“What’s the farthest you’ve sailed in one of these boats?” I asked over the roar of the offshore gusts snapping against a taut sail.
“One time when the wind was particularly fast…halfway to Cuba!” came the lifeguard’s grinning reply.
Perhaps I should rewind.
I’ve often perceived sailing as a hobby reserved for a select group of people – those who have the time to learn the techniques of rigging and operating a sailboat, the money to afford the boat and maintenance, and the convenience of living near a suitable body of water. I once helped a friend rig a sailboat for a boating camp, and the work of hoisting the heavy mast, attaching the mainsail, and untangling the myriad of lines and clips took an entire afternoon. However, my husband Philip’s job involves boating and watersports, so I knew we would cross paths with sailboats again.
I recently fell in love with sailing while celebrating my marriage. Philip and I exchanged vows on October 10th, 2015 and honeymooned at Couples Tower Isle in Jamaica, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Ochos Rios. The resort offered numerous complementary watersports, including kayaks, paddleboards, and Hobie® Wave catamarans. The bright multi-colored sails and sleek white hulls cavorting in the waves immediately caught our eyes, but once we saw the lifeguards charging through the waves while balanced on one pontoon, we ditched the shopping shuttle in favor of the beach.
Once we were underway, we were surprised at how few moving parts were required to operate the Hobie Wave. “It seems pretty simple to operate,” Philip commented.
“Ya man,” our guide replied enthusiastically. “You loosen this rope to work the sail,” he said as he showed us the single rope in his hand, “and steer with this bar.” He adjusted the angle of the sail, tilted the rudder bar, and we shot forward under a fresh gust of wind.
The Hobie Wave boasts plenty of speed, but the ride was so smooth that I almost lost track of the distance. Within minutes, the wide, spacious beach resembled a white sliver of sand for ant-sized people as we glided over coral reefs in crystal-blue water and skipped nimbly from the crest of one wave to the next. Our guide’s story about sailing halfway to Cuba suddenly didn’t seem too far-fetched.
Like many honeymooning couples, we made a schedule of must-do excursions and activities, but we still had plenty of down time. When the afternoons were sunny and breezy, the conversation frequently went like this:
“So, honey, what do you want to do today?”
I quickly recognized the sheepish grin when Philip would ask, “Can we go sailing again?” Of course the answer was always yes.
Now that we’re home, we still recall sailing on the Hobie Wave as one of our favorite experiences from our honeymoon. We plan to learn sailing so we can carry those fond memories forward into our married life together.
And don’t tell Philip, but I’m already planning ahead for our five-year anniversary gift.