Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mother Ship Ahoy

Three years ago Steve and I bought a sail boat. Sailing is Steve's passion. I love Steve and so I decided to try to see what this sailing thing was all about. I was the most reluctant of people when it came to water sports of any sort. I can swim and was a life guard at a city of Ottawa WADING pool for a couple of summers, but, I am not a "water person." Steve surfed and I sat on the shore very happy to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't get into trouble. Any time I was boating I made sure everyone around me knew that should I fall into the water they must come rescue me immediately, lest they see the second coming, as I walk across the water. I was so terrified of what was in the water. Salt or Fresh.

Steve was patient with me and never pushed too hard to make me partake in water sports, but, I could only sit on the beach watching the surfers and ride in a boat watching the tubing and wake boarding for so long before I started to feel like I was missing out on something. I began to slowly dip my toes into the water, and after a while, I waded out into the ocean. It wasn't long before I too was paddling into a wave on a long board. Once I had laser eye surgery and I could see in the water without fear of losing a contact I became even more comfortable.

The first summer we owned the boat we lived on it. We had a lot to learn about weather patterns tides and the boat. All of Steve's sailing experience had been on the Great Lakes. Sailing on the Atlantic Ocean was a whole new set of skills. At first we went from marina to marina and then we would stay over night. We day sailed from Carolina Beach up the Cape Fear River and out to Baldhead Island for a night or two in a marina there and then we would return home to our marina. We did this as we got to know the boat.

At first I found that sailing was a lot like camping and I said so to Steve's dismay. He actually looked disgusted by this comment. I tried to explain to him that the interior of a sailboat is not unlike the pop up camper we had when I was growing up. I loved camping in the pop up camper and it was the only comparison I could draw. My hubs had the elitist attitude of the sailing set and the camping comparison did not mesh.

Once we trusted ourselves, our techniques and the boat, we began to anchor out. Then Steve began to teach me to helm. The more in control I felt the more comfortable I became. And now I am the one who pesters Steve to make sure we get out on the boat at every chance we get. The dynamic has changed again with Finley on board with us. We have to make sure she doesn't get too hot or too much sun and we have to ensure her safety. She's not very mobile right now so it's easy. Next summer when she is standing and walking will be a whole new ball of wax. We made use of the Bumbo seat and the car seat on this trip and it worked out really well.

It is our desire to sell this boat and move up to a boat we can live aboard so we can sail full time for a number of years. This plan is in the works (yes dad it's true - don't begin worrying until you have to). It will be a whole new blog to read when it happens! For now we are loving our family time together outdoors, on the water, fishing, sailing, watching the weather, looking at the night's sky, identifying the local wildlife and relaxing. It's amazing - one night out on the boat is so rejuvenating it feels like we've been on holidays for a week.

Steve, Fin & I in the cockpit.

Finley & Cecil taking in the late afternoon.

While Steve preps fresh caught Blue Crab for our dinner.

Finley & Cecil sleeping in the V-birth

Fin & I watching the thunder storm approach.

The storm was quick, no thunder, no lightening just a bit of rain and a good wind.

Steve and Finley enjoy the calm after the 10 minute storm!


Charlene said...

visiting via the blogamama, hope you don't mind my commenting.

Anonymous said...

NICE! My dad has a sailboat - a Freedom 21. It's small but totally cute and I love to sail it! I'm not very coordinated but it's still a blast!