His First Love

First, my apologies for missing last week’s post. My sweetheart and I left the comfort of our boat to travel back to Beaumont to celebrate Father’s Day with our families. In the spirit of the holiday, I had a chat with my brother, Steven, (whose wife will soon give birth to his fourth daughter) about his first Harvest Moon race and his general thoughts about boats and boat life.

Steven opened the conversation by telling me about his first sailboat. While living in Galveston, he found an old sail while riding his bike. With it, he and our dad rigged up a make-shift sailboat created out of a paddle boat and attempted to sail. This attempt failed, of course, but it sparked a fire in him. Within a month, they had enough research to find and purchase the appropriate materials and built, not one, but two operating sailboats.

During their research, they got into contact with a Galveston sailing group. Six months later, Steven was asked to start racing on Wednesday nights with the sailing group. He continued to teach himself to sail and, before long, he signed up to participate in the Harvest Moon Regatta – a two-day offshore sailing race from Galveston to Port Aransas.

I went out with my brother on his sailboat a few times while we were growing up, but, since we lived separately, I only got to hear about his racing days – and I love hearing how much in love with it he still is. Listening to him talk of his first Harvest Moon race, it is easy to see how his love of boat life so influenced Andy to propel us into this current chapter of our life.

Steven’s first Harvest Moon race was on a boat named the Alesandra. He had this to say about her: “beautiful name, beautiful boat, but just like any woman she was f***ing crazy.” He explains that the Alesandra was 41ft long and 8ft wide, with huge sails. She was rocket ship fast and, as he shot across the Gulf, he fell completely and utterly in love with sailing. His descriptions of the sensations felt during that sail are nearly poetic and not unlike feelings used to describe finding a soulmate.

“8 o’clock at night, no lights, nothing… and you’re going on a sailboat… no motor on, doing twenty miles an hour and all you hear is the water rushing by the hull and wind blowing through the sails… I can’t even describe the sound, I can’t even describe the way it made me feel. I would just lay there on the deck, look up at the stars, and listen. Just feel everything come together to make us move… and I fell in love with it. It’s my passion.”

Steven took his passion and made it his career. I am beyond proud to say he will be getting his Captain’s license in a few weeks. He moved on to say that each new boat is like a new relationship. He firmly believes that a boat is like a woman and that if you take care of her, she will take care of you.

While I had his attention (and because he was partly responsible), I took the opportunity to ask his thoughts on his older sister living on a houseboat. His response was as follows: “I think it’s great. I never saw it in a million years, but let me tell you something… it’s the people that you least expect to do it that do it and do it the best.”

Andy and I are definitely doing our best to make those words fact – and having a great time along the way. While being called off by one of his beautiful little girls, Steven had one final piece of advice.

“Never let anyone talk you out of it, and do what makes you happy.”

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