Part of that is true. We did buy a boat. Several boats, but not all are staying. We are not heading out to sea (yet). And please, no kisses on the ass.
Serial hobbyist? Planning for the next stage of life? Pursuing a dream? A bit foolish?
It kind of started back in the RV days. We enjoyed getting out to different places and spending time with friends but really found that we always wanted to be right on the water. The RV phase ended with the ill-fated summer at Skycroft campground. By mid-summer we had purchased a cottage and had been kicked out of the campground (attempting to sell the RV on campground without permission). Around that time, one of the RV YouTube channels we watched, Gone with The Wynn’s had decided to convert from RV life to live-aboard cruiser catamaran life. Watching the Wynn’s was pretty much my thing, but once they hit the water, Mrs. Milddogs joined in. That started us on other channels like Delos and SLV and more. To the point where all we really watched was people living on and sailing boats in warm parts of the earth.
In 2017 we (at least I) celebrated 25 years of marriage. My MIL provided a generous gift which we put towards taking ASA sailing courses in Grenada with Nautilus Sailing in February 2018. We got our ASA 101, 103, 104, 114 certifications. We met a really fantastic couple that were our fellow students. Here is a great short YouTube video they put together.
Once we returned from the course, we picked up a small aluminum boat with a Yamaha 9.9 (currently for sale) so we could practice on our lake. Then we picked up a Hobie Bravo to practice sailing on the lake. The Bravo is a perfect boat for our needs. Easy to rig, forgiving, but still a ton of fun. As a motorcyclist, I’ve always enjoyed just puttering along and mild cornering more than flat out speed and being on the edge. On the Bravo, I work to get every bit of speed I can. How close can I get to the wind? How fast can I tack? Can I jibe while losing minimal speed? The feeling I get going 10.5 knots on a beam reach is far better than just riding a motorcycle. Of course, the trip to Alaska was not not a normal motorcycle ride.
By mid summer I had sold my Super Tenere (insert sobbing) and was full on obsessed with sailing the Hobie. I shot GoPro video and GPS tracked almost every sail. By the end of the summer I had sailed 254 Nm around our small lake. That is a lot of tacking and jibing. I could count them all, but I am not that obsessed. Here is a short video of me setting my maximum speed (aforementioned 10.5 knots or ~19 km/h).
While this was going on we were looking at ways to get back onto the blue water to get some more experience and enjoy some sailing together. We were pretty close to booking a bareboat charter in Grenada but we out that on hold for a number of reasons.
Next option considered was buying a well used boat in Florida and using it as our winter vacation home. Imagining trips over to the Bahamas and plenty of day sales. But that would mean we would have access to the boat for only a few weeks per winter.
The winning option was to purchase a well used boat on Lake Ontario and dock it in Kingston. That gives us access to the boat for about 5 months of the year. More boat time, more practice, a low entry price, but no escape in winter. And, competing summer activities with the house, cottage and boat. At the back of our minds is the notion that if we can handle the motions of a monohull, we could get far more boat for way less money when we search for our blue water boat.
We purchased a 1990 Catalina 30 in Oakville, Ontario in December, 2018. It is in amazing shape for its age. The previous owner, and those before him, clearly cared for this boat. We haven’t sailed it yet as it was on the hard (dry docked) when we purchased. I will be spending a few days in Oakville prior to launch to get the boat ready for the summer. Our launch date is April 25, 2019. On or about May 5, 2019 our first born and I will be sailing it back from Oakville to Kingston. It will be an adventure.
About those classmates we mentioned, they have purchased a 40 ft catamaran in the Bahamas. We are really happy for them and just a little bit / lot envious. That gives our instructor a 100% success rate for our course. Well done, Kevin!
Stay tuned for more. Nothing ever goes perfectly with boats, not sure how that matches up with my personality 🙂