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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the date comes closer to the famous (infamous? :p ) Willy and WD trip on the Rooster, I am getting more and more excited. Even more so, because it's become clear that this will be the last LR trip of Wifeo and OT. We are truly looking forward to it, and we plan to enjoy every second of the trip (and, of course, catch a bunch of wonderful fish). But it will close the curtain on our LR "career"...such as it was!LOL

Some of you may wonder why this will be our last LR trip. I mean, after all, if we love it that much, why would we stop going? The answer is that, as decidedly middle class type folks, we cannot afford it anymore. We saved for two years for this 2008 trip, and when we initially asked Willy if we could join the trip in Fall 2007, we were at the margins of what we could afford. Since then, prices for everything have gone nutso. The combined package of all costs for the trip this year are now significantly beyond what we have saved. We are not going to let this affect our having fun (we WON'T!), but it does mean we cannot continue to participate in this truly wonderful activity. (I also make this post, in part, as a response to a couple of questions I've gotten by email about 'what it costs' from a nonexperts perspective. Figured it would just be easier to lay it out here.)

I thought I'd give some comparative costs for trips over the last few years, so that I could explain our decision. It may (or may not) be useful for other readers of these boards in trying to access their costs in going on a LR trip. In the following, I am excluding all costs of rods/reels/boots/belts but am including tackle that is used like line, spectra, hooks, etc.

As an historical indicator, an 8 day late June trip in 2001 called FF01 (sponsored by Allcoast...back when that was common) had the following total cost for us (including air, motel, rental car, LR trip, tip, fish processing, and air shipping of fish).....~$4200 for two. I won't break it down because this post will be too long as it is, but it gives a benchmark.

In 2006, we got to participate on our first Willy RRIII late June 8 day, and it was fantastic. (In the following, I may well have forgotten a cost, but it gives the idea.) The costs (I'm rounding off) were as follows (per person):

2006 costs of an 8 day

LR trip: $1900
Tip: $300
Airfare: $290
Motel: 2 nites prior, 2 nites after = 4 X $90 = $360 (divided by 2=$180)
Shipping tackle by UPS (both ways) + insurance = $310 (div by 2= $155)
Rental car: 2 days (after) = $85 (divided by 2,since per person)=$42
Food (4 days/restaurants in SD before/after)= $120
Terminal tackle + line on boat = $60
Total per person = $3047
TOTAL PER 2 PEOPLE = $6095
We had saved two years to go on this 2006 trip, and it was wonderful. In contrast, from 1999-2004, we had been able to go every year.The increase for 2006 compared to 2001 (= 6095-4200/4200) is 45%. I can tell you that our salaries did NOT increase by 45% in those 6 years. When we sat down and figured out the actual total costs, we realized that it was at the very edge of our budget.

For this years (2008 ) trip, our estimated costs (per person) are adding up as follows:

LR trip: $2150
LR fuel surcharge (est.) (8d. X $25)= $200
LR tip = $375
Airfare =$410 + baggage fee ($25)
Motel (4 nites, 2 before, 2 after at $150/nite--same motel as '06)= 4 X $150 = $600. (divide by 2 for per person = $300)
Shipping tackle by UPS + insur. (est. cost) = $450 (div. by 2 = 225)
Rental car (2 days after) = $115 (div by 2 = $57 per person)
Food (4 days...guess) =$140 per person
Terminal tackle + line on boat = $70 (guess)
Total per person = $3952
TOTAL PER 2 PEOPLE = $7904

I can tell you that the approximate percent increase from 2006 to 2008 is ~29% and again, I can tell you (for SURE) that our salaries did not increase by 29% over the last two years. (Something like 2.9% is more like it.)

This post was partly initiated by the emails asking me about our trips, and partly by Wifeo, who sat down and asked me to join her in calculating what it was going to cost. When we did it, we realized that LR trips today are clearly moving out of our league. We cannot afford this in the future. No, we aren't going to go into debt or lose our house, etc., but as a middle class type couple, we have to admit it is exobitant to spend this kind of money for a vacation, no matter how much each of us loves the activity. Even taking into account this is TWO YEARS of saving, it works out to ~$4000 a year......and that's just too rich for our blood, as they say.

I realize that our costs are high because there are two of us.However, having a spouse who loves to fish and loves the LR trip experience is wonderful. Having Wifeo on the trips has been incredible for me (and I think her as well). I realize that our costs also are higher than Socalians because we have to fly, and because we spend two days before and after. We spend the extra time so that we can pick up the stuff we ship UPS and put it together, and after, to repack it so we can reship it home. (When we first started long range in 1999, we could take everything with us on the airline! Some as checked baggage, some as carryon! Ha!) The other reason we stay for two days is, as we've gotten older, we also have found that flying in, taking a taxi to the boat just before it leaves, and to the airport just after it arrives, just doesn't work. It's too stressful.

Here's the bottom line: We are completely happy to be on this coming trip, and we are not going to let the cost influence us. What's done is done. It will provide memories for years to come.

But I'm guessing that the time when the average joe middle class type person could (with some careful saving) afford to go on a LR trip is coming to an end. I think that the time is soon upon us where "if you have to ask 'how much?', you can't afford it." (Rather like owning a boat and a slip.) And in my opinion that's a little sad, because I personally think that LR fishing (for a person who loves fishing) is the worlds most fun activity. If I'm correct, and the average Joe is going out of the game, it means that one of the true ocean sportfishing experiences is no longer accessible.

Well, that's my attempt to provide some information to anglers interested in LR trips. If you have the money, and if you love fishing, you can find no better vacation. PERIOD. The boats, the crews, the other anglers, are just fantastic. The fishing rocks. Being out there on the ocean for 8 days is just incredible.
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Oh carp. I just realized that I didn't include fish processing and shipping. Well, in 2006 we had ~250lb processed at ~$.50/lb (for a ~40% yield) and the air freight shipping was ~$100. In 2008 we will pay $.75/lb (for 5 star...and not regret the increase at all...great company) and the airlines tell me the air freight shipping will be about $150-170. So again, the increases will be about 50% in two years.
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Now, if I can just get my work done so that we can leave to go on the trip. (The great boss in the sky makes you sweat big time for taking vacations. LOL) We are going to have fun on the trip.....there is absolutely no doubt about it.
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All opinions expressed above are ignorant and worth nothing, and the author doesn't wish to fight with anybody. If you disagree with anything, you are right. The question is not IF there are math errors, the question is whether any of the math is right. Everything in this post should be taken with multiple grains of salt (preferably pure ocean salt). Cheers.
 

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It will be great spending the 8 days with you and Cheri even if it's your last.....I remember what a good time you and your wife had on your last trip...didn't you win the trolling JP??? Sadly what you have stated is very very true for many people...it's a shame but a reality that as the costs of fishing operations have shot up and so have the fares and all that is associated with them. I agree that the next few years will see many more people in your situation and they will be forced to forgo the sport as the increases have outpaced pay increases....:x Oh and you forgot the permits costs.....ouch!! Hey OT I have your trolling outfit if you still need it... I got it just for you and wife-O...LOL A 50lrs on a 6460xxh

This post edited by fishybuzz 06/02/2008
 

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Hey OT and Wifeo looks like your last trip will be with the best of the best. wahoodad, Willy and fishybuzz to name a few. Take lots of pictures for your memory book. Also try those chicken feet I here they are great, guess I will find out in November.

This post edited by brn2fis 06/02/2008
 

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It is very sad that the American Middle Class is slowly disappearing.

I know you will have a trip of a life time with Wahoo Dad and friends, so enjoy, enjoy and enjoy.

I took my Mother on her last 6 day trip and a video was given to her that she cherished dearly, My mon would have her garden friends over for tea and they would watch the video together and remember the last trip.

God bless and enjoy every second, every minute and every hour of your trip.

It has been many years since I was in the Merchant Marine but late at night when all is quiet I can still feel my ship plowing thru a typhoon and heading for the Golden Gate and home.

Deep Water Sailor
 

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I'm sorry to read your post on your last Long Range trip.
I've always enjoyed reading your posts, and have gatherd a wealth
good information.:(

I was so lucky to have secured a spot on this trip.
I hope to meet up with both of you.

See you at the dock.

Tight Lines,

Lou Jimenez:
 

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Don't stop! I think you should hold off on your decision about your last trip. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you love it, you need to keep trying.

Saving from your regular job is way too tough--you need to pretend this is the Great Depression era and apply all your skills and knowledge to make extra money.

It is not all that hard to make an extra $4,000 over an entire year. And if you could afford a $2,500 trip, then you really only need to make an extra $1,500. That is an extra $125 per month average--it is not that hard to do.

I was lucky enough to grow up with a grandfather that was a jack of all trades. He taught me how to make money the old fashioned way--work hard! (And not necessarily with your hands or back). I used to buy Jeep CJ-5's in the winter, fix them up and sell them in summer when prices were higher. I used to build trailers and custom farm equipment from scratch, park them along side the road and sell them. I used to have a small business where I could work as much as I wanted, and once worked 13 days in a row, for no less than 15 hours each day (that is 195 hours vs. most people working 160 hours a month). Then I got into computers. I used to build web sites for people. Then I started doing some computer repair and small business consulting--all while maintaining a full time real estate job.

I think you and Wifeo need to take inventories of your skills and think of a way to make some extra money. I am not talking about starting a business, I am saying you need to scrap it out and work some odd jobs here and there.

When you do finally save that money, think how much you'll appreciate being out there at first light, with captain on the PA saying, "Throw a chum line", and the next thing you know fish are boiling behind the boat! Some people might say, "Fishing is not worth it", but I say don't miss these experiences--missing them is too expensive!

Book a 2009 trip, then challenge yourself to make up the $1,500 cost difference in the next 12 months. The rules are: 1) No saving from your regular job. 2) All money needs to come from EXTRA work using your skills and abilities, 3) No bank robbing!

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't think I can fit in another activity generating income. I currently spend an average of about 70-75 hours a week at my job. I also train and test our dogs with my spouse about 10-12 hours a week (at least during the less wintry months), which is our only hobby other than occasional fishing. Add that to the chores required to keep up an acreage, house cleaning, etc., and this ole boy ain't got no extree time for another job. When I was younger, say 45, yeah, I could get by on 4-5 hours a sleep, and maybe coulda found something else that would produce income. But now, I just don't have that much energy. Oh yeah, one might think "hey, you can make money dog training". Here's a solid piece of advice that's proven itself over and over to me: "Don't try to make a hobby you love into a business." It changes the whole flavor of the activity. There are those rare people who can make a profession out of a hobby without it affecting their enjoyment, but they are rare, in my opinion. And it's not me. But I appreciate your kind thoughts, and your good ideas. It was nice of you to propose them. We've enjoyed our LR time, after this summer it will be time to do something else. Really, what kind of a hobby is salt water fishing for folks living 1500 miles from the closest ocean! LOL :p Time to discover something else. To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time for every purpose, under heaven __The Byrds

This post edited by Oldtimer 06/03/2008
 

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re: Thanks for the suggestions.

Oldtimer said:
We've enjoyed our LR time, after this summer it will be time to do something else. Really, what kind of a hobby is salt water fishing for folks living 1500 miles from the closest ocean! LOL :p Time to discover something else.

I'm not really sure why, but when I read your last sentence there this immediately popped into my head, it was the last Calvin and Hobbes ever written and it somehow fits your situation.

 

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re: Thanks for the suggestions.

Some more ideas to keep fishing long range.

Do shorter trips like 5 day or 6 day, there is some great fishing to be had on that length trip, The Lupe, Offshore, Cedros/Benitos, etc... And still great people, in fact many of the people you fish with do those length of trips as well.

Instead of getting your fish processed give it away or give half away. This will save on shipping and processing plus you get a tax deducion. I know eating fresh fish is part of the experience but knowing that your fish is feeding people less fortunate is also a rewarding feeling. I have given away hundreds of pounds the last few years and still had plenty to eat.

I know you like to come in 2 nights prior and stay 2 nights after but you could knock that down to 1 night on each side and still not have to feel rushed. Especially when going back home home. The boat gets in early enough that one night and then an afternoon flight the next day could work. This would also save on the car and food. Or stay with a friends that you have made on the trip in years past, I know this is not always an option but if it is this could be a fun way to extend the camaraderie that we all experience on these trips

Forget the car, take a shuttle/taxi to and from the landing from the airport. Most everything you need is within walking distance of the boat; food, tackle, hotels, etc...

OT I can tell from your posts that you think everything through so maybe one of these ideas will help you.
 

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re: Thanks for the suggestions.

fishybuzz said:
He's covered....
I'll just bet he is. Here's a great thread that's going to get even better as the days go by until Bob and Cheri go on their next trip. There have been some good suggestions here, all designed to make this whole thing more affordable for the two of you to keep doing this, that you both love so much. So, here's one more. Get that ebay thing all figured out and sell all your tackle! Yep, all the trods and reels you've collected for the two of you to use. If you're really going quit, (not) you don't need it anyway, right? Probably cover half of your costs right there. If I were closer, I'd loan you everything I have, but for me, it just does not work out. Besides, I'm going to be on the trip. So, let's hear from all you tackle collectors out there who might have a dozen or so top quality outfits to loan these guys next year.
 

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re: Thanks for the suggestions.

fishybuzz said:
He's covered....
Not if he gives me any more lip on the political board he ain't! I've still got three of his reels here an' two of 'em are 2-speeds! BBWWWAAAAAAHHHHAAAAHHHAAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!! 8* (Just kidding! I think he'll be quite happy with them when he see's them. Besides, he a good dude ;)) FISH HARD!

This post edited by Baja Dreamer 06/06/2008
 

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Robert, I personally understand your clearly outlined points above. BUT, I also have to say this ..... Somebody, thank God, told me this when similar thoughts ran through my mind ... "It's NOT that you can't afford to do that any more, it's that you have let your earning ability potential fall below the needed threshold ...." THAT can be fixed, but NOT unless you get started fixing it ....... :p

This post edited by Alan_Cole 06/06/2008
 
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