Before we get too deep into sailing, I figured that a little background might be in order.
Live2Sail.com is an idea that Becca and I have been playing with for a few years. We love sailing, and over the past few years, we have had a number of our friends and family get in touch to talk about sailing, boats to buy, as well as where we have sailed and why we got into sailing.
Sailing is not a rich man’s sport or hobby, trust me, we aren’t rolling in the dough here. Actually, sailing is an activity that all income levels and all walks of life can enjoy. From weekend cruising around the lake, to racing on the coast, to offshore cruising, there is something for everyone……here I go talking about sailing, where is Becca when I need her to keep me on task, oh well.
I started sailing at 4 years old, my mom and dad decided to buy a sailboat on a local lake. They knew NOTHING about sailing, but bought a San Juan 24 named Fantasy (that boat is still in the family). One thing my parents did right was grab a couple of local sailors to go out with them on their first sail. If you aren’t familiar with the sailing community, most every sailor is ready to go sailing anytime, anywhere and will rarely pass up the opportunity to sail, especially if they don’t have to rig their own boat. I digress. My parents and I learned how to sail over the next few months, and at the ripe old age of 5 years old, I was driving the boat (with a little help).
My dad was a retired Navy UDT Trainer who absolutely loved two things, his family, and being on the water. I remember many times where he would be driving me to school on a Friday and we would take a detour at the last second before arriving at school to go sailing. My mom would get soooo pissed when she found out, not because I missed school, but because she would be at work while we were sailing. Those times sailing with my dad are some of the fondest memories that I have. My dad’s drive to succeed made him very successful in business and in life. He was my biggest champion when I started racing dinghies including Optimists Prams (basically a bathtub with a sail), Sunfish, 420s, and 470s.
When I was about 10, my parents started working on a plan to spend two years sailing around the world. We bought an older Lagoon 42 catamaran and spent a month sailing the boat to its new home in the British Virgin Islands learning the boat and the systems. When we returned stateside, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. Well, that put a big wrinkle in our plans, and a year and a half later, my dad passed away. With my dad’s passing, my mom really didn’t have the drive to continue our plan, and being in my teens, I was concerned with more adolescent issues like…….well…….girls. We eventually sold the Lagoon 42, I stopped racing, and our 2 year around the world trip was dead in the water. Off and on, I would teach sailing for boy scout camps and local sailing camps, but my heart wasn’t in it and I eventually stopped sailing.
Fast forward a few years, after college and the Army, I moved back home. For the first few years back I worked all day, every day until one day, my mom suggested that I get in touch with an old friend of ours that was running a local regatta and see if she needed any help. My mom had heard me talk about how much I missed sailing and knew that once I got back into it, I wouldn’t leave. I ended up working as a medic (I was a firefighter/ paramedic at the time) for the regatta and soon began sailing again with old friends that I had made 20 years ago at the local yacht club. Returning to sailing was the best thing that could have happened to me. It reinvigorated my love for the sport. Within a month, I was asked to teach sailing again at the local yacht club and shortly after that; I was asked to be the sailing director at another yacht club. I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Pure bliss!!
Throughout that year, I was sailing almost every day, re-introducing myself with everything that I had thrown away when I walked away 10 years earlier. I started racing again, and eventually somehow worked my way onto the bow position on one of the top J/24 teams in Texas. I had invitations to race the US Sailing Adult National Championships and numerous other regattas. The best thing to happen that year was when I met my beautiful bride Becca. Her twin sister was one of my crewmates on the J/24, and she raced on our sister boat. Before you ask, YES, they are identical twins, and YES, they are very different. We started connecting over our love for sailing and travel, and the rest you can say is history.
Stay Tuned for Becca’s version of the events. It’s going to be an interesting read.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,