A Pirate looks at 60+

That’s Dave up the mast. He’s 68.

My partner Dave had been retired for several years when I met him.  He was doing well in retirement, but one day he mentioned that he wanted to learn to sail. Just like Jimmy Buffet’s song “A pirate looks at 40”, Dave had wanted to sail for many, many years.

His life included a busy career, a long marriage, two kids and elderly parents. By the time I met him, his marriage had ended, his kids were adults,  his father had passed, and he had moved his mother closer to his home. He was a devoted son and had ensured her needs were being managed well. Now was the time for him to pursue his own dreams.

With very little encouragement from me, he signed up for a “learn to sail course” run by the Canadian  Power Squadron. CPS is an exceptional resource for new sailors to learn the lexicon and skills needed to succeed as a boat owner. At the same time, Dave bought his first boat, a 27 ft CS named the Sol~mate and we had a lot of fun with it. A few years later, he bought a bigger boat, a 30 ft Catalina named Celina.  

It’s been eight years now, and we have experienced more adventure from that one decision than I would ever have thought possible. We have made many new friends and new friends bring new experiences.

We have sailed in the North Channel (Lake Huron -Georgian Bay), and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In the BVI, we rented a 42-foot sailboat with two friends and sailed the from island to island, anchoring long enough to swim in the warm waters and explore the myriad of islands.  We have vacationed with friends we met in the boating community in places like Key Largo and Key West, and along the Atlantic Coast from Georgia to Florida.

Recently, two marina neighbours bought a 42 foot boat.  After the tour, the new owner told me she didn’t know why they bought one that big “at our age.”  That comment stuck with me.  What is an appropriate size boat for “our age”?  When do you give up enjoying yourself?

My thoughts: If you have a goal, dream, or plan and you have the means to pursue it, then go for it. You worked for it and you owe it to yourself to give it a shot to see what can happen. The appropriate age is when you get there.

Thinking about leaning to sail? Check out the Canadian Power Squadron (CPS) at cps-epc.ca

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