Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Time to Shift to Another Gear

As I wrote in my last entry, we are taking on a new challenge. We have been living in our trailer for 5 years and 5 months. We have been retired and traveling for 4 years and 5 months. We love our life and have had an amazing time. We love to travel and see new places. We have very little desire to see the same places we have seen before unless it involves seeing family or friends.

I have a history of change. I tend to want major changes in my life on a regular basis. About the time a particular place or job or activity gets comfortable, I am ready to do something else. We both knew this going into our vagabond lifestyle, so it did not come as a surprise to Kim or myself.

I would not say that we have become bored with the RV life. I would say that we would like to continue to travel via RV part of the time, but we would like to travel differently part of the time also. We want to expand our horizons to include many places we have not yet seen. We would like to visit some places that you can not see via RV. Like islands and  other continents. The problem is, I HATE AIRPLANES! I have spent so much time cooped up inside an airplane during my working years that when I retired, I never wanted to fly again! So, what is the solution? You guessed it, A BOAT!

We love boats. We have a powerboat and love to spend time on it. The problem is that it is pretty expensive to explore in it. It is a ski boat and does not have any sleeping quarters. We are also concerned that we only have one mode of propulsion. If the engine dies, we need to get towed. So, I have been considering sailboats. For the past year, I have been studying everything I can find about sailing and sailboats. I have been driving Kim crazy with my one minded fascination of the thought of buying a sailboat and using it to explore new places. If you know me, you know I get obsessed with new things and learn at a nauseating level. The main problem with this entire idea is, I HAVE NEVER SAILED A SAILBOAT!

When we arrived back at the ranch in Missouri on April 2, my plan was to go to a local lake and take a sailing lesson. The best sailing lake in the area around the ranch is about 2 hours away. It is called Stockton Lake. I have never been on the lake or really even seen it. We do most of our boating on Bull Shoals or Table Rock. They are very large lakes with beautiful shorelines with countless bluffs and coves to explore. We have only seen a small part of each of these lakes. Stockton is a smaller lake with fewer bluffs which provides excellent wind for sailing. Many people in the sailing community have said it is one of the better sailing lakes in the US.

On April 9, we went up to Stockton State Park Marina to talk to the people there about getting signed up for a class. They were nice, but told us they would call us to set up a time to schedule a school. We then asked for permission to walk the docks and check out the sailboats. That was interesting, but I did not really know what I was looking at.

We then drove over to Orleans Trail Marina to see what kind of boats they had there. When we got out of the car, we were immediately greeted by this fellow named Mark. We told him we were there just to educate ourselves, he stayed with us for over 3 hours showing us boats and just talking about sailing. We looked at one particular boat that was full of water. We both looked at it and said no way, let's move on. Mark told me this was a very good boat and we should consider taking it home and doing much of the work ourselves. It also came on a nice trailer. That is important to us. We want a smaller starter boat that we can take from lake to lake and learn to sail and explore new places. Well, to make a long story short.  A week later, we bought that boat. It is a 1983 Hunter 22. It was really rough, but what I read and what Mark told me, it was a good buy at $2400. It came with the nice trailer and an outboard motor. Yep, I bought a sailboat and had never sailed in my life. Here are a few pics:

That is just the beginning of the story. Come back to see if we can fix it up and get it in the water. Also, I have to study and go to school. Will I pass the test?

This is just part of a much larger dream. We want to learn to sail first. Then, we will see if we both like it and if we want to move up to a larger boat and maybe some day try some ocean sailing. It could be an interesting journey or a big train wreck. But hey, train wrecks can be entertaining.


  1. Wow, how exciting it that? That looks like a really cool project, cannot wait to see your progress!

  2. Exciting news! You truly are shifting gears again! Check out these fellow bloggers who have lots of information about their boating/sailing experiences: Gone With the Wynns, Technomadia, and Roads Less Traveled. Happy sailing! Mike & Jodie, Owatonna, MN

    1. Hey Mike and Jodie, Awesome to hear from you. I have been following both GWTW and Technomadia for a while. I will have to check out RLT. I hope all is good with you.