Who We Are.....
I'm not exactly sure what a typical American
family looks like, but I am pretty certain that even if there
were an easy definition, we would not fit it. The simple
facts fit, but a few oddities in our backgrounds account for a
slightly different perspective than your average American.
Speaking of perspective, I have to apologize for the fact that
most of this website is written from my perspective.
Although Joe loves to
write and is good at it, I was the one who was eager to keep
up our journal in the early days of our adventure and so it
continues. This page is something Joe has suggested for a
long time and I am finally getting around to adding it.
It's a hard one. One of our main goals with this website
is to make our adventures accessible to everyone. Our
lives are all about exploring and learning from the world around
us. We are fortunate enough to be able to do this in a
wonderful way. We love to make new friends through our
travels and through our website. It enriches our lives and
that is exactly why we are doing this.
Joe and I were married in 1991, he at the age of
36 and me at the age of 26. We had our first child,
Cassie, in 1997 and our second, Juliana, in 1999. We met
in Washington DC and lived there for five years before moving to
Annapolis, Maryland in 1993. There I discovered sailing
for the first time. Joe had grown up sailing with his dad.
He is the youngest of three sons and the third of four children
in a family that moved around quite a bit. His father,
Gerald Boyle, was an economics professor at the University of
New Mexico, where Joe spent most of his high school and college
years. Prior to that, Gerald worked as an economist for
various organizations, taking him to locations mostly within the
US, but also to Cairo, Egypt on a two year stint working for the
Agency for International Development. One wonders how a
kid in land locked New Mexico might grow up sailing.
Gerald owned a Catalina 25 called "Zia," the biggest boat on
Cochiti Lake between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
My family is originally from the Midwest, but
relocated to the Los Angeles area of California four years after
I was born. I am the middle of three girls. My dad
was a journalist. He worked as a reporter for the Los
Angeles Times covering many different beats until he was asked
to take a position as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, USSR.
The year was 1977. Three years in Moscow were followed by
a year back in LA, three years in Poland, four years in Israel,
and two years in London. I went to boarding school in
Rome, Italy for ninth, eleventh and twelfth grades and then came
back to the East Coast for college. Joe and I met a year
after I graduated and have been together ever since.
We both took to sailing and life in Annapolis
with great enthusiasm. With no kids to cramp our style, we
signed up as crew on a race boat and participated in as many
sailing races as we could. In Annapolis, there is no
shortage of races. Three nights a week and one full
weekend day were devoted to racing. We quickly went from
novices to pretty competent crew. Then we decided to
charter a boat for a vacation in the Caribbean. It was a
bit of a stretch to sign up for a bareboat charter versus a
crewed charter for our first trip, but Joe and I are both pretty
tenacious and we didn't want to share our island vacation with a
couple of total strangers. We pulled it off, and it didn't
take long for us to realize that this is how we wanted to live.
We saw lots of cruisers on their own boats anchored in these
beautiful spots and living their everyday life without the
frantic pace that always accompanies a vacation where you want
to get as much sailing and partying in as possible during the
week or 10 days available.
The planning began. We had owned our own
little computer company since 1989. We continued to work
hard and to dream about cruising. Joe was constantly
looking at boats. After our second daughter was born, we
put a timeframe to it. We would have to sell the business,
buy a boat, rent the house, and divest ourselves of most of our
possessions. We decided on a five year plan. In the
end, it took us an extra year to put the deal together.
Selling the business was the most crucial and the hardest task
to accomplish. We decided to rent the house rather than
sell it in case we wound up hating our new lifestyle. A
year and a half into it, there is no end in sight. We love
the lifestyle and hope to continue it for as long as we can get
away with it, and are still having fun.
I think both of our experiences moving around
opened up our eyes and our minds to the excitement of travel.
Living in places like Cairo and Moscow also taught us to deal
with a little adversity in the process. Life on a sailboat
is full of adversity and challenge, but if the reward is great
enough, they are well worth enduring. For us, the rewards
of experiencing endless sunsets, waterfront real estate in every
new port of call, learning a little of the geography, history,
culture, cuisine and customs of numerous countries are all
rewards that make it worthwhile.
Sailing is a passion. It also makes travel
extremely affordable. We spend a lot less money now than
we used to at home, although I have to confess that I'm not
keeping close track. I am sure you can imagine not having
the expenses associated with owning cars, no childcare, house
maintenance and any number of other expenses associated with
life back home. Once you buy the boat, you can really get
away with spending as little money as you dare. It is a
question of personal comfort and choice. We tried to
minimize the discomfort of living in the cramped space of a boat
by buying a catamaran. This somewhat offsets the
affordability of traveling by sailboat in that catamarans tend
to be more expensive than monohulls, both
in the initial purchase price and in the cost of operating them
over the years. On the other hand, they don't heal, so we
don't have to worry about our kids sliding off the decks so
much. There is a long debate over one hull versus two
hulls, which I don't want to go into here. Suffice it to
say that it isn't about the boat or
the amount of money you spend. It is about the adventure.
There are thousands of people from all different walks in life
out there cruising. They are all enjoying the same sunsets
and beautiful anchorages regardless of circumstances.
Careful planning, hard work, a little bit of luck and a positive
attitude will get you just about anywhere you want to go in
life. Go for it!