BB – Two Months Before We Sail Away Forever

Close up of Matt's eye

Photo caption:  Dreams change

UPDATED 9.20.2020

Two months to go.

You know that saying, “Time flies when you are having fun?”  So true right?  You know when else time flies?  Any time.  Looking at your phone, watching movies, texting, talking, googling anything, fixing anything, working on anything, “getting ready”, at the bar, even sleeping, or worse, snoozing.  When you are focused, time just flies, period, no matter what.

And just like that, the great one-year mark became the OMG-two-months-left mark.  Where have the last 10 months gone!  We have been so busy busy!!  So, where are we now?

We did this post a little differently.  We separated everything into topics for ease of reading and authored it jointly.  The person in blue is the one speaking.  Click the tabs below on the topics that float your boat. *commence eye rolling…

Where our heads are at...

Matt looking at the GoPro


Mind: I’ve had a lot on my mind and I should because these decisions are lasting ones. They have real consequences and are not easily undone. I have made a lot of progress but still have work to do. I need to leave with a clear conscience and know I did everything I could to make this transition work for everybody. To date I’ve sold almost everything I own, prepared a business to run with me not present, and completely commissioned a boat. Each one of these has felt like a full time job, soooooo stressful.

These decisions also affect my daughters. When I first told them of my plan they pretty much freaked out at the idea that I am going to buy a boat and sail around the world. It’s just not the norm to sell everything and head out on a trip around the world without a plan to return. They wonder why I’m doing this and think I’m being “extreme.” My kids want me to have a house in a place that they can come home to, like all their friends have. It has been a real struggle. My home is a boat now.

I’m pretty sure at this point they understand they will have a place to come anytime they want to visit and think/hope possibly/maybe they are secretly looking forward to us all meeting at the next destination. I’m hearing less of concern and anger and more excitement and this will be fun, an adventure, which is encouraging. Believe me, I get it, this is my dream, not theirs. It has been difficult without my daughters full support. I just want them to understand that I am a person and also their dad.

Body: I fight getting older everyday by making good solid choices. Eating healthy is a great way of life for me, for anyone.

Because it will be just the two of us mainly, it is also important that we are both able to perform the tasks on the boat at all times, so we made a commitment to get our asses to the gym. It wasn’t initially my idea, but I am glad I went along with it. I got the results I was looking for. I leaned out and got stronger.

I have had some serious problems with my back that I have been working through for some years now. It’s beginning to feel a bit better with stretching and regular workouts. I’m hopeful with time as I continue, they just fade to something I don’t think about anymore.

Look out for tips on staying healthy on a boat.

Spirit: My spirits are high. That’s it. It is Emily’s idea to write in these categories and I don’t know what else to say here. I haven’t had much time in my life to think about my spirit. Looking forward to having time to discover it.

As a couple: We enjoy our time together counting down the days until we depart for France. We have been living in a small trailer and are looking forward to getting out of here and to the new boat. We contemplate about what life will be like and what we will do once we actually arrive. We both want to take the time to enjoy the process of life.

Can’t wait to enjoy the simple things life has to offer like making coffee each morning or afternoon tea. We are ready to just see where each day takes us with no particular plan day to day.

Emily at the helm of a sailboat


Mind:  Mostly stress, I guess.  I hold my stress in a bubble outside of me.  If you can imagine what a spirit feels like moving through you (yeah, like in the movies), that is how my stress affects me… in a strong whoosh.  In and out.  But, like any nefarious entity, it still hangs around, unbeknownst to you, until it sees the light.  So needless to say, I have quite a few those nasty puff balls swarming around me.  One by one I drop kick them into the light and they are at peace.  In short, I compartmentalize, but that doesn’t sound as colorful.

Body:  We have been hitting the gym for months now.  I’d say three months straight so far, maybe four.  Before that, off and on.  There will be lots we need to lift and pull and we should be ready for that.  We always eat healthy, tho.  We just like to.  It tastes good.

Because we intend to travel to parts of Africa, South America, Mexico, and the South Pacific, we consulted a travel clinic.  We were given a list of vaccines and disease maps.  Yellow fever and malaria are a thing among many others.  This shit is for real.  Yes, there are no guarantees, but we will do our best to prevent any bullshit.  We are still working on this bit.  More later on this if there is interest from our boat friends.

Spirit:  I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.  Probably because I am older, idk, but, I lost that idealistic view of change and making a difference in the world.  I know what is going to happen tomorrow… and the next day too… and the day after that.  I pretty much know what is going to happen every day, apart from an extraneous variable, of course.  I am looking forward to taking my life back once again.

I crave autonomy, alway have.  While other little 7-year-old kids were thinking about being a fireman, veterinarian, or something else just as wonderful, I wanted to be an entrepreneur.  A pet shop owner!  I wanted to take care of pets.  Not medically tho.  I wanted to ensure they were set up in life with the most comfortable home and had the best food and care.  Even went to school for it.  Sounds sweet to me now.  I was a good kid.  BUT, I don’t want any pets or be a part of that industry now.

Anyway, I just wanted independence, freedom to move, create, and take responsibility for something without consulting my boss… I am a boss.  Hahahahaha, I joke, I joke.  No joke, it started way young.  I love the opportunity of life and the thrill of self-reliance and independence is part of a life at its fullest.  I’m anxious to see if I still got it.

As a couple:   I can’t wait to do this Matt, my partner in crime.  Crazy to have found someone serious enough to be willing to learn how to live all over again.  It has been quite a trip so far.  We are both a bit anxious, as you can imagine.  We have a feeling we are about to skip like 5 levels in one of those Super Mario Bros. tunnels in a hot minute.  At the end of the day, we will learn how to get around this sweet earth one day at a time, together.

Is the stress breaking us down?  Do we fight?  Nah.  Nothing to really speak of.  Maybe a few times we have spoken to each other in an ‘excitable‘ manner.  Mostly we just raise our eyebrows to each other and that is enough.  We are both very sensitive and don’t want to go there with each other, so we are good to each other and very tolerant.

Male/female dynamic:  I want to write about this later.  Interesting topic

Where the boat is at...

Sea Odyssey Octopus Linear


Matt: Buying new.

Deadline has passed for all factory options 4 months ago.

Believe it or not, we are almost 2 years in and we are still fine tuning our final aftermarket equipment. There are just way too many things to decide when buying a new boat and too much time to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th guess yourself.  Since inception, we probably have added 100 items, deleted 70, only to add back 40, plus an another 25 different ones.

To add to it, things are becoming more expensive as the dollar continues to lose value against the euro. We will have to make some adjustments to our cruising kitty and try to avoid unnecessary expenses.  All I do is hope we have not missed something important.  What if there is something we still need, a forgotten widget perhaps???  I can only hope no stone was left unturned, but that is unrealistic.

It is just days before Sea Odyssey leaves the factory for Uchimata in La Rochelle. There they will add some bling, solar panels, GPS electronics, fuel polishers and a few more tid bits. I’m pretty sure the guys helping us will be glad to see us depart. I’m sure they are as ready to move on as we are. Soon this all will be behind us and we’ll forget about what we went through to get here.

Emily:  Yes, Matt is stressing.  To his credit, he has done an absolutely amazing, beyond amazing, job of researching the boat and finding that option that is right for us.  His number one priority is keeping us safe knowing the limitations of a crew of two.  He has painstakingly taken the time to research every product from every system on the boat to find one of good standing and then goes on even further to get the best price for it.

I mean, honestly, he has tried his big heart out to simplify tasks where he can, improve quality to help prevent failures, have contingency plans, create those redundancies, and price shop.  The man is a wizard right now, idek.  He totally has set us up for success.  I am 1000 times impressed.

Matt:  Let’s talk propellers.  There are several variations made with different metals, number of blades, shapes, sizes, it goes on and on.  Let’s leave all that to the engineers and sales people to narrow it down in such detail.

There are several basic types to consider.

First and most common type is the fixed blade propeller.  These are what you find standard on most boats today.  They are great when they are in use, but when they are not, each one is equivalent to dragging a 5 gallon bucket behind you. We are a sail boat and we will be using our sails mainly, so they will make travel times slower and longer.

Bruntons Autoprop
Bruntons H5 Autoprops, APS-H5-485

Secondly, auto aka feathering props, are huge if you consider a 1 knot per hour increase while motoring and a 1/2 knot when sailing a big deal. Feathering props maximize the propeller pitch to the water at different motor rpm’s, just like gears do for cars. Plus there is a neutral for sailing where they can fold up and create very little drag.

When I first was introduced to the idea, my initial reaction was sounds good, but when I found how much they cost for only 1 or 1/2 knot, my reaction was we can do without them.  We are a sailboat and not on a schedule so what does it matter?  We can use the money elsewhere.  After some  research, I changed my mind.

Here’s why:

Considering that sailboats in general on average travel around 5 knots, a half a knot sailing is quite a bit.  This is not the same as a 1/2 mile per hour in a car, which means nothing.  This 1/2 knot gained represents about 10% while sailing and around 20% while under power or reduction of fuel needed, your choice 😉

Feathering props could be the difference between having a relaxing morning and still making your destination with daylight to spare. It’s not good to be pulling into harbors after dark.  Long distance passages can be made faster by cutting the time needed by days. This is huge! A lot can go wrong in a day. A day quicker is a day safer.

At the very least, imagine beating your friends to a shared destination.  What?  I didn’t invent the idea.  They say, sailboat racing was invented the day the second sailboat was built.

Third choice is a folding prop.  We were considering these as an option.  They work a lot like feathering props and cost a bit less than the feathering ones, but they don’t reverse well.  We want to be able to control Sea Odyssey at all times, especially just being the two of us. Being able to bring her to a stop quickly by using a burst of reverse is a big deal.   The folding props just don’t open quick enough, so they are out.  Emily:  We don’t want to be waiting for reverse to engage with all that freeboard in tight quarters. Even if it is a half of a second, lol.

Although we are not in a hurry to spend the extra boat dollars, just considering the safety reasons alone, we will absolutely do it. The distance you can go in a day motoring or sailing is a bonus.  So feathering props it is and we will keep the factory fixed blade props that came as standard equipment as a spare.

Yanmar 80 Paris Boat Show

Yanmar 4JH80 – Paris Boat Show 2017


Matt:  When we signed our contract for Sea Odyssey last year, engine choices were simple.  Volvo was already preselected by the manufacturer so the only question was the horsepower.  Do we want it with or without extra umph aka turbo.  This was one of the more simple choices we made, not requiring anything more but a quick call to our dealer to clarify, for sure we’d like the extra get up and go.  I mean, in rough seas or heavy weather the extra power couldn’t hurt and they are more efficient too btw.  Mind is made up, simple.

So it’s done.  The choice was made.  Volvo is a very recognizable brand. I mean who hasn’t heard of Volvo right???? What else could you ever want right???

Well when the Yanmar popped up in the latest updated options list, I was intrigued since I’ve only heard good things about them. I figured I’d easily rule them out since they were nearly double the price, but I’d do my diligence.

So I called a friend who works in the industry at a very respected and well known commercial and marine diesel mechanic shop to get the scoop and see if the extra dough is warranted.  He explained to me that the Yanmars, although more expensive upfront, could and probably would be more cost effective over the long run and they had one less component to break, a supercharger.  He also said Yanmars should cost less to repair because getting parts and service in some parts of the world for a Volvo could be difficult or downright impossible.

From our personal research, we’ve read and heard about some bad things about Volvos but only good things about Yanmar.

We do realize this is a Ford vs Chevy type argument.

We choose Yanmar.

Matt:  Power options – In North American, it’s a simple choice, 110. Well, the only choice.  It turns out that there are several voltage options.  Thankfully a lot of the things you’ll find on our boat like refrigerators, lights, and all our electronics are running on 12v, which is the world standard, at least for now.

This makes the choice somewhat easier.  Depending on where you will be buying, sailing, and eventually keeping the boat, you’ll have to decide which secondary source of power you’ll want for your outlets.  Give it good thought, because it is possible you might need to rewire the boat, so plan.

voltage map of 220v and 110v

After looking at this map of the world, already deciding that we have no immediate plans for returning to the US, beginning our trip in Europe, and most of the places we want to go are all 220, we have decided on the 220v option.  The Caribbean has both we hear, so good there.

Considering what we will bring with us already works on both 110 and 220 like our computers, all we had left to think about was our coffee pot, blender, and other outlet randoms.  These items are easily purchased in Europe with the correct voltage and plug rather than dealing with the expense of shipping and buying an expensive transformer in addition. Most of our other stuff runs on USB and we will be sure to load the boat with plenty of them.

See, it’s a simple choice to make after you think about it long enough.  Emily:  That is a joke, btw. It took us a year to make that decision, lol.  Seriously, we decided this once and for all after going back and forth for a year, hell, maybe more.

Emily:  On a lighter side, fabric. We literally waited until the very last second, well minutes before, the factory options were finalized.  We had hoped of a new color coming out.  Nope.  Denied.

Keep in mind, this is for the whole boat.

For us, there were really only two choices, gray or tan.  The tan is a flat, non-earthy blaa and the gray is a lifeless light dreary.  There was also a turquoise, but we are not considering that one because it is too bright for us, and the fuchsia, um, no.  Of the two left, it was hard to decide which one because we really weren’t feelin’ either.  You also get a choice of two types of fabrics as well.  There is a PVC fabric, which is like a nogahide, pleather, plasticized type fabric and a linen fabric.

Exterior Fabric choices for Saba 50, Fountaine PajotFabric choices for Saba 50, Fountaine Pajot

The questions we are asking ourselves are:  If we get dark fabric, will it get too hot?  Will it fade?  Will it show water marks?  What about suntan lotion marks?  And the infamous red wine stain?  If we get PVC, will it be comfortable?  Will it be too plasticky and hard?  Will it get hot?  But most of all… will my skin stick to it as I try to get up?  I will not have it!  No.  No, no, no, and no.  I hate that!  OMG!

While this isn’t a life altering decision, it is annoying.  Having to commit to one for all is crap.  This most definitely falls under champagne problems…  I understand this, I’ll get over it.

Don’t let Matt fool you, he was just as bothered.  Poor ACY heard about it.

Matt:  Not a good choice or a bad choice when it comes to fabric colors or textures, just a choice. I’m sure eventually it will all need to be re-done. It’s a boat lol.

Things I mostly considered when we were making our decision were color, sun tan lotion, wet bathing suits, and not being an asshole to our friends.

Where the house is at...

Sale Pending sign on house


Emily:  House decision… we needed to sell the house.  That’s that.  When was the question.  We are leaving in June 2018.  Matt was hesitant to sell too early because we would be displaced for a 9 months and it would be just as well to wait, but I was in the mind to move forward.  Living in the smaller space would be way more economic and most of the downsizing would be done.  I was just imagining so much to do in those last months that anything we could get done, we should get done.  Plus, selling early would also be good if we needed try the market again for a second time.

The house sold within a week to a lovely couple, Brandon and Steve <3  High fives and hugs!

Let me tell you something folks, that project is behind us.  No more thinking of its plan B, C, and D and their possible outcome trees.  There is a lot to be said for that.  When you are dealing with a life change of this magnitude, there are tons and tons of tasks and projects.  Any one these could become a barrier and stop you from moving forward.  You have to be ready to move with a plan B to keep things going.  Otherwise, you are stuck until its resolution.  That’s a big reason why big projects are so difficult to accomplish… time.

Matt:  Happy to have the burden of needing to sell lifted. Honestly there are a lot of things to do to get ready, so this was just another I’d be able to scratch off the list. Plus we have been able to save about 5k a month living in a trailer behind my office. It felt great to cancel all the utilities, not have to maintain a house, although a trailer is some work too. For one, I got a little taste of freedom from the American Dream of home ownership and it feels good!

Garage sale collage


Emily:  As most people do when they are downsizing to such magnitude, they have a garage sale.  We are no exception.  We blew this garage sale up!  We handed out flyers to the neighbors to invite them over for a little sneak peek, got a fresh keg of Corona (kegerator also for sale), and some champagne for everyone while they shopped and mingled the night before the sale.  It was a blast!

Matt and I weren’t even expecting to really sell anything that night.  We really just wanted to hangout and let everyone have a preview, maybe put their names on things.  Then people started making offers!  What were we to do?  So, yeah, we sold a good bit that night, lol, omg.  Which was perfect because we wouldn’t have been able to handle all that and the ‘professionals’ the next day.

Besides our flyer, Matt advertised on several different platforms, and our friend, Adam, also hooked us up with Next Door, a ‘near me’ Facebook thing.  It worked all too well, my friends, all too well.  So many freakin’ people came out.  Seemed like 25 people at a time were crowding in the garage.  They formed a line around the garage like it was a buffet (Matt:  laughing).   Just moseyed on down, single file, picked up what they wanted, put it in their arms, and paid at the end.

Then there were the pile makers.  They made mounds of stuff.  I’ll never the forget that first guy.  He said, “I’m going to make a pile here (pointing at a pile he already started).  I’m going to buy a lot.” I was like…oh… ok, sure, Maaaaattt!  The pile was like 3 feet high already!!

Everyone was very nice tho.  Sure they would mow you down, back over you again, and then mow you over again *thump, thump, but they did it with the best manners and that’s what counts, lol.  Just saying, if it wasn’t a dollar, it wasn’t happenin’.

In the mix of all the ‘professionals,’ we met a lot of very lovely people from quite literally all over the world.  We would get to talking and our story would eventually come out.  We’re like, yeah, we are about to sail the world, and they were like, ooooh, that’s so cool, I couldn’t do it… the best to you guys n’all, but I couldn’t do it.  Hahahahahah!  Yeah, we know.

I said to Matt one day ~

I don’t know if we are the coolest people we know or the dumbest.

Everyone had tons of questions.  Good vibes were everywhere.  We think we are so different from one another.  We may ask ourselves why would someone from Russia or India or China be interested in what we are doing?  They were interested tho.  Cause people at their core are all the same wherever you go.  We need to stop assuming people are so different from one another.

Assumptions:  the silent good vibe killer.

Anyhoo, it was so disheartening to watch the things you worked for go for a fraction of the cost, I will say.  You hand selected and worked 40 hours a week or more to get all that awesome stuff!  It will crush your little heart if you let it.  We just had to remind ourselves that finding new homes for everything was truly a big part of our primary goal, not just selling the big stuff.

We spent a ton of extra time and energy to make sure nothing went to the landfill.  That was a big concern.  If there was any life left, it was for sale.  Damn near everything found a new home.  We did good.  We are, understandably, happy to have the money to help provision the boat, of course, but come on, there can be more than one truth, ya know!  Who doesn’t like a good win-win?

Matt:  Pre sale It took nearly two weeks to sort thru all of our belongings.  Over the years, I had become quite a collector of sorts.  There are some stuff that I purchased 30 years ago and others just last month and all points in between.  Taking the time to look thru all of my stuff brought up lots of memories, emotions, and feelings, mostly good, some not so.  Some stuff was still brand new, boxes never opened, and other things that had been lost or long forgotten.

The sale – Saturday morning came way too early.  We had tied one on from the night before at our neighbor pre sale.  Who decided it had to start at 7am o.m.g.  At 6:30 the alarm clock sounded.  At 6:45 I peeked thru the window blinds and, lo and behold, there were all sorts of people waiting outside.  It looked like a zombie apocalypse.  Sleepy people walking aimlessly around, waiting for us to open the garage door.

Once those doors opened, it was nonstop till like 2 or 3 o’clock, it was crazy.  In true zombie apocalypse fashion, there were car accidents, drama, drinking, fires, and gun fire.  True story.  I actually shot a poor lady in the leg on accident with a BB gun when I was demonstrating it for a buyer!  Thankfully she was cool and she definitely received an extra special deal on the items she had picked out.  I felt bad the rest of the day.

Post sale – Everything was gone minus a 1/2  pickup truck load of odds and ends which we happily took to the Goodwill Store.  I am happy the garage sale phase is over now.  A few things that I learned along the way, if you don’t really need it or might be able to do without, Don’t Buy It!! If you need something and have time to go to garage sales, you can save a lot of money and it would be fun too.  We plan on going to garage sales in other countries just to see what people have.

Last of all, it’s all just that,”stuff” and you might find you are happier without it than with it.  For me, after I pulled the bandaid off, it feels better to be without all the stuff.  I’m feeling light and free from its anchor.  Ready to start the next phase of life, living with a lot less.

They just wanted every single item for a dollar or less.  If it was over a dollar, they would try to dime you.  Crazy.  As Emily would say, OMG!

Fifth wheel collage


Emily:  Enter stage right:  Fifth wheel.  Our new digs for the next 9 months.  It is awesome.  Lots of storage and lots of room.  It is perfect for us at this juncture in our plan to depart.  Life is good.  Thanks Doug and Neva!

Matt:  I have a new outlook on trailer life and it’s a good one. Never imagined I’d be here, and honestly if I do return, I don’t ever see myself returning to a house.  Ego is so darn expensive….

Where our stuff is at...

Mexican sunset


Emily:  Yes, we decided to ship our stuff there.  It will save tons of time and the stress from guess work.  We don’t know the language (tho I am brushing up on my French, yes!!).  It seems that wouldn’t be a big deal but it truly is.  It is everything actually.

We noticed during our France trip just how hard it was to buy anything in another language.  Something recognizable like Tylenol doesn’t exist there.  I’m not all that comfortable taking a pill from a box I can’t read.  The box could literally say anything, like made from bird beaks & brains and we wouldn’t even know it.  It could say only used for animals.  We wouldn’t know it!  That example is scary but mostly it will be stressful having to choose from what you don’t understand.

Just even finding the stores was an issue.  Once we found a store, we have no idea what kind of store it was without going inside.  We don’t speak French to read the sign!  Is it poor quality or good?  Don’t know, can’t read the labels.

Can you imagine provisioning for a whole boat, top to bottom, driving around and around only to guess for every single item!  And the time!  We are on visas!!  This is supposed to be fun!

Our whole culture is about buying, so we know how to shop, like really work that system and research.  We know which store has what and how much.  So for our own good, we will bring our own stuff.

Matt:  So now we are preparing our shipment of belongings to France. Our 7x7x4 wooden box ships out in 3 weeks. It’s been a bit of a last minute shopping spree here… Like Emily said, anything we can gather up here will save time not needing to go shopping there.

We don’t know the brands of goods like we do here and we have no car to run around in. Almost everything is more expensive in France, except the wine. We will load the boat with beautiful French wines once we arrive in La Rochelle and a ton of other shit I’m sure. There will be no escaping.

FYI: You need to hand carry electronic items with lithium batteries. They are forbidden to ship overseas.

Matt feet on boat deck


Matt:  Sell it! If and when you do come back, get new stuff that fits your present lifestyle. Will you really need a custom fit kitchen table the sits 12 when you return? (Emily:  Maybe!  It’s solid wood.  It’ll keep.)

My advice – Make a box of the important stuff and give it to a loved one to keep. Free up your mind and let the wind move your soul.

Emily:  I agree with Matt 100%.  I have started over a couple times in my life and I have no regrets about letting any of it go.

We do have free storage space, so I will use it.  I will be able to say goodbye when the time comes, but not before then, because I am also very practical.  Matt just doesn’t believe me when I say I can part with it because I don’t want to part with it right now.  I don’t attach to my stuff like he does.  I’m already free.  So ;oP

Where the fun is at...

neighbor collage


Emily:  Matt had a great idea, which then grew to a fabulous idea.  We live in a place called “The Grove.”  It is a large closed off loop with several loops and cul de sacs.  Matt had the great idea of inviting the neighbors on Friday night for a little sneak peek.  The idea being, neighbors could put their name on things if they wanted and come the next day during the sale and pick it up.

But after thinking about it a bit,  Matt was like, well, we have a few extra bottles of champagne.  Why don’t we offer champagne while they look around and we’ll hangout a bit.  Great idea.  Then he was like, why don’t we get a keg, lol, and put it in the kegerator.  O.O ← Matt’s eyes.

That’s when it became a fabulous idea.  So we handed out flyers to all the neighbors in our little neighborhood to invite them to our little peek n’chill.

Let us just say, meeting the neighbors was definitely the cherry on top of all this moving crap.  Just something sweet on top of something that already was sweet.  Everyone was so friendly and supportive.  So sad to meet everyone and then have to leave tho!!  Matt and I really wished we had passed out flyers for a party when we first moved in.

Advice:  Do it!  They’re not all bad!  Only the coolest ones come out anyway.

Three great neighbors not shown here, Lane and Yvonne & Jerald.  Lane, you’re awesome buddy, missed ya on our way out.  Yvonne and Jerald, thanks for the ‘good luck, have fun’ gift.  It was wonderful… Cheers to you all!

Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement.  It truly meant a lot to us. <3

Mr. Rogers <3

SVSO boat cards


Emily:  Yeah baby!  Super fun!  We made our boat cards!  We are officially official.

The best part about having a boat card is no more trying to spell our website.  There is a particularly sucky thing that happens when we try to tell someone to check out our website.  We say, “Yeah, check us out on” Well, when you say that out loud, it sounds like s-v-c odyssey.  Sucks so bad, omg!  You have no idea.

So we then have to backtrack and say s-v-sea-like the, pause for a brain to catch up, then say again s-v-s-e-a  So lame, I know!  I just want it to be quick and easy but it just sucks instead.  Anyway, those days are over, thank goodness.  Here, let me give you our boat card… and that’s it, done.  Whew!

Matt:  It’s fun to have a card to be able to hand out. Kinda makes you feel official. Now there is no turning back. Can’t let down your peeps!

Skates restaurant San Francisco Bay


Emily:  Since we were so busy with the garage sale, moving, winter was coming, and we are leaving in June, we decided to let go of our membership at OCSC.  You can check out our awesome write up about OCSC:  here.  It is April now, and I can say that we have definitely grown apart as I didn’t expect.  I thought we’d all be friends forever, but it is a school.  The instructors are paid to like you apparently.  Who knew!

That being said, no joke, we loved everyone there so much and they will forever be a part of our sailing soul.  It’s like an end of an era.  We’re like all grown up now and have to find our own way now.  Inspire confidence, they did.  Money definitely well spent.

Luckily we have friends who are still members at OCSC and elsewhere.  As in any school, the students make friends their own ‘age’ and forge on.  Right after the summer, we were getting out there pretty good.  So much so, we might have petitioned to get our weekend warrior status renewed but then winter came.  We did have some pretty awesome sails, just great times.

The reality of it is we haven’t been sailing as much as we hoped.  We are just too wrapped up.

Matt joked, you think we’re going to forget how to sail?  idk…

Then in steps Barry and Mary Ann into our lives and invites us on a super sail planned April 28th…  Nice!

Matt:  Sailing is in my soul. Never thought I’d get so deep into it. When I set out, it was about travel, but then sailing, and now both!!!

Soooooo excited!!!!

What has happened...

Overview picture of Annapolis Boat Show 2017

Annapolis Boat Show 2017


The Annapolis Boat Show was super.  Last year we had no idea what we were looking at.  This year was a whole new ballgame and we hit it out of the park.  We spoke to nearly everybody including all the “crazy” inventors.  We met some friends and made some friends.  We were invited to some parties and we crashed some parties.  It’s all good.  There’s always room at the bar in Annapolis! No matter how tight.

View from our bungalow to land in Tahiti, Mo'orea

Tahiti ~ Real World Lessons


Who hasn’t dreamed of staying in one of those bungalows on the water with the see-through window?  Thanks to Lance Campers for having such an A.MAZE.ZING work reward vacation ever, we were able to join them in Tahiti!!  Matt & I have never seen a more beautiful place.  As we near our departure date, we are always on the lookout for learning lessons.  It was good lessons.


Hut at the waters edge in Tahiti
Tahiti – Real World Lessons

Just too many great pics of Tahiti. What a problem to have!! It is hard not to take a great picture of heaven on earth tho.  Just a gallery of our fav pics! All images sharable ;o)

Reflection of boats in the water in La Rochelle, France

France ~ First Trip.  Putting Those Last Pieces Together


France was everything we needed at that moment.  This all hasn’t been a figment of our imaginations.  It is real.  It is going to happen. Connecting those last dots really made a difference.   From the Fountaine Pajot factory tour to visiting La Rochelle and meeting Pierre at Uchimata, on top of just enjoying France, we are more comfortable and confident than ever.  Let’s go!

What will happen...

Barry and Mary Ann standing in front of a Lucia 40 Fountaine Pajot


Emily:  In a couple weeks, Matt and I are off to the Caribbean to meet up with some friends we met through Atlantic Cruising Yachts.  We fly in to Guadeloupe and sail to St. Thomas on Barry and Mary Ann’s Lucia 40, Knot Normal.  We couldn’t be more stoked about it.  Sailing with some cool people in the beautiful blue, warm island waters sounds perfect right about now!

Barry has been blazing the trail ahead of us for about 4 months.  In that time he has taken ownership of Knot Normal in La Rochelle, France, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and now sipping mai-tais on some island somewhere with his lovely wife.

Matt:  Looking forward to refreshing my sailing skills and learning the boat systems, as they will be similar to Sea Odyssey’s.

Finally it’s time to get a tan, relax a bit, and sharpen up my fishing skills. No more party boats and hired crew to help you get your fish. It’ll will be all me baiting, reeling, gafting, killing, cutting, and cleaning. Dreaming of sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Got some new snorkel gear and not from Costco this time.

Looking forward to becoming one with the ocean but not within the food chain, sharks stay back please….

Emily:  Yeah, what he said.

Natural bridge in the oceanEmily:  We leave June 5th, arrive in La Rochelle June 6th late at night, and set our eyes on Sea Odyssey for the first time on June 7th.  Two days after we leave!  Ugh!

Anyway, not quite sure exactly how the handover itself is going to go take place or anything specifically pertaining to that yet.  We do know we will be learning all the systems.  We will go for practice day sails and learn how to fly our G1.

We will also have to unpack, organize, and find homes for everything.  We will have to go get food and other items not ship worthy.  We will have to set up our maintenance schedules.  We will have to finalize our first sail.  We will have to sit down and breathe.  We will have to take our dinghy for a spin.

Matt:   It will be nice to concentrate and master our skills on one boat. What will happen, where will we go? That all remains to be figured out. We will do it one day at a time.  We only know what direction we think we want to go. All the pieces of the puzzle will come together eventually and our map will be made.  We don’t exactly know what will happen on Sea Odyssey and that’s what makes it an adventure.  Looking forward to the experiences to come.

Man in lighthouse with waveEmily:  You may have seen this amazing picture.  It was taken in Brittany, France.  I didn’t know that either.

Normandy, Le Mont St. Michel.  The real reason we are going to have ourselves a visit.  This is the hope anyway.  It is an island only at high tide.  It has a 46-foot tidal range.  That lovely street there gets completely buried little by a little.

St. MichelFor more on Le Mont St. Michel, click read more or video for a 1:45 minute video.  The ultimate plan is to go north on a quick shakedown cruise and then back to La Rochelle for repairs.


Payton, Matt's daughter on a sailboat

Matt: The crew so far are my two daughters. I will put them to work doing real boat stuff like handling lines, cooking meals, navigation, manning the helm, and having a ton of fun doing it.  We will explore costal towns and castles and all sorts of other cool stuff.  We will live day by day making plans of where to go next each day. Enjoy cool mornings and hot coffee at anchor and beautiful sunsets too. Hopefully nobody get sick, yikes!!

Sydney, Matt's daughter on a sailboat

Hope to be ready mid June when the girls show up. I hope they are excited to see what the cruising lifestyle is all about and I hope it doesn’t disappoint them. I’d like them to see what’s possible in life from the choices you make. I’d like for them to have a great experience, so they will keep coming back to share new destinations like Spain or Italy or Croatia or Greece or St. Thomas or St. Croix.

Spoiler Alert:  Never made it to Le Mont St. Michel 🤣

You know what they say... Sharing is caring! ;o)


  1. Yay, you guys will have an amazing time. Can’t wait to see you out on the water when our paths cross at some point!

    1. Emily says:

      Totally! Crazy! what a trip… So excited and nervous, we don’t even know what to do with ourselves! Congrats on your new sweet ride! 😉 See you then!

  2. Andrea says:

    Best of luck with everything, it sounds like you are ready for whatever comes. As far as figuring things out in French, making an effort to speak in French – even a little – makes a big difference. The majority of the world outside of America teach their children English from elementary school, so trust me, they most likely do speak English and will be willing to help you if you attempt to be courteous in French first. I lived in Germany for 4 years and London for 2 and have traveled to 22 countries, and part of the fun is communicating when you don’t really speak the language. For Tylenol look for paracetamol, that’s the closest equivalent most places have, and most likely you will only be able to get it from the pharmacy (apothke in German, I’m blanking what it is in French) as they don’t really have over the counter medicines and things are very strictly controlled.
    Above all, while I have no doubt about the challenges, I think this will be the best and biggest adventure you will ever have, and I wish you both the very best. I look forward to following along!

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks Andrea! So cool of you to write a message! I love speaking French. I hope to really become fluent. That would be amazing. I totally agree with it is fun trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak the same language. Who doesn’t like charades!! Love it. Thanks for the Tylenol tip and the good vibes. Much appreciated! <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.