“We can do this” Kevin said as he looked over at me a couple of days into that first BVI sailing experience in 2007. If I would have only known the gravity of that statement and where it would lead us ten plus years later-signing a contract on our first sailboat at the 2018 Miami Boat Show.
That first trip was a break from our land life. We were in our mid 30’s. Work, kids, rental property. We had worked ourselves silly. Our real estate company was only 3 years old, and much like having a fourth child. Our kids were pretty young back then, three of them between the ages of 5 and 12. And we had a handful of rental properties, and adding to the number each year. We needed a break from reality. One of us can sit still and read for hours and days. The other can sit still for minutes and possibly a few hours, on a good day. This was our first no kids vacation in years, and we wanted it to be perfect. After many hours of research, we decided to try out sailing. A captain and chef run sailing vessel out of the BVI. Promising to see a different island everyday. Providing 3 cooked meals. It was perfect. We could sit in the sun and read all day, or bounce around with a new set of things to do daily.
We grew up in landlocked Arkansas. We have more than our fair share of lakes, and our hometown, Fort Smith, is surrounded by the Arkansas River, so we were not new to being on the water. We had spent summers on our pontoon boat on Lake Ouachita rafted up to my brothers ski boat. Camping in our pop-up trailer, and on the water all day. Those were great years. But our kids were getting more involved in sports, and our long weekends on the water were few and far between. We missed it a lot.
Fast forward to 2007 and finally being able to afford a trip that didn’t involve cranking up a pop-up and hiking to the bathroom or wearing shower shoes. We were pretty excited. After arriving to Nanny Cay, and walking through the marina, waiting on our boarding time, we were already hooked. It was August. Hot and humid in Arkansas, and we were expecting nothing less in Tortola. But, when we stepped off that plane and walked down the tarmac and the ocean breeze met us, we were SOLD. There is just something about new beginnings and the beginning of this vacation, had already done its magic on us. We could feel the stress of everyday life rolling off our shoulders. Just strolling in the warm Caribbean sunset, was like we were newly weds again. It was sweet and loving and we were already reconnecting like we hadn’t in years.
Sometime during that 7 days out, Kevin decided that not only were we able to do this, WE WERE doing this. While I trusted him and wanted it, it would still take a little time for me to feel comfortable making a blue water boat our home. I just needed time and experience doing it all ourselves.
Nearly every day since that trip, has held a conversation to get us to where we are now.
And that is where our sailing story begins.