(This was drafted late in 1999. The next few pages were written later.)
The Dream is, quite simply, to sail around the world in
a small, cruising sailboat. Just Jane and me.
When we were stationed on Guam, I did
a lot of sailing and just fell in love with it. Now I want to just get away from all
this hustle and bustle and drink sun-downers on the deck of a (my) boat with its hook
firmly embedded in the white sands off the shore of a tropical island.
Nothing too strange about that,
right? Well, we might not actually make it around the world. For starters,
we'll just head down to the Caribbean Islands and see what there is to see. Jane has
said "yes" to that much of the dream. We'll see how it goes from there.
As with most armchair sailors, I have
a couple of obstacles to overcome.
One usually needs a bit cash in hand to do something
like this, and, for the most part, I have far too little.
But wait... Uncle Sam to the rescue! I have a
pension! It's not much, but for over 20 years of military service and for fighting a
war in Vietnam, good old Uncle Sam is giving me a few bucks a month.
Now, all I have to do is get my expenses down to the
level of my pension.... The only way to do that is to not have a house payment. But Jane,
prudently, wants to have a house to come home to in case 1) the boat sinks, or 2) we find
we really don't like cruising around tropical islands. Let's see: "no house
payment," and "have a house." There's only one way for that to happen: pay
off the house loan.
Now, at the current burn-rate we can have the house
paid-off in about 4 years. After that, I won't need to work my butt off anymore.
I might, however, need to get a job like bartender or teaching or something to keep
a little extra cash coming in and my mind from departing.
Four years, that's about fall 2004 for a departure date.
Not too far off. I can do 4 years on my head.
So, if we pay off the house, then we'll be set for a
very long vacation. Provided I have cash saved up for the boat.
Ah, the boat...
Well, this might take a few years. Picking out a
boat is not a simple thing. First, there are so many types. Then there are so
many makes of each type. But I have my mind set on a few criteria:
1. Full Keel. I want something that will go where
I point it and not have the keel snap off if I hit a coral head.
2. Heavy. Cruisers are bought by the pound.
3. About 30 feet long. That's what Jane says she
needs to live on. I think that's a fine number. Lots of good boats in the
28-32 foot range.
4. Fiberglass construction. Minimal maintenance
for the hull.
That narrows it down to just a couple designs. I'm
looking seriously at the Westsail 32. A fine old boat. Full keel. 20,000 pounds.
And, most importantly, I might be able to afford one.
I expect to be getting the boat in
about 3 years. So come back in 2003 and see what I end up with.
In the mean time, there's so much I
have to learn. I've been studying Celestial Navigation. I've earned my Ham
Radio license. I'm looking forward to learning more about sailing...
I've also just purchased an old Laser
II. Not much more than an overgrown windsurfer, really. But it has a main, a
jib, and a spinnaker. All the sails of a real boat! Just the thing for Jane
and I to run around the lakes, rivers, and bays in and learn about sailing.