SimplySailingOnline.com shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.
You don't have to cross oceans to enjoy sailing, and you don't have to sail around the world to have grand adventures. Or as my husband, Dave, puts it, "I can scare the crap out of myself in an 8-foot dinghy in 4 feet of water, 100 feet from shore."
Somewhere in the world of sailing, the joy of small boats has been neglected. To be a "real" sailor anymore, it seems you need a bigger boat than you can handle, more gadgets than you need, and an itinerary that leaves no room for spontaneity or fun.
When we set off on our lifestyle as vagabond sailors, we sailed a 34-foot Creekmore. With her full keel, powerful rig, and solid hull, she is a go-anywhere boat. And go we did. After over a decade of blue water sailing and wandering between islands, we sailed back to Florida. We dropped off the youngest son on his Mother continent, scanned the horizon, and thought, "Now what?" That's when Walkure found us.
We weren't really looking for a different boat, just a different adventure. But when we saw Walkure for sale in the local boatyard, we realized that she was exactly what we needed. Our new adventure would be defined by the latest addition to our fleet. When we bought Walkure, we were really buying into a new kind of sailing dream.
An AS-29 Bolger sharpie, Walkure is not what one thinks of as a cruising boat, but that depends on what type of cruising you want to do. I understand the lure of clear water, secluded beaches, and palm trees. But after a while, even paradise starts to show its faults. Now that we were back in the country, what we dreamed of was shallow water gunkholing: the kind of anchorages we have always had to sail by because of Eurisko's five and a half foot draft. Walkure draws 13 inches, and with masts that we can step ourselves in minutes, she can fit under any bridge higher than 8 feet. Suddenly, the parts of the East Coast we had missed started to sound exciting. We looked at charts with a new eye. Every few minutes Dave would say, "We can go here. And here." Florida Bay, the Dismal Swamp, North Carolina's Outerbanks, and the Delmarva Peninsula are all available for us to explore like we never could before.
But I've noticed a change in how people talk to us and look at us, now that we are in Walkure. We aren't seen as "real" sailors anymore. "Well, you certainly can't cross oceans in that thing." Maybe not. But we can go to deserted islands, up small creeks to towns that haven't been inundated by cruisers, and we can put her on a trailer and sail most any lake in the country. Somehow, that doesn't earn us the respect that our blue water Eurisko used to. But we're OK with that. We know that for what we want to do, Walkure is perfect. To us, having the right boat for the job is more important than being "real" sailors. And we now realize that being in too big of a hurry to sail away means you might sailing right past a different kind of paradise.Previously published in Good Old Boat Magazine, back when we still had Walkure. She is currently the right boat for someone else's dream.
Simply solutions are the best. MONDAY we'll share our latch for the head door.
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