July 24, 2008
This dream began as many of mine do – figuring out how to get something cheaper!
In 2002 my wife, Debbie, and 6 other friends were with me aboard the Belline II, a fabulous 48’ Cat operated by Captain Walter Wegman and his lovely wife Lela. I was an early riser and loved to get up and take a dive off the pontoon to start the morning. On the last day of our BVI charter, I gazed at my reflection coming off the crystal blue waters of Little Harbor, and dreamed of coming back as my own captain. I dreamed of sharing this "seven days in paradise" with my friends and family over and over again. Only two things stood in my way – sailing experience and unlimited wealth.
After three years I wasn’t making much progress on the unlimited wealth, so I accepted a good friend’s invitation to embark on getting an ASA Sailing certification. Over the course of two years, we stumbled and bumbled our way to bareboat certified and spent untold hours stoking the fires of our obsession with back issues of Latitudes and Attitudes.
As 2008 rolled around, it was time to unfurl the mainsail and get the dream underway. I was encouraged when my friends, discreetly amused years before when I announced my intentions to command the next trip, showed their confidence (and courage) by agreeing to share the adventure. Preparations began in earnest.
Just a few weeks ago my skipper’s hat was flying high as I completed a 5 day bareboat charter aboard a 33’ Beneteau out of Emerald Coast Yachts in Pensacola, FL. We anchored with the Blue Angels, ate like kings, slept in sweltering fan-less cabins, found sand banks with our keel, and had a blast!
I am one who can’t leave a good thing unorganized. I ordered a chart kit and cruising guides galore. I began to Google for just the right boat and read all the advice from TravelTalkOnline. I probably know more about the Lagoon 420 we chartered than most owners!! Oh well, no problem, man, Caribbean time is comin’
Next blog- the Motley Crew