For as long as I remember I have enjoyed sailing. And for as long as I can remember I have enjoyed telling stories. The story telling part of me has helped feed my family and put a roof over my head. This at the expense of the sail part of me. Call it life.
I decided to do something about this over a decade ago when I began, what I had hoped to be, a rather simple journey from land lubber to Sailboat Skipper. Taking a class and learning how to properly handle a sailboat along the Coast of British Columbia. But nothing is ever simple and the journey never a straight course. After getting my Basic Cruising Standard, I had big plans to continue with my Nautical Education. The goal of boat ownership and exploring wherever the winds blew always on my mind.
My confidence grew with each lesson all those years ago. I was told after my Cruising test by my instructor that "You are a most confident sailor, when you are on the helm your calmness and confidence is something the rest of the crew aspires to."
I figured that Intermediate and Advanced classes would soon follow.
But they did not.
Life, you see, has a way of knocking you off course. Time, finances, the job, the family, the list is endless.
None the less, I always believed I would one day be a sailor and be on the water on a regular basis. I had been lucky, I did have friends with sailboats and had the good fortune to crew for them. It was always a treat and those times on the water only fuelled the fire to one break free and head for blue water.
I spent my time reading magazines, reading books and learning all I could about sailing and cruising the oceans of the world. I cruised the Internet for that perfect boat, browsed endless used sailboat listings on yachtworld.com and dreamt of warm waters and fair breezes.
The dream was alive, but the execution of "the dream" seemed far off indeed.
As the years passed, friends sold boats, career and personal lives became "complicated" and sail opportunities became scarce. And the years marched on.
About a year ago and suddenly I was turning 50. I decided that I needed a "5 year" plan. The Plan,- I would treat myself to building skills and taking classes. Then the goal would be, one day within those five years, achieve my Offshore Standard and become a blue water sailor.
But how would I get there?
I figured to begin with a Coastal Navigation Course. You have to know where you're going and how to get there right? Right?
Who knew that geometry would be so important. I would have studied harder when I was in my math class back in high school. My head would hurt trying to use those brain cells that hadn't been fired up since sitting in Mr. Keenan's afternoon Math/Physics class, round about 1979. It was a good hurt. I enjoyed learning those new skills. Chart Work, Passage Planning, Lights, Buoys and Signals, some stuff I remembered, others like Tide Calculations, Running Fixes and Dividers were new and interesting. I was learning, I was "making way". It all seemed to be "On Course".
But again, Life gets in the way.
Work Schedules, illness, and travel all postpone the final exam. I'm beginning to think that this 5 year thing might be bit tougher than I first thought.
I resolved to push on.
And now here's where the dream begins to form reality.
It's late January and the weather outside is grey and gloomy. I take refuge browsing used boat ads and dreaming of sailing off in one of those beauties. But reality always has a way of slapping me in the face and reminding me just how far from being on the water I really am.
Then it hits me. Like a shaft of light from the heavens it hits me. My attitude has been all wrong. I had been looking for my "Dream Boat" not my "First Boat". My first does not have to be the 38 footer, that beautiful blue water Beneteau or Dafour. What I needed is time on the tiller, time on the helm and a starting point.
One of those ads drew me in. It was for a smaller 27 Catalina. One of my friends had owned one and I had the good fortune of sailing her on several occasions. But could I pull the resources together and pull the trigger to put myself in a position to actually own?
Seize the Day, Oh Captain, my Captain.
This blog will chronicle this journey I have embarked on. The ups and the downs, the highs and lows of being the Master of my very own little sailboat. I hope you come along. And welcome to My Nauti Mind.