Can you drive a fork lift? Heck yeah I can, it’s just like driving a boat… 20 minutes later driving around with a pile of wine worth over 20k my heart thumping I’m reminded of a person telling me I’m not a captain because I don’t have a piece of paper saying so. When I go to sea I isnt a piece of paper that keeps my crew safe, it’s a lifetime experience of commanding ships.
I love skippering big boats, the bigger the better. Nothing gets your attention like docking a 50′ 50,000lb full keel boat in a cross wind with a green crew. Years ago I was skipper of a 65′ Formosa, when it came to close quarters manoovering you couldn’t tell that boat what to do. I learned the physical dynamics of the boat and basically was taken for a ride, I learned very quickly what she would let me do and what she wouldn’t, her huge bronze wheel was her saving grace and the right amount of throttle saved me from more than my fair embarrassing moments but sailboats are easy if you listen to them.
At the time I was dating a jet pilot and she always coaxed me into the cockpit, left seat with the tiller in my hand it was a close to sailing as anything I had ever experienced. The first time she let me take off and land in a jet I was convinced I would become a pilot but the truth was I was always just a passenger. It was her lifetime of experience that made everything so easy and I was constantly reminded of this every time she would give me full control. It was in those mere seconds where I learned that some things are better left to professionals.
Before leaving for Hawaii I hand crushed 55 gallons of Cab. I have gone through all the motions of making wine from hand to mouth but it doesn’t make me a wine maker. I am however making wine and in a few short years that wine will mature into my own Private Reserve Jack Tar Cab. Without a real wine maker holding my hand I couldnt do it but I am in the fortunate position to have the best guidance on the planet earth.
My wine will never be for sale, every bottle will be reserved for guests of the boat, a little thank you for all the people I meet on the water who make my life richer an fuller. The hardest part is being patient and waiting for wine to mature to perfection. Anything worth waiting for is worth waiting for, everything else in life is just a tax on our very few and precious alloted days on this earth. Anyone can pour grape juice into a bottle, slap a piece of paper on it and call it wine. On the good ship Sookie no wine will be served before it’s time.