• How did you get this idea?

Years ago Tiffany was given a book called Cruising in Serrafyn by Pardey. This book written in the late 1970’s told the story of a couple who set out for a couple years cruising in their boat, Serrafyn. It was mostly in the Sea of Cortez but left a strong impression of what an alternative lifestyle could be like. When Jim was off work in 2004 and looking for a hobby, Tiffany suggested sailing lessons and gave him the book to read… the rest of the story you’ll read in the years to come on our webpage.

  • How long have you been sailing?

Two years ago in September Jim took his first sailing lessons in Santa Cruz. I took my lessons that following April/May. After only 2 voyages locally we then chartered a boat for a week in the Caribbean and having survived and thoroughly enjoyed that experience we were hooked. We took a second week long charter 6 months later and at that time had already decided we wanted to go out sailing long term.

  • How long do you plan to be gone?

The short answer is “as long as we’re enjoying it”. The actual route we’ve tentatively planned out is a 5 ½ year plan but we fully expect that to change on a daily basis as we talk to other cruisers, find places we like or don’t like, etc… What we don’t want to do is hold ourselves to an agenda or feel that we have to stay out a certain amount of time to have accomplished some goal. In the fact we’re doing this in the first place we have reached our goal.

  • Aren’t you scared?

Scared no, nervous a little. This is a major life change and as with any major change it can always be a little scary.

  • What about pirates?

Generally, cruising is safer than living in most cities. There are two areas you generally need to be aware of for pirates: Indonesia and the Gulf of Aden. In these instances, you plan to “buddy-boat”. You meet up with other cruisers heading to the same places you are and you travel together in a flotilla of several boats. The pirates are mainly looking for commercial boats with booty on board and seldom will bother with a group of cruisers sailing together.

  • Will you carry a gun?

This is a huge source of debate in the cruising community. It’s much lower crime than living in a society, some people still want to be more careful. The general belief is having or showing a gun will get you in more trouble than letting someone take a couple hundred dollars you may have on board. We will not have one. In many countries, you can’t even enter the country with a gun on board your boat and if they do happen to search and find a gun on board your boat may be confiscated.

  • Are you worried about storms?

We’ll only be sailing when there aren’t major storms (i.e. not in hurricane season). Weather reports and weather fax with current conditions will be readily at our disposal. Sure, we’ll get caught in some storms but you ride them out and after a few, just like other things, you start to get more comfortable. We’ll error on the side of caution and if we have to stay in port a couple more days to avoid a storm then we’re happy to do that. This, again, is why we don’t want to be on a fixed schedule.

  • How long will you be out to sea on the long passages?

Depending on where we are this varies. Our first year in Mexico we will rarely have an overnight sail. Once in French Polynesia, while sailing around the islands, we will regularly have 2-3 night passages but the three major passages will be the ocean crossings: Pacific, Indian and Atlantic. The longest of those will be the Pacific which can be up to 4 weeks without sight of land. No. We do not stop the boat at night and we do not anchor it(far too deep). We will take four hour shifts with one of us always on watch.

  • How much food do you bring with you?

We will probably have enough food on board that we could last for six months but it is more staples: rice, canned goods, pasta, etc… When we make stops we’ll be buying fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and the like.

  • Do you have a refrigerator?

Yes, there is a refrigerator and even a freezer on board. They’re not large by any means. The freezer is probably large enough for 3-4 regular size bags of ice you get at Safeway. The refrigerator may be a little larger.

  • Do you have an engine?

Even though it is a sailboat we do have an engine, Yanmar 100 hp. The engine is used predominantly for anchoring or docking, coming into and out of harbors. In rare occasions when you have no wind for very long periods of time you might use the engine to simply make you feel like you’re making some progress. We also have a generator to charge our batteries.

  • Won’t you get bored?

You might think so but there is always something to do around the boat. We’re also looking forward to taking up some new hobbies. Jim’s hobbies will include: boat maintenance, guitar and boat maintenance. Last time we were on the boat Tiffany learned something new she just doesn’t make the time to do at home, like Soduko. In addition, Tiffany’s hobbies will include telling Jim what boat maintenance to do, travel writing, swimming, yoga, cooking and boat maintenance as well. Besides, we already have more than 200 books on board!

  • Your cat is going!!!

Yes, Bailey’s Irish Cream is going with us. Since the boat is in Mexico she will not have an opportunity to get used to it until she moves aboard in November. Since sand is abundant, cat litter is not a concern and most everywhere has cat food, Friskies no less. There will be plenty of cat food stored on board.

  • How many bedrooms does it have?

The boat isn’t as claustrophobic as you might think. It has two “staterooms” with queen size “berths” and two “heads”. The food, parts and gear is stored in storage areas similar to your dressers and closets in some cases but also under the berths, behind and under seat cushions and even in the spare shower at times.

  • Will you have e-mail?

 Yes, we will have e-mail. We will be able to communicate by e-mail from the middle of the ocean with our SSB (Single Side Band) radio, long range. It won’t be immediate, like at the office, but more like the ancient days of dial-up. Because you send this e-mail over radio frequencies this won’t be our “ ” account but a different provider. Also, because it is slow and we don’t want to spend a long time downloading and uploading, this will be used more for sending updates to our website. While we’re in port, we’ll have high speed access via internet cafes. There are more of them than you might think.

  • How do you get mail?

We  will use a mail forwarding service. We’ll have a US address, in Florida actually where these mail services are physically located. Our mail will be sent there and held until we let them know addresses such as yacht clubs or post offices where they allow mail delivery. They’ll then forward our mail in packages or bundles. Therefore, we will probably have our mail delivered every couple months. No, they don’t send the junk mail. The service sorts it out for us.

  • Where are you going?

Again, we’re keeping our options open but right now our loose plans are to spend the first year cruising Mexico both south and north of where the boat is currently, in Puerto Vallarta. The following year we’ll head further south into Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Galapagos before crossing the South Pacific into Fr. Polynesia in April/May. After a season there we’ll spend the winter cyclone season in New Zealand. The following spring takes us north again into the tropical islands before venturing over to Australia and west into Indonesia. From there we’ll spend time in Thailand and Singapore before we cross the Indian Ocean and make our way to the Red Sea for passage into the Mediterranean. We plan to spend two years in the Med but again we’ll see how much we like or dislike it. There’s just so many places here we wanted to give it ample time. We’ll then cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean and start the next chapter from there.

  • When do you leave?

We plan to move aboard the boat in November 2006. Just like with everything else we don’t have a fixed date in mind right now. It will depend on when the loose ends here are tied up and the time is right.