Join Date: Aug 2007
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Greetings from landlocked Colorado. I've been reading the archives for about a month now and have finally created an ID. Sadly, my creative juices ran out after about 5 failed user name attempts so I created a bad one.
Anyway, what brought me to sailnet was my latest Walter Mitty fantasy of eventually escaping the corporate insanity, getting a sailboat, and sailing off into the sunset. After 20 years in the software industry, I'm kind of over this whole working thing.
I should mention that my sailing experience is extremely limited, although it's been very enjoyable. My first sailing experience was a 4 day excursion through the Whitsunday Islands on the Anaconda III. That's still my best vacation ever, the run out to the barrier reef under sail while bashing through 3-4 meter waves was definitely a highlight. Thank god for Qwells. I also did one of the Blackbeard 7-day liveaboard cruises from Miami to Bimini, which was more of a scuba trip than a sailing trip, but it was still great just being on the water.
These trips, along with screwing around on some hobie cats and a sunfish a couple of times, have whetted my appetite for sailing. Right now my ultimate goal is to eventually do some cruising in the Caribbean and live aboard a sailboat full time. We'll see if that ever happens, but they say the journey is more important than the destination.
My plan is to spend the next couple of years learning how to sail and banking some money, with a move to the ocean possibly in 2009 or 2010. So, what's the best way to learn? From what I've read, it sounds like a dinghy like a laser or a sunfish would be a great place to start. I've been looking for for a laser, but haven't found a complete one yet. I've also thought about buying something big enough to overnight in on the local lakes. Sort of camping at sea, well, camping at the lake at least. That seems like a slippery slope though as it would most likely entail getting a different vehicle than my Toyota Solara to tow the boat.
I also think this winter I'll take a vacation to either Florida, the Caribbean, or San Diego for an ASA class. A couple places look like they've got a week long liveaboard class that combines ASA 101, 103, and 104 after which you are "Bareboat Certified." Any recommendations of which schools to go to? I had found a couple that looked promising, but would like to hear from people who have done these classes. Are these certifications worthwhile? Do the places in the Bahamas let you bareboat if this is all you've really sailed?
Do any of you have any links to interesting cruising/liveaboard blogs? I've combed through the archives of Bill Dietrich's site which is both fascinating and mundane. I've also read Sleeping With Oars, which is a more about living aboard a boat than cruising. (sorry, had to delete the links 'cause I'm a newb). I'd love to read some stories about people who have made the break and whether they are glad the did or not.
I'd also be interested to hear how people who cut their ties to the corporate world make a living. That's something else I'd need to figure out.
If I do ever get to the point of moving to the ocean, I've got a couple of issues. The first is pets, as I have a dog and a cat. I've read a few interesting threads about pets on board (and part of why I'd like to get something at least worthy of overnighting on Colorado lakes would be to see how the dog would do on a boat). The second is height. I'm 6'5" and it seems like other than Catalinas, most sailboats are pretty short in the headroom department. I've got plenty of time to sort that out, I suppose.
Anyway, that's enough rambling for now (if you made it this far, I'm impressed). Thanks in advance for any thoughts.