Since we decided to buy a boat and sail off, the most common reaction has been, “You’re going to do WHAT????!!!” Followed by, “Do you even know how to sail?” Good question. The answer is yes, no, sort of. As a family, we’ve been sailing on and off throughout the years with close friends of ours (hereafter known as DJ and JJ) who, as luck would have it, are willing to join us for the first week or so of our sailing journey. JJ is a competent and experienced sailor, and he is willing to finish our sailing education while he is on board so that by the time he leaves, Riley and I can at least tell the difference between the bow and the stern. Also, DJ and JJ were able to pull my newly acquired sailboat behind their motorhome all the way to our starting point in Portsmouth, Virginia. Our proposed route will take us from their down the east coast via the intracoastal waterway to southern Florida.
From the time we found the boat until the time we left home was only a few short weeks. In that time, it was a mad dash to acquire the right gear (inflatable vests with safety harnesses, a dinghy, safety flares and flags, coast guards manuals, charts, spare engine parts, etc.). It was also a new experience for me to test and learn the equipment on the boat (radios, electrical system, plumbing and through hulls, and prepare the diesel engine with an oil change, fuel filter, and water separator). The hardest part was once again saying goodbye to family and friends. This time, Lorin wasn’t able to start the journey with us, but he will be joining us at times along the way – or so he promises!
Finally, after two solid weeks of packing, buying gear, cleaning the boat, and loading the boat, we were ready to head out. The first night on the road, as a passenger in the motorhome, I had my first real moment to sit and wonder, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?” Oh well, it’s too late for doubts now, the journey has started!