Showing posts with label Getting Our Feet Wet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Getting Our Feet Wet. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How We Got Started...

So, where to start?  How did we get started on this journey to set sail?
Somewhere off the coast of Tortola, British Virgin Island's.  
May 2012.
Just about a year ago, Martin asked me what would be a fun adventure for us to experience together, as a family.  Honestly, all I remember saying was, "Travel the world!"  He quickly replied, "How about by boat?"  "What?", I replied, "By boat?"  I hadn't even considered it to be an option.  I mean, I grew up on a large ranch in California, what did I know about boats?

Well, if you know my husband, when Martin sets his mind to something, he goes at it with full guns blazing.  This was no exception.  A week later Martin flew to Florida to start his licensing to skipper a boat (Basically, to get some sailing experience under his belt). When he arrived home he said that he had enrolled the two of us in "sailing" classes at the Oakland boat show that was coming up a week later.  Never one to pass up a trip to my old stomping ground, I eagerly agreed.  That's right about the time that I should have known something was up, but I didn't.  We went.
The moment I realized that I was getting myself in DEEP.
At the Oakland boat show, we saw rows and rows of boats.  We saw monohulls, which is a basic sailboat with one "hull" and we also saw multihulls (catamaran) which have two hulls.  I haven't mentioned it yet, but if you don't already know, we have a 4-year-old daughter, Lily, who is disabled.  Lily doesn't walk or talk and she is getting to be a big girl for us to haul around.  Taking Lily's delays into consideration, we decided on a catamaran since it would be easier to get her in and out of the cockpit, salon and to her bedroom.  Catamarans are just easier, so it made our decision quite easy.
My first time at the helm in the San Francisco Bay
Although we had decided on a catamaran, I still wasn't completely "in" on the decision because that meant giving up so much that I love.  It meant leaving our home, pulling Lily out of a school that she just loves and worst of all, leaving my family and dear friends.  Something not easy for me since I am a real people person—so is Martin for that matter.  Although, he is an adventurer first and it would have taken a lot for him to give up on this dream that was snowballing at a rapid pace.

After about 3 weeks of looking at the site and reading and oogling over boats, Martin suggested that I enroll in a local sailing school (Bonneville Sailing School) held on Utah Lake.  I loved the idea and signed myself up to experience it firsthand.  I went out one night a week for six weeks and got the hang of tacking and jibing and learned the points of sail.  My instructor, Todd, was amazing and always stayed calm even when I got confused between port and starboard.  I think I even got a few bits of terminology down but I was by no means a "sailor" at that point.
Lily, our daughter.  She may not have learned to sail, 
but she sure has mastered the art of being cute!
After really contemplating this dream and seeing that it could be a reality, I grew more and more excited to join Martin in on this dream.  Quickly, it became our dream.  So, by early May of 2012, and being completely on board (pun intended), Martin and I decided that we needed to get our feet wet even more and chartered a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands (BVI's).  We left two weeks later, hired a captain, rented a catamaran and if it killed us (actually just me), we were going to learn how to sail together.  I was game for this adventure 100%.  I mean, I'm no dummy to pass up a trip to the Caribbean.
Martin climbing up the mast.
Meredith and Martin helping to get us into harbor.
Once in St. John, we boarded our boat, a Catana 50-foot catamaran and set off with Captain Will, Lily, my step-daughter, Meredith, Martin and two of our good friends, Belinda and Garry. While sailing in the BVI's, Captain Will taught us, tested us and pretty soon after 7 days we all became eligible to captain and charter a boat through the American Sailing Association (ASA).  I can only giggle about this because I am by no means a professional.  In fact, I feel sorry for anyone that thinks that just because I have had lessons and passed all the tests to get my ASA sailing certification, that I am going to keep you alive or afloat for that matter.  BUT what it did do (and I am sure according to Martin's plan) is that it gave me the bug.  It showed me that this dream of ours was possible.  We really could to do this!  I was in.

Now, for the next step.  Shopping for a boat!