Date: 23 March 2015. Planning for Adventure
friend and I were recently chatting. Like me, Donald lost his son
Davy way too soon. And like me, our children had plans. Mine
wanted to circumnavigate on a catamaran. Where did I go wrong?!? And
Davy dreamed of exploring the Galapagos.
I wrote a
piece about that time which was published (albeit an edited version)
and the story just might touch your heart. Son was a special guy and
I miss him.
and I were talking I recalled the days when I was taking care of
Mother. She had Alzheimer's so there was plenty of time to consider
options for life after caretaking. At first I wanted a sailboat,
dreaming of long voyages and sunlit anchorages.
dieting via physician removal of parts, aka cancer, followed by
chemo and some serious reckoning
ensued. Those days of unending strength are behind me now so I adjusted. The
sailboat became a trawler and decisions about the future were
contemplated. Eventually I
found my Seaweed, but that's not what I suggested to Donald.
sailor, but otherwise seems normal. (insert laughter)
As far as
planning goes, I believe he should start shopping online now for the
cruising guides to any place he considers worth visiting. For the
price of a book he can learn what to expect, places of interest and
more. And we are boaters on a budget, so that means that the desires
are always larger than the budget.
Before you're ready to take off for parts unknown, it's a good
idea to gather reference books. I opted to do most of my
acquisitions while still ashore. Back then I had an income and
online access for bargains. By shopping
Amazon [that's a referral link] and
ABE Books, I was able to find most at bargain prices.
You may wonder what books to select. Well, really that depends
on your intended cruising grounds. For me, that's the east
coast and Caribbean. For you, it may be the San Juan's and Sea
of Cortez. As you read online sites you'll find some books
repeatedly mentioned. If it piques your interest, buy it used.
Budget boaters do not pay retail, nor buy new when used is
instance, I've got
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South
(an old edition plus the latest) and when someone mentions a
place that interests me, I go to that page and make a note
detailing the information provided.
This is not the same as having a first hand account from a
friend. It is of value and useful in planning or considering
an upcoming trip. And yes, it's "good enough" and that works
Passages, I've noted some information on Provo. Who knows? I
might just get there one day.
I started buying not only chartkits (new-ish --
nothing incredibly old as though rocks don't move, channels do, and
markers too) and also the guides. Specifically Pavlidis for the
Caribbean and Doyle, plus Charlie Rains and more. Of course I read,
a lot, and if a guide was mentioned as being particularly awesome,
I'd look for it as well. The goal was to spend less than half of
retail and I succeeded, mostly.
The back row of my bookcase is
filled with guides, organized from north to south, then west.
Friends afloat, those I've met at
least, often pull out our charts and mark down home-area "hidden"
places. I've got docks to visit while en route. Areas known by
locals I explore too.
With a depth sounder and on a
rising tide, I can and do visit those hidden places. I only do
dumb unmarked stuff on rising tides because if I run out of water
I know the incoming will float me off and I can reverse course.
Besides, it's fun.
And I haven't been aground yet
this year [knock teak] but after I get my new engine... well, no guarantees.
Last night I added some
information about Salt Cay to my
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South. No, I'm not certain I'll
get there. Still, where ever I might chose to go I have already
purchased the guides, and at a discount.
Shopping for used
books online in advance of need saves money.
I am a believer in up-to-date
charts and try to swap for the chart-kits needed as I continue my
journey. Folks that are not going to return to a particular area are
often ready and willing to swap or even sell inexpensively their old
Long ago I would loan out the kits
but unfortunately folks are much better at borrowing than returning.
The most reliable have been captains coming in to move a boat. They
mail them back ASAP after delivery. Yes, they have their electronic
wonders, but some pros also want paper.
Me too. I have the paper charts
out -- one overview, one close-up, and also OpenCPN is operational on the
computer. I'm most comfortable that way.
Are you a guide book collector like me?
What guide caused you to say "gosh, I want to go there"?
Hiring Expertise ~
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