The crane slowly lifted Love Song from her chocks and lowered her into the water. Her full six foot keel floated eighteen inches off the harbor floor while her main mast swayed gently from a passing wake. Howard and I beamed in pride. She was beautiful with her newly cleaned bottom, barren of barnacles, promising to slice through the Caribbean waters at six knots. A Japanese built forty foot Mariner Ketch, she was built for cruising, not for speed. The thinnest place on her hand laid-up fiber glass hull was three quarters of an inch thick. A heavy boat with lots of storage space, Love Song was the boat of Howard’s dreams.

“She’s going to make wonderful home for us, Sue Ann,” Howard said excitedly.
“And she’ll be a safe boat to sail us to the South Pacific.”

I wasn’t so sure. Neither one of us knew how to sail. In fact, I’d never even been on a sailboat. Howard’s petit rum punch loaded day sail out of St. Thomas, hardly counted for sailing experience. Since it was his dream, however, and I’d do my best to make it come true. At thirty years old, and a former Secret Service agent, I’d become a fairly confident woman. I can do this, I thought. Reaching for the Guide to Sailing book, I began studying the mysterious diagrams of sails, wind directions, currents, and tides and a whole new vocabulary of sailing terms. The South Pacific would be only a thirty day sail out of sight of land. What the heck? It sounded like my next great adventure.

Confidence comes from being pushed out or your comfort zone and doing it anyway. It’s not something that is taught – it comes from experience.