GETTING TO THE BOAT
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and had my first experience as a sailor on my aunt and uncle’s motorboat in Lake Dallas. During the time it took me to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout, I sailed my troop’s 18’ sloop and I was a sailboat instructor at a summer camp for half a summer.
I left the great state of Texas at the age of 20 and moved to Boulder, Colorado in order to ski, I mean finish my college degree in business. :) After college I moved to Golden, where I joined the Golden Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter, had a career as an auditor, and played soccer. During this time I met a friend who owned a Catalina 25 on Lake Dillon and I got reintroduced to sailing. I soon took several ASA courses through Victoria Sailing School and continued to spend time on my friend’s boat. After several years I knew I needed even more sailing time to continue improving my skills, so I figured I could either buy a boat and spend the money on the different expenses associated with ownership or become a sailing instructor and have someone pay me instead. I quickly discovered I really enjoyed teaching and others responded well to my instruction. I also put together some charters in the Bahamas and Virgin Islands.
I planned on buying a boat and cruising around the world when I retired, but during one three month period I had about 13 different things happen to me (some bad and some good) that it made it seem as if God was presenting the cruising path to me now. So I retired from the Golden Fire Department after a 10 year career, sold my house & most of my belongings, and left Colorado after 17 wonderful years. The only regret I have is not being allowed to be a part of my stepkid’s lives. I miss them terribly, and pray for them every night.
After living aboard in Kemah, TX for seven months I started my voyage east at the end of January 2010. My first stop was New Orleans, where I stayed at Seabrook Marina for two months as I enjoyed the Saints Super Bowl victory, Madi Gras, and every amazing thing the city had to offer. At the end of March I continued my tour along the Gulf Coast before getting to the Dry Tortugas (one of the coolest National Parks around) and officially being on the East Coast. I traveled all the way to Nantucket Island (I had to go there due to the show Wings). There are so many amazing things to do on the East Coast, but my favorites were NASA, Cumberland Island, Charleston, Ocracoke Island, New York city, and Nantucket (Check out the Travel Video tab to see 4-7 minute videos of each location and many others). On the way south my dad joined me for a month, so I got to show him from Yorktown (his favorite spot) all the way to Kennedy Space Center.
On Christmas Day 2010 I crossed the Gulf Stream for Bimini in The Bahamas and was able to experience the annual Junkanoo festival. I sailed down the Exumas and on to Long Island and then down the Ragged Islands. I crossed over to the Acklins Island group, where I visited Hogsty Reef (an atoll sitting 1 foot under the water with only a small spit of sand showing). From Acklins I started my trip back north seeing Rum, Conception, and San Salvador on the way to Cat Island (the location of my third must see – The Hermitage). I continued north to Eleuthera Island (the north half of the island is my favorite in the Bahamas) and then visited Andros Island, the Berry Islands group, and Grand Bahama before arriving in Brunswick, GA for the hurricane season. I left the boat for three months to visit Texas and Colorado. I also completed the application and test for my US Coast Guard Captain License.
After working on the boat for the remainder of the hurricane season I headed for the Caribbean on November 1st, 2011. I did make month long stops touring the Abacos and Turks & Caicos on the way and arrived in the US Virgin Islands on January 5th, 2012.
Once here I set up a charter business and sailing school, because in my travels with guest aboard I found out I REALLY enjoy cooking, teaching, entertaining, and being a tour guide for people. I hope you give me the opportunity to try and give you the best vacation you have ever had and I look forward to your visit aboard the Guiding Light.