I hadn't really expected to meet many sailors my age, as most young adults are busy working their ways into comfortable careers, scrimping and saving so that they, too, may one day enjoy a carefree retirement. I did, however, expect to see the occasional salty puppy enjoying a year off while still willing and able to do so. After all, even I knew that once you've bought a boat, the sailing lifestyle can be fairly inexpensive and relatively easy, a seemingly perfect choice for a semi-responsible 20-something. Yet for some reason, my generation seems to be unaware of this. So in hopes of promoting the great lifestyle of sailing, especially to the young and the inexperienced, I'll profile several young sailors who've decided to begin the cruising life earlier than most.
I'm 24 years old and a graduate of Virginia's College of William and Mary. Because my brother already had a boat, my transition into the sailing world was pretty easy. I simply reserved a time on the boat, saved my summer earnings, and joined Richard on his annual winter trip to the Bahamas. Before we left Sarah's Creek (which is in Gloucester Point) on December 27, 2005, I'd only spent a grand total of 20 hours on Margarita-or any other sailboat, for that matter. Over the next three months, I learned how to read the wind, interpret a chart, navigate at night, follow the waves, and cook eggs while barraged by high seas. We covered roughly 1,500 nautical miles from Sarah's Creek to Little Farmer's Cay, Exumas, and I spent less than $2,500; I could've spent much less if I knew how to catch a fish.