Sarah has always loved boats. When we first met I was actually afraid of being above water, I think this is a fear I inherited from my mum, which is funny because she was an excellent swimmer – she swam for Kent when she was young. however, she would never go on a pier or pontoon, or walk over bridges, she always drove on the left side middle lane of the Dartford bridge, so that she (being on the right side of the car) was as close as physically possible to the middle of the 4 lanes and therefore didn’t have to see the water, in fact I’m pretty sure, as a kid I remember her actually closing her eyes while crossing. I think I took this on more out of habit than anything else, but when I met Sarah, and she was actually staying on her boat at the time after a relationship breakdown and leaving her family home, I decided it was time to get over it.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that easy! At first I panicked just walking on a pontoon, the wobbly-ness freaked me out, and the first time I stayed on the boat I panicked every time it moved. However, I soon realised, if I was going to love Sarah, I would have to learn to love her boat, and I did.
Of course, I played down my fear to her, couldn’t have her thinking I was a big wimp now, could I?! so eventually I agreed to go out for our first sail together – aboard Lyrebird (a Colvic Sailor)
I actually quite enjoyed it, it was just a little tootle on Loch Ness for a few hours, in very calm weather, but for a first trip I’d say I managed not to panic too much, and she was very kind to me, trying to keep the boat as level as she could with no sudden movements. Although at one point she decided to put the sails up and we healed over quite a bit, resulting in the microwave flying across the cabin.
After that we took a bit of a break from sailing as she decided to sell her beloved boat in order to fund other things, so for the next 5 years she had to live without a boat.
However, as soon as we were settled in our own home and with a little money in the bank, a new boat was on the top of her shopping list! Since then there has been no stopping her, she has bought and sold more boats than I can count in that time, some of which, she would claim, were mine, Oyster Catcher, for example, she purchased 5 months after my birthday, without telling me, and then announced it was a late birthday present! Lol. I like to pretend it annoys me, but actually I don’t mind, I love that she is so passionate about something!
Over the last 5 years I have left most of the sailing and boat work up to her, I have enjoyed spending time with her on the boat, and helped out here and there (I’m no stranger to anti-fouling, painting hulls, removing decking paint etc) but it wasn’t until recently I have felt inclined, or had the time, to really get involved. This inclination was initiated by our plans to live aboard our boat in 2020, but I have to say, now I am really enjoying it and that just adds to my excitement about leaving our lives behind and living onboard a yacht full time.