Ever since college, it has always been my dream to live on a sailboat and go sailing around the islands of the Caribbean. I was planning on working on commercial ships for a few months a year and sailing on my own for the rest. Well, as life often goes, events happened, plans got altered and eight years after getting out of college I was nowhere closer to that dream than I was when I was in school. I therefore made a decision to set in place a goal to be where I wanted to be, on a boat in the islands. It was also at this time that I met Ashley. We met when a friend asked if she could come sailing with us, something she had never even thought of trying before. It was then that she found her love of sailing and we found the start of our lives together. At the time, I had a great little lake boat, a Helms 24. It was a fantastic weekend boat. Comfortable and fun to sail, but by no means an offshore boat. I told Ashley of my plans and she hopped right on board with them and our search started for the perfect boat. And we never looked back
One of our first times out sailing together! She was a natural.
Anyone that knows me or any of my immediate family knows and often makes fun of the extent we plan and research everything we do. For 6 months I spent hours and hours reading blogs and boat listings about cruising sailboats looking for the perfect boat. Then a friend of mine told me about Hans Christians. I had never heard of them before, but I checked them out. The second I hit "Enter" on that Google search set in motion my long delayed plans. I fell in love with these boats immediately. From the double end design, the classic lines and the Old Ship feel from the beautiful teak joinery down below. I knew we needed one of these boats. Unfortunately, they are hard to find and quite expensive.
I was sure we needed a 38 to fit our needs and in fact looked at one. There was a 33T for sale not too far from us, but really, a 33 ft boat?? That surely is too small! While on a camping trip down in Edisto, SC, we decided last minute to call up the broker and ask if we could look at the 33 anyways, just to see what it looked like. So we met the broker and went to look at the boat. Now up to this point we had looked at many, many boats. Most were all very nice, but we just didn't think they felt right for us. When we stepped aboard "Wild Swan" that day, we looked at each other and knew right there that this boat would soon become our home. Four months later, "Wild Swan" was loaded up on a truck and probably for the first time ever, moved from salt water to fresh water to our home on Lake Murray, in SC. Our plan was for the next two years, refit her for comfortable cruising and meanwhile, clearing out the house to prepare to move out.
New Boat Owners! Just after signing the papers.
Loaded up to head to her new home on Lake Murray
Now we are two years in, our house is almost empty, the boat has undergone a major refit that is still ongoing and we are starting our lives living on a boat. Our plan is a four year plan. We hope to have her back in the Salt in a year and by 2016, be on our way to wherever the wind blows. Hopefully, this blog will help document our experience and so we can share with family, friends and anyone else who might have similar aspirations. We still have some catching up to do with the blog, so for a while, things might be out of order, like this post!
Home in her new slip for the next two years. Let the Refit Begin!
I have learned that sometimes, the best things in life take time and you must have patience. Though I wanted to start this dream after college, I see now that I'm better off. We have a boat we love, a steady foundation to start off from and we found each other along the way. I am excited to see where this takes us.