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Eileen of Avoca
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'd been reminiscing in my blog and thought it might be interesting to hear from others. Hence the post.

Here was my answer to the above mentioned question....

For me it all started on the island of Mauritius at the age of 6 where my brother and I hired a little yellow sailboat for the day with the proceeds of our gambling habits.
Gambling at the age of 6?
Indeed! I owe my sailing passion to lady luck and the one armed bandit....

My brother and I had made a habit of hanging around the three outdoor slot-machines at a nearby resort.
What else were a couple of boys on holiday with too much time on their hands to do?
Anyway, occasionally a guest would tire of our incessant stares and hand over a few coins for us to try our luck on an adjacent machine...
We had a foolproof technique... gingerly pulling on the slot machine lever we would gaze as the tumblers whirled willing with all our might for a winning combination.... Somehow it worked because we always won!
Not that it did us much good. Most guests would collect our winnings at the end of their loosing spree (I guess the rational was that it was their coin in the first place) and say their goodbyes...
However on one memorable occasion, an anonymous tourist decided to let us keep our winnings!
What joy. We could suddenly afford to hire the boat we had been zealously eying for days.
At some point I'll dig up the old color photograph of that first days sailing, but it will have to wait awhile as it lies half way across the world in a dusty cardboard storage box that has not seen the light of day for 5 years.

The sun was shining, the sea crystal clear and the view magnificent. Who could fail to fall immediately in love with a sport having had such an exquisite introduction.
Those were happy carefree days.
 

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I actually grew up around powerboats.
Then I worked in marinas and boatyards, and even aboard a 53' Hatteras.
Along the way, I met a lot of sailors, and started going out with them for evening sails, beer can races, etc.
I never really liked the racing (got yelled at by too many jerks), but I really liked the sailing aspect. I also liked the self sufficiency of it.
When I got older, I started thinking about getting my own boat, and a sailboat seemed very appealing. Plus, sailboats were cheaper. I bought an old Bristol 24 for about $1000. and found a low cost mooring.

Ten years, and two boats later, I haven't looked back!!!! ;)
 

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Mine started due to my Jr High drafting teacher asking me to help with working on his boat with him as he had 3 daughters. In return I would get to go sailing in the summer. At that time he had a 30 Tahiti Ketch called Valhalla. It had some dry rot in the rear stem. We started in Feb. which is usually cold here in Michigan but we made a wind break out of the many cinder blocks laying around & covering them with a tarp. We spent 3 months of weekends working on her but finally got it done & she looked great. We dropped her in the water & motored her to the weel on the Clinton River where the masts would would be stepped. After just 2 weeks he told me that he had sold the boat but he had also bought another boat a 37 Zeeland Yawl which he called Teachers Pet. That 1st summer he took me to Put-In-Bay & Ceader Point for 2 weeks. Then we went up to Mackinaw Island. I had to leave from there as I was going to Europe for a month with school. The next summer I went sailing for 10 weeks 8 of them in the North Channel. That had to have been the best summer I ever had. After 10 years of sporadic sails with him & his family he called me one day in May 1983 & asked me how much money I had in my pocket. Being still single then I had just over $1000.00. So he says to come on over & you are going to buy a boat. We went & looked at a Morgan 24 in which I still own. I gave the guy the 1000 down & got a loan the next day. I took my 1st vacation that year to Put-In-Bay & met my 1st wife. What a ride.
 

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We have a family island on Georgian Bay. Been around powerboats my entire life. My father had an old row/sail/power dinghy (first boat I ever went agorund in ;) ) that he would rig the sail on only when it started to blow over 15. Took me sailing and scared the beejeezus out of me when I was 5. I decided I would have to be in control from then on. My mother bought my siblings and I a well used Sunfish the following year. I quickly pushed it to the limits, mine and the booats - Ever seen 8 kids on a Sunfish!

At age 8, started racing the Sunfish in the local races whenever I could get dad to tow the boat to the races. Won my group several times against Lasers and Bombardiers (God love timing corrections), so mom bought me a Laser the following year. Sailed it everywhere over the next 6 years. From our place in Honey Harbour to Midland (for pizza!), Giant's Tomb, Beckwith, most of the way to Parry Sound. Raced it hard causing the hull/ deck joint to start coming apart. I started getting all my CYA certifications at the RCYC juniior club, then my Instructor certs at Geneva Park. Our neighbour next island over has a Hobie 18 Magnum that we go out on, ended up breaking parts on it regularily as we only got out when it hit at least 15knots. Got my 4th sailing related concussion on the Hobie and decidided that keelboats might be a little easier on the brainpan.

A older guy at the cottage asked me to crew his Shark at the 84 Worlds working the foredeck. We did reasonably well, mid fleet, for a boat that had tired sails and a rough bottom and a third hand that neither of us had ever sailed with.

My wife saw all the boats going past the cottage and asked me if I could sail them to which I responded YES!!!! I hadn't sailed for 10-15 years but was always thinking of it. I bought Eclipse at the Port Credit In Water Boat Show in August of 08. Smartest thing I have done in a while. My days off are split at the restaurant which means getting to the cottage is very difficult (1-1/2 hour by car then 1/2 hour by boat - one way) so having my boat at Toronto Island means I can go out for a few hours on my day off and feel rejuvenated. Even popping out to work on the boat for a couple of hours before work helps me feel better.
 

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I grew up in rural Indiana and my folks had a summer place on a small lake( 400 acres) in northern Indiana. As a child I sailed a sunfish and then moved up to a Lighting.

The story I wish to share is how I got into big boat sailing.

As a young man I was raising a young family in a small Indiana town (1,200 people) I was a member of the volunteer fire dept. One Monday morning We had call for a heart attack! When we got there the, man was not doing well at all. We started CPR and radio"ed back to find out where our Ambulance was. The Ambulance was based in a town 12 miles away and we got the radio call back that it was out on a run and it would be 45 min's before they could get to us. Our victim did not have 45 min's to wait.

Us fire guy's looked at each other and with out a word being said we loaded our victim into a stokes stretcher and onto the hose bed of the pumper truck and off to Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne IN. we went ignoring all the laws about transporting victims on fire equipment.

I was on the hose bed doing CPR along with 3 other guys. Between our CPR rotations we were talking about how much trouble we were going to be in.

We got to the Hospital and the ER Dr. yelled at us to "Stay right there, I going to save this man's life and I will be back to talk to you guy's." We were looking at each other thinking We would be lucky if we didn't wind up in jail.

The Dr. came back out of the room and said the man will live and we did a good job. Then he said "you boys look like you are in good shape and I have this sailboat (J42) and there is this race and a big party after wards. Any of you guy's know anything about sailing?"

I crewed 6 Chicago to Mackinaw's with the good Dr.
 

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i can remember almost every sailing trip. about age 10 somebody my father worked with took us out on his sailboat, dont remember what the boat was. then vacation one year my dad rented a sunfish for a few hours. then i went to camp that was on a river of the chessy, lots fo sun fish and lasers. got to play with the sunfishes. came back as staff, worked on the water front and got to take groups out in the after noon on flying scots ( the camp was an over nighter and the groups where the different cabins ). filed in teaching sailing to the kids who where at the camp for sailing
 

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I grew up on the Chesapeake in Norfolk. The beach was my backyard. Most of my young life was spent in or on the water fishing, surfing and skiing. And although I had sailed on sunfish which was boring to me, I got an opportunity to go sailing on a hobiecat one day and was hooked.

Over the years I got away from the water and sailing until about 1996 when I was offered a chance to race on a Nacre 5.0. We flew a hull for 3 hours in 20-30 kt winds and needless to say I was hooked again at 40 years old.

I liked racing and got involved with larger mono hulls (25' to 40') racing on three boats for a few years which helped me improve my sailing skills tremendously. The problem I had was that I really liked sailing and being on the water and the only time racers wanted to sail was on the night of the race.

So in 2002 I bought my first sailboat which was a wreck and began refitting it which brought me to sailnet where I acquired valuable information on the various processes I needed to learn. Since then I have crewed on boats in Florida, the Bahamas and the Virgins and made some long passages.

Now I am looking for my last boat to shove off for a long journey when I retire. It's funny how things can go full circle.
 

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AEOLUS II
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I was about to choose between sailing and golf.

My wifes family owned a boat back in the day, I always wanted to sail, and sailing we can do together.

I haven't regretted it.... yet!!

Oh, maybe that one time we ran aground or when the tanker strayed out of the channel, or that other time...
 

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Telstar 28
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Boy Scout Camp when I was about 10... got hooked on Sunfish and Sailfish there...and been sailing ever since.
 

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Aura Columbia 30
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Total Newbie - For my sons

I am the super newbie here. I have NEVER been around boats, let alone sailboats, and I have absolutely NO BACKGROUND on the water. Further, I used to be in the Army and made FUN of the Navy... until last year...

After leaving the military in 2000 I went to policing. While training a new recruit in 2007 he introduced me to his 32' Douglas... we went out with our families to celebrate his final passing to full duties on the force. I was reluctant but said okay...

As I grew up we were a camping family - I always went back to school with stories of touring the Canadian East Coast. It broke my heart two years ago when my then eight year old returned from school in September of the new school year saying that he had nothing to tell his friends about his summer...

So back to the Douglas 32... my wife claims that it was about 15 minutes until I was hooked, I think it was more like 5. The very second the engine was shut off and I heard that thump of the sails filling... I was in love (again, wife was first one... have to say that!).

Over the next year I read and researched. In the end we found OUR boat... a 30' Aura Columbia named 'Boondoggle'. The retired owners sold us a family turn key boat with all the bells and whistles that will take us wherever we want.

My boys, now two of them, will not go back to school without a bucket full of stories ever again... we hit the water here in about 2 months... mom & dad have a huge amount of learning but its for my family so bring it on.

Al
 

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WS,
I was about to choose between sailing and golf.
Be glad you picked sailing. I gave up Golf for sailing because of the frustration. Never was very good at it.

Sailing is much more relaxing.
 

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I get to blame my husband for the sailing bug. We were going to college at Clemson and he decided to take a sailing class. Before I knew it we were members of the sailing club and learning the basics on C15s and 420s. Since then we've owned a hobie 16 and an Islander 36 and are planning to move up to a 40'+ catamaran to live on a cruise.
 

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I'd have to give my ex-brother-in-law credit for getting me into sailing, albeit unwittingly. He had just finished his master's degree in Athens, GA and went out and bought a sailboat to live on in Charleston, SC. I didn't even know people did that... He sent us pictures of the boat (a Downeast 38), describing in glowing terms the hour-glass transom, how she sailed, etc. The interior shots really got my attention. Yes, I'm a sucker for teak... I had never seen the inside of a sailboat - at least that I had paid attention to. Having been a camper most of my life, I saw it as an "old fashioned, romantic" way to get out in the natural world. When I took my first ASA course, I immediately fell in love with the "art" of sailing, and that unmistakable sound and feeling that occurs as the engine is turned off and the sails fill with wind...
 

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As a kid in Ft. Lauderdale at Pine Crest summer camp we would sail dinghys next to Las Olas Bridge where they now have the transient moorings. My wife and I moved aboard in our twenties and are now in our sixties. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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1975 Newport 28
1986 Hunter 31
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My family is from Wheeling, WV, USA, which is on the banks of the Ohio River -- a "big muddy" that's a tributary of the Mississippi River.

My Dad and his brother-in-law (my mom's sister's husband) bought a Sea Snark, a 10' hard styrofoam boat (larger than today's Snarks, more like a dinghy made from a big beer cooler), and we sailed it on the Ohio River just south of McMechen, WV.

Not much room for maneuvering, but at least I could learn the basics.
 

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1975 Newport 28
1986 Hunter 31
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602 Posts
As a kid in Ft. Lauderdale at Pine Crest summer camp we would sail dinghys next to Las Olas Bridge where they now have the transient moorings. My wife and I moved aboard in our twenties and are now in our sixties. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
I know the Las Olas area well, as I keep managing to get my company to send me for training in the Fort Lauderdale area in Februrary (I'm in DC). Many jealousies for being able to liveaboard down there. I'll look for Aythya next time I'm down!
 

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Grew up on Mt. Hope Bay

I grew up at the head of Mt. Hope Bay Mass. across the street from a yacht club. I was around all kinds of boats but we only owned a rowing dingy. I've had the boating bug all my life. My Dad was in the Coast Guard and I joined the Navy. My wife and I have been busy raising 5 kids and helping with grand kids and only now, after 33 years, have spare money to throw at a boat. We took lessons on Lido 14's last fall and had a blast. Now I have a Balboa 24 in my yard that I just hauled home. We've yet to sail in an actual keel boat. Tomorrow we are going along for the Blessing of the Fleet Parade on someone elses boat.
 

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Grew up in southcentral Michigan, sailed a sunfish a few times on local lakes as a kid. Time passed, got a job, got a wife, had a son, time passed some more. Always wanted a powerboat but given the short boating season in Michigan and the fact that I worked in professional motorsports (working most summer weekends) I could never justify buying a boat to sit on a trailer. Much more time passes and an old friend invited my wife and me to sail with he and his on the Chesapeake. They had a Sabre 30 and I'll tell you I was hooked all over again. Never before had I experienced the sails filling and the engine cut, just the wind and the water, what a magical moment. I was hooked and so was my wife. We searched for our own boat for over two-years. What a beauty we finally found and how lucky I am that my love shares my passion for sailing.

How did I get into sailing? Just lucky I think!
 
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