How it all Started...
In 2001 I was killing time at a discount book store waiting for a client to arrive for lunch at a restaurant in the same parking lot. I found the book “Sailing for Dummies”. I purchased the book and read it cover to cover. At the end of the book, there was a website on ASA classes. I took Basic Keel Boat 101 from a company named Windward Sea Ventures in Kemah, Texas. ASA 101 is supposed to be taught on a boat between 20 – 27 feet. Since the smallest boat they had was a 30-foot Hunter… that’s what I learned on and what I began sailing as my first bareboat charters. Growing in confidence, I worked my way up to 38 and 40 footers.
Later I had the opportunity to refine my sailing skills on smaller sailboats: Sunfish (a friend gave me one), Hobie cats and later I bought a 19’ daysailer. A warning to men out there trying to get your new girlfriend interested in sailing: I made the grave error of taking Marianne out for her first sail in a stiff breeze beating into it all the way with the toe rail skipping over the waves. After this experience, she did not like sailing and was not interested anymore. I promised it could be very different. Thank God, she trusted me. Her second sailing experience was a weekend out on a 38’ Beneteau on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. When I put her on a broad reach down the lake, set the autopilot and handed her a margarita, she said “okay, I like sailing”.
In 2004, we married. Sailing was an interesting hobby that we could do together as a married couple, so we did some day chartering over the years. One day I mentioned how people go cruising. Marianne liked the idea. As is her nature she started asking lots of detailed questions. In her search for knowledge on this intriguing new idea… the question came which put the idea of cruising on hold for 10 years.
Marianne: “What do you do when you are crossing oceans at night?” David: "Well, you take turns over night to watch for ships and storms etc." Marianne: “I don’t think so.”
You must understand, when Marianne makes up her mind, that’s it. Deep sigh. Fast forward to 2015. Thank God for SV Delos and Sailing La Vagabonde YouTube channels. I stumbled onto them and shared them with her. Marianne became obsessed. She binged watched them for hours. Then came the glorious moment. Marianne told me that “she wanted to do that” with “that” being island hop on a boat. We joined sailing classes (101 new for Marianne and a refresher for me, 103/104 new for us both), charted several different boats and did a week long BVI charter trip.
Marianne: “I added crossing an ocean to my bucket list.”
Remember when Marianne makes up her mind that’s it. After much study, Marianne decided that crossing the Atlantic turned out to be “too easy”.
Marianne: “I want to do a circumnavigation now or at least go cruising for a few years”. David: “What happened to just island hopping?” Sigh.
As we saved our money, we spent two years researching boats, equipment, and every cruising issue in every cruising magazine, book, and YouTube channel we could find. It’s now November 2017 and we have just bought SV Texas.
And so… the journey begins.