We can’t recall exactly what spawned Travis’ sudden desire to begin pursuing a dream to sail around the great blue sea, but I know that he began reading books about passages and watching youtube videos of people currently living the dream he was imagining while we were still living in Georgia and racing Mountain Bikes. He began devouring these books and videos and announced that we would be buying a Blue Water boat and sailing around the world….Great! I’ve always wanted to travel and the greatest memories of my life are being on a boat in Nantucket as a child. It never crossed my mind to live or spend extended time on a boat as an adult, but now I know it is one of the most natural things I could do. As soon as we get to the boat after being away and I start sensing the sights and the sounds of the marina and boating life… its like waking up and hearing birds out of a bedroom window in the morning. It’s home.
So we moved further into the mountains and away from the sea
A great opportunity opened up for us in Brevard NC, a beautiful and quaint town close to Asheville that we knew very well and loved. It was a mountain bike mecca and in keeping with the strange circumstances that generally unfold, we found that as we moved further into the mountains that we had actually moved closer to the sea.
Keowee Sailing Club
Travis announced that we should head down to Lake Keowee in South Carolina. Its about an hour from Brevard and there is a sailing club there. So we venture down to Keowee. We located the sailing club and drove through the gate, parked the car, and began walking the docks looking for a boat that maybe for sale. We were immediately greeted by a polite English man named David, whom we now know well and admire both he and his truly endearing wife, Barbara. Apparently the gates to Keowee are never open for folks to drive through, so we learn that us strangers walking the docks were a bit of an oddity. Oops! None the less, we met with David and Denny whom are the exact people we would need to talk to about joining the club. They explained to us that there have been no new members for some time, but the board had just been discussing opening up membership as some previous members had become nonactive. We left with applications filled out and the appointment for meeting the board members at the next scheduled meeting to introduce ourselves and be officially accepted into the club. We also left owning half of Denny’s boat that we just took out for a sail, with a puzzled David not knowing Denny’s boat was for sale! Denny said it wasn’t, but he just decided, “hey why not.” The sail with Denny was a riot. Now retired, Denny was then finishing his last year at Clemson as a much loved professor. He is an infectious, happy person that feels like an old friend over the course of a few hours… or a sail across Keowee.
A few weeks later we celebrated our anniversary at Keowee on our first sailboat, a 25 ft. O’Day… we had purchased the other half from Denny who decided to buy a boat with his son-in-law. We were officially ready to start this sailing adventure!
Over the course of a year, Keowee became a second home for us and its members an extended family. This was a perfect club for us to immerse ourselves with our new sailing adventure, full of eager, friendly and knowledgable people. Most of our friends at Keowee have an extensive background in sailing.
Because everything is a race with Travis, we got involved in the club races… Honey, it’s the best way to learn how to sail! Uh-huh… We spent time with our friend Chase, a friendly frenchmen from St. Thomas whom we’ve enjoyed so many outings and stories with on his boat Indigo. After Chase sold Indigo, we began crewing on That’ll Do Pig for our good friend Rob, a Clemson Professor with his heart in Maine and an overall fun guy to race a boat and drink a beer with…the order of that depends on how much wind we have in a race. Sometimes were lucky and his wife Betty, whom has a busy mom schedule, crews with us too! We still crew on Pig and have intentions on treating her to some big regattas next year.
We came to Keowee to immerse ourselves in sailing and prepare for this adventure that was upon us, and we did, but in the meantime we also developed lasting friendships, found a second home, and learned how to race a sailboat.