Michael & Danielle’s 2009 Newsletter

New horizons. Early in the year, during our annual ‘personal retreat’ at the Ventana Inn - Big Sur, Danielle and I began looking at some new directions for the dojo and our future.  We began seriously discussing the idea of acquiring a cruising sailboat (38’ to 50’) with the intention of setting off in a south/westerly direction for an indeterminate length of time…  Somewhat related, we also decided to investigate restructuring the Aikido school as a non-profit corporation. 

A Christmas card from friends of ours that had just started an extended cruise from Mexico down to Central America aboard their 55’ Tayana sailboat prompted our interest in looking at sailboats and thinking of the cruising lifestyle.  We started travelling around the West Coast, looking at various sailboats, from San Diego to Vancouver.  About the same time a student at the dojo bought a beautiful, used Hans Christian 43’ sailboat – with the intention to live-aboard for a year or so before taking off on an extended cruise.  When Chris and his wife, Colette, invited us to sail with them from San Diego to Santa Barbara, we quickly accepted their offer!   Well, the plan was to get to Santa Barbara – but with headwinds and prevailing seas inhibiting our progress we only made it to Newport Beach after 3 days.  But we had a great experience, especially with Colette’s wonderful cooking and the superb wines provided by Chris, manager at Cantinetta Luca restaurant in Carmel.