The Choice to Cruise

shannon on wheel Sometimes you can tell when there is change in the air.  Life had been more than demanding in the previous years and I had taken about all I was able to take.  It was July, hot and my birthday.  I was working painting houses in a small  sea side town. I had stopped at the local sandwich shop to fuel up.  ” My heart isn’t in to working today”, I told my friend.  It was then that the screen door scratched open and in walked this fella who had a golden tan, white blond hair, mustache and a beard.  It was obvious he was “a local”  by the cheery greeting he gave to everyone as he walked in.  I overheard Richard, the sandwich shop owner, ask him if he had any charters today and he bellowed out “Just two this morning”, then he turned to walk out, looked over at my friend and I and asked us if we’d like to go sailing.  My heart just sank due to my unproductive frame of mind and the fact I had never been sailing before. Ok,  I thought he looked good in those sailors shorts.  We just laughed and said “No, got to go to work”.  Then he replied “When you want to go sailing, just let me know.  I’m usually docked over at the end of the pier”.

My friend and I usually started our mornings with a cold beer,  just to get in the right frame of mind.  We’d have another with lunch and then a few more after work. We lived on an island close to the beach and tried to live like we were on vacation.  It was almost impossible tho.   I was working three, sometimes four jobs just to keep “afloat”.  One of my other jobs was cleaning rental houses. I was taken in by the looks of the boats in the area and loved going out on the water.  I thought if I could get a job working on a boat that it wouldn’t seem so much like work.  So I put the word out that I cleaned boats. Shortly after, I was introduced to the blonde haired, tanned fella, who was looking for someone to clean his boat after a charter.  He hired me to clean the 45′ Sloop Rig, Lancer, on Sundays. The first Sunday I cleaned, the following Sundays, we ended up going sailing.  He felt bad that we ended up playing when I needed to be working and offered to pay me anyway. Of course I refused because somehow in my mind, paying me to play, might be construed into something else and morally I wanted to maintain a respectable relationship.  Needless to say, three months later he was heading south, to the warmer climate, to do more charters and once again he asked me to come sailing, except this time it was for the next six months.  Once again my heart sank because I had fallen in love with sailing and I had responsibilities that I “had” to maintain.  After much thought, at the last minute I decided to go along.  He gave me one sea-bag and told me that everything I brought had to fit in that bag.   Somehow I couldn’t fit everything into one bag and talked him into letting me use his also.  So this is the beginning of our cruising adventures.

4 Responses to “The Choice to Cruise”

  1. oldsalt1942 Says:

    Nothing wrong with being paid to play. Years ago I ran a 65′ Hatteras Motor Yacht in New Orleans and we chartered for cocktail parties and dinners. One of the owners was an avid fisherman who kept a 26′ Stamas in another location and fished at least three days a week. Often he would call and ask what I was doing on the Hatteras. Did we have any charters that night. If things were slow he’d tell me to meet him at the other boat and off we’d go for a day of fishing for specks and redfish. It was a lot of fun. We never got skunked, and I never turned down the week’s pay check. Nothing like getting paid to be somebody’s pal for the day.

  2. JACQUE SCOTT Says:

    How lucky for me that you decided to go sailing ! And took Michael off our hands…Love j

  3. jsjsscott@gmail.com Says:

    Shannon, tried to send e-mail to capfog and got a “permanent failure” message, do I have the address wrong? Had a bug int he laptop for a while, and getting it fixed sort of messed everything up. js

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