I have copied these from another thread that fell into a disaster (of which I probably should have just stayed out of as I contributed to it), but I thought I would take a breath and post them here too (this being my favorite forum and probably where I should stay).
It is a look backwards of our life at sea.
The very abbreviated version of my story is that I fell in love with sailing as a kid in Boy Scouts! Yep. I got my merit badge too! I learned to sail on a Hobie Cat, and to this day, it is still my favorite boat to sail of any boat I have ever sailed. Fast forwarding a bit, after I married my wife and came to realize that deep woods backpacking was not for her as she gets scared of heights, I followed my dream of sailing and cruising.
We bought our first fixed keel boat in our young twenties. We didn't want to invest a lot of money into it if we were not going to like it. Well, no longer after, we bought a large boat with systems and comfort. We really honed our sailing skills together on that boat. We sailed probably every night we could, and were there every weekend rain or shine. Our house began to suffer and my wife got pregnant, so we made a very 'different' decision. Where most will let the boat fall into disarray or sell it, we sold the house. We liquidated and got rid of most of our junk. We had our boy (now 13) on board at 5 days old and we were off to Florida on our new C380.
Since then, we have moved to a C400 and still enjoy the life. We are again itching for a bigger or different boat because our oldest is now a teenager and what worked as babies-12, doesn't work as well anymore. That being said, we still enjoy cruising and living aboard and what it provides. It is about all we have really ever known.
So here are a few pics of our lives at sea, from a few weeks ago to babies on board. I wanted to share them for those who are also considering taking this plunge and taking their kids on this life. It is a very high sacrifice. I won't lie. You will likely spend your savings, maybe your retirement, and many other personal losses you may never recover. This life is not cheap... at least not for us and the way we do it. But looking back, with all the money gone, I must say that I would do it all over again. Yeah, it might be with a different boat. I might not have bought as much stuff from West Marine. And don't get me started on the HPIB Tender (laugh). But it has been a wonderful life and one we can take with us. It has certainly been one our kids will never forget.
Our latest trip to Key West. It is actually a fun place to hang, though about 5:00, it is more adult oriented. This was our third time and we still have not seen everything. If you go to have your pic taken here (esp with kids), take a few bucks. There is always the Snow Cone man around the corner and they are awesome on a hot summer day!!
Sitting at Burdines in Marathon. We have been here several times too and make the run via an overnight from Fort Myers Beach. The overnighter always involves lots of popcorn about 2 am (we do make our kids stand a watch) and we stay alert by remembering how good that cheeseburger tastes once we get the lines on! We generally don't even spray off the boat before we are in the tender and on our way for a burger and fries!!
Ahh, yes, my prized tuna...
Ahh, yes, Glen's prized catfish. All dads, beware: your kids will want to fish, and they love catching catfish. Of course, you can't eat these nasty dudes and they always seem to swallow the hook. You will come to hate these fish and struggling to get it out while listening to, "Don't hurt him Daddy..."
This shot is snorkeling off Sombrero Reef. I have to pull them out of the water, even today. There may not be anything they enjoy doing more than snorkeling (and now using a Hooklah/Brownie).
This Pic was taken offshore, I think on our way back from the Tortugas... but I cannot remember. I do remember the seas were SOOO flat, we had to motor the entire way. Zero wind. Better that than getting beat up though.
Sitting on the wall on Fort Jefferson in the Tortugas. Behind us are two cutters anchored in Battleship Bay.
Knuckleheads... and I have no idea where this was taken!!
One of my favorite pics! You gotta love the serious look from my wife, my oldest getting ready to take the helm and all the responsibility. That was the beginning, about 13 years ago. You also gotta love the Miller Lite sitting there!
This pic was taken many years ago (12ish??) a day or two before Gabrielle came down on us IIRC. Sailing is 95% bliss and 5% pure terror. I think that was one of the 'terrors' and a night I will never forget.
One of Chase's first days on the boat, IIRC. We were getting ready to sell it all and leave. WHo would have thought that thirteen years later, I would be looking back on it, still living on a boat, my kids still loving it??? No regrets.