The Reader's Digest Summary
We are a family of 3 - Dougal, Jen, and Cassidy (7) - planning to leave San Francisco Bay in April of 2018 on a small boat with the intent of seeing a lot of the world by water. We sold our house, our cars, and got rid of all of our possesions that did not have a purpose on the boat. We will home school Cassidy with formal curriculum supplemented by the multitude of experiences we are bound to encounter on our voyages
Our plans are currently to transit from Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands to Juneau, Alaska over the month of May, and then slowly make our way south on the inside passage.
Eventually we plan to head down the west coast of the US and into Mexico. From there, we would either head into Central America and through the Panama Canal, or more likely accross the Pacific to French Polynesia.
Timing for the voyage south is uncertain....but we hope not to wait too long. The advice from other cruisers to ‘just go’really stuck with us. It’s never the right time. There’s always one more project at work. You never have ‘enough’ money. But we are young and healthy now....so let’s get ready for the experience of a lifetime.
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.
- Sailing Zatara https://sailingzatara.com/
- A family of 6 that is currently in the middle of a circumnavigation aboard a 55 foot sailboat. They have a great continuing video series on youtube that documents their journey and shows all of the ups and downs of living on and traveling the world on a small boat.
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