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ago when we were relatively young. Why go before you get too old? We now receive emails monthly from our friends and contemporaries with news of cancers, heart problems, and death. We went home for Christmas, and soon received news of a good friend who died shortly after a holiday get together. My wife has had multiple brain surgeries. It happens. But if I die tomorrow — which will happen to someone — I will die happy for the things that I did, not the things I planned on doing but didn't get around to. We never had a lot of money. So we took off on boats that
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• August, 2006
we could afford — which meant starting out with a 30-footer that cost $10K. We worked along the way, or we worked hard for a few years then went back out again. We’re currently cruising with our two children aboard our Finnsailer 38, working when we can and when we need to — and we’re loving it. We're currently in Panama at the beginning of what we expect will be a circumnavigation. It's true that we don’t have the ideal boat, and we don’t have all the latest stuff, but we go to the same places and enjoy the same sunsets as those who do. We say don’t wait, because tomorrow may be too late. John J. Kettlewell Minke, Finnsailer 38 Westport, MA / Colon, Panama ⇑⇓BANKRUPTCY OF PURSE OR LIFE? There has been a lot of advice and comments in Latitude recently about when or at what age people should go cruising. Some say go while young, some say go while old, but one very important point has been carefully avoided in most comments. That point is that people should go cruising when they can afford it. I have worked for 65 years, and cruised for 43. But I don't think what age you go cruising is of great importance. You have more muscle when you are young, but less wisdom and money. Those things usually reverse themselves when you get older. I enjoy both cruising and working, and am always excited when making the change back and forth. But far too many times I've seen the damage done to both the cruising and boating communities when inevitable expenses are incurred during extended cruises. Those expenses must be paid, and if the cruiser cannot afford it, other boaters or locals must pick up the tab. This puts the under-funded cruisers who started out by
The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.