I have been day dreaming about someday setting out to see the world in a sailboat for about 8 years or so. My first experience with sailing was when I was 12 at my grandparents house on Lake George in upstate NY. There was an old 10 foot Snark that had been my uncle’s when he was a kid. My uncle showed me how to set up the sail and lines on the small boat and I recruited my little brother to launch the boat with me in the small cove by the dock. After about 15 minutes of figuring out how to make the small craft go in the direction we wanted we were skipping out across the waves and not even noticing the dock shrinking in the distance behind us. I was instantly hooked by the feel of the boat being propelled across the lake and the sound of the wind against the sail. I also discovered that the further we went towards the middle of the 3 mile wide bay the more the wind increased and the faster we were able to go. I was completely caught up in the moment and did not consider in the least how long we had been gone or how far we were from the dock until a sheriff boat pulled up along side of us. The sheriff said it looked like we were doing fine handling the boat but suggested we turn back as my grandparents had called worried as they were loosing sight of our sail a few miles out on the lake.
I spent many days for the next few summers sailing the little Snark around the bay for hours at a time. After college I purchased an old McGregor 21 that I completely stripped down and fixed up with the help of my stepfather and brother. This is when I began reading every sailing book I could find and started thinking about someday owning a true blue water cruiser and traveling the world. For a long time I thought this was just a crazy dream myself and did nothing to try to make it a reality. I had plenty of other hobbies to keep me busy on the weekends.
After a few years of working in a cubicle for an insurance company I knew I needed a change and that this was not what I wanted to do with my life. I had a well paying job and was able to purchase whatever new kayak or mountain bike I wanted, but this was not enough. I was spending more and more time at work starring at photos of boats and reading sailing articles but the dream still seemed so far out of reach. I did decide to make a change though. I saved up as much money as I could for 6 months, quit my job and moved to Colorado.
The new scenery and incredible places to snowboard, kayak and mountain bike made me forget all about my dreams of traveling and sailing for a while. I purchased a house, got a dog and had so many options for things to do in the mountains, but I found myself once again daydreaming of sailing and visiting far off places and new people. This dream still seemed unattainable, and even if I did sell my house and all my belongings to buy a boat what fun would it be to travel alone?
I decided to make another drastic change and this time join the Navy as a Corpsman for the Marines. It would provide me with an adventure, that was for sure, and a chance to travel. My friends and family questioned whether Afghanistan is really someplace I wanted to travel to, but I wanted my adventure and was willing to take the risk. I have always had a great deal of respect for people in the military and thought this could be quite an experience. This is around the time I met Ashley. I explained to her my reasons for wanting to join the military and also my desire to someday go cruising. After a few months of our relationship going very well and the date I was to leave for boot camp quickly approaching, I began thinking this might not be the answer.
Ashley was the first person I had met who took my cruising dream seriously and said why couldn’t we go and why not soon rather than maybe someday when we retire. We are both young and not tied down by careers we can’t leave or children. We decided that maybe we could really make this happen. So we began making our plan and we thought that the blog would help us stay focused on our goal and keep us honest about our progress.