If you're lucky enough to live to 100, the years between 50 & 75 are your third quarter. That segment in life could be the waning of your physically agile years, so it's a good idea to stay active. It's also a good time to challenge your brain to keep things limber up there - by mastering something new. We decided to go sailing, and this is a chronicle of our journey.


It all started with Water...

In the spirit of full disclosure, Don and Belinda are not yet sailors. But that's the whole purpose of this Third Quarter adventure.  We are going to become good sailors, fueled by excited enthusiasm, gusto for a good challenge, and so much anticipation for this endeavor - which is rooted, I believe - in our history with and affinity for water.

Don grew up in Arizona, and spent weekends in boats on lakes. He was water skiing when he was still a child.  I grew up in Connecticut, and spent weekends camping at the ocean and swimming in pools.  For awhile, I lived in a house boat on a canal in Florida.

Don on two of his Dad's boats: Camping on Arizona Lakes

Belinda on her Grandfather's boat: Coastal New England

When we met in California, Don had a runabout motor boat, and was learning to scuba dive, and my step Dad Tom had a Cape Dory sailboat. When we bought the house we raised our family in, one of the items that tipped the scales and made us chose that particular house was an awesome, generous master bath tub. :) Yeah, water is wonderful.

Don on a diving charter in the Channel Islands.

Belinda on Tom's Cape Dory31; in the late 80's, and lunching with Don on Tom's sailboat in the late 90's.

While both of us have been around boats, and in water all of our lives, Don's experience with boating has been primarily on motor boats, and my experience on sail boats has been as a passenger; sunning, reading, cooking and swimming. I didn't know a cleat from a clew. Then, last Spring, my step Dad Tom decided it was time to sell his sail boat. Don had sold his boat years before.  We packed a lunch for the three of us, and drove to the harbor to hang out on the Heiress while she was in the broker's slip. Tom had owned her since 1987, so we were nostalgic that afternoon. We reminisced about different day trips on the boat, and talked about passages of life and time, and the culture of boating and being near the water, and the history of Cape Dory boats. 

On the way home, Don and I discussed our Third Quarter plan; the chapters between age 50 and 75. It's perhaps the last chance to do things that require physical agility, and it's recommended that you challenge your mental acuity to keep your brain sharp. What should our plan be - and how could we make it adventurous and maybe even a little daring and snappy for our Third Quarter?  Don said "Maybe we should buy a sailboat." I don't remember what I said, but it was likely something about how we didn't know how to sail. And Don probably replied that not knowing how to sail was perfect! And that's how this adventure started.

In the next post, I'll write about those first few weeks, when we mulled the idea over and marinated on the what-ifs and the practical considerations before we broached it with Tom, who then mentored us through every part of this project for the next ten months with advice, challenges, instruction and encouragement.
Don and Tom, on board the Heiress on that first afternoon, before we hatched this plan, talking about what it's like to own and sail the same sweet boat for 25 years.


william mccoy said...

Hi guys, just read your opening blog entry, catching up on your history, a fascinating and deliberate journey--I like it! And what a great sailboat to boot! Puts your page in perspective, nice.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@william mccoy - thanks for stopping by & catching up. I just re-read this post myself, and it's interesting to ponder how boats and sailing have become core to our lives in the two years since that first conversation about venturing down this path. We're in love. And it sounds from your posts that you are too. This weekend, from the cockpit, with a cigar & scotch, we'll send up a toast, to this sweet life, and you and your good boat.