Believe it or not, Before my 20th birthday, I had never been sailing before in my life. Hard to imagine I know, but when you grow up in Northeast Texas you’re lucky if you have a friend with a pool, let alone someone with a boat… and a friend with a sail boat? Very unlikely.
My first time sailing was actually just before I entered my Junior year of college when I joined my grandfather (y’all know him as Bob Bitchin’) at the Pacific Northwest Cruisers Weekend.
I was traveling rather far by myself for the first time. I took a plane to Seattle, from Seattle I took a bus to Anacortes and from Anacortes I took a Ferry to Friday Harbor. What’s funny is, I remember this part so well because I had just gotten a cellphone with a camera on it (technology was really blowing my mind at the time). And, naturally, I documented the whole trip.
We sailed around on a monohull during my time in the San Juan Islands. These islands are so indescribably beautiful. They’re not the tropical islands with palm trees and white sand beaches you might think of, no, they’re much more than that.
These islands are full of rich pines trees surrounded by deep green waters. I can say will all honesty that the San Juan Islands to me are the most under rated islands in the world. They look as if the “old world” and the “new world” collided. Simple homes with a small town feel. The kind of place that everyone knows everyone even though you may only be able to visit your neighbor by boat.
The waters were icy and I spent the majority of my time wrapped up in a jacket surrounded by a blanket…. but how could I not get in this beautiful water? Well, The opportunity had presented itself. One of my shipmates, Ms. Tina Cassaday herself wanted to shoot something for her hair product line (which by the way *unintentional plug*.. is AMAZING) “Hair’s First Mate” Shampoo and Conditioner. What does this have to do with the ocean you ask?… of course this isn’t just any shampoo, this is the kind of stuff you can use in saltwater while you’re out at sea. So, we stripped down to our swimsuits and on the count of three jumped into the coldest water I have ever swam in. I could barely breath. It was so cold. But without hesitation, both Tina and I started using the shampoo and doing our best to make a fun video of it— I can’t find that video for the life of me. And the funniest part is, haha I don’t think the video was ever used for anything. But it sure is one hell of a memory.
My sailing adventure was about five days long before we arrived at the Cruiser weekend being celebrated in Anacortes, WA. During that time we went hiking, whale watching, and I had my first real experience with sea sickness. Before too long, I remember putting on some pirate gear, a bit of eyeliner, and sneaking a rum and sprite from a man who would become a really good friend, Jeff. That party concluded my first trip sailing- and honestly I never wanted to leave. But you know what they say… “The sooner you leave, the sooner you can come back”, and while I won’t be there this year, my plan is definitely to be there next year.
Actually this weekend (August 15th-17th) is the Pacific Northwest Cruisers weekend in Anacortes, WA! If you can, stop by the party Saturday Night at Cap Sante Marina! Facebook Invite HERE! Even if you can’t make the party, the whole weekend will be a lot of fun for cruisers!