Realizing a Dream

Have you ever had a longtime dream?   Something you planned to accomplish and took tiny steps towards over many years in order to realize.  This could be retirement, or travel, or any number of dreams- both large or small.

capt joeMy dream is to sail the world in a bluewater sailboat.   I love the ocean, tropical islands, traveling, and learning about other cultures.  Sharing this dream with my husband, Joe, was part of the plan, so I gave him a copy of Herb Payson’s entertaining book, Blown Away.  Little did I know that reading Blown Away was all it took to get Joe on board with my idea.  Fabulous, partner with same dream…. check!

IMG_5016Next step is to learn more about “cruising,” which is the sailing term used when you leave home behind and travel by sailboat.  This included taking lots of sailing classes on subjects like how to actually sail, navigation, weather, anchoring, offshore sailing, sail repair, diesel repair, provisioning and outfitting your boat, and my favorite topic, safety.  After all, the goal is to come back alive, right?

Then, you have to think about the financial aspects of cruising, or how to pay for it.  In our case, we paid off our house, saved over a long time, and recently retired early (Joe) or are taking a sabbatical (Carla).  We also saved for our boat, too, which we are now searching for with help of a yacht broker.  Finally, we are at the point where everything is coming together.

bviEthan2aFour years ago, we had an unexpected blip in our sailing plans, the birth of our grandson Ethan. Circumstances led to our caring for him since birth, and finally adopting him last year.  We know many cruising couples who sail with children, so with safety in mind, we decided to include Ethan in our travel plans.   When he gets to school age, we plan to boat school him.  If we stay somewhere for a time (say, for hurricane season), we will place him into a local school in a foreign country.   What a wonderful opportunity he will have.

The topic of safety is hugely important to us.  Trust me, we plan to have every useful safety product sold on board.  More about this topic later, when I develop our sailing blog.  The new blog will be for anyone wanting to follow our sailing adventures.  For readers who enjoy the current blog, I hope to create while we sail, and post to this blog on topics relevant to quilting, beading, mixed media arts and artists I meet.

Once we buy our boat and outfit her, we plan to move aboard and set off.  A decade long dream finally realized.   Do you have a dream to share?  I would love to hear about yours.

30 thoughts on “Realizing a Dream

    • Thank you, Margo! We are excited about it all. We fly soon to FL to search, then we are taking Ethan on a Disney Cruise through the Panama Canal, then resume out boat search in So. Cal. Fun times!

  1. My husband, Bill, and I had exactly the same dream. We bought our first boat, and sailed part of the way around the med, first crossing the English Channel and the bay of biscay. We bought our second boat, and ended up sailing about a third of the way around the world, down the Red Sea from Egypt, to Yemen, and then Oman, and then India, Malaysia and Thailand. We spent a total of ten years on our boat, five or six of those years were permanently living on it. It was a 48 foot racing cruiser, made by wauquiez, called a centurion 48!! Enjoy it – it’s a fabulous lifestyle!!!

    • Pixi, What a wonderful adventure you have had… twice! I will have to pick your brain on cruising tips, and equipment you couldn’t live without. Will post when the new blog is up and running. My favorite cruising blog is written by Behan at She is currently in the Maldives and her underwater photography is stunning!

  2. Plan to live vicariously through your adventures. I am a long-time armchair sailor and mountaineer so really look forward to your new blog! Bambi

    • Hi Bambi, yep, been an armchair sailor myself for about a decade. The mountaineering would give me the heebie jeebies, though, as I am not too fond of heights. Thus said, I am the mast climber on the boat. 🙂

      I went to visit my father once, and noticed in his bookshelf that he had all the classic sail cruising books from the 1980’s. He is excited I’m actually doing it, plus I hope he can come along on a passage somewhere with us.

      Thanks for writing! 🙂

    • Thank you for your nice comment. I hope to create on the boat and learn how different cultures quilt and create. On my list is learning the techniques for molas, tifaifai, and tivaevae.

  3. Enjoy your dreams. I lived over in the Middle East for nearly 20 years du to husband’s job. We travelled extensively and did run into a few snags here or there. Be sure to plan ahead with some kind of Medevac Insurance should any one of you get hurt or fall ill. It is not easy to repatriate at moments notice when something goes wrong. Also, schools internationally usually have more stringent rules than just putting Ethan into local school. We went thru a litany of items transferring fromEgypt to Kuwait with our teen. Things like HIV tests, TB tests and shots, chest X-rays and the like. Many places require a visa proving that you have work in those places and a ticket out.

    We loved out time overseas and I am sure you will too. Stay safe, play smart.
    Sally in NY

    • Sally, all great advice! Yes, we plan to have international insurance, including medivac. Will have a professional medical kit on board, lots of Rx medicine, and even plan to buy an AED. We are also planning to take an offshore medical course, too.

      Thanks for the tip on international schools. I figure we will jump through any hoops when the time comes. It would be great if he picked up french or spanish as we travel.

      We have researched immigration issues for the countries we plan to visit, also any bond requirements. There is a wonderful website for cruisers called, which keeps up to date info on foreign travel, piracy, and any other topic we are likely to run into. Appreciate the benefit of your experience! 🙂

    • Grammy, I agree, Ethan will have a terrific experience, plus he can put it on his college entrance essay, too. 🙂 We hope to find other “kid boats” for social opportunities, also any local new friends found on the islands. Thank you for writing!

    • Thank you, Charlene. I’m not getting any younger and so we decided to do it before we physically couldn’t. We hope to add on a few things like electric winches, a bow thruster, perhaps in-mast or in-boom furling. Oh yes, a windvane, too.

  4. Congrats on your new adventure. What length of boat are you looking for? I’m sure you can find what you are looking for anywhere from San Diego to Seattle. The hunt can be so much fun.

    • Cari, thanks for your question. We are looking for a used, but well maintained, center cockpit offshore bluewater boat, most likely between 40-47 feet. So. Cal has a number of center cockpit sailboats that we plan to see when we are down there. Same for Florida. We are working with a reputable broker in Seattle right now. Yes, the hunt is fun! 🙂 Do you have a sailboat?

      • Sorry this took so long for me to respond. My Uncle who lived in Carmel had tow sailboats. One was a Santa Cruz 49 and the other was a Santa Cruz 52. Both named Allure. As his racing crew was getting older he no longer could man a crew for the Tran-Pac or shorter Races out of Long Beach of San Diego. He sold the last sailboat and bought a ’88 Cabin Cruiser. Way better for aging sailors. Kept his boat guy, gave him a raise and enjoyed his boat from Monterey to Alaska and cruises to Baja and Mexico.

  5. What an exciting adventure to see realized!
    The LORD bless you and keep you;
    The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
    The LORD lift up his countenancec upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

    And may all your ports be fun and safe!

  6. Carla, that is such a wonderful idea! I envy you but I am too afraid of the ocean to sail the world. Sure, I would love to go sailing on a nice day not too far off shore, but to really cross the ocean would terrify me.

    I wish you well in your sailing adventure when it begins. If you are as good at it as you are at quilting, you will be amazing!

  7. What a wonderful dream to come true!!! Enjoy every blessed minute out on the beautiful blue seas. May the winds be favorable, the sun shine and Murphy can stay on shore!!! Go with God!!

  8. Hey Carla! So glad to see that you’re continuing your dream. I’m the one that had that plan but things totally fell apart. We had the 42′ J-Boat. We had it outfitted with a custom mattress, great liferaft, dinghy, collapsible cookware, well, everything! Our plan was 5 years of cruising. If you ever need to get out of hurricane season, try the marina in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I lived in Panama for a couple years and own a beautiful piece of waterfront land there. I think it’s changed a lot – more travelers than ever. When I used to go, it was just a little Caribbean island. The area is too far south for hurricanes and has a decent marina. Will you have a wind generator? Oooh, I’m so excited for you!!!

    • I would love to hear about your thwarted cruising adventure. I am so sorry to learn it ran amuck after all your prep work. Thanks for the marina referral, too.

      On my “must have” list are new custom mattresses, plus comfortable sitting in the salon. May also redo the counter tops to quartz, too, if needed. My theory is this will be my home, so I better love it. 🙂 Will most likely have solar and wind generator, but want a quiet unit.

      My guest bedroom is becoming filled with all my outfitting stuff. My galley items are pretty well bought- the Magma nesting pots, solar cooker, pressure cooker, dishes, lock & lock storage containers, and lots of other things. For laundry, I have my bucket, plunger, and wringer set up. Also a few Scrubba bags, too, a product from AU. Just picked up some new offshore foulies from Gill while at the local sailboat show. Amazing how many things you feel you have to buy. LOL!

    • C, I was just thinking of you. Finally, it is about time we locate the boat and get with the program. The hardest part has been downsizing the “stuff”, and making the decision to sell my longarm system rather than store her.

      Will let you know by email how the FL and California boat hunt goes. At the very least, this trip will help us to narrow down which ones we really like. I have a name picked out, but holding onto it in case the boat we find has an excellent name already. Hugs, Carla

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