Posted by: Dawna Bate | August 11, 2012

Where it Began

In the words of Neil Diamond’s song Sweet Caroline, I can’t begin to knowing. I have no idea where it began. My attachment to water, that is. I don’t mean the type you drink, although I’m pretty attached to that as well.

I was born in the middle of the country – gateway to the west – Winnipeg Manitoba – and grew up in very land-locked towns and cities. Mom and Dad were both uncomfortable around water, and my siblings and I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it. Our parents made sure we could swim – not by teaching us but by making sure we had swimming lessons. For that I am grateful. But that’s a different kind of water as well. Swimming pool water just isn’t the same as nature’s water.

Vacations were also land-locked. Camping, mostly. I don’t remember camping near water. I remember Northern Ontario (although not the exact location) and Indiana Sand Dunes. I remember the year we lived in North Carolina going to Cape Hatteras for a family vacation. Walking the beach for hours — for so long that my father’s feet were sunburned so badly that he had to lay in bed for days. I was seven. Time was a mystery to me, so I remember feeling that it was a long time, but I have no concept as to how long it was. What is memorable from this is that I remember walking beside the water, but not being in the water.

The other thing that I remember about that trip to the Atlantic coast was feeling as if I belonged. Some unknown force was pulling me to the water. My soul was at peace and I felt like I had found my place.

Since then, every trip that I’ve taken that has been near water has had the same effect on me. Day trips to Toronto Harbour. Weekend trips to a former boyfriend’s cottage. Week-long vacations to the Caribbean. It is a feeling of completeness and coming home. Especially when I get to the ocean. When I get near the ocean. When I can first smell it. Even before I can see it, I feel it.

It isn’t just a feeling of belonging when I am there, but also a feeling of longing when I leave.

And this is where it begins – “It” being the sailing adventures we are having and “we” being my husband David and I. This blog is to chronicle and document our adventures on our sail boat, a 2008 Hunter 36 we named Second Wind.



  1. I’m excited to follow your blog and excursion highlights. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kelly. I’m excited to have you sharing our adventures.

  2. I cna really identify with your feeling of being “home” when on the water.

    • Yes, Joe, I knew that you would understand that!

  3. Oh, Dawna!! It looks so exciting and romantic!!

    • Thanks, Gerald. Stay tuned – It might not be all romance. (Am I building the suspense for you?) 🙂

  4. As a little girl, I always enjoyed trips to the beach at Ipperwash. My first boat ride came much later, then a sailboat cruise in Lunenburg Harbour,I even got to help steer the craft. Now that was neat.

    • Trips to the beach are wonderful, as well, Carolyn. The sailboat cruise in Lunenburg sounds awesome. I hope to be sailing our boat in that area of the world at some point.

  5. Hello Dawna, I’ll be sure to follow your blog and share in the excitement.

    • Good to have you on board, Ryan. Thanks!

  6. After my first sail in over 25 years today, I can understand your love of sailing!

    • Glad you have experienced it as well, Andrea.

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