Practical Dreams

Sometimes I dream big, owning my own private island with a dock out
front and at least four boats tied up to it right next to a perfect
right point break and a private tutor to come school the kids for six
hours a day while I write and sail and surf everyday. Sometimes I dream
a little more practically. Owning a MacGregor 26 is more of this kind
of a dream. It’s got an affordable sticker price, can be trailered so I
don’t have to pay slip fees, and it is virtually maintenance free if you
don’t count scrubbing jelly off the deck from my kids peanut butter and
jelly sandwiches. And it is the perfect boat for my Florida trip. It
can sail in just 12 inches of water, it has solid foam flotation so that
even if you drill a hole in the bottom it won’t sink, not that I’m
planning on doing that, and it is totally self-righting so in the rare
chance I might be knocked over by a rouge wave, it will pop right back
up. You can throw a motor on the boat and go so fast that a harbor would
be within minutes if I got word that the weather is making a turn for
the worse.

As I was perusing the MacGregor website, as I do on a regular basis,
I noticed that Captain Mike Inmon who runs the MacGregor factory has an
offer for a free DVD if you go visit the factory. Maybe it was all of
the old books I had read or maybe just my imagination, but, I was always
under the impression that all the boat builders were in some old wooden
garage somewhere tucked away on the East Coast. So when I found out
MacGregor was only a 45 minute drive from my house and that I was more
than welcome to stop by at any time and learn how they made a boat out
of rolls of fiberglass and resin, I put a visit on my calendar.

Last Friday I made the drive up to Newport Beach and paid a visit to
Captain Mike. He greeted me with warmth like a proud papa excited to
see me and show me all that his factory held. We started
where the boats start with rolls and rolls of
fiberglass. As we walked through the factory we followed along just as a
boat would from fiberglass and resin to full completed boat ready to be
shipped anywhere in the world and I watched as all these pieces were
slowly and masterfully worked into a piece of art. Every hole was cut
with precision and every piece perfectly cut to line up with the plan
exactly. And it all made for a boat that was precise. One that was
exactly as it had been designed to be with no room for human error.

We walked into the room where they poured the resin and I at once
felt at home. I have spent countless hours bathed in the smell of resin
and fiberglass while fixing surfboards over the last twenty years (ok,
that just made me feel a little old) and it’s a smell that, to this day,
reminds me of having the space and time to think. Fixing surfboards
was a great excuse to get outside in a place where others would be
driven away by the smell and how, while my hands would work the glass,
my mind was free to wander. I think solo sailing has such a strong pull
on my life for the very same reason. With days on end without another
human for miles, my mind can drift on the wind finding new places to go
and new solutions to years old problems. It will be a time to sift over
the pain and friction Diabetes can inflict on a life and try to draw
some sense out of it all. To find a purpose in all of it and then to
turn that purpose into a life story to share with other people who have
Diabetes or the ones who love someone with it or those who deal with the
kind of friction that comes when a body can’t provide as much as the
mind wants it to. I knew with that smell that I had been joined to these
boats, hopefully, starting a long relationship with one of them that
will carry me through my journey and provide the place I need to make
sense of it all.

We finished our tour and as we sat in Captain Mike’s office chatting
for a bit, once again I realized how this trip has opened doors to
share with people what little I have figured out about the technology of
my disease and living with it and how common it is for people to be
affected by illness. I left with my promised DVD in hand and a better
view of how big this trip can be and how far it can reach and I have
Captain Mike Inmon to thank for that.

See, if you just lived on the east coast you would be all set:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/boa/1914163228.html

I found a boat sponsor, the great guys down at Key Lime Sailing Club. They have the coolest cottages down on the beach in Key Largo that you have free use of a boat when you rent one. I can’t wait to get down there.

I haven’t been here for a while, just checking in to see what my favorite peeps are up to. Erin, if you are serious about doing some “real” sailboat cruising, step away with “all deliberate speed” from a Mac 26!!! Just IMO!

Fair Winds,
Mike

mike, i have thought about that for a bit, too. it’s not my ultimate dream cruiser but i like the ease of a pocket cruiser for cheap. i have since heard some"interesting" things about them. i would never do any real cruising on one.just day sails local with the fam. i just like the price, though i have found older catalinas for just as cheap. i am actually taking a 22 catalina from Key LIme Sailing Club on my trip and am so excited.