ep1 Moving Aboard My First Sailboat

This is actually the original video of the beginning of my adventures on water. I made it at that time, just so I can share it with my family and friends in Romania. I had no clue, about the big change it will bring into my life. This is pretty much how the Traveling With The Wind series started. And everything started by mistake.

THE IDEA


At that time there were nearly no sailing channels at all. One of the ones I could find was from Teresa Carey. Watching her videos made me think a lot about buying a weekend family boat. I didn’t wanted something big, and she had to be cheap as I didn’t had much money. So I started searching for cheap sailboats for sale. Meanwhile I was also searching more info and inspiration through the YouTube videos, trying to learn a little about sailing.

I found a video at some point about a little Grampian 26, from two Canadian sailors traveling from Canada to Florida. Since I loved the boat and their adventure, I left a comment. Francis replied soon that she is in Florida and she is for sale for $2000. As you can imagine, I made the deal and decided to buy the boat. I will describe everything in detail in some of the podcasts I will make.

THE TRIP


This part was a little annoying as I asked for help from some of the people I thought they were very close friends. I barely had the money that I needed for the trip and make the first payment for the boat. So I was looking for someone that would take me there with the car, and later on I would help pay them back.

Unfortunately that’s when I discovered the difference between people I know, and what a friend really means. I was lucky at the end, and my fiance at that time managed to leave work and helped me to get there. Even that part was funny as we nearly run out of gas just a few miles away from the gas station. It was an amazing feeling watching the boat coming slowly towards us, and we made plans to see each other in 3-4 days when I would arrive back in Miami.

That was also the time I learned not to make plans when you travel with a sailboat. They never work and you end up disappointed ( laughing loud ). I was never able, and I will never be able to describe how I felt in my heart stepping aboard the boat. After nearly thirty years of dreaming about this moment, it was finally happening. I had to say goodbye to my fiance, as she had to return home… and I started cleaning out the boat so I can have a place to sleep.

THE SAILING LESSON


After two weeks of trying to figure out what I have aboard and putting parts together, I was almost ready. The one thing I was not ready with, was the fact that I had no clue on how to sail. I knew nothing about sailboats or sailing at that time. The amazing staff and the people I had around at the Glades Boat Storage, helped me more than anyone can imagine.

I don’t remember many names as I was way too excited, and lost at the same time. But I will never forget their faces, stories and advice I got from them. I can never forget how nice and welcoming they were as well. In a Sunday while we were making a barbecue and sharing stories, I asked an older sailor a silly question: “how do you sail a boat ?“. He started smiling and more like joking he told me: “You wait for the wind to pick up, you untie the boat, raise the sails and you are sailing“. And that’s exactly what I did.

An hour later the wind did picked up a little. As you can already guess, I went to the boat, untied her from the dock, raised the sails and… I was sailing. The part where they were running towards the dock, screaming that it was just a joke, doesn’t matter anymore as it was too late. I was already sailing, and man I was enjoying that like a little kid playing with his favorite toy.

THE VOYAGE


I will not spoil the video and I will let you enjoy it. I will also talk more about this in a future podcast as well. The idea is that I made a deal with two fellow sailors, and decided to start the voyage together. We left together as none of our boats were in an amazing shape, so we thought we could help each other in case we needed to. Turns out that at the end, I had to tow both their boats at the same time, as my motor was the only one working.

I think this was the best lesson I could learn so far as a beginner sailor. A month later after I started my adventure at the boat yard, I finally arrived in Miami. Since we left Jacob in West Palm Beach, I arrived together with Scott. Initially we were planning to go to the Dinner Key Marina in Miami, but I was running low on gas so we anchored at the Miami Yacht Club instead.

I liked the place so much, that it was my “home” for the next two years. Yes you read that well… I liked it so much aboard the boat in this first month, that I decided to move and live aboard the boat right away. And that is how a bigger adventure started… Traveling With The Wind.

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Ciprian I. Popica

233YO105 • Photographer • Filmmaker

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