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!





                                                            2005 Zia Later.   All rights reserved.   Your mileage may vary.   Void where prohibited by law.