Captain and Skipper

The Captain and Skipper

It’s not about the Journey, but who you travel with.

By definition a Captain is “one who leads or supervises”. This is beyond important on a ship. When you look at the history of boats, and what it takes to have one function without issue, a captain was not only important, it was a necessity. A ship could not make a destination without the leadership to keep an eye on the  destination, passage, location, weather, crew, and the ship status all at the same time.

As time has progressed some of those tasks have become easier. and the job of a captain has changed. This makes me look at RedSky, and being the captain of her. She is a vessel and needs leadership. I am without question the captain of RedSky, but I could not be in this position without my skipper.

I may make decisions, but none are made without acknowledgment and acceptance from my one and only skipper. Jenn is the reason RedSky and our family are merged in the way they have been.  She has put us in the place we are in, and added a security that we all needed.

When I met Jenn, I was unsure of what I had to offer and the direction my life was going. I knew what I wanted, but I had no good way to get there, and no good reason.

We met at the wedding of a friend. We immediately knew there was something between us, even if it didn’t land the anchor that night. We met, laughed, hung out, and had a great night, only to part ways with no expectation of even seeing each other in the future. However the short time we had laid a path for a strong road to bring us to the crew we were to become.

Years after, we were to be brought together again by something as simple as snow in Norther Michigan. I had to work but schools were closed. Jenn agreed to watch my girls as I worked. This act of kindness showed that this woman cared more than I expected. She was willing to help when no one else was, and not for any reason or compensation. She only wanted to help someone in need.

Shortly after we had our first date at “La Villa Ristorante” in Petoskey Michigan. A night that we talked from the second we saw each other, until I was closing the car door to leave. This added to the flame we felt years prior. There was so much that we talked about, and went over. But the biggest take away was our sense of adventure. Our desire to see the world, talk to people, hear music, learn of culture, and never stop trying to move forward.

We both had kids and a past. We both were not rich or well off. We both were not even at a point that we should even be dating with the expectation of moving forward. Yet we now found the person, that was at the same point, with the same desire, and had the same feelings. I met the Skipper to my Captain without even looking.

Jenn is the reason we have RedSky, and the reason that my dream of living on a sail boat is happening. I will never say we have been perfect all the time. However, we have been perfect for us the whole time and Jenn is the reason that I will forever say “It’s not about the Journey, but who you travel with”. She is who I want to travel, adventure, explore, learn, and enjoy with. I could never ask for a better skipper, and I am excited for the adventures we have in store. Whether they are planned or a surprise, they will be our life, and we will take them together.

Our Journey

Our Journey Continues Together

Over the last few years, Jenn and I have gone on many adventures. They have ranged from small ones, like driving around town chatting and having no destination. To big cross country road trips where we would talk for hours on end with no sign of an awkward pause. However every adventure is specials to us, because we ensure to always experience them together. This is what has inspired our motto to be “It’s not about the Journey, but who you travel with”.

In August of 2020 we made the choice to continue this journey as husband and wife on Redsky anchored in Little Traverse Bay. We have to admit, even though we had known this day would come for years, the decision and execution of the wedding was completed in a matter of less than a month…

And couldn’t have been more perfect.

Despite the short time we had to plan, it was everything we wanted. We had talked about it since the first night we were on Redsky, we wanted to get married on our boat. To be able to pull it off was nothing short of a dream.

The ceremony itself was only us, an officiant, and our witnesses. The weather toyed with our emotions, threatening rain and storms. At the end of the day, we reflected and found the weather could not have been more perfect. The water was calm, and the wind was light. The rain held off leaving us a warm day to enjoy our moments.

Redsky was our first purchase together, and has not only been a boat that has changed our lives, but it has been a symbol of our future. A future that neither of us expected, but neither of us could live without. We are sad to have started the planning to sell Redsky, and look into something a bit bigger. This boat has been a start to our life, and will always be special to the Bova’s!


Learning to Sail

How We Learned To Sail

Part of what made our sailing dream a true adventure is learning to sail. Now when I say we are learning to sail, I don’t mean we took classes or are being taught, I mean we found such a good deal on a boat that fit our needs so perfectly that we didn’t have the time to actually learn. Instead, we purchased RedSky, with never having even stepped foot on a sail boat in our lives. Almost every person we talked to after buying RedSky even asked “Have you ever sailed before” and I had to consistently reply “No, Not even on a sunfish”.

This doesn’t mean we were ignorant to the processes of sailing and the theories and concepts. We had spent countless hours studying not only the actual act of sailing, but what boat life entailed. The costs, the lifestyle, the extra needs and time it took. We studied the difference between sailing on the inland lakes of Michigan, the Great lakes, and even the ocean. I wanted to share some of the things we learned along the way.

The first and probably most important thing to look at is the cost. This is probably the number one question any boater get’s and it’s with good reason. Boat ownership is costly, even well after the actual purchase. It’s no secret, we got a deal on RedSky that was and is still unbelievable, but that was the smallest cost of the ownership. There is everything from the small costs like fuel, and getting personal items for sailing. But there are also the large costs like the docking fee’s, winter storage, moving, and sails. I could (and will) write a whole blog on just the cost of ownership, but I will save that.

The next step to learning was something that came as a pleasant surprise. We learned that the boating community, like most other hobbies, has a large following and everyone is willing to help however they can. The first few days in the marina we had multiple boaters coming up and offering advice, and willing to answer any question we had. We even had one that came and helped us put on our sails, and taught us how to raise them. He also gave us the best advice we will ever get as boaters, “Every sailor has advice, some is good and some isn’t…. but listen to it all and find out what works best for you”.

The next thing we learned is more personal to us, and I say it with a caveat.We learned what we want in a sailboat that RedSky doesn’t have. Now I don’t want that to sound like I don’t like RedSky, on the contrary I love her, and think it was the BEST first boat to have. We have learned alot, and the things we want moving forward are more creature comforts. For example, our next boat will have a rolling furling for a jib, however I love that we have to go connect our Jib halyard, raise and lower the jib EVERY time we want to use it. The comforts we don’t have forces us to learn the skills we need.

One of the last things we learned was a two part lesson. First part was, sailing isn’t a hobby, it is a lifestyle. And part two was, it is the lifestyle we were born to live. Obviously having kids, and limited funds have put us in a place where we can’t just live on a boat. However, this is almost better, we have the time to really decide what we want, and how we want it. But we do know without question….. one day, we WILL live on our boat.

There are so many more lessons we have learned, and each lesson is a story all in itself. I am excited to continue to share, hopefully as much as you are excited to read.