I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's my birthday today. My kids are all grown and on their own, and doing well. I am alone. I work in the film industry but it hasn't been a good year; what with the Canadian dollar being on par with the US for a good part of it and the writers strike and the pending actors strike and now a global economy that is in a rapid downward spiral. I find myself at the end of my finances and living with a generous friend who opened her home and her arms to me and let me stay for a few months, but even that is now coming to an end; her traveling children are all returning home for a family wedding and she needs all the beds. So what do I do?

When I was married, we dreamed of buying a boat when we retired, living aboard and seeing some of the world from the water. That dream died when I divorced.

God has a way of funneling one towards the path he wants one on. I would never have left the comfort of the house that was perfect for me; never have given up a career I love; never have given up my fabulous Hyundai Tucson; never dream of moving away from my children, no matter how old they get; and yet here I am - done or doing all of the above, all but the last one done without my choosing it to happen, and all pushing me to drastic measures. How to survive? How to live? How to work in a regular job after film??? That one, not possible, it seems; I thought I could never go back to working in a boring 9-5 after the thrill of movie making yet necessity has forced me to attempt it. But - a very new thing for me - not only do I not get the jobs I apply for, I don't even get a response. I, until now, have never not gotten a job I have applied for. I was mystified as to why now that had changed until the only person who did reply (because a friend recommended me for the position) said she was leery of hiring me as I come from the film world and could make multiple times more money a day than she would be paying. She asked me if I would head back to film when it picked back up here and I replied that I would (I couldn't lie) and so I did not get the job. I came to the conclusion that others must be assuming the same thing so don't even bother to get back to me.

As despair tried to force it's way into my world and panic pushed it from behind, I remembered my dream. What a strange thing to remember at a time when the possibility of it happening was more remote than ever. But there it was and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I tried to devise a plan for making it happen but couldn't think of how... it's kind of impossible to acquire a boat and take sailing lessons when you are out of cash. And I wasn't about to embark on an ocean voyage alone even if I did have the means. Then it occurred to me that there had to be people who had a boat, the skills, who wanted to sail but were not keen about going it alone. But how to find them? The internet, of course!! So I did a Google search to see if there might be anyone looking for crew. What a shock when I found several websites dedicated to just that very thing. (What a marvel the internet is!)

So after a few weeks of contact with one sailor and deciding I felt far too uneasy about his planned trip, I told him that I wasn't interested and decided to drop the whole idea. For the next week I couldn't shake the feeling that I had passed up an opportunity of a lifetime and that I would regret it forever. So I went back and looked again and found Captain David's ad. Funny thing, I replied to him because I saw that he wanted to sail to the British Virgin Islands and stay for a while. I had just been there in February for my daughter's wedding and fell in love with the place and for several weeks after coming home couldn't think of anything but how to get back. So I contacted him. While I waited for a reply I went back and read his ad again and realized I had replied to the wrong person and that David actually was planning on sailing the Caribbean side of Central America. I was frustrated with myself. But then he contacted me and I liked what he had to say so we started a dialogue about the possibility of me joining him. The more we talked, the better we both felt about doing this together. SO....

Tonight I bought my ticket to Orlando, Florida. I fly out on May 7th and David will pick me up when I land. We will leave shortly thereafter for Guatemala where the boat, a 43' Privilege Catamaran, is at present and we will sail it back to Florida. The plan is to refit some new hatches, do some cosmetic work on the interior and then set off for Cuba with two paying passengers - reporters who want to do a story on diving Cuba.

So if you like, keep up with my adventure as I SAIL AWAY.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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