Dalton W. Williams
Hello, my name is Dalton Williams...
I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1945. I have lived in Vail, Colorado for seventeen years starting in 1985 and for all purposes, I consider Vail my home. Well ... that was before before ,,,
Have you ever dreamed about living on a sailboat anchored off a tropical island? That dream flooded my mind a little over three years ago on a Sunday afternoon in Seattle, Washington. I was at the helm of a 12 Meter Americas Cup sailboat sailing across Puget Sound having the time of my life ... It was the first time I had ever sailed a sailboat.
In March of 2002 I will began my "fourth life" aboard Quietly. This site is a record of my adventures aboard Quietly and how I came to be here.
I grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and attended elementary school there. Then starting in the 7th grade I attended middle school and high school in Columbia, Tennessee. College was back in Louisiana at Louisiana Tech majoring in Business Administration and Management with minors in Accounting and Computer Science. I was the quiet, nerdy kid who spend his non study time programming computers and starting a campus radio station. But my favorite pastime in college was my work in the drama department where I worked back stage in more than sixty plays.
My Life at Work ...
After college I joined the United States Air Force and went through Officers Training School and Pilot Training. Then I was assigned to the 7th ABCCS in Udorn, Thailand flying specially equipped C-130's for a year; after which I was assigned to Barksdale AFB and Guam flying B-52's. Having completed two tours to Viet Nam, one flying C-130's and the second flying B-52's, I was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross for ...lets just say doing something and living to tell about it. My last years in the Air Force were spent as a Base Procurement Officer, a job which I found I greatly enjoyed!
I left the Air Force in 1976 to join Ross Perot's Electronic Data Systems. At this time, to feed my love of flying, I purchased a 1946 Navion. I flew Navion N91413 for almost 20 years and 2000 flying hours before moving to Vail, Colorado. E.D.S was a great place to work while getting experience that could not be attained anywhere else. There I worked in Title XIX Medicare claims processing in Austin, Texas and in Madison, Wisconsin before being transferred in to the banking division where I helped write the first combined Visa/Master Card processing system in Dallas, Texas. E.D.S. truly was one of the best experiences of my life and prepared me for what was to become my career.
In 1978 I left E.D.S. and moved home to Shreveport where I opened one of the earliest computer stores in the nation. Micro Business Systems, Inc. grew from just myself and my Aunt working in one room to sales of 2.5 Million in 1982. But in 1983, 43 computer stores opened in Shreveport and they were buying computers for $2,500 and selling them for $2,000 and going to make it up in volume! We held our pricing and began to loose sales except for the software division I had been building. Performance Series Software, as it was called, carried the retail store until 1984 when I sold Micro Business Systems and moved to Vail, Colorado and grew Performance Series Software into a nationwide business in 1985.
Performance Series was a full featured business accounting system that was developed out of my love of business management and accounting. The business flourished selling Performance Series Accounting into the Alpha Microsystems Mini-Computer market place. Over the ensuing years, over 600 businesses selected Performance Series Accounting and even now there are hundreds still using the system. I insisted that Performance Series Accounting be as perfect as possible, and IT WAS! It worked so reliably that our customers found that they did not need software updates and slowly the business faded as PC's replaced mini-computers.
It was 1995 and Performance Series was just eking by when Mr. E.B. Chester who was Chairman of Vail Bank made me an offer I could not refuse. Vail Bank was about to embark on a path to become the largest bank in the Colorado Mountains. E.B. was looking for someone who could enable the bank's growth through technology. What a marvelous opportunity!
Vail Bank became Vail Bank's Inc. a public company with WestStar Bank as its new name in Colorado. From 1995 through 2002 I developed systems and networks for the bank. During this time, the bank grew from three branches and $55M in assets to twenty-seven branches and $550M in assets. As the bank grew, my job responsibilities increased and I became Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. You can read my resume for further information.
How I got involved in sailing ...
It was a Cisco training class in Seattle, Washington in 1999 that I sailed that 12 Meter Americas Cup sailboat and got hooked on sailing. A month after that day, I was in sailing in San Diego attending J-World and US Sailing Basic Keelboat sail training for a week on J-80's. I passed my Basic Keelboat Certification easily and returned home to Colorado a confirmed sailor.
The following summer I was back in San Diego at J-world taking the US Sailing Basic Cruising course sailing J-105's. It was a great week and as luck would have it, only one other person was in the class with me and she was called back to work on the second day! So I enjoyed a week of private sailing lessons under Jason, a Scotsman who has been sailing since he was three. We sailed the J-105 hard and with just the two of us, it was a real learning experience. The exam was easy after that and I received my US Sailing Basic Cruising Certification.
In January of 2001, along with fellow students Tom, Pedro, Mark and our instructor Polly from J-World Annapolis, we spent eight days in the Abaco's completing the US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification. This was the first time I had lived aboard a sailboat and it was a total blast! We anchored out every night and sailed among the cays of the Sea of Abaco, Bahama. Tom had flown in from Saudi where he works in the oil fields, Pedro was an attorney in Philadelphia, Mark a real life brain surgeon from Baltimore and Polly, our instructor had sailed for years in the Pacific and most of the way around the world with her husband. It was wonderful and with my flying experience I helped teach the navigation portion of the course. We barbequed every evening on the boat and had fabulous meals prepared by all of us.
I came home even more excited about sailing, and now I was excited about living on a sailboat and exploring! The dream was alive!
But could I handle sailing in big seas and heavy weather? That was the question, and an important one, if I was going to live a board and explore the world on a sailboat!
While pondering my next step during the summer of 2001, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and had a malignant melanoma cut from my right arm. It was time to act while I am young and healthy enough to follow the dream!
I had read about the Mahina Tiare III Open Ocean Sail Training. After reading about John and Amanda Neil's sail training, I signed up for 17 days sailing in the North Sea from Tromso, Norway to Gothenburg Sweden during August 2001. Once again my navigation experience came in handy especially when we were sailing inside along the protected coast. You can read the log at http://www.mahina.com/leg401.html.
After completing this wonderful trip, I was l considering how to proceed when September 11 happened ...
It was time to make the dream a reality! The links on the side bar continue the story of how I purchased Quietly and our continuing sailing adventures in the Ships Log.