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  • Writer's picturePhoenix: Reimagined

A Dream is Born... (and the inspiration behind SV Imagine's name)

Life is about the journey, not the destination...right? For us, the journey has been fraught with ups and downs but there's no doubt that we've packed a lot of life into our years. Grab yourself a beverage, a snack, and settle in to read the tale of how this dream of sailing was first hatched, the defeating blows and arching triumphs, and finally the culmination of achievement.

When my husband, Reason, and I married in 2007 we were so strapped for cash that we barely scraped together $1,500 for a wedding let alone a honeymoon. By the time we spent $1,500 on a dress, tux, venue, and reception we didn't even have money left over to stay in a hotel for the night. Instead, we drove the nearly three hours back to our house and I slept in the car on the way home...but we were in love.

We moved to Florida in 2008 and within three months of moving we had both lost our jobs within two weeks of each other. We were barely hanging on, living off of unemployment and surviving on a box of Ramen, loaf of bread, and carton of eggs each week. We lost our house, one vehicle, and were paying credit cards with other credit cards just to make ends meet. It was 7 months before I found viable employment. During that time, we made sure the dog and horse were fed (better than we were) but everyone was pretty skinny.

Cheri's Cafe, Maho Village, St. Maarten

After times of only having pennies in our bank account, we were introduced to the idea that thoughts become things in 2010. We began to realize that what you think (and thank) about, you bring about. We were determined to never go back to where we had been again. Life began to look up and we had hope in our hearts once more.

In 2012, we had brown bagged it and paid on credit cards enough to take a vacation!

We were going to Sint Maarten for two weeks! We joked that the first week was our honeymoon and the second to be our five year wedding anniversary.

We carefully researched all of the island's beaches and carefully refused to plan any excursions. We were determined to spend our time snorkeling, swimming, and most importantly, using this time to dream build. Little did we know that our paltry, bland dreams were about to take on a salty turn!

Reason winning the drag show, Cheri's Cafe, Maho Village

We did, indeed, snorkel and swim in the crystal clear waters of both the Dutch and French side of St. Maarten. We enjoyed laying on the beach at the Rainbow Cafe and Reason even won the drag show at Cheri's Cafe in Maho Village, St. Maarten!

Although we promised ourselves that we would take no excursions, the temptation proved too great and thank goodness it did. It changed our lives forever.

SV Too Rhum punch took us around the entire island on a beautiful day sailing adventure. We stopped off at beautiful anchorages (like Baie Lounge) to swim and snorkel. We were enchanted.

Never had we guessed what a visceral reaction we would have the first time we stepped onto a #sailing #catamaran. We had never been on a #sailboat before, let alone a catamaran!

SV Bluebeard took us to #Anguilla where we experienced the most amazing sand we had both ever seen. The sand was so soft (like powdered sugar) that it squeaked when we walked.

We went on a sunset/dinner sail aboard SV Tango and that really sealed the deal for both of us. After dinner, I stood at the railing in the dark and whispered to Reason, "I want this. I don't care what happens, I want this."

All of a sudden, we couldn't get enough. We booked every boating experience we could from sailing catamarans to Anguilla to high speed ferries to St. Bartholomew.

We started driving to different coves all over the island to look at boats and dream big, we did!

Everywhere we looked there were boats! We walked through marinas and it was like a feast for the eyes! We had no idea what we were looking at but we knew that the sleek lines, billowing sails, and luxury appointments were all we had ever dreamed of having.

Privilege 615

Our minds were filled with having a large yacht and sailing the world! After all of our looking and dreaming, we finally settled on a Privilege 615. We came back time and time again to look at her. There was no particular rhyme or reason, we just loved how sleek she was...and she looked fast.

In a post on Facebook, I even commented about how much we loved her and that she (or one like her) would be ours some day.

Excitedly, after almost two weeks of looking at #boats and #dreaming about sailing, we went back to the hotel one afternoon to finally put our dreaming into action. We fired up Google and entered "catamaran" into the search engine.

SV Bluebeard - Anguilla 2012

The first manufacturer we came across was Sunreef. While stunningly beautiful, their starting price was so far above where our imaginations could take us at that moment that we tried another and another. We looked at Fontaine Pajots with similar results. We hesitated to even look at a Privilege thinking it would be too disheartening, and it was. In a single afternoon, our dreams were CRUSHED. The distance we had to travel from where we were financially (barely scraping together a 2 week vacation in the off season) to where we needed to be to afford a sailing catamaran was too great.

Tampa Bay, USA 2020

What should have been a jubilant end to an incredible vacation was a complete kick in the teeth. We hadn't even begun and yet, we were already ready to give up.

Through the years, every vacation we went on we made sure to incorporate sailing in some fashion. That led to us to renewing our vows on our 10 year wedding anniversary on the bow of a boat at Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, Greece (that's a whole other blog post and several sailing adventures), sailing in Connecticut, USA, and finally culminating in a fateful sail of Tampa Bay for my birthday in 2020.

On the bow of SV Schooner Clearwater, once again I turned to Reason and said, "I want this. I don't care what happens, I want this."

SV Tango - St. Maarten 2012

Those words (among others) started a whirlwind of activity surrounding the purchase of our very own sailing catamaran. We still aren't financially ready for this adventure but we're committed to seeing this dream through! I will write about the search and purchase in another post but before this tale is through, I owe you the meaning behind SV Imagine's name.

Our thoughts, really, really, do become things and what we put out into the world DOES come back to us. We had given up on our dream of sailing the world but the Universe hadn't forgotten our feverent wish all those years ago.

SV Imagine - St. Augustine, FL 2021

Imagine stands for:

I'm - a - genie

My wish is my command.

Baie Longue, St. Maarten - 2012

We create our own lives, our own realities, and the synchronicities aren't even evident to us at the time! This was brought home to me more than ever when I went back through Facebook to find photos for this blog post! The boat we looked at in St. Maarten that we so desperately loved? Yellow sail cover! The photo of Reason standing on the trampoline of SV Tango just as the sun set and minutes before I told him I wanted this lifestyle? Yellow sail protector! The photo of SV Imagine our first full weekend on the boat? Yellow sail protector!

Neither of us are particularly fond of the color yellow, but it has definitely grown on us! We'll be keeping it as part of our color scheme going forward. After all, how many boats do you know of with yellow sail covers?

We aren't victims to our circumstance but rather creators. We need only IMAGINE.

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Cheri Raspante Phillips
Cheri Raspante Phillips
Jun 25, 2021

I can only imagine where this dream will take you and I am thrilled for you both!


Jun 25, 2021

I remember following your sailing adventures and being rather look at you!!!


Liz Walker
Liz Walker
Jun 25, 2021

If you can dream it, you can achieve it. So super happy for the two of you. What a journey thus far. So many to go....I'll be cheering you on, much love

Phoenix: Reimagined
Phoenix: Reimagined
Jun 25, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much for the love!

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