I'm Tristan, a 27 year old guy living in Maine building boats and currently trying to live on one.
I started sailing when I was only 7 years old. I grew up in a small town with an even smaller yacht club taking sailing lessons every summer. I was never the best, but I eventually started putting more time in once I met a sailor from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and that's where things picked up. I started racing every weekend, all summer long. Once I made it to C420 I was sailing nearly every day, in fact, my last summer, my skipper and I sailed every day for 50 days straight. Maybe not astounding for a cruisers lifestyle but when the pressure was on as a high school sailor trying to get into college, that was a lifetime.
The hard work paid off and I was able to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Unfortunately I was burned out. Sailing just wasn't doing it for me anymore and I left the sailing team (who went on to win the national championship their senior year). I not only left the sailing team, but after two years and a period of time on board the USNS Charles Drew in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, I decided to leave school in pursuit of becoming a Special Operator in the US Navy.
To make a really long story short, I got my SEAL contract but broke my neck in a diving accident about three months before I shipped out to Basic. My life spiraled, I was paralyzed from the neck down and there wasn't really any light at the end of the tunnel so to say. However, I kept a great attitude and fortunately I was among the rare few that make a full recovery.
I could go into detail about recovery and everything that happened after the accident but I eventually went back to school out in Gunnison Colorado and had the time of my life, I just had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of it. It was during this time I realized how much I had missed sailing. My life wasn't moving so fast anymore and I could enjoy things again. Hiking, Skiing, Rafting, but no sailing out in the mountains.
Once I graduated I bought my first boat. The Johnson Long-shaft, a 23' Seafarer Challenger. Bought her off craigslist for $900, worth every penny. I fixed her up (a little), had an amazing time with her, and was able to sell her back to a friend in the Moriches bay before leaving to Maine.
I started this blog mostly for myself but I'd be thrilled if you'd follow along or at least swing by every once in a blue moon, maybe even reach out, we could go sailing.