Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Sailing with Charlie: Unparalleled Freedom of Cruising

You know you want it...

Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre
Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre

There is no doubt that cruising the world by sail offers a most rewarding lifestyle, an all-encompassing existence and unparalleled freedom. However, as Janis Joplin famously sang, ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.’ In other words, we all are beholden to someone or some things. And for those cruising the world; you are still a slave to your boat and its many needs, and that means a need for a money stream. If you don’t want to be a slave to anything, become a Tibetan monk – then you are tied to a discipline that even the most devout find difficult to endure.

Charlie believes the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle of yacht ownership provides the most freedom and thus more time to indulge in enjoyable activities. How many times has Charlie seen fellow cruisers waiting for this part or that gadget; holding them in port for weeks. Keeping it simple will keep you cruising and allow you more time to earn a few pennies to maintain yourself and your vessel. 

The crux of maintaining a cruising lifestyle is being able to afford it. There are many cruisers who have found an answer to the money dilemma. Some write blogs that become so successful that advertisers pay good money to expose their products or services on the blog site. Others still write magazine articles or ‘how to’ books and yet others create videos for realtors, tourism interests or nature shows.  

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Take writing for example. Writing provides a meagre income but what a wonderful and enjoyable pastime – Why? Because writing a story about anything necessitates diving deeply into the topic, ie investigating the subject thoroughly. Exploring all the facets of your topic, perhaps finding unique facts, interesting sidelines and new perspectives that may change history is fascinating. A word of advice: stay away from advertorials, which are akin to prostitution.

Charlie has met many boaters who are cruising through life living by simple means and meagre earnings.  Painting driftwood, pet rocks, jewelry, trading (smuggling), cooking, boatyard work, chartering – there are many ways to stock the cruising kitty.

Charlie was stocking his cruising kitty several years ago by chartering: his guests were a European couple on a charter catamaran. One evening after the young couple, who fancied themselves as ‘beautiful people,’ had imbibed heavily, requested Charlie to take a short video of them being amorous on the trampoline. Charlie agreed and after some five minutes or more was then quite stunned when the man asked if Charlie would participate while he did the filming. To this request Charlie declined, not being sure of the motive and in any case – he didn’t think he was up to it, even though the young lady was a Bo Derrick look-alike. 

At the end of the trip no tip was forthcoming. Charlie assumed he had relinquished the expected gratuity by his rejection of what many would take to be a generous offer. Aaaah, the cruising life!

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Julian Putley is the author of ‘The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI’, ‘Sunfun Calypso’, and ‘Sunfun Gospel’.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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