Kick Starting My Dream

I had been searching for my dream retirement boat for years and years – scouring the classifieds, visiting boat shows, making lists of what I wanted my dream boat to have, sailing on friends’ boats, and even hunting internationally for my dream.

I wanted a multihull, I did not want a monohull.  I owned a little Catalina 22 and while I loved sailing around the Santa Monica Bay in it – at an acute angle – I didnt want to spend the rest of my cruising life listing at a 20-degree heel.  I wanted to stand, walk, sleep, and cook on the level – zero heeling.

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At the time both my sons were in South Africa with their families.  They had been there for over 2 years and said they would not be back in the States for at least another year.  So I was not tied to any city or State and could work where I liked.

I was working in Walnut Creek, CA on a contract and negotiating with the guy in the cubicle next door to mine.  He had a tape drive in a test site that I wanted to borrow for some of my tape encryption tests.  All week, Monday thru Thursday, we discussed how this would happen and decided we would finalize the series of times and activities on the Friday.  Friday he didnt come to work and his boss said he had left a voicemail saying he felt peculiar and would be going to the ER.   48 hours later he was dead.

My colleague’s sudden death was so unexpected, so abrupt, and so untimely that I went into mild shock.  I suddenly realized that I had been searching for my dream boat for years, but I could die just as suddenly as him – and then I would never experience the excitement of realizing my dream.  I panicked.

I called my boss, Barry, and told him I was moving to the Chesapeake to find a multihull and I was leaving the next day.  He was appalled – he said he could never replace me at such short notice.  As Project Manager of a large IT project I was at a crucial stage of project implementation.  Barry asked me to take my laptop with me and continue managing the project from their offices in Maryland, to which I happily agreed.

I drove across country and stayed with a friend in Washington, DC.  During the week I worked from the Silver Spring offices and on weekends I searched the Chesapeake for my dream boat.  I had been there about 6 weeks when my son Bryan called from South Africa.  He said, “Hi Mom, We are coming back to Los Angeles!”.   I said, “But I thought you said it would be another 2 years at least?”.  Yes, well, they had changed their minds.  And here I was, on the East Coast while they were now moving back to the West Coast.

I packed my bags, called a friend in LA to arrange temporary accommodation, and took off back across country carrying my laptop.  This was fast becoming a habit.

I was now in Determined-Boat-Search mode!

And a few months later I found her in Mexico.  FastAlley.

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