Over the last couple of years, I've cast away my career in financial planning, and I'm slowly building a career in sailing. Brick by brick, so to speak. I'm slowly making progress. One day in the not-so-distant future, I hope to earn money by teaching sailing, by delivering yachts from point A to point B, and by skippering tourist and/or corporate charters.
I started with training and education, in the way of additional U.S. Sailing certifications in 2015. Then I moved on to my first ocean passage in 2016. I closed the year 2016 by completing another ocean crossing as well as skippering a charter in Croatia.
In 2017, I trained to become a Sailing Instructor, which was my first confirmation that I can actually get paid to sail. It was an huge win, one that was made that much sweeter by including all the joys, rewards, and, yes, challenges of teaching (which I already knew about, as a former high school math teacher).
Now, having taught my first few sailing classes (which was more fun than I could have even imagined), I'm taking a quick break to lay another brick in the wall, or foundation, of my sailing career: I'm heading to New Zealand this evening to meet up with sailing vessel Avalon. In the next couple of weeks, we will attempt another ocean crossing up to Fiji!
I say "attempt" because that's exactly what it is. An attempt. Yes, we plan for it, we prepare for it, and we expect to complete it. But you just never know what can happen with Mother Nature, the Ocean, and sailboats. All have their own personalities and complexities. We just can't say "We leave on day X, and we arrive on day Y."
Regardless, I'm filled with excitement and anticipation for another experience of a lifetime with the skipper and crew of this great boat!
With a successful passage, I will have nearly 5,000 ocean miles under my belt... which will increase my marketability worldwide to skippers looking for experienced delivery or passage crew. As I mentioned before, that's the second way I hope to make money sailing. (In case you lost track, the first way is teaching.)
As those future crewing opportunities present themselves (and assuming I pursue them), my ocean miles will continue to accumulate. At some point, I will become that salty sailor with endless sea stories, I will earn my US Coast Guard Captain's License, and I will be the sailor that you want skippering your tourist charter or corporate team-building sail. That's the third way to make money.
So, yes, I do have a plan. And a financial plan. I'm just starting over and that takes time, and a bit of an investment. I'm grateful to everyone who supports me, helps me, advises me, and believes in me!
For now, watch for updates as this New Zealand-to-Fiji sailing adventure unfolds...