Tell someone that you’re taking a substantial break from the status quo to sail about the world for awhile and you’ll inevitably be engaged in an extended game of 20 questions. For anyone that we haven’t talked with in person, here are the ones we get most often and always enjoy answering. Missed one? Let us know in the comments below.
Wait! You’re doing what?
After responses ranging from “you’re crazy” to “can I come along?”, we then re-explain that we are moving aboard our sailboat to spend time with each other in God’s creation, especially the tropical parts.
The reasons are far too numerous to list here and more details are at “Our Dream, God Willing,” but for the most part, we want to experience life at a different pace for awhile. Also, to gain perspective on how blessed we are and satisfy a curiosity to see the world differently.
Where are you going and for how long?
We’re planning to head out from Texas to Florida along the Gulf Coast and throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean. This trip will take about six months or so. You can see more details here and continually track our progress by clicking the globe in the “Keep In Touch” box on the left.
When are you setting sail?
We’re planning to toss the docklines the beginning of November. The actual day will be dependent upon the right combination of weather, tides and winds.
Do you know how to sail?
While we aren’t professional sailors, we have been sailing together for about 3 and half years. We know our boat inside and out, how to properly trim (adjust) the sails and most importantly, how to watch the weather doing our best to stay at anchor when it’s blowing too hard to sail comfortably. And we’re looking forward to learning even more about sailing while out there living it daily.
Are you sure you’re ready?
As with most big things in life, you can prepare as much as you like but you’re never quite ready. So there’s no better time than the present to really answer this question by heading out. If we’re not ready, we imagine that we’ll learn how to be pretty quickly.
What are you going to do out there?
This lifestyle will be a significant change of pace for us, but before you envision crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, know that cruising is hard work. Maintenance and care of the boat alone will take plenty of time but so will swimming in crystal clear waters and exploring white sandy beaches.
What about your jobs?
We’re taking a leave of absence. We both have excellent careers and our employers were gracious enough to leave the doors open. And if we find a different calling while out there, we’ll pursue that.
What will you do for money?
Before we were married, we lived like most people, with some debt and no significant financial plan. Regardless of going sailing or not, neither of us were content with our financial situation. So, we changed that by following the financial principles laid out in the Bible which were made easier by using Crown Mvelopes Software. The biblical principles helped us pay off all debt, empowered us to be more generous with what He has provided and save enough to pursue this dream for awhile. Read more about this part of the journey here.
What will you do with all your stuff?
Since we decided to go now, we haven’t had time to acquire much. In fact, that’s part of the point of this adventure, being liberated from stuff and free to enjoy experiences. Of what we do have, most has been sold, some given away, and the rest put in storage. For the stuff we “really need” we’ll figure out a way to bring it on board. If it doesn’t fit, we probably don’t need it anyway.
What will you do for food?
While our boat has a fridge and freezer, they are very tiny, so packing food aboard ,or provisioning as it’s called, is an important part of preparation. We ‘ll stock up in the States from places like Costco, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s (Christie’s all-time favorite) and buying fresh vegetables and meats along the way as needed. Surprisingly, there are many foods that don’t need to be refrigerated and can be stored for a long time. Eggs for example, if never refrigerated, can be stored for up to three months as long as they are rotated a few times a week.
How will you stay in touch?
Part of the point of this adventure is to turn down the volume on our 24/7 digital connectivity. That said, we will still have many ways to keep in contact with friends and family. Besides the normal marine communications (i.e., VHF), we have a worldphone for calls when on shore in any country and a WiFi extender to get signal up to a few miles from the source. With WiFi, we will have email, this blog and Skype. For tracking purposes we have a SPOT satellite GPS device and for safety, we have a GPS EPIRB.
What if you get lost?
Thanks to modern technology, it’s fairly hard to get completely lost. Our boat has multiple GPS receivers and redundant navigation systems to help keep us on course. More importantly, we carry good old fashioned paper charts (maps of the sea) and a compass to navigate with. In the worst case, there is always land in some direction, right?
How big is your boat and can you really live on it?
Kaleo is a 34 foot Aloha sloop with room for six to sleep, though more than four people makes it a bit uncomfortable. While the accommodations are small, we believe it’ll be an excellent exercise in learning to live with less stuff and more experiences. Bonus, we’ll have a really big back yard.
There are millions of people around the world who live in much less. Kaleo has a galley (kitchen), head (bathroom with shower), salon (living/dining room), v-berth and quarter berth (bedrooms), navigation station (home office), and a cockpit and deck (patios). Plus, the bigger boat, the bigger the expense, which means less time we get to be out cruising.
Is it safe?
The reality is that we’re more likely to be in a car wreck on the freeway than any real danger from sailing. With prudent seamanship, common sense and thorough preparation, most mistakes that lead to unsafe situations can be prevented.
What about pirates?
If we meet Jack Sparrow we’ll probably invite him onboard for dinner. All kidding aside, “pirates” are a real threat in some parts of the world, but not the parts we’re going to. Our biggest threat will be locals who might eye the outboard dinghy motor, which we’ll have to remember to lock up.
Haven’t you seen Shark Week?
Yes and it’s scary. They’re out there. And we’ll be in their neighborhood. We’ll be nice and hope they are too.
What about rogue waves?
We’ll hold our breath ;o).
What happens when you get in an argument?
We’ll be forced to make up a lot quicker since there’s nowhere for either of us to go. If it’s a bad one, Matt will ride in the dinghy while Christie lets some extra line out behind the boat.
Can I come visit?
Absolutely! We would love nothing more than to be a friendly face in a place you’ve dreamed of visiting. After you get done swabbing the decks there will be plenty of time to go ashore or sail between some tropical islands. If you’d like to come for a visit get a hold of us via the “Keep In Touch” box on the left.