Detractors? I like detractors, they help me to stay humble. Wonder how many detractors Columbus had?
I agree completely, the way I started this adventure was not brilliant. However, I did throw myself out there and started this adventure. I made disparaging comments about sailing, thought not my intent, it was merely expressing my opinion at the time, coming from a laymens point of view.
thoughts are conflicting. I still wish I had never set foot on a sailboat, yet, if I had not, I would of never have been blessed by the many beautiful souls I have encountered along the way. For that my life will always be enriched, and that is something important to me. This is the only life I have, and I am living it, though I must admit it came with a cost.
I did plan somethings along the way. I gathered information from the pages of this forum. Been a member
here going into my 5th year, and its going on 3 months now since I first motored down St Marks River. I knew what I needed in a boat, given my skill set, from reading all those years in this forum. However, I didnt know that this kind of boat would be sooooo slow, but its stout, forgiving, and heavy. I looked at many boats in those 5 years, though I guess, this was the one I was to buy. I didnt know the name of this boat when I bought it, only after signing the papers and handing over the money
, did I ask the PO what is the boats name. ANA, is the boats name. My 10 year old only daughter's name is ANA. It was karma.
As I sit here this morning in my sailing vessel ANA, I am reflecting on the people I have met so far along the way on this adventure. Dave, who I bought the boat from. Older guy, with the bluest eyes I have ever seen, and in those eyes, I saw the ocean staring back at me as he had seen it. The two Coasties that boarded my boat in Homassasa, in after 20 minutes, you would of thought the 3 of us had known each other for years, they way we talked about everything, and werent much different from each other, just in different stages of our lives. Captain
Fred Pepe, the towboatus guy who towed me into Pete's Pier at Crystal River. His reassuring smile, and clear instructions when he cradled me up, put me at ease instantly, and I felt relieved. Captain
Fred showed me real concern, and was always looking after me for the whole time I was in Crystal River, and to this day we are still in contact, his making sure I am okay from 300 miles away. Captain Shelly Coast, a remarkable salty lady who had sailed more waters with only a sextant
, dead reckoning, and a paper chart, than most of you will ever sail in a lifetime, and without a autopilot
. Captain John Zidek, in Marco Island, whos big grin, and easy laughter made me feel he knew everything. A true Renaissance Man, if ever one walked this earth. He opened up his life to this stranger, and welcomed me like a brother. Never condesending because of my lack of skill or knowledge. Captain Jason Penrod, in Marco Island. Another Seafarer owner, with a vast knowledge of sailing, with who made me feel like a part of his family
. From who I learned alot about my boat. Captain Carl here in Key West
, who unselfishly gave me a mooringball to hang onto. Took time out of his life to make sure I was okay, and another gem of knowledge about sailing. Who actually came up to Marathon on a bus, to take me directly to his offered mooringball in Key West
. Lastly, to those who I never met, but only heard on the VHF
, whos guidence during times where I could of been in real trouble, saved my ass.
Yes I have truely been blessed on this adventure, so detract if you feel compelled, though it will not tarnish, or make less, my choice of getting on a sailboat and walking this choosen path.
To all of you here on CF, it is and will always remain a pleasure reading about your messing around in boats experiences. To those of you yet to sail, but wanting to fullfill that dream, I say with a word of caution. Dont do it like I did it, but if you choose to fasttrack, then I pray you will also be blessed by smiliar people that has touched my life.
ps. Yes I have used my towboatUS insurance
, not counting the first time, 3 times so far. Once hung up in a pile of crabtraps because I tossed an anchor out, couldnt get loose, though I tried. Once for mechancal failure at the mouth of the Marco River, at night, with which I deemed it prudent to be towed in instead of trying to motor
in with a faulty fuel pump
that could go out anytime and cause me to drift, possibly into someone elses property, and once for my own stupidity and going aground near Marathon, which was on me big time. Yes i could of kedged myself off, but why have insurance
and not use it? Its not like my insurance rate is gonna go up.