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  1. Welcome to the new Cruising Sailors Forum, for experienced sailors and cruisers. 2009-2016 forum archive is now online.

Where life takes us

Discussion in 'Cruising Sailors' started by Dave Gibson, Feb 20, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Dave Gibson

    Dave Gibson

    Joined Aug 3, 2005
    47 posts, 73 likes
    Currently boatless -
    US Eastern Seaboard
    Hi all,

    I know I only pop in her sporadically now. I don't have much time to read posts here. I'll explain.

    I JUST found Don Parkers post from a few months ago flagging some of us old timers. I was going to respond there, but thought this is a topic that could have its own thread. Where life takes us.

    I didn't know what sailing was until I met my first wife. She introduced me to it, and after a couple of seasons of trying to figure out how a sailboat goes upwind (if I knew the wind direction at all), it finally clicked.

    We raced our Rhodes 19 but decided we wanted something we could sleep on, so we bought a Spirit 21. This was a cool little boat and we got bitten by the cruising bug. We had the Spirit one year and traded it for a Pearson 26.

    We club raced and cruised this boat on our upstate New York lake for 20 years, and then we bought a 33' Hallberg-Rassy Mistral. This is an absolutely gorgeous boat with lots of mahogany to spend weeks every season varnishing and maintaining... but a beauty to look at.

    Well, then a divorce, and a remarriage. And no boat. I gave my ex a house, two boats, and two cars all paid for in exchange for my business assets. She got the better of the deal. :)

    We were boatless. It felt odd. But then my boss came to me and asked if I wanted to buy his mom's boat. She had recently passed. I asked what it was. He said it was a 46' trawler. No, I said, I'm a sailor! But long story short, we did buy it, spent a year making it run, I retired at age 60, and then we (Pamela and I, Smudge and Charlie the cats, and Ruby and Chevy the pit bulls) cruised from Stamford CT to Albany NY to Green Cove Springs FL (south of Jacksonville). This was the cruise of a lifetime for us. What a hoot! We spent about two years just meandering south, leaving when we didn't care for a place, and staying when we did.

    Along the way I somehow became a photographer.

    We finally decided we did our cruise and it was time for a new adventure. We sold Drift Away and bought ten acres of land deep in the forest of the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. We started prepping the land to build. We had a few acres cleared, a well drilled, built a couple of outbuildings, and started digging a foundation. I intended to build the house myself, another thing I wanted to do. Well, a neck breaking accident with a tree ended that. So the land is for sale, we live in Florida, and I am an author with five books published and I'm working on my sixth.

    The last book is "The Voyage of Drift Away: Stamford to Annapolis" and the one I'm writing now will be "The Voyage of Drift Away: Annapolis to Jacksonville". The other four are about Sasquatch.

    Oh... did I mention that Sasquatch are a real thing? Yes. Yes they are. And they are amazing to interact with.

    Anyhow, it is good to see old names here, and I'm going to try to take writing breaks and pop in here more often and learn who all you new guys are.

    Life is good. No matter what happens, make the most of it. Even if you wind up in a trawler. :) 20111102AtlanticCityDriftAway.jpg

    Tom J, Juanona, Will Gilmore and 2 others like this.
  2. rgranger


    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    4,388 posts, 552 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. BrianRobin


    Joined Dec 31, 2016
    69 posts, 25 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 351
    Ca Charlottetown,PE. Canada Charlottetown
    Great story!

  4. Tod


    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    53 posts, 54 likes
    Montgomery 17
    US trailered
    Hard to believe I've known you since the Hotspur days. A lot sure has transpired since then!

    Dave Gibson likes this.
  5. Dave Gibson

    Dave Gibson

    Joined Aug 3, 2005
    47 posts, 73 likes
    Currently boatless -
    US Eastern Seaboard
    It sure has, Tod. Whoda thunk I'd go from a 33' Hallberg Mistral to a trawler? LOL!

    Tod likes this.
  6. rickff


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    6 posts, 3 likes
    Hi Dave,
    Don't stop in much anymore myself. I remember much of your trials going back to the
    old cruising world board. We too were in life changing mode. My wife at the time had
    passed away suddenly, so cruising up and down the coast was put off. Then met my
    present wife, also widowed young, and we started the dream again. found a boat, got laid off
    from work, and started.
    After 2 years up and down the coast with a winter stop in the Bahamas, we went to the Caribbean
    2 years. Then we said what the hell, and crossed the pond, spending 5 years in Great Britain and
    the Med. Arab Spring convinced us to come home.
    We were in Green Cove Springs at different times, so never got together. we did repairs and some
    camping, going to Alaska. Then one day, we wandered into Apalachicola. great anchorage and
    free dinghy dock. We decided to stay.


    TomY and Will Gilmore like this.
  7. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    1,619 posts, 600 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    What a great thread. Thanks, Dave, for starting it and sharing your story.
    I grew up on the Gulf coast of Florida sailing and planned to always live on a sailboat, but lots of stuff happened and life takes us with it.
    Now, I'm a farmer in the mountains of New Hampshire.

    One day, maybe.:rolleyes:

    - Will (Dragonfly)

  8. Dave Gibson

    Dave Gibson

    Joined Aug 3, 2005
    47 posts, 73 likes
    Currently boatless -
    US Eastern Seaboard
    Hi Rick!
    Florida is great. We're just outside of Ocala in the north-central part. I love it. Although it can get pretty hot!

    rickff likes this.
  9. Hagar


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    26 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 42
    US Portland Oregon / Olympia Washington Olympia Washington
    Liked your story (except for the neck-breaking part)

    Maybe we all already know the litany...

    Sailboat, Motorboat, Motorhome, Rest Home.

    Still hanging onto the Sailboat segment but can see the future from the cockpit.

    Rick D and Dave Gibson like this.
  10. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    4,315 posts, 1,204 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Finding your path to happiness is sometimes a twisted road.

    nightowle and Will Gilmore like this.
  11. LuzSD


    Joined Feb 21, 2009
    993 posts, 40 likes
    Catalina 30
    US San Diego/ Dana Point, Ca.
    Best thread read in a long time. Keep them coming!!

  12. DAVA390


    Joined Jul 13, 2010
    826 posts, 97 likes
    Precision 23
    US Perry Hall,Baltimore County
    Wow! Just WOW !!! Thanks for sharing.

  13. nightowle


    Joined Aug 28, 2006
    185 posts, 11 likes
    Bavaria 35E
    US seattle
    I'm looking forward to hearing more

    Dave Gibson likes this.
  14. sailnoproblem


    Joined Oct 10, 2011
    260 posts, 55 likes
    Tartan 34C
    US Toms River, New Jersey
    Great story, I myself am planning to switch in the next few years God willing (I hope I didn't offend with mentioning God)
    A nice single screw diesel trawler.

    Dave Gibson likes this.
  15. Dave Gibson

    Dave Gibson

    Joined Aug 3, 2005
    47 posts, 73 likes
    Currently boatless -
    US Eastern Seaboard
    My advice is to go for twin screw. With one engine in forward and the other in reverse, you can spin it in its own length. There is no need for bow thrusters.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  16. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    954 posts, 18 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    Great story, Dave. I agree that making the most of life's opportunities can lead to wonderful adventures. Between getting divorced and buying a small house in Plymouth, MA, and finally settling down in Hawaii, I have cruised the East Coast, worked in marinas, been a deckhand/engineer on a workboat, and now work at farming two acres on Maui.
    Along the way, I learned about people and boats as a dock master, visited exotic ports such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Corpus Christo, in the Dominican Republic. I lived at various times in New England, on the Gulf Coast of Florida in a very nice house with my girlfriend, on my sailboat cruising, and now divide the year between our house on Maui, and the boat in Quincy, MA. This summer, we will "cruise" our little RV around the country, leaving New England and stopping at as many National Parks as we can. The adventure continues.

    Will Gilmore and Dave Gibson like this.
  17. Dave Gibson

    Dave Gibson

    Joined Aug 3, 2005
    47 posts, 73 likes
    Currently boatless -
    US Eastern Seaboard
    I love it! This is what life is all about.

    Tom J likes this.
  18. rickff


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    6 posts, 3 likes
    I think that this group, being what they do realizes
    that life is journey, not a destination. The treasures are
    not just found at the end, but along the way.

    Dave Gibson likes this.
  19. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    1,619 posts, 600 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    I am fond of pointing out that the journey IS the destination. It isn't the end result that determines who we are, it is how we get there that does. The means is the end, there is no justification needed.

    - Will ("moral philosopher", Dragonfly)

    Dave Gibson likes this.

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