Its true.. I bought a boat in Cuba.. and yes it was one hell of an adventure!
Before getting into that story, I feel that I owe some back story. You may be wondering how I, a born and raised Edmontonian would ever come up with the idea to live on a sailboat and potentially sail around the world.
I must confess that the answer is cliché and a little embarrassing. I was first introduced to the idea in High school while watching an old nighttime drama called Dawson’s Creek. In the show, a character named Pacey lived on a sailboat at a marina. I remember thinking to myself “Do people really live on boats”! Of course these were the days before the Internet, so I couldn’t just hop online and check it out. Instead I went about wondering if it was so for a few more years. (bonus points for the first comment to name his boat, NO GOOGLE)
Then in 1999 a friend and I decided to head to Cancun, Mexico to ring in the new Millennium. We hatched the plan (well Bob actually hatched the pan) on December 23rd, and booked a flight out for December 26th. On December 24th my friend got a call from a third friend that was moving back to Edmonton after sailing a boat down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Of course my friend mentioned that we were headed to Mexico to ring in the new millennium. It turned out the sail boat friend wasn’t ready to come home and Inquired if we would mind him joining us. Of course having a third person helped offset the cost of the hotel so we readily agreed. I spent the next 2 weeks peppering this friend with questions about the lifestyle. At the end of those 2 weeks, the seed was thoroughly planted and I knew I HAD to do it someday.
The final nurturing to the seed came from a web blog I stumbled across while looking for sailing material. www.bumfuzzle.com was written by a young couple, Pat and Ali Schulte. They had been quite successful early in life, but decided to trade it all and sail around the world. The catch, neither had ever sailed before buying their boat. I came across their blog very early on and remember thinking “Damn I’m gonna read about these 2 drowning”. It was that aspect that continually drove me to their blog daily, hoping for new posts. I followed their blog religiously while they worked their way around the world. In the end, their blog was my #1 source of true information for living on a cruising sail boat. It helped me shape my plan better than any other material I had read.
Although my plan has changed dozens of times and abandoned at one point, I never lost the desire to “Get out there”!
Before you ask, no I did not know how to sail before we began this. I bought a small sailboat and learned the basics on lake Wabamun before purchasing Party of Five (and crossing an ocean with a crew that had never sail either)! Not the easiest or smartest way to learn how to sail, but anyone who knows me, knows I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Stay tuned for the next chapter where I will answer the number 1 question we are asked. What does it cost? Spoiler – We didn’t win the lottery!