Sitting in the last row in an auditorium designed to hold 500 people, I could barely make out the features on the face of my professor. His message, though rings as loud today as it did when he first spoke it. The course was a requirement, "Personal Finance." I debated whether to take basket weaving or flute lessons but decided to be smart and learn how to manage my money. Fast forward 33 years and I'm still making credit card mistakes. Although I am proud to say that for the past 13 years I didn't carry any debt, besides a house, car and boat payment. This past summer, however, sent me into a 'gotta' have it" frenzy. From buying a watch for each member of my women' sailing team to that new bikini for showing off my slimmer figure to a whole new working wardrobe, my spending went spinning out of control.

Add to that debt SPRAY, my pride and joy of the solo summer coastal cruise, needs a bottom job, some repair work on the main hull, and a few hatch cover replacements, To get these tasks done I find myself borrowing from that dern VISA credit line. My husband also convinced me to buy a new bathtub; yet he refused to relinguish funding from our joint account and insists he will install the tub sometime in the future. What's the hurry? The bill is on my credit card and it fits perfectly in the dining room,,, (sarcasm intended). I do appreciate being married to a handy man but ripping up and laying tile when I could be spending my retirement sailing solo around the world isn't my idea of fun. Let's not continue there because today I discovered someone who is enticing me with a world that just might be too good to be true...

You probably know the end of that phrase, a la professor of Personal Finance, "If it is too good to be true,,,it is." But, please spare me the reality of what might come to be. Rather, humor me with the possibility of what could be. It all started with being a member of Sea Knots. For the past year or so most of my Sea Knots' communication has been with other ladies wanting to sail while maintaining a functional financial existance. Lots of encouraging words have been shared amongt us. Then, today the unthinkable. I received an e-mail from some unknown asking for colleagues to sail from Sardinia (wherever that is), across the med, through the straits of Gibraltor then let the trade winds carry us to Antiqua. Wow, Antingua. Oh my, an opportunity for an ocean crossing. I couldn't resist doing a little research.

"Pooey," I thought as I followed the link. There before me was one of the most picturesque scenes of a Belize 43 catamaran. Clear blue skies above, translucent seas below; it looked too commercial and while I typed a comment asking for more information I believed I was suckered into an advertisement. Indeed, I felt cheated that Sea Knots would have commercial users on the network.

I consoled myself by meeting 4 of the ladies on our monohull sailing team for some solo sailing drills at the local club. We had a great time sailing prams. The other gals, as well as myself, practiced stopping our boats, holding position, then gaining forward momentum; starting tactics and maneavering in tight quarters were also employed. We had a wonderful time and I think the girls appreciated our post sailing chalk talk. We left the yacht club with a renewed kinship.

Back at home my phone was ringing incessantly. It was Ty, the guy with the Belize 43. My first comment was disappointment that his offer to sail across the big pond was a charter deal. "No," he explained. This is his personal boat and he just wants others to join him in the crossing. We spoke for about 30 minutes, exchanging tidbits on our sailing resumes and goals. Perhaps more importantly, Ty is a financial advisor with a willingness to get me into the higher earnings market. He promised to send me information on how to make some money as well as more details about the 6 - 8 week adventure bringing his luxurious Belize back to the Caribbean.

Wow, if I can finance myself for 3 months without pay, without succombing further into the hands of that Vicious Interest Stealing Ape (VISA) I can get my first ocean crosing under my belt. Wonder if hubby will join us? Even if I don't make the crossing how grateful I will be to learn how to make money. . . school counseling just ain't a makin' it.

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Comment by John Storring on October 5, 2009 at 8:34am
I know you will, but I have to say it, be veeery careful, Bernie Madoff had a really beautiful boat also.

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