And like many great journeys, this one began on a different journey. Five years ago, at 39,000 feet, coming back from Las Vegas, I saw our future. I had picked up some magazines that looked interesting at the airport kiosk; one of them was Passage Maker. By the time we landed at JKF, I saw a path for the life that had eluded me for so long.
Ever since I had lived in Europe in the 70’s and 80’s, I had wanted to live there, Italy, Holland, even Germany, but never saw a way to continue my career and make a living. Still I would visit, two, sometimes, three times a year, always a bit wistful when leaving.
A boat that could travel long distances and we could live on, looked like the perfect solution. Thus began the journey to make it happen.
It started with getting any book or magazine article I could find about trawlers and crossing oceans. Starting with Beebe’s book, I read all things motors, but sadly, there were not that many and after a while I had to resort to books and magazines about sailing across oceans. But being well read had the added benefit that the sailors provided a perspective that was missing in the self-admiring Nordhavn articles I had been reading. They helped me to see that you could travel around the world in less than a million dollar boat with its redundant systems (which always seemed to be breaking) and really opened up my thinking.
The real challenge was not the money, but having an efficient boat that was simple enough that I could fix pretty much anything that failed, yet rugged enough to cross oceans and equipped well enough that I did not have to use a primus stove, a lantern for an anchor light or anything to do with a bucket.
So the hunt began, pretty much on that great boat porn site, Yachtworld,
I also started looking at boats in the Netherlands with my Dutch friends. They had been sailing pretty much their entire lives and they really helped me to bring perspective to my ideas and search, and brought up many practical issues that I had not considered (such as, wherever you buy a boat, what’s the plan for getting it home?)