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What I Miss

Like most teenagers in the US, I assumed I would get my driver's license at 16. However, being on the boat makes that difficult, as most countries down here require age 18 before getting a license. Of course, I don't really need a driver's license on the boat. The closest thing we have to a car is our dinghy, which both Amanda and I have driven for years. We also both know how to drive Ocelot, not that steering a large yacht is difficult. (My cousin Sean can do it!)

Why shouldn't kids drive? Steering Ocelot is fun, and very easy to learnWhat I really miss is the ability to quickly go long distances. At home, anything less than about 10 miles isn't even really thought about, and driving 100 miles is not a big deal. A long drive might be 600 miles, and even so there will be time to sleep at either end and chances to stop for meals or a quick walk. On Ocelot, anything over one mile is a considerable dinghy ride, and for a five mile trip we would probably move Ocelot. Fifty miles is a long daysail, and 100 means an overnight passage. Six hundred miles means several days of non-stop sailing, including night watches. This is not a light undertaking, and so far we have never done a round-trip passage.

Because it is such a major operation to move Ocelot any great distance, our lifestyle tends to be very locally oriented. This means we may never meet the people two anchorages down, never snorkel the reef three miles from our anchorage. Friends on an island 40 miles upwind might as well be in another state until they decide to sail down. Perhaps this helps bring us together with other cruisers in our immediate area, but I miss the ability to move long distances with ease.

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