OUR BOATING HISTORY
|Growing up, each of us were frequent guests aboard boats
owned by family or friends but were not serious boaters. We met and
married in the early 60's and in the late 60's George began racing Hobie
Cats on a close friends boat in lakes in Wyoming and Colorado and on three
different occasions went to Mexico for the Winter Nationals. He fell in
love with sailing. There is something magical our moving on the water with
only the power supplied by nature. Still we didn't own our own boat.
In the mid 70's George decided to build a plywood catamaran with plans from a magazine. According to the write up, it was a boat you could build in a couple of weekends or about 40 hours. After about three times that many hours, he had the hulls and deck completed but without rigging or paint. Then we were transferred to Singapore for what was supposed to be a one year assignment and the boat was stored behind a friends house. The foreign assignment ended up lasting seven years and by then the boat had become firewood. That island stay did, however really ignite boat fever in both of us.
We became SCUBA divers and dived from boats. George continued to crew on racing yachts, and we sailed with friends most weekends we weren't diving.
Returning from Asia we were landed in Northern Illinois where we canoed the Sugar River. Our time there lasted only three years before we were transferred back near the ocean in San Diego, CA. We became boat owners quickly with a Skipjack 24' fly bridge sport fisher we named Snorkel. She was intended to be our dive boat and she did serve us well in that capacity. We also found her to be a haven after a hard day. We both had stressful jobs and often one of us would call the other and tell them change clothes and meet at the boat. We were docked in Oceanside Harbor only about 15 minutes from our house. We would cast off the lines and in five more minutes we were out of the harbor and in the wide open Pacific. Getting a couple of miles out, we cut the engine and drifted. Sharing a bottle of wine, we enjoyed the sunset and then worked our way back to our slip. The remainder of the evening would include dinner at one of the three restaurants there and a session of pub crawling. What a great way to blow off the stress, and the next morning it was like we had been on vacation.
We made frequent crossings to Catalina, 47 miles from the harbor. We could leave on a Friday night, get two dives in on Saturday, have a little fun in Avalon, dive on Sunday morning and be home before dinner. Sometimes we took the Snorkel to Catalina for a week at a time on vacations.
Lynn is the fisherman in our family and many weekends we would buy some mackerel for bait and go shark fishing. If you haven't tried mako shark, it is (in my opinion) better than sword fish.
We sold the Snorkel in 1993 and it about broke our heart. They say the two happiest days in a boaters life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it. Well we have never been happy parting with a boat.
After California we landed on a small lake in Kentucky. Boats were limited to 16' and 10 hp. Our was a 16' pontoon boat name Mola Mola and we loved it. We did fish from it, but mostly we would idle around looking at wild life or anchor and use it as a swim raft. This was a special period in our life as several of our grandchildren spent much of the summers with us. The pontoon boat was perfect for taking them out. We also had a canoe, a paddle boat, and a 12' Hobie sailing dinghy. We were on the water most of our free time.
George retired in 2001 and we bought a 38' sailing catamaran. Christened Sunspot Baby after the Bob Segar song she was a wonderful boat or our purposes. We sailed her from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Oriental NC where we planned to move when we sold the Kentucky house. We made many trips getting her ready to do some serious sailing. George hoped to do a circum navigation. Lynn agreed but felt we should do some less stressful cruising before casting of for the big on.
In December 2003 we sold the Kentucky house and in January 2004 we closed on a house in Fairfield Harbour, NC. Three weeks after closing, we were on the boat headed for the Bahamas. over the course of the next nine years we made seven extended cruises to the Bahamas. We found that six months on the boat and six in the house was perfect for the rhythm of our life. Toward the end, sailing was becoming more work than fun and we decided to go over to the dark side (a power boat, gasp).
Now we have a 1999 30' Mainship Pilot 30 also named Sunspot Baby and at this stage in our life, it is hard a more perfect boat for our needs.