Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm Sailing!

It has been over 25 yrs since I left the island paradise, Bonaire, and moved to Charlotte NC.  That was a shocker.  I was 16 yrs old, and moved from a beach front house in the Caribbean to the concrete jungle.  I still dressed the same, and acted the same.  I had never learned to fit in in another culture.  I didn't realize until later in life that I was "different"  than the darker skinned kids around me.  I cried myself to sleep for 6 months and still feel a sad longing for the island and the people. 

While Bonaire is a diver's paradise,  I preferred to spend my time on top of the water,  zipping along in wind powered craft, sailing and windsurfing.   After moving to Charlotte, after a couple of years, I was able to purchase a windsurfer and get out  to Lake Norman when the wind was blowing.   Then I went to college and sold the equipment. 

The next time I was able to sail was on my honeymoon with Rhonda.  We rented an overpriced catamaran for an hour and sailed in light winds.  And that was that.  Every time, I see a sailboat, or a lot of time when I feel the wind, especially on the coast, I am reminded of gliding along the water, waves slapping the hull, halyards slapping the mast, rudder gurgling behind the boat.....

And then, recently a boat came to me.  I was excited at first, the guy said I could take it and fix it up,  send him $100 when I got it figured out and sailed it, see if I liked it.  I got home and did some research.  It was from the Canadian Marine Equipment company that had gone out of business in 2004. 
I started process of figuring things out and it wasn't working.  For the amount of work that needed to be done, it would not be worth the time and effort.  The boat went back to the owner.  Then I posted online in the Asheville Sailing Club forum,  asking for advice on what type of boat is recommended for a family of 3 or 4 to learn to sail.  I got a lot of friendly responses and some great advice, in addition, I got several offers from people who were wanting to sell their boats.  I looked around at a few and decided to wait, save some more money over the winter and buy a complete sailboat, ready to sail in the spring. 

Then I got an e-mail.  A guy had a1947  O'Day Widgeon.  He was the second owner, his dad had been the original owner.  The boat had been in the family since '74 and it was in great shape and ready to sail.  We met and I looked at the boat.  It was perfect.  We struck a deal that was well within my current budget and the rest is "downwind"
I share the excitement of Bob in the popular movie " What About Bob"...... I'm SAILING!

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