adventure, adventure travel, debt free, falmouth cutter 22, freedom, Hotel echo lima lima oscar :), independent travel, living aboard, minimalist, photography, sailing, sailing blog, sailing community, sailing the San Juans, salish sea, San juan Sailing
There aren’t many things I can say in this world with absolute certainty but one thing I can say for sure is I met-em in the boatyard. 5 years ago on my way to Alaska I stopped in a strange town for a 5 minute looksy at a boat I didn’t want, 10 minutes later I purchased said boat and became a resident of Bellingham WA, a town I had never heard of before that day.
Virtually every single friend I have in this state I have met either in the boatyard or through boating in some way including this Journal. What can I say, birds of a feather flock together. When it comes to boating I’m not just social, I’m so hyper enthusiastic that I can’t go anywhere without running into people I met in this anchorage or that marina. Every time I see a beautiful boat I virtually go on the attack with complements, self invitations and offerings of wine tasting on Sookie.
Way back when, before I had a boat of my own I would prowl the boatyards begging to offer free labor. Every time I have come a cross a beached boat “this happens more often than you would think” I walk, wade or swim out offering assistance. When I spot a newbie trying to kill their new boat docking in the marina or anchoring in an anchorage I gently approach and offer; I know you don’t need my help but I can show you an easy trick. This always leads to fun lessons and a new friend.
I’m not rich but I always have food and drink to share, my ukulele is never far off and even though I’m not a racer challanges fly as freely as the wine. The sailing community isn’t an exclusive one but it is an inclusive one. As a reluctant solo sailor the one thing I never once have been is lonely, everywhere I go smiles abound. Invitations are more common among sailors than sea stories. In the last year alone I have run into at least a dozen people I know of but have never met, or know good friends of theirs but never knew it till I met them.
Spring has finally arrived in the boatyard and my merry band of new sailing friends are already planning the rest of my summer for me. If you have the wherewithal I highly suggest you try this lifestyle. If you don’t grab a paintbrush, a six pack of beer and head to your local marina or boatyard we are waiting for you.
Should you come across little Sookie this summer drifting about the Salish Sea please stop by for an almost cold beer and man tacos, my signature dish.
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethes