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Old 22-01-2007, 11:46   #16
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I just fell into it.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:56   #17
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I started when I was nine years old. My uncle was the sailing instructor at Camp DeWitt, a summer camp in New Hampshire. I learned on a Lightning. 19 feet, all mahogany, a thing of beauty. We raced on Lake Winnipessaukee in Wolfeboro Bay. Never won anything but the thrill is still in my marrow.

One afternoon we were leaving the bay after the weekend beer can regatta. A squall came up behind us, producing three to four foot swells. Lake W is a good sized lake and the waves, at ten years old (my 2nd year sailing with him) looked HUGE. We raised the spinnaker and surfed that lightning back to camp. I've been hooked ever since, spending my early teen years on a Sailfish at home in Florida.

Now, at 45, my wife & I have a Cal 20 here in Honolulu. We plan to sail her for another 18 months, then move onto a catamaran and cruise the South Pacific. Some folks say if you can sail Hawaiian waters, you can sail anywhere. I'll keep you posted on the veracity of that!

~ (| ~~
~~ ~~ Aloha, g~

21 17.16N / 157 50.28W
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:26   #18
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I began sailing in the 60s,with friends in the med,going to spain,Corsica,Italy...then came to Floridain the 80's and decided that I was going to do a lot of fishing so we bought a sportfisher 35' and never caught a lot of fish......last year we decided to slow our pace and ordered a Cat to go back to my first love...sailing ,hopefully it is coming very soon now.
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Old 24-03-2007, 17:06   #19
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My sailing started as my husband's dream. We got a 27' Hunter so I could learn to sail. Learning from him didn't work very well, so I took an all woman 3 day live on board sailing class. It definately gave me the confidence I needed. This past summer we bought a 35' Fonatine Pejot Tobago. We went from St. Pete FL to RI. It was a 5 week journey that I wasn't sure I'd like but I absolutely loved it. We're hoping to start a world cruise this October. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 25-03-2007, 01:32   #20
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It beat swimming all the time.
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Old 25-03-2007, 07:59   #21
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I was born into a power boating family and we ownwd a small island with a cottage on it in the delta of the Snye River which empties into Lake St. Clair Onatrio. The only way to get to the cottage was a boat trip of about 3 miles across a small shallow bay called Mitchell's Bay. There were lots of bullrush beds and shallow areas which made for great duck hunting and at 6 years old, I convinced my father to help rig a sail on a duck boat - a small, shallow bilge, double ended boat for sneaking through the rushes to hunt ducks. Used an oar for steering at the stern and could only run before the wind but being light and flat bottomed, it would fly in a good breeze. From there at age 9 I built a sailing dinghy and taught myself how sail Later bought an Albacore and then restored a mahagony 25 ft cutter rigged sailboat in my early adulthood and several boats later, here I am. I have owned power boats all along throughout my life as well but enjoy sailing most.
Randy Benoit
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Old 25-03-2007, 11:59   #22
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It's Just Intoxicating, That's What it Is

Lots of time on the water as a child on fishing trips w/ Dad, local & Baja. Love of ocean implanted there.

As a teen, went out a couple of times on a friend's Catalina 30 for a race & a daysail. Completely transfixed by the wind driving the boat along & no motor chugging away. Amazing. The seed was planted there.

In late twenties, used to drive along a road overlooking the local bay & look down on the little sailboats plying their way along with envy. Someday, I thought.

Early thirties, Helping a friend move possessions into a storage space: he gave me his sailing books. Among them was Eric Hiscock's Cruising Adventures: Wandering Under Sail, Sou'West in Wanderer IV, and Come Aboard, subtitled "Three fascinating books by the most accomplished cruising yachtman of the century." I also took home Bob Bond's Handbook of Sailing.

The combination of Hiscock's narrative (especially his early solo cruising up the west coast of England, Scotland, across the Irish Sea, & back to the Solent, full of his admissions of mistakes, blunders, and continued love of the whole enterprise) and Bond's sailing primer compelled me forward:

Mid-thirties, started crewing on a friend's Catalina 34 across the San Pedro Channel to Catalina Island, learning about systems, a little provisioning, & the whole "weekending as practice for short cruising" teaching level. SCUBA dived off the friend's boat a lot. I ached for my own boat.

During the same period I bolted a trailer hitch on my car and bought a 14' wooden sailing dinghy (anyone remember the Enterprise?). Bob Bond taught me in my living room, & I practiced on the local bay. Spills & thrills.

Became a regular Saturday denizen at the local Barnes & Noble, devouring everything I could find about cruising (I knew that was where I was headed), from Lin and Larry Pardey to Steve Dashew (there's a contrast!), Beth Leonard to Nigel Calder. Also started reading everything on the 'net: other people's logs, Sailnet, Cruiser's Forum, ad infinitum. In particular, I'm indebted to both Jeff Halpern and Jack Tyler for providing their ample wisdom & advice.

The first keelboat was a very beaten Catalina 22 on a trailer, which I summer-slipped. It took me across the San Pedro Channel to Catalina Island, and up the coast to the other Channel Islands on a two-week camping mini-cruise. Lots of mistakes, lots of learning, grinning with every spray slap in the face & tangled mainsheet. Wrestling down the hanked-on jib on a pitching foredeck in a Small Craft Advisory while beating into weather was glorious (rigged a downhaul the next day). Sewed up the UV-rotted jib that evening at anchor. Practiced my first tentative anchoring.

I've owned my first coastal cruiser, a very clean Catalina 30 MkII, for a year, and those longer legs will take me to the central California coast & back to my childhood fishing grounds, Baja California (and beyond). This little yacht will take me to retirement in fifteen years; then, I'll decide whether to stay w/ a coastal cruiser and knock around the west coast, or trade up & go Mexico & Milk Run to the Pacific.

As Louis Armstrong sang: "What a wonderful life!"
s/y Eagle's Wings Catalina 30 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 25-03-2007, 15:08   #23
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Actually Jeff.

Louis Armstrong sang "What a Wonderful World." Not "What a wonderful Life."

Just helping you out!!

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 25-03-2007, 16:19   #24
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Apologies to both Armstrong & Frank Capra!
s/y Eagle's Wings Catalina 30 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 25-03-2007, 16:56   #25
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Went sailing at summer camp when I was 13. About the same time I inherited a riding lawn mower from my grandfather so I started mowing lawns and the next summer bought my first boat. It was a Sunfish knockoff called a Super Porpise though it was bigger at 16 feet. This was about 1972 and I kept that boat until 1982 when I traded up to a 20 foot C-Scow. In 1985 I traded up to the Siruis 22 and then in 97 picked up the Searunner. Got the daysailing bug again when I picked up the 16 foot MFG as a freebie about 2 years ago.
Don't trust your dog to guard your lunch.

Patrick, age 9
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Old 25-03-2007, 18:25   #26
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I always wanted to sail, so when my firm moved me to London for few years (from central NJ) I decided that I will not find a better place to learn than the Solent. But before I braved the tides of the Solent my wife and I took the kids on a Sunsail vacation to Turkey, where a yung skipper gave us both a three day sailing course whilst the kids played in the Sunsauil club.

The sailing bug bit. Well, it bit mostly me. I think my wife just enjoyed being sailed around turkish waters by a twenty-something tanned Sunsail skipper. Apparently she doesn't feel as confident on the boat when I'm skippering it, even though I never ran one aground, whilst that skipper in Turkey did..., so there you go.

Anyway, after those first three fateful days I took off on some serious RYA courses in the Solent and got myself a Day Skipper certificate. Few corporate regattas later and I was ready to charter boats in the BVIs and Chesapeake Bay. The wife and the kids do come along and do enjoy sailing. My ultimate goal is to get my wife to enjoy it more. Maybe I should just run her aground (the boat, that is. The lady is already well grounded)...
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Old 28-03-2007, 20:10   #27
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I am kinda with BudgetBird
i got start when i saw the Whitbread boats come into Annapolis and it looked like something i could do as i had just given up mountain search and rescue, rock climbing, and was a part time ski instructor
i had a sig other and we lived together for 7.5 years - we took sailing lessons together, we searched for a boat together and she had major input on the boat purchase -- when i purchased the boat new she named it SoulMates -- SoulMates is 2001 (commissioned 2003) Jeanneau DS40 -
we picked it up in Annapolis and brought her to Miami and while doing so both got the flu, suffered through an initial shakedown, and one really bad night at sea (even the folks in a local marina the next day could not believe we were out that night) - we sailed together and learned how to sail SoulMates, went to the Bahamas and got hit by lightening and brought her home to Miami as a team - Sailed to Key West and back as a team - talked about when and where to go cruising together - began to plan the years needed before going untying the lines - people always commented on what a great team we made sailing - then
she got a job with a 6 figure income - a year later, the day i turned 60, i was fired - we had planned on my working to 62 but after trying to find a job in miami and having no luck i suggested we leave early and did the finances to prove we could - she asked that i wait a year for her to cover her finances as i was paying all the bills for the house, boat, slip ect - 8 months later i found out she had purchased a condo 3 months previous and had furnished it - when i confronted her she moved out and said she was making to much money to leave now and just was not ready - now i am trying to sell my house in a down market (have a contract that is $55k less than when i lost my job), i have depleted 1/3 of my crusing kitty waiting on her, and now it appears that trying to find someone to go with me is going to be almost impossible -
the good side i have learned to sail SoulMates by myself (even did a race), SoulMates is set up for singlehanded sailing, and i have met some friends (single) who may want to join me on for short periods of time -
I wish i had sold my house when i lost my job instead of listening to my sig other - i am now approaching 62 and think i can cruise on a combination of social security and rr retirement with will be more than $1,500 a month - one big reason is SoulMates is a fairly new boat -
with luck i will untie the lines around June 1 after i have put 2 solar panels and a ssb on board, then head up the east coast to get out of south fla for hurricane and Jeanneau is having it's 50th anniversary party at the annapolis boat show and we plan to attend
So BudgetBird - why not just sail that big boat - maybe SoulMates and i will see you out there
and fair winds
chuck and s/v SoulMates
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Old 18-04-2007, 06:38   #28
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First boat I was ever on was a 14' jon boat on the Mississippi river when I was 4 years old. Fell in trying to retrieve a fishing pole. I've never been on a boat that I didn't love in one way or the other. I fell in love the first time (at nine) on a sunfish sailboat in Destin, Fl, unfortunately the girl didn't feel the same way. Some folks are boat people and some are not. Most know which you are the first time you step on a boat... any boat
I've been falling in or out of boats my whole life!
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Old 18-04-2007, 07:53   #29
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I read an article about bareboating in Outside magazine in 1980. My wife, I and another couple had reservations for the BVIs within a week. The captain that we hired was in his early twenties and had a propensity to party all night and sleep all day. On the first day he gave us a crash course in sailing and said "if you get in trouble wake me up". We only woke him once.

We all had a blast and fell in love with sailing. Within a few months of returning home, we purchased a Hunter 25 and spent most weekends aboard.

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Old 12-12-2007, 09:10   #30
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When I was a kid, my parents would take my sister and I to Mission Bay in San Diego for vacation. The resort there had 14 foot sailing dinghys and an instructor if you wanted to learn. I went out with an instructor for about 20 mins before he had me drop him off and I went out on my own. I was into aerodynamics even at an early age as I always wanted to fly. All the reading and study paid off as I found sailing to be just another application of all the rules of aerodynamics with a little hydrodynamics thrown in. It helped me learn quickly. I would sail around the bay in those dinghys as often and as much as I could. One night my family and I were sitting at the outdoor bar and grill that overlooked the dock. A powerboat (maybe 30 footer) pulled up, lit up with nav lights. I watched as the man and woman tied her off and went down below in their foulies to watch them reappear a bit later in what appeared to be their "Sundays Finest". They walked up to the bar and grill, took a table and had dinner. At that point I was hooked. That was the coolest darn thing to me. I vowed that someday I would have a sailboat big enough to do that. I figured I would return to that same dock and do exactly what that couple had done. Years later, I got that sailboat. My plan to go back to that dock was foiled though as there is a low bridge that wouldn't clear the mast. There have been MANY other docks where I fulfilled my dream though. I still have to pinch myself sometimes.

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