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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All In The Same Boat

All in the Same Boat
All in the Same Boat, by Tom Neale
Reading about boating, in order to learn about boating, can be somewhat akin to skydiving in order to prepare for a trip to the moon.  Sometimes, there's just no substitute for experience.

However, I have had luck in finding books about cruising that lend several 'ah-ha' moments, which I know will help me to steer clear of some seemingly common pitfalls that can be avoided with some guidance.

One such excellent book on cruising is veteran Tom Neale's All in the Same Boat, available on Amazon or at www.tomneale.com.  This 350+ page book is an exciting read that takes you on a journey up and down the US east coast and through the decades as Tom, his wife, and his two daughters live the life of a cruising family.

For anyone remotely considering striking out and living the REAL life of a 24/7/365 cruiser, this is a must-have read.  Even for those considering a several-month to year-long cruise, this page-turner will have you considering many angles of the lifestyle that you may not have considered.  His emphasis on safety, knowledge, and comfort with the vessel and its systems are certainly akin to the Knots and Boats mantra.

Similarly to Living Aboard a Boat, Tom takes readers through such mundane activities as mail, exercise, and general cruising guidelines.  He also lends great advice to raising children aboard, getting along with (and benefiting from) fellow cruisers, keeping a boat in tip-top shape, and handling all kinds of boat systems.  He has a chapter on boat selection, and spends tons of time talking about what he considers to be the number one most important how-to in cruising: how to successfully anchor the boat.

Perhaps most telling of all are his words about the reasons for cruising:
We [cruise] because it's fun.  We do it because it's beautiful. We do it because we love nature and the sea and the winds and the sky.  We do it because it allows us to raise a family the way a family should be raised--and to know our children.  We do it because it gives us more control over the way our family lives and survives, over the education and the maturing of our children, over the air we breathe.  It gives us more control over our lives.
In fact, he spends lots of well-founded time talking about adjusting your attitude to the cruising lifestyle, away from being plugged into malls and mind-numbing television.  For anyone who finds themselves gazing out the window from time to time, dreaming of a simpler life of generations ago, this boat is a great starting place for making that dream into a reality.

As Tom says, 'it is a unique life and, despite what people tend to think, a hard life. But it's one well worth living.'
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