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    Re: Cruising Lite
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2002 Dec 19, 11:35 -0500

     With apologies to the list for drifting off the intended topic of traditional 
    navigation. Not to spoil a dream, but you may be happier and safer booking 
    passage as crew or supercargo on a small craft.
     I know someone who was lost at sea last year on his first night out of NY 
    Harbor ust down the NJ shore from us. Weather got bad, the NJ shore can be 
    rough and shoally, and he was alone and inexperienced. Despite a lot of work 
    on his boat it wasn't up on the little things and he didn't really have the 
    knowledge of them, and the sea did not forgive this. The top of the main mast 
    was seen just above the waves the next morning, no sign of the mizzen mast or 
    the master.
     USCG and local rescue had been called out while he was still seen "in 
    distress" with the mizzen sail in the water, but due to storm conditions they 
    were unable to locate him, unable to catch up with him, unable to remain in 
    search of him. All this is "friendly" coastal waters on just a rough day.
     A small boat capable of crossing the atlantic safely will not be cheap. You 
    can cross on a surf board with a favorable wind, but most of us would want a 
    higher margin of safety against weather, a dry place to sleep, and a way to 
    make hot food and carry fresh water. Doing all this reliably is neither 
    simple nor cheap.
     As for rich man's toys...they tend to donate the worn out ones to charity 
    groups, and let their brokers take a slow year or three selling them at 
    market value otherwise. Yes, right now boat prices seem down--but there are 
    always more buyers than sellers. Better to book passage the first time 
    around, see if you have a taste for it, and only then get involved. Do 
    remember that once you leave shore, you are committed and they will not turn 
    back for you.
     And having said all that...good luck with the dream in any case!

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