My name is Doug. I’m in my mid 40’s, and I figure it’s about time for a good mid-life crisis. Fortunately, my wife, Marcia, will be right there with me. Our kids have moved out, we have sold virtually everything we own, our house is in Escrow, and we are about to buy a sailboat and begin the next phase of our lives.
In a way, this is not quite as spontaneous as it seems. I first learned to sail when I was 12 years old – before the ASA was even formed. My mother enrolled my brother and me in sailing lessons in Newport Beach, and I absolutely fell in love with the sport. However, I made an assumption that I had not corrected for 30 years: Sailing is so awesome that everyone most love it. Unfortunately, my logical mind figured that due to this (apparently erroneous) fact, Sailing was only for the élite – otherwise, everyone would be doing it. I never looked into it myself, and thought everyone that did must be independently wealthy, and therefore beyond my means. I moved on with my life.
In that 30 years, I met Marcia and fathered two lovely girls, Beverly and Gwendolyn. I would mention sailing from time to time over the years, but only took Marcia and the girls out a few times in a VERY small dingy, on a VERY small lake. I had a blast each time, but as my wife’s first exposure to the sport, it wasn’t the best. With the constant tacking back and forth to make our way up the leg of this VERY small lake, having to shift from side to side every minute or so, Marcia was not impressed. Again, I put the thought out of my mind. For a while.
In January of 2012, I found a groupon for a sailing tour of San Diego bay on Lei Lani – a beautiful 36’ classic 1967 sailboat. My wife instantly fell in love with the experience. A year and a half later, we found ourselves in Lake Tahoe at a family reunion. We rented a 24’ Catalina for the day (somehow, I was able to convince them that summer lessons taken 30 years ago was enough experience to handle the boat), and, even with very mild winds, we all had a blast.
About this time, with Beverly living in Seattle and Gwendolyn going to college, Marcia and I talked about what we wanted to do with our lives. I suggested that I would like to sell the house and move onto a sailboat within the next 5 years. Marcia asked, “Why wait? Is there anything keeping us from doing this now?”
The next month, I enrolled in ASA Sailing lessons at Harbor Sailboats on Harbor Island, San Diego, and have since taken their 101, 103 and 104 lessons. I’ve discovered this world of cruising, and wanted to be a part of it all the more. In August of 2014, we finally put our house on the market, sold everything we owned in an estate sale, and are now living in our own guest house, with 1 bed and two borrowed bean bags for furniture. The items we own can fit into two or three (Prius) car loads, and we are two weeks away from close of escrow. We are, quite literally, counting the days at this point.