Missou...my wife and I had a similar experience as you are planning. August 09, we sailed one day with our son and thought sailing could be an interesting retirement
dream. Just three months later, November 20, 09 we were new boat owners!!! Hired a Captain
to help deliver the boat to our new slip in NC. When the Captain
realized I was the new owner, he said " you've got the wheel
and I'm here to help you!" Talk about jumping in with both feet...
Along the way from Wilmington, NC to New Bern NC, the Captain instructed me on everything. But honestly...nothing stuck. I was so concerned with depth
, and other boats that I wasn't even aware it was freezing out there! I hung on that wheel
for two days and brought it into the slip after dark. That's when five people appeared on the dock
with hands outstretched to keep me from moving the docks. Fortunately for me, reverse worked very well and the bow didn't even touch the dock
. (The good Lord was watching over me)
After interviewing an number of sailing instructors, we brought Captain Ed Shires on board for ten days to teach ASA 101, 103, 104. On nice days, we went out on the water
and practiced. Our final exam was a three day trip to Cape Lookout...both Judy and I got sick...welcome to sailing!
After taking the courses, we began venturing onto the Neuse River for lunch and an afternoon sail ...then did weekends near Oriental and finally planned our big one. From October 2010 to May 2011 we lived on board, motor/sailing South on the ICW
and finally going outside at Fort Pierce. We ending up in Marathon, Fla until April. On the return leg, we did our first overnight run going continuously for 35 hours. Charbonneau logged over 2000 miles for the total trip. It was a good shake-down for the boat and for us, too. Found things on the boat that required repair and also pushed our boating
skills ahead and learned a whole lot more... we've been married 43 years, but yet I encountered things about my wife I never knew!
Now we're Bahamas bound, planning and saving for the next "big'un". So, get the instruction, practice docking
as much as possible, be cautious of weather
, tides, currents, other boats, and most importantly... enjoy yourself!