One morning I was tip-tapping away at a blog post when I received a FB friend request from Naomi. I review her connections and see she is friends with a friend involved the Henderson Symphony Orchestra AND a handful of our friends at Nevada Yacht Club. "Who is this Naomi?" I think to myself. I agonize over where I must have met her. She can't be involved with two of my favorite organizations, but never crossed my path before, is it? Eventually, curiosity wins out over potential embarrassment and I text her: "I feel like I should know you, but have we met before?"
To my relief, she replies "Nope!"
We got to chatting over Facebook Messenger about sailing and all things sailboats. Naomi has taken the lead on marketing the Nevada Yacht Club this season, and she's doing an awesome job. She has started a YouTube Channel called Desert Sailor and and a fun Instagram page @Desertsailor where you can watch the sailing adventures and fun happening out at Lake Mead. I'm happy because I can watch all my Desert Rat Sailing Friends from afar.
"Do you think you will ever be in town? Maybe you can come speak at the yacht club?" She asks me.
Sure, why not? I envision a raft up of boats with sailors drinking Sailor Jerry rum and swapping sea stories. When Naomi sends me a picture of Whitney Library's beautiful presentation space, I start to tingle with a little bit of nervousness. Stage? Giant screen? Spotlight!? Clearly, I love a bit of attention, so maybe I am mistaking nervousness for excitement.
So, I agree.
Then, I start working on a plan. "Andrew, what should we talk about?" We brainstorm a few topics that I love: planning, project execution, and a few Andrew likes. We settle on "becoming your own Captain." I fire up Keynote and start pulling in some relevant pictures. Then, I realize:
"I can't do a talk about becoming your own Captain!" I wave my hands at my sides a little bit.
Andrew looks at me and blinks.
"I'm not my own Captain. You are the Captain. If we are going to talk about this, you have to deliver the speech."
Andrew smiles his thin lipped "nope-not-gonna-happen-smile" and says nothing.
"You're the Captain, they want to hear from you anyway!"
"They are sailors!" Andrew tells me. "They love to talk shop."
I go through another list of options: Top ten tips for not killing yourself at sea. My favorite birthday anchor and anchor chain. Diesel Engine Repair for Dummies. "What do we know about any of this? This is our first blue water boat, first engine, first circumnavigation. It's not like we are out testing anything to figure out the best this-and-that. We aren't done yet. What if our plan fails? We'll look like fools yapping on about it." My instinct to duck and cover grows.
Then, my computer battery refuses to charge and I can't get anything done for weeks.
Everything turns out fine, though.
It was really fun to see all of our old friends with the Nevada Yacht Club and meet all the new people who have joined in the last two years. It is really cool to think that this little Yacht Club has helped a number of sailors go from sailing in the desert to sailing at sea. Dave and Yvonne on S/V Abundance, Nate and Nina on S/V Poppycock and the Oddgodfreys all plied Lake Mead together, and now all three of us are on our respective ships at sea.
It just goes to show if we can become a blue water sailors while living in the desert, you can do anything you want. There is always a way forward.