Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rookies

Vero Beach
27.39.56 N 080 22.27 W


Vero Beach is a great place to meet cruisers of all kinds.   A large fraction of East Coast cruisers are heading directly for the Bahamas.   Few go to Marathon, but almost all of them stop in Vero.   Of course we meet veteran cruisers here, but I notice that every year there is a larger proportion of rookies than veterans.  The total population of cruisers does not seem to be cruising.  Therefore, many of these rookies must give up after the first season. What can we conclude from that?


The cruising life is not agreeable to everyone.   The freedom of movement and the simplification of life style veteran cruisers find to be the greatest appeal.   To others however, they experience it seen as estrangement from family and friends, and deprivation of the accustomed comforts of modern life.  We do after all, live most of our lives in a 10x15 foot area for two people smaller than a typical jail cell for one person.  What can we say about that?  To each their own.


It must also be true that many of these rookie cruisers have no intention of making it a life style.  They are on a once-in-a-lifetime extended vacation.   Some of them must be fulfilling a major bucket list item.  Good for them I say.  They are out there doing it rather than staying at home wishing they were doing something different.   


It must also be true that the terrible economy has a major effect.  Libby and I had no idea how lucky we were to get rid of our house and cars and other possessions in 2005, before the bad economy.  In today's markets it might be nearly impossible for people to extract themselves from the constraints of property ownership and the employment treadmill.   For those people we can do nothing more than express sympathy.  It would be very frustrating to have the will and the means to cruise, yet to be unable to escape another life style.


A final possibility is that some of these rookies are following my advice.   Very often we meet people who would like to cruise, but who are not confident that both husband and wife will like it.   I advise them to try it for one winter season.  The 80-20 rule should apply.  After one season, 80% of the trial cruisers will know better if they want more.  The ones who do, can try again for a full year.   After that there should only be 4% still undecided.  We've been told, that the magic number seems to be two years.  After two years of cruising, just about everyone is decided -- they either like it or they don't.


Did I talk about financial exploitation of these rookies by the magazines, and by the sellers of marine equipment?  I'll save that for another day.

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