Sell the Boat but Keep the Memories

Monday, September 12, 2016

After 25 years of sailing, Roland and I are headed for dry dock. In other words, we are selling our sailboat with no plans to replace it. For the last few years, we have spent more time maintaining it than sailing it. As we grow older, we are also more uncomfortable sailing in heavy weather (or even lightly heavy weather) than we used to be. So the time has come to sell the boat.

But we are keeping the memories.

Although this is a writing blog, I’m going to detour from writing advice for the next few weeks in favor of those memories. A detour, but not a change in destination. After all, one of the purposes of this blog is to encourage people to write down their memories. Maybe you can get some tips from reading mine.

Listed by year, here are a few of the highlights:

  • 1991—This is the year we “caught the bug” while spending a windless day on Lake Superior in my brother’s sailboat.
  • 1992—We purchased our first boat, a used 23-foot Beneteau First 235, which we named Das Zeltlagermanie (Camp Mania).
  • 1993—Our first overnight sailing trip took us to Michigan.
  • 1995—We drove the boat to DeTour Village, Michigan with a plan to sail the North Channel. The plan didn’t work out, but that’s a story for another post.
  • 2002—Goodbye, Das Zeltlagermanie, hello, Freizeit (Free Time). We moved up to a new 34-foot Beneteau 331.
  • 2003—A trip to Milwaukee inaugurated our new boat.
  • 2007—We finally made it to the North Channel.
  • 2008—Freizeit became our temporary home after the remnants of Hurricane Ike flooded us out of our permanent one.
  • 2011—Our vacation took us sailing up the eastern coast of Lake Michigan. Although we didn’t know it at the time, this turned out to be our last extended trip. We planned another one—twice—but it was cancelled because of equipment failures.
  • 2016—Goodbye, Freizeit.

The boat at the top of the page is Freizeit, and the one at the bottom is Das Zeltlagermanie. Both boats created unforgettable memories.

Next week I’ll talk about the “sail” that started it all.

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