Here I am
When I was 6 or 7 years old new neighbors moved in kitty corner to my house. They were sailors and it changed my life.
My dad worked in a shipyard (Steel commercial fishing boats mostly) and had done some power boating as kid.
Our new neighbors invited my parents out on their Sun 27... and at the next Seattle Boat show my parents bought a Tanzer 7.5 (that our young family of 5 rapidly outgrew). Within 4 or 5 years they bought a Catalina 30. The family had that boat until I was maybe 17.
So, for many summers, my family would spend 2 weeks at a time cruising the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Weekends.. holidays and whatever.
Somewhere around the transition from the Tanzer to the Catalina, I had a 6th grade teacher that built an El Toro sailing dinghy with the kids. This was something he had done for years. Soon after, my Dad brought home a "Ranger 8" one night. It was to become the tender for the larger boat. When we were in a safe harbor or on the hook, us kids could take the dinghy out and learn to sail.
I was boatless for about 7 years while I went to college... but purchased "my" first sailboat shortly after. It was a used 12 foot O'day Widgeon (Still have it). My wife to be and I sailed it silly on Lake Washington. In under a year, I had an O'day 20 pocket cruiser that was a project. Cleaned her up and Sailed her for 2 seasons and then the cockpit drain got plugged... It rained and rained. The boat filled with 6 inches of water and I learned a hard lesson. The project boat turned into a bigger project then I was willing/able to do at the time.
I sailed the Widgeon off and on. ...and finally sold the O'day.
A co-worker raced in a local sailing association... and bummed a ride (and have been crew ever since). The bug bit hard. I bought a Catalina 22 to be able to Cruise/Camp. Next, I found a "Minto" sailing dinghy on craigslist.
I am a school teacher, and by nature was to share sailing with kids... so I went out and got certified as a US Sailing instructor. Last summer, with a small collection of second hand sailing dinghies, I gave free sailing lessons to 9 kids and 2 parents. The school would not allow it as a club or sport... so I went out on my own.
A few weeks ago I decided to step into the world of MOORAGE. I bought a 4th hand? Catalina 27. A search for fixing a soft spot final drove me to stop being the occasional lurker... into posting.
BTW -> There is a solid little Catalina 22 swing keel trailer and what not FOR SALE. Likely, it'll be gone in the next couple months when the popular season here and the weather is more comfortable.
Sounds like a normal progression. Welcome aboard.
The rest of the story
Well, you should have stayed longer because their civilization is based UNDER the water. You probably didn't get to go through the mank ma trau (guppies right of fish hood) did you? It really is a spectacle.
Swim long an breath well.
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