One of the many advantages of writing our daily blog, publishing articles and keeping up the website is the number of people we “meet” along the way. We receive lots of e-mails from folks who ask questions about sailing or life aboard and perhaps want to comment on the articles we've written. We welcome them all and try to answer each and every inquiry as quickly and as completely as we can.
Sometimes, we become quite good friends via the internet, sharing successes and disappointments as plans are made and changed, houses are sold and boats are purchased.
We've had knocks on the hull from time to time from folks that might have followed our blog or website and recognized the name “Nine of Cups” in an anchorage or a marina. We didn't expect to meet up with anyone in the middle of the desert, however. So when we got an e-mail from Marnee in Seattle asking if we'd like to meet up with her husband, Blaine when he was in Las Vegas, we were flattered and quite pleased with the possibility.
Blaine readily admits he's a “newbie”, but has had the dream of sailing off into the sunset since he was a kid … just like David. He'll retire from the US Army in a year and their countdown clock, though set for several years down the road, is ticking. They've made a plan. Goals are set and they're working hard to make it real.
Blaine had lots of good questions that gave us not only food for thought, but caused us to reminisce a bit about the same questions and concerns we had starting out nearly 15 years ago. We remember quite vividly sitting down for breakfast with Pam and Andy Wall at our first SSCA gam in Melbourne, Florida. We were gushing with enthusiasm and questions and they patiently answered every one. Andy subsequently taught David some rope splicing skills and Pam offered lots of insight into living aboard.
So … thanks, Blaine for meeting up with us AND buying us dinner. Thanks, Marnee, for taking the initiative to make this meeting happen. We hope you'll do the same for newbies once you've got some miles under the keel.
Advice to newbies: Join SSCA. You'll never find a more knowledgeable, generous group of cruisers to learn from and with.