“When the war is over and if I return,” said General Patton. This was his boat! An immaculately-restored 1939 John Alden Schooner, with her very own Captain Seth giving us a tour and telling us his story and plans to sail When and If around the world. They recently sailed When and If to Cuba (the video up on their website from this sail is stunning) and they are planning to sail her up to Boston for the Sail Boston tall ship show. Thanks again Seth for the tour and awesome sunset sail on your beautiful boat. Check out When and If’s sailing schedule and amazing videos at www.sailwhenandif.com. Hope you all enjoy the tour!
“I figured that was the best reason to do it. Because I was afraid to.”
This was something a very good friend of mine told me years ago. (Sonnie, if you’re reading this, thank you!) She was talking, at first, about starting triathlon training because she was afraid to swim long distances, but she found the principle so inspiring she applied it to many other “obstacles” in her life—becoming a single parent, moving to another state, starting a new job—and she succeeded in all of them. The theory always stuck with me. So simple. So true. If you’re avoiding doing something you want to do because you are afraid, that is the very best reason to do it. Conquer your fears!
That’s what I am doing this summer. As many of you may have seen in the announcement at the end of my most recent YouTube video, I will be joining in the Pensacola a la Habana race this April with SailLibra in order to get more days on the water for a goal I have set for myself this summer. While the big goal is to get my Captain’s License, the bigger accomplishment I seek to achieve is to get over one very big fear I have had for a while. One I have had for too long. It frustrates me, frightens me and makes me want to do just as Sonnie said: Do it because I’m sick of being afraid of it.
What am I afraid of?
Steering the boat. Not so much when we’re out there in the big blue. (There are many, hundreds, of reasons why I love offshore sailing, but one is … there’s not many things to run into out there.) And not so much when we’re on a steady tack and just holding a heading. But I am terrified of steering our boat in and out of the dock, through tight channels and around shoals and other obstacles. I have a huge fear of crashing her into pilings, other boats, rocky bottoms, big concrete sea walls. I’m seeing this all in my mind as I write this, just as I always do when I think about docking our boat. And, that’s awful! I want to travel the world by sailboat. I want to go cruising! While it’s great that Phillip is an excellent helmsman and I’m a pretty kick-ass First Mate, I shouldn’t let that fear get the best of me. Something could happen to Phillip. He could fall overboard. Become incapacitated. Or heck, maybe I will want or need to single-hand at some point. Just to give him a break or because, whatever, life happens. Some of my very best friends are single-handed female sailors because their husbands passed away immediately and unexpectedly and they inspire me to no end because they still get their boats out and go. (Bridgette, Pam, I am so proud of you!) All of that to say, you never know what the future holds and there is no excuse for living in fear. This is the year I conquer my fears.
So, this summer Video Annie is going to sea school! We’re focusing on education, training and, most importantly, sticking Annie behind the wheel. Even when she’s scared. Even when the boat is nearing the bock. Even when it’s a difficult situation and she wants to throw her hands up and have someone else take the wheel. Captains Randy and Ryan with SailLibra have been gracious enough to offer me time on their day charter boats (an Irwin 37 and Beneteau 35) while our Niagara is still down in the Keys. Phillip and I are planning to bring her home in April and I’ll plan to take the helm the majority of that trip and our many trips this summer. I am docking our boat dangit! And then I’m de-docking it (Annie term) and docking it again. I’m sick of getting this nervous knot in my stomach every time I take the wheel. I want to look like this behind the wheel. All kicked back and confident.
“Yeah buddy!” my Dad would say.
While the helm work is the pinnacle for me, Phillip and I also want to increase our training and education. We have signed up for an STCW class (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) in April and I will also begin Captain’s School in May. After counting my days on the water (I can’t believe I have racked up so many in just over three years!), I only need a few dozen more to be able to apply for my license so I will be gathering Sea Service Forms and all of the other elements necessary to apply. While I am excited and will be so proud to obtain my Captain’s License, it is all part of a bigger goal to become a more educated, knowledgable and a confident sailor. I will be way more proud when I pull our beautiful Niagara into the slip and dock her all by myself. Then de-dock and dock her ten more times in a row not because of luck but because I know how and can do it in all kinds of conditions, comfortably and confidently. That is a day I will be incredibly proud.
So, my time has come. I’m going to push myself and bring guys along for the ride. Watch, learn and grow with us.
Mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio, walk the historic Cathedral Square, tour Hemingway’s house, Finca Viega, dance at the Floradita and see inside the Casa Particular we rented for $40 CUCs/night. We take you all through Havana in this video with some very exciting news at the end. I’m also going to sail to Cuba again very soon in the Pensacola a la Habana race on SailLibra and you can come too! Book at www.saillibra.com/join-a-sail/! My need for more training and days on the water is all part of some very big news we have coming soon at HaveWindWillTravel. I can’t wait to see the guesses come in as to what I’m going to try to accomplish this summer. Let me have it!
Hello crew! Some very exciting updates for you all here from our previous three Gift of Cruising winners. Winner #1 has bought a boat! And you’ll get to the see the make and model and learn why they chose the boat they did. Winner #2 is getting ready for another round of ASA training. Winner #3 is preparing to set sail on an offshore Andy Schell voyage. WHOA. And Winner #4 could be YOU on an offshore passage of your own on s/v Libra. I hope you find these stories as inspiring and uplifting as we do. It’s amazing to see real people, just like you and just like us really going for it. Join the cause! Get inspired and get on board by becoming a Patron and helping us create cruisers out of you at www.patreon.com/havewindwilltravel. Thanks to all my Patrons who have made these gifts and stories possible.
Ahoy crew! A real treat for you here. An interview with our very own Captain Yannick from our Atlantic-crossing on a 46′ catamaran in June of 2016. After all of the photos, stories, blog posts, even a two-hour movie that I have produced talking about our ocean-crossing, Yannick said he needed to “set the record straight.” Ha! He was really happy to do this interview, though, as it was an incredible adventure, such a learning process and an eye-opening experience, it’s definitely worth talking about. Yannick is also a very interesting, multifaceted guy with a lot of great insight and perspective and he shares a lot in this discussion about his boat-shopping process, recovering from the lightning strike and his thoughts and preparation for an ocean-crossing. Thank Jeffrey Wetting with Shooting the Breeze Podcast for putting this together by leaving him a review on iTunes. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Many thanks to Yannick again for letting Phillip and I and the infamous Johnny Walker join him for a life-changing, challenging, fulfilling voyage across the ocean. It brought back many memories hearing his French accent talking about our trip. We miss you Yannick!