I am Captain Dave Greenman, and I have spent most of my life on the water. I got the sailing itch when my friend took me out on his Hobie Cat one sunny morning in Newport Beach when I was thirteen. Not long after this experience, I purchased my first boat: a rickety old thing that forced me to carry a first aid kit of duct tape and wire everywhere I sailed in case something broke and had to be repaired. As a teenager, I did not have money for fancy boat hardware so these “handyman tools” had to suffice. I was MacGyver before there was a MacGyver.
Embracing my newfound sailor side, my friend and I decided to sail 40 miles from Marina Del Rey to Catalina a few months later in a ten-foot sailing dinghy for buffalo burgers. We did not have navigation equipment or even a radio, but we were adventurous, hungry teenagers so this decision just made sense. Almost at the halfway mark, the Coast Guard “pulled us over” and forced us to turn around. Downtrodden and starving, we shared a half-eaten, stale bag of chips and sailed home.
Gluttons for punishment, another friend and I used to purchase a “new” old boat every couple of years. One time, we drove all the way down to Irvine to pick up a boat that was listed on Craigslist. We should have known that the pictures were too good to be true! The boat was “sailable” but the trailer was rusted to the core and had a flat tire. Needless to say, the ride home was an adventure that involved getting stuck on PCH and backing up traffic for several miles. I can easily imagine the road rage that everyone behind us was most likely experiencing.
Fast forward to my fifties when I finally decided it was time to obtain my captain’s license. At this point I had been out of school for several years, so it was a bit daunting to jump back in that saddle. Monday through Friday, I barely had time to stop and eat let alone breathe for several weeks. At this point, I wanted to strangle my drill sergeant, oh I mean my daughter, because she followed me around with flashcards and made me do my homework. But now, after all is said and done, I could honestly say that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was worth every penny and every pain-staking hour because I get to sail for a living.
Now, as both the owner of a 40-foot catamaran and a United States Coast Guard Licensed 100 Ton Master, I understand the skill and dedication it takes to properly care for a vessel. As liberating as it is to see nothing but ocean on the horizon, I appreciate the time and effort it takes to make that freedom possible.
I want every boat owner to have the chance to reconnect with the sea so that is why I do what I do.