CALENDAR May 22 — Water Safety Day at Treasure Island SC, 11 a.m.4 p.m. First 100 visitors win a PFD! Info, www.tisailing.org. May 22-23 — Corinthian YC presents its annual Women's Sailing Seminar. Info, www.cyc.org. May 22-28 — Safe Boating Week. In 2009, 84% of California drowning victims were not wearing a PFD. Wear it! May 23, 1701 — Convicted pirate Capt. William Kidd was executed by hanging in England. May 26 — Baja Ha-Ha & Pacific Puddle Jump seminar by Andy Turpin at Ullman Sails Newport Beach in Santa Ana, 6:30 p.m. Info, www.ullmansailsnewportbeach.com or call (714) 432-1860. May 27 — Howl at the full moon on a Thursday night. May 27 — Trailering Your Boat by USPS at San Carlos West Marine, 6-7 p.m. $35. Reservations, (650) 593-2070. May 31 — Take a cruise over the Memorial Day weekend. May, 1980 — It Was Thirty Years Ago from the article 'Play For More' by Dotty Haynes: Churchill said it best: "Play for more than you can afford to lose and you will learn the game." We did, Gene, me and Whither Thou. We won our gamble and are learning the game. Whither Thou is our proud golden Nor'West 33 sloop — hull #1 — designed by Chuck Burns in '76, and built in '77. We came, saw and christened her in '78, and damn near sank her in '79, but it takes more than a pooping by a rogue wave to stop this stalwart boat. She bobbed right back up, shook herself off and seemed to growl, "Okay, you turkeys, now what?" Her hatch cover was lost in the black night, her batteries deluged and her boom was bent. Gene sported an extra bump or two, and I came close to buying the farm, but our first offshore passage has still been gleefully stamped 'We did it!' Yes, the three of us are learning the game. Even before we found Whither Thou, we itched to turn the sailing we both loved into our full-time lifestyle. No matter that Gene's experience was barely three years at the start of the '78 Solo TransPac — when his first boat broke, and he had to turn back. No matter that this first mate was 47 before setting foot on a sailboat, was a two-pack-a-day smoker, and a workaholic who was scared of water, didn't know how to swim, had claustrophobia and was scared of heights. No matter that we were starting the second half of life, each with grown children and grandchildren. No matter that Gene had contributed his engineering and design skills to the same electronics firm for 25 years, or that I'd been his travel agent for 12 of those years. All that had been just dandy . . . once. But priorities change, and now, after finding each other and our beautiful Whither Thou, each work day doing jobs we'd once loved had become a 9-to-5 frustration. The important times were when we were together, the three of us. We became liveaboards two months after Whither Thou was christened. Now living in two worlds, the weekends flew past, and Monday through Friday became impossible with the frustration of mounting gas prices, choking commuter traffic, and a longing to be on the boat full-time. Both of us had given — so gladly! — half our lives to family, jobs and myriad responsibilities to others, but those days were over. We were in a new today and, damn it, we wanted our tomorrows while we were still young and agile enough to absorb and enjoy! But could we afford it? Could we break those ties? Where to start? We already had by buying Whither Thou. Chuck Burns' full-keel cruising boat loves to run, can out-point anything on the water, and has held her own against the best of 'em in a race, but still had been our comfortable home for over six months. He designed her as such, Nor'West built her as such, and she yearned to sail any waters, anywhere. So by Page 10 •
• May, 2010
The May 2010 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.