On the Water

We went sailing yesterday! We met James and Debbie at their boat slip at 4:15 p.m. for a sailing race across Joe Pool Lake and back. As it turns out, there was about ZERO wind, but we still went out and learned a whole lot. It is amazing how far you can go even when it seems like the wind isn’t blowing at all. James and Debbie are the sweetest people, and super helpful. They are great teachers – even without wind in the sails. I was so pleased because I could tell all my hard work studying has really paid off already. I knew what James was talking about the whole time!

Tim while we motor out of the slip

Debbie moving the boom

Main sail and head sail are up

James teaching TIm

I'm checking out the Boat

Spent the day on the Wind Shadow ll

Beautiful!

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Vocab Quiz

You might remember those from high school or college, right? Well, I’m back in school, except this time it is for survival. I learn more when I write things down, so I am making flash cards with all the boating terms in alphabetical order. Seems like quite the undertaking, except that I found an awesome site — www.flashcardmachine.com. I actually took a break from transcribing terms to blog, and I am only in the Bs. Long night ahead. I will take some joy, however, in quizzing my husband with these terms when I am done writing them down because I am a nerd at heart.

In other news, we booked a one-way flight to Cabo San Lucas next Saturday! I’m so ready to just get rolling with everything. We, or maybe just I, have been stressing about all the possible ways to get down there and the best way to see boats in both marinas — La Paz and San Carlos — which are on opposite sides of the Sea of Cortez (aka the Gulf of California) where our journey will begin. We have been talking through all the possibilities, but here is what we have decided:

Fly from DFW to Cabo landing at 11:35 a.m. and rent a car. Drive 3 hours to the La Paz marina where our broker, Mike, has set up reservations for us at a lovely B&B. Although, I’m wondering about that because he said it does not serve breakfast, so really it is just a house we will be sharing with other people – oh well. We will look at a handful of boats we have preselected from mazmarine.com and hopefully enjoy the beach a little. Then, we will hop on a puddle-jumper airplane that will take us to San Carlos. We are told it is easy to make reservations on this flight and the prices are always the same. Once in San Carlos, we will see what boats they have there. I am really thinking our boat will be in San Carlos based on what we have looked at and our budget. Hopefully we will make a decision at that point on which one to buy, then we can catch a bus back to Tucson (really cheap) and fly home from there. We are planning to return being sail boat owners, and then all we have to do is learn how to sail it! haha!

We are making strides in that department as well, though. Remember Steve and Sherie? Well, they have had some family emergencies this summer and have not been able to take us out sailing since that day. Sherie, being very thoughtful, set us up with her boat slip neighbors James and Debbie. They race their boat regularly and were pleased to invite us aboard! So, we get to help them race across Joe Pool Lake and back. Hence, the vocabulary! I don’t want to be on the lake racing and have no clue what James is telling me to do.

The Basics

When we initially thought, “Yeah, sailing would be a good idea…” we had no idea what that really meant. After doing a bit of research online and seeing some other people’s blogs, a picture starts to become clearer, but the questions begin to mount. So, we set up dinner with our dear friends who had suggested the idea in the first place. They lived on and off their sail boat for about 10 years, and we figured they would be full of good insight.

They were full of useful information and LOTS of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what they were talking about. They suggested that we get a boat with a “full keel and self-tailing wenches,” among other things. I realized this would be a bigger deal than I originally thought when he was explaining what a keel is by using a tortilla chip and the bottom of his hand. Hum… how committed do we want to be? This was more than just off we go on an adventure — this was learning the ins and outs of traveling on international waters and how to completely maintain and sail a 35 foot boat. Ok, let’s get into overdrive on learning everything we can without spending too much money.

Based on suggestions from two couples we now see as sailing mentors; we ordered books online, subscribed to Cruising World Magazine, follow other sailing blogs, read “How to Sail” on about.com and most importantly – make friends with sailors in our area lakes.

The last item is key because we met new people and got our first hands-on experience with sailing (pictured here). We met Steve and Sherie on Joe Pool Lake while trolling in our motor boat looking for sailor friends. They are such a friendly couple who invited us out for the day. Steve, the Redneck sailor according to the other boat slip owners, was thrilled to teach a couple of young people about his passion. Although, I would recommend learning all the terms you can before setting foot on a sail boat, because nothing is as it seems. No rope is just a “rope” and no sail is just a “sail,” which can be very overwhelming in conversation. Nonetheless, we are determined to follow this through. Each step involves learning something new and meeting new people, and that is the best part!

Tim tries his hand at sailing for the first time.

Q&A with Sailor Steve

We Decided

My husband, Tim, and I are going on an adventure. It took us months to brainstorm and ask around before we reached a conclusion of what this adventure would entail, but we knew it was happening. We had already put it into motion, but the details would have to unravel as we made new discoveries and choices along the way. It is not easy to decided what adventure you will take because the world is full of them. We could go anywhere and do anything that we haven’t done before. That is a huge thought and makes for an even bigger task when you think you have to choose something… just one thing to do. Instead of getting overwhelmed, we let the thought take on its own direction. We let it develop with each person we talked to and saw it grow until the choice was obvious.

We are going sailing. That is what has to happen. We have decided and we will follow it through.

It is important we don’t get too bogged down by the details of how to make this a reality, but that we focus on the fact that it will be. Our exact timeline and path are to be determined as we nail down how we will do what we have set out to do. For now, we expect to start on the Pacific side of Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. This is where we will buy our boat and begin our adventure.

We knew when we got married we would be shaking up the comfortable world we had grown up in. We have both wanted to travel often and make discoveries, but did not quite know how to get started. We began by talking about the possibilities and listening to everyone else’s ideas and journeys. This led to several possible ideas, but only one that seemed attainable for now.