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Life takes strange twists and turns. I never dreamed that I would be a long haul trucker, or that I would be contemplating owning and expanding my own trucking company, yet here I am looking at at least semi-retirement in the next 7 years and spending months in Florida to get away from the cold. Here I am weeks away from paying off my first truck and making plans to add a second truck within 18 months. Here I am thinking of learning to sail and buying a sailboat. So, how did I get to this point? Stay with me and I’ll tie it all together.

As a teen we lived in Bonita Springs FL when it was so undeveloped you needed a topographical map to get around and residents were the ones giving little dirt roads names after themselves. My dad was the pastor of one of the churches in town and we were only a mile from the Gulf. The result was that he soon got into fishing from a boat. He liked fishing and I liked exploring the mangrove swamps. Give me a chart, a compass and the tiller and I was a happy camper. We moved from Florida to West Virginia and boating went away, but my love for nature never went away, it just lay dormant.

Years later I thought I wanted to backpack, but found a canoe worked better. Who wants to measure their gear in ounces? The week before I met the woman that would become my wife I spent a week in the BWCA that really taught me what was important in life. That was my last time to canoe alone. We used to go together until life took a turn away from that. My wife decided she liked flat water canoeing more than rivers since hitting rocks with a hand built fiberglass canoe is not a good idea. I thought all of this was behind me until a driver on the Truckers Report truck forum started a thread about the yacht that recently sank as they were launching it. Now I realize my love of nature didn’t go away, it just went dormant once again.

This driver was trying to engage in a bit of class envy, but I started looking into who owns these boats and what they are used for. That led me to the idea of a private cruise since next year is our 25th. That led me to realize I still enjoy being on the water. The result is that instead of 5 grand on a 1 week private cruise on a Morgan ketch, now I’m thinking about taking sailing lessons in the spring of next year and possibly purchasing a used Catalina 22 that can be trailered and launched reasonably quickly. My wife’s boating experience is limited to a canoe with me and my daughter has never had any real boating experience. My total experience of sailing is a single half hour on a Florida canal in a dinghy, but my overall boating experience is a lot more and frankly I miss it. I’m thinking a good first step would be to celebrate the payoff of the truck by taking an ASA introductory sail to find out if sailing truly is for our family. If we decide this is what we want to do then it would be fun for the 3 of us to do the first 2 classes in a weekend next Spring. A little family competition to see who is the best sailor would be typical for us.

A lot of the reason for sailing rather than a power boat is that we don’t want the sound of an engine when trying to watch and listen to nature. We aren’t so much interested in an around the world cruise as sailing to interesting shorelines. I guess what we are looking for is more of an r.v. on water. For now our sailing would have to be limited to the lakes around the middle of Illinois and maybe the Illinois River in Peoria.

Thanks for reading, and yes writing is also a hobby.
 

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Passage & Delivery Crew
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Howdy!

I read your introduction, enjoyed it and I think you are an excellent writer!

Your good attitude about learning to sail, being on the water with your family and your interest in enjoying nature not the sounds of the motor sounds like you're a perfect fit for sailing. I wish you the best of luck and fair winds!
 
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