I have lived my life, so far, in small prairie towns far from the sea. I have always loved seeing beautiful boats sailing on nearby Pelican Lake as I drove past, tales of the sea, (I read the Dudley PopeRamage series initially because of the name) and the romantic idea of sailing and the sailing life. I always thought this life was unobtainable unless you were quite wealthy. I was so wrong. In 2009 I bought my first sailboat, a 1977 Sirius 21 swing keel, complete with trailer for only $4000.00! It was a pocket cruiser with sink, port-a-potty and beds that we could actually sleep on.

I had previously owned a windsurfer (bought at a yard sale for $50) so I understood some of the basics of sailing but I had never actually sailed a boat before. I borrowed books from my local library such as Sailing for Dummies. I joined the Pelican Yacht Club and got my boat into the water. I made 3-4 trips out of the marina on to the lake and back using only the motor and not putting up a sail. Then one day a club member came out with me on a light wind day and we put the sails up.

The moment the wind first filled my sails I was completely hooked!

The Thrifty Sailor - Daryl Ramage