Since I briefly mentioned it in another topic, I'll tell the story here. A couple years back, I had a dream about being a pirate. No joke, it was one of those hot sauce and liquor induced dreams you usually keep to yourself, but was tremendously vivid. And so it goes, I couldn't get it out of my head
that I wanted to take a trip on a boat. The idea festered and the following March I was consumed with the idea.
I talked to a buddy about going in on a boat for a year just to get it out on the water
and enjoy some fishing
and cruising, but he didn't seem to interested. By the end of March, he was much the same way I was about the idea of sailing. Sure enough, the next weekend we found a sailboat, found a trailer, rented a truck and took a roadtrip for 13 hours to go pick up a 23' San Juan
and bring it back to the Gulf of Mexico
We had no idea what we were doing, much less how to sail, and we got extremely lucky in that the boat only needed a few small, superficial repairs
We decided it'd be best to take a couple classes
on sailing before actually setting sail (thank God), while our coworkers took bets on the severity of injuries we'd incur on any trip from the marina it was at to our, now, home marina.
The first class we sat through and learned as best we could, but proceeded to capsize
on numerous occasions the sunfish they had set us up with. "No big deal," our instructors cooed, "There's no rush to learning
The second class we were set up with a two-man (what I believe was called) American. We sailed for a time, and were pleasantly surprised with our improvement... until we tacked and yanked in the main to cut a quick turn around a buoy and lost
. No joke. The mast
, sail, all the lines, and the footing (with some fiberglass) all took off without us, quickly followed by the capsizing of our second hull
"That's strange," the instructors added, unsure about their previous assurance. "We haven't seen that happen before. But still, there's plenty of time to learn."
And so the following weekend we repainted our boat, dropped it in the water
, seated the mast and set sail from Pensacola
to Eglin AFB, unsure of sailing in it's entirety.
That evening a storm came on us from nowhere (actually, it was fairly obvious in hindsight; a pretty dumb oversight to not check the weather)! Shortly into the storm our starboard shrouds loosened, and one swung freely in the wind
, in addition to this, the keel
caught onto something in the water (which again, dumb oversight not checking maps prior to departure to see shallow areas and debris).
The irony of the situation was that between being caught and tossed around by the waves and wind
, we knew what to do. Capsizing the boat so many times on the first day had my friend well aware enough of how to direct us to keep the boat steady while we circled. Losing the mast on the second day had it fresh in my mind how to fix the mast in this situation as well.
We let the main go luff, lowered the sail and tied it off, kept our turn to circle back around, and I scrambled along the starboard with my multitool and reattached the shroud
and made them taught.
As soon as everything calmed, whatever had our keel
let go. We raised the sail and cruised out the south side of the storm and on our merry way. In the year since then, we often tell newcomers on deck
as to how we started our sailing ventures... and they never come back.
for us, I suppose. Cheers everyone, hope you enjoyed.