fun.

Toward the end of our cruise, we were both ready for a change. We were having fun cruising, but we were ready for some other types of fun.

With our years of cruising experience, with the new knowledge of what type of cruisers we actually were (rather than the type of cruisers we guessed we would be from the dock), we were ready also to change boats. Our boat was the perfect boat for our level of experience when we departed, for our ages at the time, and for our first cruise. It is unlikely our second cruise, if we take off again, would be on the same type of boat. We've changed in many ways.

16 comments:

  1. Totally understanadable. When we bought our yacht we set a maximum number of years that we planned to own it as we had other things we wanted to do after that. Whether we last that long will depend on many things, health, boredom or just sick of living in a small space day after day. Thanks for your blog, very interesting.

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    1. Forever on a boat is just as scary to me as forever in a single house. I have vagabonding in my blood.

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  2. Oh fine, just drop something like "It is unlikely our second cruise, if we take off again, would be on the same type of boat" and offer no crumbs as to what that next boat might be! ;-) Um, hints? Wisps of ideas?

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    1. Heh.

      Part of the reason I was vague is that if we go out again, boat type depends a lot on whether we were going back out full time and open ended or as seasonal cruisers (which we is definitely on the table too) - what we would want for full time vs seasonal are very different and if we were full time we would invest more money in the boat. Also, if we were seasonal we might consider staying in a geographically limited area which would mean we don't need the "go anywhere" boat anymore and could pick one suited to that area's type of cruising. For example, if we cruised BC again a powerboat would be likely!

      ...but a performance catamaran features strongly in most of our discussions.

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  3. Well said. Enjoy the next phase of your journey, whatever form that takes.

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  4. "The weirdest part for me though are the number of people who see finishing our cruise as a failure or a tragedy of some sort."

    We've come across this too. Some cruisers seem to think that any other life choice (emphasis on choice) must be the second, less satisfactory choice, a failure. Too bad their views are so limited. Each to their own.

    David & Michelle
    sailing-pelagia.blogspot.ca

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    1. It has always seemed obvious to me that different things make different people happy but I don't feel like most people have internalized that idea. The idea that it might be a tragedy for them but not for me doesn't click for them.

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  5. We hear ya. We are currently enjoying living in Bisbee, AZ, fixing up out little 96-year-old Craftsman bungalow just as much as we enjoyed cruising the Sea of Cortez. Life moves on. Welcome to the next phase. -Steve & Lulu

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  6. I understand why people would be disappointed. Probably for many readers who never cruise themselves, this represents an end to their own fantasies through you. It' s not so much about you as it is about them. That being said I'm glad you have felt your own 'ending' and are OK with it. On to new things. For myself, it reminds me that there might be an end to our coming cruise, and that I do not know when that end will be. That's actually encouraging because at our age I worry that when I leave my land home, i"ll never have another one. Irrational, I know, but there it is. Onward to new adventures for you! And thanks for the cruising memories of good reads.

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    1. You are completely right of course. I understand when they are sad that the sailing story has ended because I've been sad when other cruisers ended their cruising blogs as well. It is more that it is awkward when they assume that it is a tragedy/sad for *me*.

      And you make a second great point which is when we set off, even on our open ended cruise, it *felt* like we were setting off forever, and that (though irrational as you say) was a very real feeling I had at that point.

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  7. You two have been a blast to follow over the years- and I look forward to your next adventures, whatever they are. Thanks for the inspiration to cruise, we are now into our second year of following our own cruising path. My only disappointment is that I can't kite board like you do. Wishing you the best!

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