Today I am finally flying to the Caribbean (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) for sailing classes on a catamaran sailboat. It is a full week course (ASA 101,103,104,114), sailing to a different island each day. I have studied, but reading and doing are two different things for me! I like doing much better than studying . For me, this is the first step to understand if cruising is what I want to do in the future. I have had this dream for many years, maybe all of my life. I have always been a water rat (that is what my mom called me!). I have owned boats since I was 13, living in Taxes. I would take a 14 foot flat bottom boat with a 7 1/2 HP Sears outboard into the Houston ship channel and bay. I always come back with a store or adventure (wild dogs, cotton mouth snakes, nutria, rabbits, etc). Since that, I have owned about 12 different boats over the years. OK, so I like boats, so why go cruising? I guess the independence and freedom to explorer on my own terms, is the answer. I have never liked 'touresty' things, so the ability to travel and explore with my skills and knowledge is more exciting to me than to book air flights and hotels (of course I am doing that on this trip :)). I also love to explore, fish, hike, snorkel, swim, fitting the life style of a cruiser. All of my life I have been learning to do things myself, and be self reliant; building a house and cabin on Beaver Lake, and working on boats, fix up my sailboat, design and weld a dock, work on trucks, install water systems, etc. Our Beaver Lake cabin was build using a pontoon boat to haul the materials, and a small generator for power. Now the cabin has full power, hot water, DVD, HD TV, and full appliances, plus a road (4wd required).
Today I am flying from Northwest Arkansas to Dallas, Miami, and then to Barbados, where I have to spend the night. Then on to St. Vincent on Liat (an adventure by itself), and then on the boat! The boat is a 42 foot Fountaine Catamaran! Pictures and most posts coming.