Hello to everyone,
My name is George and I live aboard my 27" Catalina
. I do not know the first thing about sailing. I have never set foot upon a sailboat before. I never intended on living on a boat, wasn't even in the picture.
I retired from the military in December 2014. I have been going through a nasty divorce since April of 2015 and it still continues.... In July of 2015 I had three cervical vertebrae fused together. I lost
my place to stay Christmas
Day 2015. Let's just say 2015 wasn't the best year I've ever had..... I have been waiting on VA disability to start and thank the Lord it started in April. I was expecting quite a large back payment and had intended to use it to start raising sheep and goats. But again, the Lord stepped in and said that wasn't his plan for me. I only received a small portion of what I was expecting, the rest is being audited.... So instead of having enough to put down a payment on land, I had enough to get back to Washington
where I was staying with family
, and either start renting
or buy a small sailboat. I blame my sister, the boat was her idea.... I left Alabama
as fast as I could because I have a 12 year old son in Washington
who is my life and I NEEDED to get back to him. I found a cheap
roach ridden crack hotel
in Tacoma and started searching for a boat to live on. I found one in La Conner, about a three hour car drive, so I had a friend drop me off, I stayed in a hotel
and the next morning my mind was made up, if I got there and the boat was floating and the engine
started I was buying
it. One hour later I was on my way to Tacoma in a sailboat that I had no idea how to sail, how to run anything on the inside, I didn't even know how to flush the toilet.... The guy I bought the boat from filled it up with enough fuel
to make it to my next stop and sent me on my merry way. One thing I quickly learned was that no matter how much clearance you have at a bridge, holy cow, it still looks like that mast
thing is gonna hit....
So I made it to my next stop, almost. I ran out of gas right outside the breakwater to the marina. I called and asked for some help. The man was kind enough, he asked was everything ok, how many people on board, where was I located (which all I knew was in a boat close to you out of gas), and then asked my problem. I told him I ran out of gas and could he bring me some. He asked what kind of boat I was in, so I had to tell him sailboat... I could almost see the smirk on his face when he said "Well just sail it on in guy and we will fill ya up...." I could hear him snicker when I explained the whole situation and he gave me a tow service phone
number. So I called Bob's towing. Nope, all of their boats are on the hard
getting ready for the season. Bob says, call the sheriff and tell him i said he needed to come get you. Oh good Lord, ok.... Call the sheriff and they finally showed up with gas for me and then politely made me follow them into the marina... Actually they were two of the nicest guys I've met. Stayed the night in the marina and went and bought extra fuel
cans the next day, first lesson learned and I haven't even made it home yet. I must be doing good...
Day two has me leaving late because I had to walk all over town searching for fuel cans... Made good time on day two. Made it all the way to Edmonds, WA. Weather
was beautiful, gorgeous day then when I come around a bend I see it. The land on the other side of the sound is covered in what I could best describe as an image from the Lord of the Rings. Cloudy, smoke rising from the hearths of homes nestled in the woods, there was a ship close to shore and I swear I saw a pirate flag raised.... I made it to Edmonds though, almost. Those clouds turned out to be a little squall with what seemed to me, in my second day on a sailboat, like 10 foot waves. I had to thread a needle between two ferries and fight the waves to make it into the marina. I was certain I was going to die. CERTAIN. But I did not. I hauled tail, well as much as you can with a 15 horse outboard
, into the marina and as I made it into the marina at breakneck speed to beat the ferries and weather
. Then it happened, my engine
died.... No reverse to slow down, but its ok there is the fuel dock
, Ill just hop out, loop a tie down and slow the boat down that way... Lesson 2 learned. It's never as cool as it seems in your head
... I grabbed my ropes, hopped of the boat like superman, except I wasn't superman. My foot caught the lifelines
and I did a face plant right in front of the super nice marina restaurant with everyone sitting there eating dinner.... and watching me..... meanwhile my boat heading straight for what looked a boat I could never afford. I quickly grabbed my wits and cool points and got the boat slowed down and then tied off with no injuries or accidents except to my pride. I started looking for a slip but everything was reserved. Well I think to myself I will just stay here in front of the fuel dock
tonight and pay up in the morning. The I saw the sign, No moorage at fuel dock.... Well I aint moving.... Until the security
guard comes and gets me. We got my boat moved to a better spot. Another fiasco but my fingers are tired....
Third day.... I finally make it to Tacoma. This was the best day yet. No 10 foot waves, plenty of gas, sunshine... Ah this is the life.... I pulled into my marina and as Im going into my slip, engine dies. Luckily lessons learned and I was going plenty slow, boat turned on a dime and I looked like a pro to the people who will be living around me.... Little do they know LOL....
Anyways, Thats just the first part of the adventure so far, I am certain there will be more to come.