I started sailing at 8 or 9 as crew for my Dad on his 16′ Sea Spray® catamaran in Long Beach/Los Angeles Harbor. Dad raced pretty seriously, and didn’t really need crew except to meet the rules. Not too much later Mom and Dad made the decision to build a trimaran, take the kids, and go off sailing (it was the ’70s). I’ve been poorly adjusted to society ever since. Somewhere around every 10 years I feel the urge to drop out, take a boat, and head for remote shores. I love passagemaking, something that seems to fill a lot of cruising sailors with trepidation. To me the rhythm of a long passage, the clarity of thought, and the detachment from land worries makes a passage the ideal time on the water. Only at the end, when you have jump back in with both feet – Immigration, Customs, Port Captains, Agriculture – does a little stress start to creep back in.
I’ve always considered myself a homebody. But, like Donald, I am the product of somewhat “hippy” parents. People who marched to a different drummer, and took off for unconventional adventures. None of those really involved sailing, but they did share similarities. I started “sailing” at 34, and it’s still questionable whether or not I can say I’m a “sailor”. I like to say that I’ve learned how to live on a boat. For our honeymoon we took a year and sailed around the Pacific on Donald’s family boat. It was a strange adjustment, being away from my immediate family. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But similar to Donald, it turned out open water passages were just what I needed, they were a turning point for me. The quiet, the calm, the beautiful water and the opportunity to read constantly. It was peaceful. Fast forward 10 years and we found ourselves asking the question “why are we staying here in the conventional life?” I’m married to a sailor and it really was in his blood, so why not take advantage of his skills and head back out to sea? The first time I was too scared to go all the way around the world but this time it’s a possibility and we’ll see where the wind takes us. It will help that our new boat actually has an indoor shower.