The Reader's Digest Summary
We are a family of 3 - Dougal, Jen, and Cassidy (8) - with a goal of seeing a lot of the world from a relatively small boat. We sold our house, our cars, and got rid of all of our possessions that did not have a purpose on the boat. We spent the summer of 2018 cruising in the Pacific Northwest, as far north as Glacier Bay, Alaska.
After spending 6 months living onboard our Nordhavn 40, we decided that if we are going to cruise the world long term, it would be nice to have a little more space on our boat, and a longer waterline for a higher average speed. We sold our Nordhavn 40, moved to a Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer, and are now planning to move her from Florida through the Panama Canal to Mexico.
Eventually we plan to jump off to the South Pacific and circumnavigate.
Life Before Cruising
Jen is a CPA who started her career working for one of the "big 4" accounting firms followed by a long tenure at a large utility in Northern California. Dougal is a mechanical engineer with a background in aerospace, product design, and optomechanical systems.
Our path to the decision to cast of the dock lines and leave was inspired in too many ways to make a comprehensive list, but some of the more notable sources include:
- 3 @ Sea http://threeatsea.com/Home.html
- The Bessemer family is a family of 3 with a daughter named Ayla that cruised extensively and homeschooled their daughter on a very similar boat to ours. They cruised from the time that their daughter was in middle school to when she eventually moved off the boat to go to college. 3 @ Sea has a very thorough blog describing their adventures, but it was their series of videos “From the Pilothouse” that really roped us in and we watched many of the videos several times. Jen reached out to the Bessemeers and they were most gracious and freely giving of advice. Ayla even sent Cassidy a personal note and planted the seed to make videos of her own while we are traveling.
Food for Thought
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain (some very cursory research has led to the belief that attribution to Mark Twain is likely bogus. Regardless of origin, the sentiment really registers with us)
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967