The preacher at the church I grew up in had two teenaged sons that bought a Hobiecat. This little 14′ catamaran sailboat sat in the front yard when they weren’t sailing it and their father always said he’d never get on it. Well, one day he did. And it was great fun, enjoyable. He had to have one for himself.
After a time of owning his own, others commented that he should try a bigger boat. He insisted that a bigger boat was no good. It had to be this smaller size. Eventually, he tried a bigger boat. Well, when I say try, it’s an understatement. He bought one, a 36′ yacht. In fact, he bought 2. The second one he bought because it had a slip at the small craft harbor, so he immediately sold the second to make room for the first. I sailed on his boat many times. I hung out on it a time or two. We even had a youth party or two on it. It was great fun.
Growing up on a peninsula, I spent a lot of time in and on the water. A half mile north was Back Bay, a half mile south was the Mississippi Sound. I was swimming, canoeing, rowing, motor boating, and most of all fell in love with sailing before I was old enough to drive a car. My cousin, across the street had a 12′ Sunfish. Big difference between it and a Hobie, but no less fun to sail. Once my cousin and I carried the Sunfish to the front beach to sail. We had a heck of a time getting someone with a tow hitch to pick up the trailer and meet us by the lighthouse to bring it home. This was long before the days of cell phones, and pay phones only cost a dime.
So, one day I made an offhand remark about wanting a sailboat, and the preacher said, “What kind?” All I wanted was a little Sunfish. With a mono-hull and lateen sail it was much easier to sail, but more importantly it was much smaller and while it was still an insurmountable amount to a 12-year-old, they were closer to being affordable. When I mentioned that he laughed at me and told me I’d regret it because I would always want a bigger boat.
Well, yes. I wanted a bigger boat. I want a bigger boat than what I have now. But a 12-year-old doesn’t go from being the proud owner of a Schwinn to owning a yacht overnight. I never doubted his words, did not have to learn it for myself, and yet instinctively I knew that what he spoke on was not the way I would go.
If you’ve seen my avatar on the comments, that is a picture of me on the shakedown cruise of my current sailboat. I never did get a Sunfish like the one pictured here. Instead of starting small with a boat one person could set up and sail I went straight to a day-sailer. I still don’t have the bigger boat, but it’s not as small as I once wanted. And for the record, don’t read anything into the sail color, rainbows didn’t mean what they do now back in the 80s when the boat was first bought.
Over the course of the last six months to a year I have been reading Michael Hyatt and others blog about the need for aspiring authors to earn a following, particularly by blogging and being active in social media. Mr. Hyatt has some of the most informative, useful posts about what to do, what not to do, and how to go about doing it. He also has a large monthly budget for his excellent blog. The things on which he posts are useful and true.
Since I started this blog I have experimented with a few ideas. Some of the suggestions Mr. Hyatt made have been enacted here, others are planned to go into the works, some just plain aren’t. I again feel like a 12-year-old. My blog has become my boat. Unlike the last time though, my feet are wet. I see where I’m headed, I see that my blog may become more like his, just not yet. Right now I’m just spinning my small Sunfish around in a big body of water, learning how to handle it, honing my skills. There’s a lot to learn, even knowing the lessons beforehand.