It was my dad's fault, he bought a little 25 foot sail boat and took us sailing when we were kids. Despite my mothers common sense, off we would go for 3 months at a time, with us 2 kids, the dog and the budgie. We would drive for days towing the boat from Sydney up to the Great Barrier Reef and explore the islands for months. The first time we went we didnt even have a proper chart, just a map with little dolphins printed on it. Some other real "yachties" took us under their wing, told us we couldn't be out there without a chart and gave us one! This photo shows me (brunette) reading stories to my little sister Cristi (blonde), who now does our accounts at West Indies Wear, sitting in the cockpit filling in time while mum & dad sailed us to the next island. These are the most idyllic memories of my childhood. When in an anchorage we kids swam... we swam off the boat, we swam off the beach, we swam from the boat to the beach, and in the afternoons we were made to keep a journal - mostly about what we did each day SWIM. We learned about the sea, and the sea creatures, we saw dolphins swim along with the boat, we caught fish for dinner and we had sharks swimming under the boat to clean up the scraps we threw overboard (we didn't swim then) This photo shows us sailing along in Kimisti, our little 25 footer named after my sister & I. This photo shows us in the dinghy heading ashore, look carefully and you will see it is the 7 year old brunette (me) who is driving the dinghy. Like all experiences you have as a kid, you don't really realize how they will impact on your life. It was some 22 years later when my boyfriend & I bought a bought a boat in South Africa, took sailing lessons, a navigation course, and consumed every book & magazine we could get our hands on about how to prepare for an ocean crossing. Two years after coming up with idea of "going sailing" and we were half way across the Atlantic Ocean, on our way to the Caribbean islands.... but that is another chapter in this story #islandsmiles
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