Born to Sail

my parents' sailboat ,Simpatica,  a 37 ft Elite Snowgoose  Catamaran that my parents obtained in 1994. Queen Size Bed Forward, 2 aft double cabins. 40 HP VOLVO MD2040 Diesel Engine with SONIC Silletto Steerable Drive Leg. 820 AH of Gel Cells with Separate Starting Battery, Solar Panels & Wind Generator. Glacier Bay 4 cu ft Refrigerator/4.5 cu ft Freezer System. 35 Imp Gal Primary Fuel, 90 Imp Gal Water, PUR Power Survivor - 35 Watermaker. Autohelm ST50 System with ST7000 Autopilot. 5200DX GPS Coupled to Autohelm and SI-TEX T150 Radar. Some of my first memories as a child were of constructing sailboats made of large sticks with the flat part of a pop-top can for a keel and rudder and part of a Styrofoam cup for a sail. I would find a ditch or mud puddle and sail my designs for hours. From there I graduated to a 12 inch plastic sailboat with cotton sails.

I sailed my imaginary yacht in my aunt and uncle' s pool. I taught myself about weather helm by tensioning the rubber band on the rudder. I would place my treasured sailboat at one side on the pool, read the wind on the water, and run over across the pool to where my sailboat would end up. When I turned 10 my parents bought me a 4 foot plastic rowboat. While my friends paddled their boats (like mine), I used an old golf umbrella from my father and sailed.

I paddled for an hour or more just to sail downwind for 10 wonderful minutes. What a geekette! At age 15 I bought my first sailboat with my own money... a used 15 foot Chrysler man o war. This was my own America's cup boat.

When I was sailing time stood still and it still does 10 years later, except for time waiting for a drawbridge opening. I went to a 22' day sailor that I would sail 100 miles a weekend. When I got tired of hitting my head in the 3 foot headroom of this boat, I bought a 26' New Horizon like my scoutmaster's boat. Her name was Moonflower. She was graceful and very forgiving.

I sometimes would leave on a Friday afternoon just for a day sail and not return for 2 days. It drove my parents fucking crazy, but they knew I had a great respect for the sea and that I would be fine. I later inherited my scoutmaster's sailboat. Like my father, he was a great sailor, but with infinite patience and a serene disposition. He was sailing an old 52' sailboat loaded with sea scouts in Pearl Harbour when the Japan invaded it. He claimed that he once saw the birth of an island, while sailing in the South Pacific. The island cooled and crumbled back into the sea.

From him I gained a lifetime of sailing experiences and practical knowledge. I learned patience, and how to listen to that little voice inside while in storms or in despair. He would comment to me about adding his yearly 5 gallons of diesel to his boat.

I sold that boat a few years ago to devote my time to Nick's 30 foot sailboat. I wish I could have held on to every sailboat I owned from the beginning. Each boat was different just like each of us. They had their good points and bad. I am a better sailor from learning what each sailboat taught me.

You see, I believe you don't learn to sail, but that the sailboat you are on teaches you how it wants to be sailed. You may teach yourself knots or diesel repair. But real sail lessons are from sailing. You might make mistakes now and then but you learn from them and keep moving on. Sailing is a lifestyle, not a means of transportation.

It's to be treasured... each moment. I like to think that, each hour of sailing has added to my life expectancy. Maybe that's why, I, like many of my sailing friends, am never going to grow up. We still maintain memories of sailing sticks in mud puddles.

Fair winds, and at least an inch of water under your keel at all times.


in Detroit

Cat's interior

Cat's layout
Cat 2

Mom, Sue, Johnny, Marie, and Lexi

back back next next

email me email me HomeHome