All in all, I think that the cost of this sailing program was in fact worth it. I haven’t run the exact numbers yet, nor filed a complaint with JetBlue for them to reimburse the cost of my missed flight on the way down, but I think it’s fair to say that it cost about $2,700 cash (flights, lodging, meals, incidentals, taxi rides, drinks) and 68,000 JetBlue miles. I haven’t been on a sailboat in half a decade, and haven’t been taught about the principles of sailing in fifteen years. Being forced to read through the American Sailing Association textbooks, study the material, and perform the physical maneuvers on a boat that’s roughly the size of what I’d like to buy was well worth the cost to play. I mentally confirmed the fact that it’s something I’m interested in pursuing, and found myself day dreaming as we sailed about being out on my own with no land in sight, making my way to the other side of the ocean. I think that it will certainly have mundane moments during long days in calm waters, and without a doubt will include instances of incredible fear and trials. Am I crazy? Yes, probably, but this isn’t one of those ideas I’m ready or willing to let go of.
To restate for good measure: There’s no gun to my head, and no timeline I’m forced to meet. This is not a trip I’ll undertake without complete and proper preparation, readiness, and safety measures in effect. At the end of the day the idea of the adventure, the idea of the stories, challenges and experiences call to me in a way I haven’t experienced since first reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods a year before my Appalachian Trail hike. With first hand sailing experience rejuvenated and the continued interest confirmed in my own mind, I’ll now turn my sights towards researching and purchasing a boat… a huge undertaking on its own that I won’t pull the trigger on until ideally next summer. I think it’s immensely important that I spend my time sailing my own boat, finding its weaknesses, making upgrades, and learning how she sails. I can spend my summers, where I usually take July & August off, sailing off the coast of New England in rougher/colder seas, and can push myself to learn on a yacht that isn’t a commercially operated sailboat kept to 100% for the customer’s sake. The Barefoot school served its purpose completely by getting me on a boat, expanding my base knowledge of sailing to one of sailing, rigging, navigation, chart reading, basic boat diesel engine repair, etc. It gave me the hands on experience I didn’t yet have on this scale, and got me even more excited to pursue this dream.
On a final note, thank you for following along for another quick adventure, I hope it was at least somewhat entertaining for you and didn’t overwhelm your inbox for those that are still subscribed to updates. The next trip will be coming up in December with Santa and I’ll be blogging a little bit between now and then as he and I prepare to do a hike in a manner that few people seem to have done before... Hopefully there’s some more good reading & photos to come.
Onward & upward, my friends; talk to you soon.