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Day 1423
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What does it really cost to go cruising?

Oct 31

Written by:
10/31/2012 11:35 PM  RssIcon


This is easily one of the most common questions people have about cruising.  Financially speaking, here are as many correct answers as there are boats on the water.  Forgive the cliché nature of this, but in all honesty it will cost you as much or as little as you allow it to cost.  If you need a number that is more firm I can tell you what I’ve found to be the average amongst most of my sailing brethren out here on the seas.  For a boat in good condition near the 40 foot range you can expect to spend around $20,000 per year.  That figure easily goes up or down depending on your life style.  Boat repairs take at least one third of that annually to keep the boats seaworthy.  The rest includes food, fuel, port fees, and travel expenses to explore the places you visit.  Unfortunately, that is only the direct financial cost of letting go the dock lines.  There are many more intangibles.

The price we pay for this life is far greater than the dollars we spend.  How do you determine the value of the hours, days, weeks, and years that you will miss with loved ones?  Parents and grand parents age.  Children, nieces, and nephews grow into adults.  Those times are lost or often cut down to brief visits that are too few and far between.  Friendships languish due to the distance and time put between people separated by hemispheres.  These are the additional costs.  The additional price I’ve paid was only far too recently driven home.

After crossing more than half of the Indian Ocean I found myself moored to the quay in Rodriguez Island, Mauritius.  My morning routine dictated a strong cup of coffee before I sat down to see what was happening in the rest of the world.  Pulling down email my heart sank.  I was to call home, immediately.  My mom, Sandra Winters, passed on the 9th of September one week after her 69th birthday.

Rodriguez has no yacht facilities.  There was no place I could leave Jargo safely yet there was no question I would return home.  The day I got the news my fellow sailors rallied around me to help prep Jargo and myself for a three day passage to the mainland island of Mauritius.  I was heartbroken at the loss and that my family would now have to wait for my long return before we could lay my mother to rest.  For three days I grieved and sailed before flying out of Mauritius the same day I sailed into port.

Though tragic, my three week return yielded much good.  Buoyed up by our extended family and friends we grieved together.  Family not seen for many, many years returned and reconnected solidifying bonds too long neglected.  The family cooed over my brothers son and my father and I visited the haunts of his youth.

I sit again on Jargo today.  Laid out before me is a route past Madagascar and  on to South Africa.  I am taking food, fuel, water, and preparing for sea.  There are three great capes in the world.  The Cape of Good Hope lies to the West and will be my next great challenge.  The western horizon beckons.

I love you Mom.  You are missed.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator Ship's Log

5 comment(s) so far...


Re: What does it really cost to go cruising?

Beautifully said.
I hope sailing towards the Cape of Good Hope will stand for it's name for you.
Be safe! Kasia. Touched.

By Kasia on   11/1/2012 3:43 AM

Re: What does it really cost to go cruising?

My condolences to you and your family over the loss of your Mother. May She be with you as you continue your voyage of life. ~~~(\_~~~~~

By Carolyn Kahlich on   11/1/2012 7:33 AM

Re: What does it really cost to go cruising?

I am very sorry to hear about your mom. My dad died even younger, at 51, when I was only 22. So I know very well how difficult it is to cope with such a loss. It's great that you had the wonderful support of your family during that time at home, though. Because that is really the toughest time. Although it may be hard to imagine now, time really is an amazing help in healing. I wish you the very best in getting through these difficult times.

By Rebecca on   11/1/2012 12:33 PM

Re: What does it really cost to go cruising?

My heart goes out to you man. I too am a sailor and plan to leave soon for parts unknown. i think about my mom who is 70 and could pass any time. I always wondered what will i do if i am on the other side of the world? Thanks to you for sharing your life. It helps nswers a few questions.

By Curtis on   11/3/2012 7:36 PM

Re: What does it really cost to go cruising?

Hey man. Just discovered your story on Youtube. Love it. Blogged about it myself here:


From the post: "The video of his passage from Galapagos to Fatu Hiva is amazing, and I found myself mesmerized, laughing, and teared up with emotion by the end. Great stuff."

Thanks so much for your great work!


By Arthur on   11/7/2012 10:15 PM

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