Jim and I met in Los Angeles when we were both established in our careers, but both hoping to get out of the city at some point. At the time, he had a Balboa 20 ft trailerable sailboat which he spent every free moment on. I had never sailed. One summer we kept it at Marina Del Rey and the fun of dockside life, “living” on the boat and the ease of heading out into the Pacific became obvious. So we considered a permanent live-aboard lifestyle. After much looking and many boat shows, and a potential boat picked out, we became overwhelmed by the logistics of scaling down two households and the accompanying treasures, stuff and junk. The live-aboard plan got broadsided, we bought a house, had kids and the sailboat sat in our driveway.
Eventually we moved to rural Minnesota, lived on a small farm, raised chickens, horses, sheep, bees and ultimately settled down with llamas who have been a part of our lives for 30 years. We stopped breeding them over 10 years ago and while the few who remained with us enjoyed retirement in the pasture, we began to think about the cruising lifestyle. During the last 4 years we have taken the normal progression of ASA sailing classes, attended boats shows in Chicago, Oakland and Miami, read many blogs and books, watched videos and movies, attended two cruising seminars and bought an Islander 33 which we sailed and practiced on in the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin. Two years ago we finally decided it was time to take the plunge. Over the course of the next two years we spent literally hundreds of hours on line, we made and revised lists of what we wanted, what we could live without and what we couldn’t live without and just how much we could afford. We visited boats in Minnesota (an admittedly limited source), Wisconsin, California, Florida. Finally with the help of Jeff and Jean at Two Can Sail, we found a great boat: a Morgan 44, center cockpit. She became ours in August, 2014.