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About Our First Boat
A Morgan 24 – Points Unknown
2004
In Sight of Our Future
~ In Sight of Our Future ~
The Real Cruising Kitty
In Sight of Our Future
Striking the Match
So often, we're asked how we got into this unusual lifestyle and Points Unknown pops into my head – that little, utilitarian boat that will always fondly be remembered as our first.

When we decided to ardently go after our dream of a life spent sailing over warm tropical waters, we wanted to take action right away – even while still living in our landlocked area of Ohio. After some brainstorming, we devised a list of things that would help us prepare with little investment and without an actual vessel. And it's important to note that every one of these preparation activities included interaction with others who shared cruising dreams and desires similar to ours, and fanned that flame of reaching our final goal.

One undertaking was obtaining our Amateur Radio Licenses, giving us access to the only technology that provided free long distance communications, email, and weather fax without internet access or satellites. To be honest, though we understood the value, neither one of us was very motivated to become a HAM radio geek. Heck, we didn't even much like talking on the phone with close friends let alone having staticky conversations with distant strangers! Nonetheless, in the winter of 2004 we buckled down to the task.

Our first attempted to simply read a book in preparation for the test failed miserably. Anything would distract us from the dry, technical material. And without actually having a radio, it all seemed incomprehensible. So I decided we should sign up for a class given by a local club, and thus be forced to commit one night a week to the task. Perhaps we'd actually get to see the equipment in action and become a bit more motivated.

Points Unknown in Her Cradle
~ Points Unknown in Her Cradle ~
Kismet Kindling
Apparently, there weren't many who thought it'd be fun to spend a dreary month sitting in an old school room, learning about radio theory, FCC regulations, and operating practices. Because our group's number could be counted on one hand. Besides ourselves, and the peculiar instructor whose endless droning and awkward manner threatened to sink the whole endeavor, there was but one other couple. Amazingly enough, however, the other couple who'd braved the bitter boredom of learning about antiquated technology from a bona fide misfit were there for the same reason as Don and I!

Like us, Jerry and Ellen were Midwestern novice mariners who'd caught the bug and leapt into their dream life. They'd retired from their jobs, sold their house, had already bought their cruising boat, and were just finishing up the loose ends. The most important information we acquired that day was that everything they knew about sailing, they'd learned on their 'trainer' boat, a 1967 24’ Morgan. And it was up for sale.

Catch a Fire
Don and I hadn't thought about getting a starter boat before, but after brief consideration, concluded it would be wise to make the investment. After all, Don's sailing experience was nil, and mine had almost always been on someone else's vessel, with a knowledgeable captain to handle any concerns and all responsibilities. We felt we really needed to get a taste of what our future life might be like before we purged our present into the past.
Future Cruisers
~ Future Cruisers ~

I understood Morgans to be stout production boats with a great reputation. This model had a full keel and a rudder controlled by a tiller; aspects that mirrored the Westsail 32s Don and I were considering for our cruising boat. Ultimately we determined that, for the expense of a summer vacation, we could get some real, hands-on experience in sailing and living together on a small sailboat, and have a lot of fun in the process.

A Burning Desire
Don prepared a wonderful survey to guide us on our inspection of the vessel and gear, then we took the 90 minute drive over to Sandusky Harbor Marina where Points Unknown sat waiting in her cradle. She was pretty utilitarian, but her hull was sound, her engine was new, and she came with a nice complement of sails. On May 1st, 2004, she became ours.

We spent all the spare time we had that summer doing boat projects, living onboard, and sailing to many of Lake Erie's best ports of call; Kelly's Island, Put-In-Bay, Catawba Island, and Marblehead. By the end of the season, we felt like full fledged sailors. Most importantly, we discovered in those short, six months that all the crazy, lazy, amazing, amusing, terrifying, intimidating, gratifying, relaxing, taxing, pleasurable, and memorable adventures we had were experiences we wanted to attain again and again.

We'd become cruising junkies!
Raised Sails & the Jolly Roger
~ Raised Sails & the Jolly Roger ~
Steps anyone can take toward becoming a cruiser:
  • Join the Seven Seas Cruising Association — The SSCA's Commodores’ Bulletin provides real stories from real cruisers, and is a wonderful way to gain insight on the realities of living aboard and cruising. They are a very open, friendly, and social group with lots of events, training sessions, and valuable information they love to share both online and in person.
  • Get training from the US Power Squadron — The US Power Squadron is a fantastic way to get an education in most all aspects of boating, for a fraction of the cost of seminars or other training programs.
  • Sign Up as Racing Crew — Look for a local yacht club. They usually sponsor sailing races, and the contestants are always looking for crew. It's a fun, and exciting way to get real hands on experience. You will learn tons.
  • Obtain your Amateur Radio License — This technology still remains the best way to communicate over long distances, send and receive emails, weather data, and images all without need of the internet or satellites.
About Us
About Re Metau
About Our Journey
Becoming Re Metau
About Our Cruising Kitty
Neptune
Tour Our Floating Home
Big Living on a Little Boat
About Our 1st Boat
A Morgan 24 – Points Unknown
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“Success soon palls. The joyous time is when the breeze first strikes your sails, and the waters rustle under your bows.” ~ Charles Buxton