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!