It is the beginning of a new adventure, the launching of a dream conceived nearly eight years ago. My husband C and I just secured an offer to purchase a small liveaboard sailboat!
The idea to learn to sail and live on the water part-time came to us in 2014, after we hired a private boat charter in Edinburgh, Scotland, and spent a day sailing on the Firth of Forth. Under the guidance of our skipper, Colin, we rode the waves on his sloop rig, learning some sailing basics and taking in the beautiful scenery. It was an exhilarating experience! C was at the helm most of the day, and I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy in our more than twenty-seven years of marriage.
In the years following that memorable trip, we have often revisited our dream of sailing and pursuing a liveaboard life. We could just never quite gather the nerve to do it. That changed last May when we decided to dip our toes in the water and sign up for two days of sailing school on our local lake. In hindsight, we learned a ton, but the experience was not a positive one. In fact, I was nearly ready to give up on the whole thing. But more on that another time.
A little over a month ago, while vacationing on the Florida Gulf Coast, our dream came up again. And so it was there, on the beach at Alligator Point, that we finally decided that enough was enough. It was time to stop talking about it and get on with it! We are each on the cusp of turning forty-nine and realize that although we are not yet old, we aren’t exactly young either. So if we are ever going to pursue this dream, now is the time.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, and together, we set off for a weekend in Topping, VA. We met with a broker to discuss specifics and acquaint ourselves with various boat makes and models. It would be an understatement to say that we didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by the whole thing. But we were determined to press on.
Forward once more to this past weekend, where again we found ourselves on the Virginia coast, this time to specifically see a 2000 Catalina 320. The online listing for Eclipse (new name forthcoming) seemed very promising, and though we were careful not to get too prematurely excited, we both somehow knew in our gut that she might be the one. She was.
With the purchase price now negotiated, the next step is to schedule a survey/sea trial. If that goes well, on April 5, she will be ours. Fingers, toes, arms, legs, and eyes crossed!
Sitting here now, I still cannot believe we did it. And so quickly! Just one month ago, C and I were boating novices – a couple with a dream but staggered by the process of how to get started. Today, we have a contract to purchase a liveaboard cruiser. Incredible.
I have created this blog as a way to record the story of our adventures. As we go along, I hope to offer tips and advice to others new to the world of sailing. I’ll share our ups and downs, successes and failures, and all the inevitable mistakes we will make along the way. You’ll get to ride along as we explore the Chesapeake Bay and other areas. Through our experiences, I hope you’ll get a taste of what life is like on a liveaboard boat. And finally, I hope our journey will serve as an inspiration to other mid-lifers who think they might be too old to pursue their own dreams.
Welcome. I’ll see you on the water.