11-07-11 – Sailing in Galveston Bay

Got a chance to go sailing on Saturday. It was a dreary and sort of chilly day (well by Houston standards). The wind was blowing 15-18 knots, which was beautiful. There was a slight chop to the water though, so the yankee jib wasn’t enough to keep her stable. So we threw up the mainsail and she hauled along at about 6.5-7 knots on a close reach. We heeled about 23% and went flying!

The photo above shows just how much we were heeling (notice the sea line, that’s where level is). I had gone down below to open a bottle of wine for quests, and I think I should be awarded a medal for being able to do it down below when heeling so much!

Regardless, it was a beautiful day for sailing. The most boring days sailing are those sunny days with no wind. This definitely wasn’t one of those day!

09-07-11 – Possible Sailboats in OUR future?

Monday was a holiday for everyone here in the US. So, Lesleh and I after attempting to go camping on Saturday at Galveston Island during 30mph sand gusts, decided to take Sunday to rest. On Monday, I got the urge to go out and look at boats at the marina across the lake from us. I wanted to take photos and also, point and name parts for Lesleh.

When we got to the marina, we drove around and looked at some stuff, I wanted to show here the 58ft Ketch ‘Windsong‘ i deckhand on every so often, but she wasn’t in her slip. So, we continued on to the other side of the marina. This time we parked the car and walked around looking at some impressive 40 and 50 foot masthead sloops. As we stood gawking at them, a really friendly guy named ‘Mike’ came out and asked if we were looking at buying a slip. I nearly laughed and told him I wish we could, but don’t have a boat yet.

We began to chat, and it turns out Mike wasn’t a salesmen but was wondering if he’d have new neighbors, since his boat was right where we should gawking. It was a 42ft Hunter. I began to tell him about my dream of taking off for a few years and sailing around, which began an awesome conversation of his adventures over the last five years of doing that very thing.

Apparently him and his wife Dana, decided five years ago to sell everything they had, buy a boat and head for the Caribbean. Dana, meet up with Mike as we were talking, and they explained neither of them had ever owned a boat or had any sailing experience. They got the boat and then had others in the marina where it was docked show them out to sail. Mike said they had only been sailing 20 or so times before heading down the guld to Roatan, Honduras.

It was truly incredible stuff, and I couldn’t have paid a spokesman enough money to be as convincing as Mike and Dana about their experiences when they told Lesleh. As we got to the car after talking to them for about a half hour, I said to Lesleh “See, people really do this!” and this time she didn’t argue back!

So, I think we’re on our way to making this actually happen. We’ve gone over general budgets of what we can guess at we’ll need. Going over things like insurance, prescriptions, estimated yearly food costs, estimated fuel costs, harbor and marina fees, etc. Everything imaginable, and then working from those numbers to see how much we’ll need in the back to set sail. Now, we just need to accumulate the resources!

I’ll keep you all posted on the progress, but baby steps for now. Unless I win the Powerball tonight!

Other Sailing Related posts:
8-28-11 Dreaming of sailing away

Hey! If you’re into sailing, check out the suggested reading in the store. Click on the sailing section to get started!

8-28-11 Dreaming of sailing away

Bruce Roberts 36 - Spray Replica

Bruce Roberts 36 - Spray Replica

Many of you may not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a sailing enthusiast. Not so much ‘watching sailing races on TV and the web enthusiast’, but more of a ‘will go on any sailboat for any reason kind of enthusiast’. I didn’t grow up around water and we never had a sailboat. My exposure to sailboats was sort of random and built up slowly over the years.

My Aunt and Uncle have a house on Sebago Lake and they have a small Laser sailboat. Picture something a bit bigger than a rowboat with a sail, and that’s what a Laser pretty much is. We had gone up for a long weekend and my Uncle dragged it out of storage and let me have a go at it. I wasn’t a very good sailor, capsized a few times, but it set a spark in me. From then on, I’ve been planning and plotting on how I can get more sailing exposure and experience.

I started slow after that initial exposure. Buying and reading as many books as I could find. Trolling the net, looking at sailboats. Joining sailing and cruising forums, to read more about what it takes to own a boat. I even took a few sailing lessons. It has just continued to fuel my interest.

Recently, I contacted people in the area where I live (which happens to be one of the top five places in the US for sailboats) and I was invited on to a charter boat to help out as a deckhand. The boat is a 58ft ketch named ‘Windsong’ and I’ve been learning an awful lot about boats from the captain.

Now, I’m at the stage where I am working and trying to put as much money aside to eventually buy a boat. The only headwind (get it, sailing reference!) is my girlfriend, Lesleh. In June of this year, we went up to Baltimore and Annapolis for a wedding I was the bestman in. While up there, we met up with a friend of my Dad’s who has a 26ft Pearson.

Lesleh’s experience to boats is extremely limited. I think she had only been on a small fishing boat (think rowboat with an outboard motor) on a lake in Georgia as a child. So, she wanted to give it a shot and went with me to go on the 26ft Pearson. It happened to be a windy day, it’s a light boat, and the way it was sailed, the boat heeled nearly to the water. Like the side rails dragging in the water and everything. It terrified her, to say the least.

I now have this passion that I want to pursue full time and she is now terrified of boats. I’ve tried explaining to her that if we were to get a sailboat it would be much bigger and heavier then the Pearson. I’d also sail her (the boat, they’re all female) correctly. Meaning, keep the hull square in the water, limiting heeling as much as possible. I hope to continue to work on her to get her as excited and committed to sailing as I am.

Anyone else out there have a passion, an expensive passion, that would really be impossible to pursue without your significant being interested? How did you get them to inspired and enthused? Any of you ever been terrified of something until you were shown how to do it and changed your mind? Any tips and help would be much appreciated!

I’m thinking I need to get her on a much larger sailboat, to get her used to the idea. And then work with her, so she better understands the forces at work. It doesn’t help she also has a pretty big fear of water, especially water she can’t see the bottom in. So, I guess I just need to get her out and on the water as much as possible to get her used to everything.

My ultimate goal would be to get a 36 footer (like the one in the picture above) and take a few years off to sail and cruise around. Maybe doing the ‘Great Loop’ and then heading down toward South America. I think she’d love the travel and adventure part of it, I just need her convinced we can do it on a sailboat.

Continue reading about how this has developed: