Cameron and I met in our very first class (Viticulture 101) at UC Davis as transfer students into the Viticulture and Enology Program in the fall of 1999. In late 2000 we started dating and I got to know him, his history and his dreams a bit more.
Traditionally, I’m a land locked lady. I grew up on dairy farms in Washington and Oregon. My activities and passions are very terra firma centric; riding horses, rock climbing, making wine, camping in the sierras
… It’s a bit challenging to do those things on a boat…or so I thought.
But something about the floating life was appealing to me, and my willingness and interest in sailing and cruising, began a whole new chapter in my life, and probably secured me a great marriage deal with my cruise crazy husband.
With an eagerness to spend as much time with Cameron as possible when we were dating, I would usually join him after he was done teaching at OCSC Sailing School on the weekends and we would take boats out on the bay and have a blast in the wind and spray. Turns out, he is a great teacher… he never yelled at me once! This has to be some kind of record for cruising couples. It also turns out that I really enjoy sailing. Even on the bay! I’ve been told: “If you like to sail on the San Francisco Bay, you can sail anywhere in the world.” A theory I plan to test. But what I really began to fall in love with (aside from him), was the idea of cruising. He would talk about this endlessly and I began to see us traveling the world on a boat. Somewhere between learning to sail and marrying my husband, a dream became a plan.
Once I had my appetite wetted I wanted more. Cameron told me about the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and it happened to line up quite well for a post European harvest job. He was just coming off working the vintage in Spain, and I was just finishing up at Robert Mondavi in Napa Valley. I flew to meet him in Spain and we went to the Canary Islands where the rally jumps off. We climbed on board with a really nice couple who had just purchased their Catana 42 and our first transatlantic adventure was underway. We had a great trip, sailing to the Caribbean, meeting really fun people and learning to overcome challenges along the way. I learned that Cameron was a good sailor, a darn good mechanic and a very good problem solver… not to mention tactful and effective with the people around him. I learned also that I was capable of holding on to a sail boat for 17 days without seeing land…key point here.