Orvil Newton has not received any gifts yet
In the Beginning….
Of course it all started many, many years ago for me. I can’t really remember exactly when I got the bug but it probably dates to the early 1960’s. The credit (Or blame, as it were) has to go to Gardner McKay and his television show, “Adventures in Paradise”. If you never saw the show you missed a real treat. Gardner played Captain Adam Troy of the 82 foot schooner “Tiki”. The plot was, basically, just him sailing around the South Pacific in search of cargo, passengers and adventure. Many years later, in about 1990, I had the good fortune to meet Gardner McKay in Hawaii. It seems that we have a common interest, sea kayaking, and, I discovered, a few mutual friends. Gardner is a fascinating man and I have a couple of great stories involving him. Buy me a couple of beers the next time we’re in port and I’ll tell you all about it.
Cruising the Pacific in my own boat remained just a dream while I finished growing up and stayed on the back burner through my fifteen-year career in the US Army. Then, while recovering from knee surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, I noticed the boats out on the ocean and I remembered the dream. I had time on my hands and access to a library so I started reading. I devoured Hiscock, the Pardeys, Tristan Jones, Joshua Slocum and anything else about cruising I could get my hands on. I resolved to own a forty foot ketch someday and to go cruising just like Captain Adam Troy.
Life went on, as it tends to do when you’re not paying attention. Fast forward to 1990. Now out of the Army for ten years and with a good job in Honolulu, I started looking for a boat. I had a small inheritance but not enough for a forty foot ketch in seaworthy condition. A friend of my boss got tired of listening to me talk about my dream of sailing and said to me one day “Why don’t you buy my boat?”. “What kind of boat is it.” I asked. “An Albin Vega 27” was the answer and the price was just right for my budget. “But it’s too small.” I complained. “Nonsense!” he replied. He was right. I moved aboard on April 1st 1990 and found the hoard of VODCA Newsletters stashed in the locker under the forward bunk. I dashed off a check to Sid Rosen. (NOTE: Sid was editor of the American Vega Association newsletter. I took over in 2000 and am now the AVA site webmaster)
Now that I had the boat, the dream became a goal. I began developing a plan to achieve it. The plan has changed over the years but, surprisingly, not much:
Prepare the boat while securing enough capital investments to yield sufficient income to support the cruising life. (See Annie Hill’s “Voyaging on a small income”)
I initially decided that I needed $100,000 but increased that when Laura joined the crew. I figured that about $10,000 a year would be enough with no recurring bills to pay. Although my job provided a very good profit sharing plan, I learned all I could about investing and put away every penny I could scrape together.
Meanwhile, I made a list of everything that needed to be done to the boat and all the gear I would need. While toiling at my job earning the money I needed, I worked on crossing off items on the list.We finally cast off on May 26th, 2007.