Hi there. What a great forum! I can tell this community is going to be a source of education, camaraderie, and solace.
I have been sailing since I was four or five years old. My Dad is a Naval Academy graduate and I sailed with he and my Mom on the Chesapeake until I was ten when my parents split up. We had an Irwin
25 back then.
My Mom took up sailing on her own when I was about fourteen. She went up to JWorld in Newport
and took some lessons and bought a little miniature blue nose. It was the most beautiful little boat you ever did see. My Mom and I discovered sailing without the tenseness which once occurred in the early years of sailing with my Dad. We went out on our own and also included a boyfriend or two of hers. It was a lot of fun and so easy.
I sailed in college at St. Mary's College of Maryland
on a couple of older fifty footers which were donated to the college. I loved racing
. We practiced practically everyday. I considered the team I was with family
and once again, while hard work, I was exposed to a healthy model of teamwork and respect while sailing. I look back on those days with that team and I see how greatly it influences the way I view work and relationships...I have a sense of teamwork that many I have found do not in the workplaces where I have been. I am so grateful I had these experiences in college.
I married a man I met in college. He was and is one of my best friends. We did not date in college but started after graduation. We have been married for ten years now.
Our lives had revolved around sailing. He was a marine
photographer in college and for a few years after graduation. He took a lot of shots of sailboat racing
and frequently we would be on the water
together but in seperate boats...me on a racing boat, he would be in his hard bottom inflatable
I worked for Womanship right out of college and assisted with instruction for a few cruises, as well taught at Kidship out of Annapolis
We married and became land locked. I had not stepped foot on a sailboat since 1993 and then suddenly as if possessed by some entity my husband came back from a walk with the dog on the beach during a vacation
of ours and he exclaimed that he felt we needed to go cruising. This was three years ago.
I call him my dream hijacker because in college I dreamt many times of getting on a sailboat and sailing around the world after graduation but I did not make it happen.
Flash forward, we bought a 1985 Westerly-Fulmar last November. We have been investing time and effort into updating hardware
, painting deck
and bottom, new hatches, new running rigging
, etc... We have been sailing quite a few times since together and enjoying her.
He is quite convinced it is time to go cruising...I am having a tough time letting go of our one of a kind hybrid solar
home, the dream of having children
( I am 38), and leaving my job where I work at the moment. I just figure out what I love to do in regards to work three years ago. I am a licensed massage therapist, and while I know this is completely portable, it is tough when you have long time clients that you have been seeing and you have witnessed their profound healing processes...
So that is me, at the moment.
I am finding pure joy in being back in the environment
where I feel most alive...near the water
. I miss the Chesapeake Bay
, it is truly home to me. I am hoping that I will be able to sail our boat there soon.
Right now we are on the Neuse River out of New Bern, NC. Have spent the last couple overnights in Oriental, NC and that was just pure FUN. Such nice people in that community.
As my husband and I figure everything out in regards to the next chapters, I am just reveling in feeling ALIVE again. Cruising is different than racing and that evolution is going to be interesting for me I can tell already. As well, learning
to sail with my beloved has been an interesting study in psychology and our relationship. So far, it has been illuminating, frustrating, rewarding, and challenging all at the same time. Should definitely make for some interesting posts from us.
So if you made it this far down my post thanks for reading my ramblings. Looking forward to getting to know you all better.
All My Best,
Gretchen a.k.a. "High Heels" part-time Skipper
of S/V Jubilee