Searching for Water in the Deserts of Afghanistan
LOOKING FOR A BOAT: MED OR ATLANTIC, FEB 12
We sail as a couple, but I'll lead off with myself: I am a professional soldier and lifelong sailor. The two, obviously, do not always mix. Particularly now, since I am in Afghanistan.
My specialties as a soldier do contribute to my suitability as a crewmember or mate. I am an Infantry officer (the first half of my career, which means I'm handy with making due with whatever is at hand after a decade outdoors and I don't mind privation overmuch) and Strategist (the second decade, decidedly more physically comfortable). But I am also an Academic, a historian by education, having taught at West Point, Georgetown, and George Mason. I have also written a few books along the way, and a few hundred articles/reviews/essays. So, just about anywhere you might want to head, I can deliver (free of charge!) graduate school level lectures or dinner-table repartee, or just answer a query about the localities. (Caveat: Mostly military history, mind you.) I can also be quiet as a mouse, buried in a book or enjoying the scenery.
My wife is an American diplomat, fluent in French (my French is "passable"), Urdu, Hindi, and conversational Dari. She is also a writer in her own right. She has come to sailing later, but is learning quickly, as she does everything.
She and I are both ASA (American Sailing Association, equivalent to RYC) keelboat and bareboat certified. I have a few thousand miles of open-ocean experience, and she has several hundred miles as mate in coastal waters. (We sail together, as we can, but I am also available with advanced notice for longer-distance deliveries.) I am 44, she is 33. We are both fit, low maintenance, and professional.
When we return from Afghanistan we would like to get out on the water as much as possible. We will be based in England from Jan 2012 through at least Fall 2013, and possibly 2014. Beyond that, this military-diplomatic couple cannot predict. We prefer monohull sailboats, but would be willing to try a little time on a catamaran.
In the long term we want to develop, as a couple, enough mileage and experience so that she will be comfortable should we take a year, or two, off for sailing. I would put that, nominally, at around 10,000 miles combined, so we have some way to go. We are also avid travelers, so new waters and new nautical challenges are also what we are about, not just miles logged in the books.
Since we will be in Europe for a few years, we want to get to know the Med. (My next book will likely deal with Horatio Nelson, the Royal Navy hero of the Napoleonic Wars, so that adds to the desire.) Greece, Italy, Malta, the Italian and French coasts and islands, all play into our interests. As a dual-income couple, we can afford to get to places, but we need months of advanced notice, due to the nature of our respective professions.
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