Life takes strange twists and turns. I never dreamed that I would be a long haul trucker, or that I would be contemplating owning and expanding my own trucking company, yet here I am looking at at least semi-retirement in the next 7 years and spending months in Florida
to get away from the cold. Here I am weeks away from paying off my first truck and making plans to add a second truck within 18 months. Here I am thinking of learning
to sail and buying
a sailboat. So, how did I get to this point? Stay with me and Iíll tie it all together.
As a teen we lived in Bonita Springs FL when it was so undeveloped you needed a topographical map to get around and residents were the ones giving little dirt roads names after themselves. My dad was the pastor of one of the churches in town and we were only a mile from the Gulf. The result was that he soon got into fishing
from a boat
. He liked fishing
and I liked exploring the mangrove swamps. Give me a chart, a compass
and the tiller and I was a happy camper. We moved from Florida
to West Virginia and boating
went away, but my love for nature never went away, it just lay dormant.
Years later I thought I wanted to backpack, but found a canoe worked better. Who wants to measure their gear
in ounces? The week before I met the woman that would become my wife I spent a week in the BWCA that really taught me what was important in life. That was my last time to canoe alone. We used to go together until life took a turn away from that. My wife decided she liked flat water
canoeing more than rivers since hitting rocks with a hand built fiberglass
canoe is not a good idea. I thought all of this was behind me until a driver on the Truckers Report truck forum started a thread about the yacht that recently sank as they were launching it. Now I realize my love of nature didnít go away, it just went dormant once again.
This driver was trying to engage in a bit of class envy, but I started looking into who owns these boats and what they are used for. That led me to the idea of a private cruise
since next year is our 25th. That led me to realize I still enjoy being on the water
. The result is that instead of 5 grand on a 1 week private cruise
on a Morgan ketch
, now Iím thinking about taking sailing lessons
in the spring of next year and possibly purchasing
a used Catalina
22 that can be trailered and launched reasonably quickly. My wifeís boating
experience is limited to a canoe with me and my daughter has never had any real boating experience. My total experience of sailing is a single
half hour on a Florida canal
in a dinghy
, but my overall boating experience is a lot more and frankly I miss it. Iím thinking a good first step would be to celebrate the payoff of the truck by taking an ASA
introductory sail to find out if sailing truly is for our family
. If we decide this is what we want to do then it would be fun for the 3 of us to do the first 2 classes
in a weekend next Spring. A little family
competition to see who is the best sailor would be typical for us.
A lot of the reason for sailing rather than a power boat
is that we donít want the sound of an engine
when trying to watch and listen to nature. We arenít so much interested in an around the world cruise as sailing to interesting shorelines. I guess what we are looking for is more of an r.v. on water. For now our sailing would have to be limited to the lakes around the middle of Illinois and maybe the Illinois River in Peoria.
Thanks for reading, and yes writing is also a hobby.