Like many parents, Everette put his dreams on the back burner, doubtful that they would ever materialize. His dream was to sail long term but with 9 kids it seemed impracticable. So when 5 months aboard SV Sea Fern materialized, it was almost like a dream come true.
Almost, but not really.
Everette would “shop” for sailboats online, hoping one day he could have his own sailboat. I, on the other hand, wasn’t much interested in living on a boat. Although I had grown up being on the water a lot with my dad and his Reinell power boat, and having a love for the water, I wasn’t at all convinced I would enjoy ‘living’ (i.e. being trapped!) on a small vessel bobbing around on the waves.
We had been out a few times on small sailboats a few hours at a time. Our very first time was way back when we only had 2 children and we were taken out on a trailerable MacGregor in Seattle. And a tradesman that did some work for Everette took us out on his Tanzer back on Vancouver Island.
Our daughter Rauchelle had the opportunity to be a partner with 3 old fellows (her Uncle, a man from Austria, and a man from Germany) in a 22′ Tanzer, so we spent some time on the Bras d’or Lakes (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) with Rauchelle, and on our veterinarian friend Jim’s 34′ Alberg. That was back in 2009!
But nothing of our own.
And then things changed.
As the family spent more and more time in Mexico, Everette was commuting back and forth to Vancouver Island. Him and our son Mitchell could easily bunk up with our eldest daughter, Layne, for a few weeks at a time while they worked. But then came the Significant Other, and after a year of sleeping on their floor off-and-on it became evident to all parties that some other arrangement had to happen.
Enter…the idea of a sailboat…the cheapest ‘housing’ solution for the guys.
And so Everette and Mitchell got serious about sailboat-shopping and settled on purchasing SV Quetzal the end of October 2015.
A sailing trip that December was necessary to get the sailboat to a marina closer to where the bulk of their work was located. Ice and snow didn’t stop them from moving SV Quetzal from Powell River to Sooke Harbour.
Of course, we Facebooked their journey!
Everette sent pics and updates nearly every day, and I put them up on his FB page so he could show off his sailing expedition to his friends…my big brother Brian in particular. Rub it in a little, as Brian’s dream is sailing, too!
Who knew what would come of such a simple step as making their winter sailing journey a social-event?!!
Everette returned to Mexico in February, and by mid-to-end February he was contacted by a FB friend he hadn’t seen in real life for about 43 years! Norm had gotten sad news that his brother had died while sailing along Baja Mexico. His sailboat was moored in security at the Cabo San Lucas marina, and needed to be moved asap. The inheritors weren’t sailors*, and so they approached Everette to see if he could move it out of the marina to help avoid the huge monthly mooring fee until they could get the paperwork dealt with and get the boat sold.
And that’s how it came to be that we had 5 months aboard SV Sea Fern. Check out the video below of some highlights. There’s more videos over at our YouTube channel, too.
The biggest and best thing about spending 5 months aboard SV Sea Fern was that without a big outlay of money, we were able to discover that sailing even with a big family IS possible for us. We don’t have to wait for an empty nest. We can provide an adventure of sailing and living on the water and share in building those memories with our kids NOW.
*Are you aware of the difference between the words ‘sailer’ and ‘sailor’? ‘Sailer’ refers to the vessel, ‘sailor’ refers to the person. I didn’t know that before. Oh, I’ve learned so much from having the opportunity to sail.
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