Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caught by the Lure of the Sea

This picture was taken in Negril, Jamaica at sunset.  We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon in the beginning of November, 2006.  The week we spent there had a profound and lasting impact on our lives.

It was during this week that we first tried our hand at sailing.  The resort we stayed at had a fleet of 14' Hobie Cat Waves that the guests could use.  No sailing experience?  No problem mon!  A watersports instructor there named Wade took us out for our first ever time on a sailboat.  After about fifteen minutes he had us drop him off at the beach, as he shoved us off again he shouted "Just don't go to Cuba!", and we were off.

After a little while of zipping to and fro in front of the resort we were feeling pretty bold and decided to venture a bit further from shore.  Once we had gotten good and far out there, the wind slowly petered off and we were becalmed.  So we sat, and waited.  Trisha started to get anxious, worried that if we had to swim back we might be eaten by sharks!  Eventually some of the watersports guys came by in their power boat.

"No wind, huh?"
"Nope", we replied.
"Just wait a bit", and they zoomed off.

Well, the wind didn't return that day and we got towed to shore for the first time, and certainly not the last time.  First day of sailing, first rescue at sea.  We were hooked.

For the rest of the week we took a hobie cat out and had a great time.  Our final "cruise" was to a little cay off of a point of land miles down from the resort.  Sailing through those clear Caribbean waters was like nothing we had experienced before.

When we got back home to NY, Bill immediately went out and bought "Sailing for Dummies" and read it cover to cover a few times.  We didn't get back out sailing the next summer, but in the fall of 2007 we bought our own sailboat.  It is a late 70s O'day Daysailer.  It is 17' long and sloop rigged.  After a scary attempt at launching and sailing our own boat that fall, we decided to take lessons the following spring.

This is a picture of "Float On", our O'day Daysailer.  We've had a lot of fun, a bit of frustration, and some moments of sheer terror with our little boat in the last couple of years.  We have primarily sailed on Saratoga Lake in upstate NY, where we eventually joined a sailing club.

We always think back fondly to our week in Jamaica.  More than any other time we've ever experienced it has changed our course in life.  From the warm salt air, the friendly people, palm trees, and sunsets...just everything about it becons us to escape this cold state we are currently in and return to "island time".

One last picture of us in front of our Hobie Cat on the beach in Jamaica.

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