KATIE & JESSIE on a boat

aboard lovely Louise…


Hitchhikers and Helicopters.


I packed up my shit and drove across the country. This seems to be some kind of ritual. Maybe we could even consider it a protocol. Uncertain as to way the idea always seems like a good one,  I’m sitting here debriefing the last few weeks and my uncertainty wanes. Things happen when you travel. Things that wouldn’t happen if you didn’t. Like how I ended with in a helicopter on Catalina Island with a mormon I met on Instagram. Standby, we will come back to this.

It is these things that keep me moving. Why I plant, with intentions to uproot. Why I sit, with intentions to run. Why I work hard, with intentions to play harder. Healthy? I don’t know. We all have bad habits.

Those cute little roots that I planted in Traverse City Michigan all year, are still connected to the soles of my feet even though I am 2243 miles away.  Don’t fret, I didn’t know that roots could stretch that far either. I just made sure that when I planted them they would have the elasticity of big league chew. After reaching my goal of staying in one place, for one year, I saw it only fair to reward myself.  Rewards come to me in people and in places. They are my prized possessions. They make up everything that I am.   I do feel differently about traveling this time around. I find myself equally excited to get back to Michigan and it’s people as I do to continue elsewhere. This is new to me. Typically there is no looking back after I have left. This time my head is constantly looking left to right, up and down, east to west. I look like a chicken. I even feel like a chicken because chickens are too scared to cross the road. I am not too scared, but I am questioning my moves. I really like those people back in Michigan and the problem with elasticity is that these damn roots constantly want to resume their original shape.

Let me ask you all something – what is with this re-occuring question about “Settling”? Why does everyone want to know about this? When people ask when and where I would like to “settle”,  I imagine a concrete truck appearing out of a cloud of dust and pouring a viscous layer over my feet and I am instantly immobile.  This image alone makes me want a Xanax. I respond to this question by kindly informing the curious creature that I do not yet understand what this word means, nor do I believe it should be graced in the english dictionary. But then again, someone recently told me that “twerk” has been added to the english dictionary. SO they go ahead and break-down the word “settle” for me by simply re-formating the question.  By this point my head is slightly cocked to the right and my eyebrows are pinched together and they realize that this question makes me uncomfortable. If you ask me, unsettling is the first thought that comes to mind when I hear the word settling. This could be the millennial in me speaking. But it wasn’t my fault I was born in 1989.

I’m sorry. Back to the unknown point.

Permanent, is also I word I don’t yet understand. Like most things in my life all of the movement this season is temporary.  I left on Sept 15 to road trip to California. I was hired to shoot a wedding in June Lake, CA where Katie has been living with her 4 dogs and 8 chickens. On Oct 6, we fly to Annapolis Maryland to work for Cruising Outpost at the Annapolis boat show. From there I hop on a big ole jet plane to Germany, where I will spend some time with my sister who I consider a rocket scientist even though her PHD has nothing to do with rockets. After that, I have an apartment in Budapest for the month of November where I will sit and stare at the wall and pull out one strand of hair at a time. This is also known as – writing. Thank the lord my genetics provided me thick hair. I have not bought my return ticket. Surely Budapest may be a questionable city as of late. But my camera really wants me to go there, and I listen to my camera more than I do most people.

The word on the street was that California is having a drought. The worst of our time. So I decided I would drive there instead of fly so I could bring my friends some water. I invited my friend Brad to road-trip with me whose heart was set on wine tasting in Napa. The drive began through northern Michigan’s upper peninsula by tallying how many pee-stops we made. We gave this up after day one due to my under-sized bladder. It wasn’t fun anymore.

By day two, one of those things happened that I speak about. While getting jet-fuel in Buffalo, South Dakota we saw a hitchhiker leaving the station. We offered her a ride. She was 20 years old. Her name Rachel Dunn. She was a great listener. She asked great questions. She could read people. She loved her hacky sack and could care-less about the coffee stains on her white sweater. She may have been the most fascinating thing I had come across in years. At 20 years old she had stories of one who had lived a century. Everything about her reiterated why I appreciate all things untraditional.  She never stopped smiling and we never stopping talking and all of the sudden two nights and three days passed and we had given her a ride all the way to Reno. Brad, nor I wanted to leave her on the side of the road. She was our friend now. A truly cared for friend.  I thought I knew what the word fearless meant until I met Rachel Dunn. Don’t worry mother and father, I am not getting any ideas. Just taking notes.


And then there was this other interesting situation that was more or less a result of social media. Like how I ended with in a helicopter on Catalina Island with a mormon I met on Instagram.

Last winter Katie texted me, “You should follow this guy on Instagram, @iflyheli”

So I did. After keeping up with his posts for no more than a week, I sent him a ridiculously far-fetched email. It said something exactly like this :

Hello York!

A few years back I got my Heli license at Orbic Helicopters in Camarillo, CA. I finished my instrument and commercial at Heli-Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Shortly after completing my license’s I took off on a 27 foot sailboat with a best friend and sailed from Michigan to the Bahamas, and for some reason… back to Michigan.
Documented here:
I am a passionate photographer and adventurer. I wish I could tell you my heli-license was current, but it’s not. Nothing now but a dreamer in love with the aviation and photography industry. 
Recently stumbled upon your Instagram, I couldn’t help but send you this far fetched email. Can I work for you???
-Jessie Zevalkink
And he actually responded. Nearly a year later he followed through with his offer to take me on a photo flight. I met York at the John Wayne airport and we flew down the coast to Dana Point, and over the ocean to Catalina island where we parked the majestic machine (Robinson 66) in a place only birds land. He let me take off and fly us back to the main land where we flew above pods of dolphins and vast amounts of salt water. I couldn’t help but be distracted by the possibility of an engine failure. Because of this very thought, I missed Louise. When her engine failed we still had sails. Then again, I had never been on the controls of an R66 before, and I literally-could-not-believe-what-was-happening. It was unreal. For a small moment I thought I was superwoman. I remembered why I started flying years ago. But couldn’t remember I stopped.
Oh yes, the possibility of engine failures. That could have had something to do with it.
How in the WORLD did I end up flying an R66, to Catalina Island, with a guy a met on Instagram, who happens to be the bishop in Laguna Beach. York was a wonderful and kind man, who raved about his 8 children and beautiful wife and greatly appreciated my untraditional choices in life. We talked about family, about flying, about photography, about growing up, about things we are scared of and why we do them anyways.
York was another prime example of one of those things I speak of. An additional stranger befriended. The exact reason I am encouraging you all to pick up hitch-hikers and send far-fetched emails to people who have cool pictures on Instagram.
Hahah. Ha.
Thank you’s to those who kept me still during the slowest winter of my life, and to those I caught a glimpse of during the fastest summer of my life. To my friends scattered around this country who always open your doors for me, share your couches, your beds, your precious time, a can of tuna fish and occasionally out of desperation – your undergarments.  And to the family I do share blood with, who at this point isn’t surprised about any decision I make. Ever.
Enjoy the photos to follow… here are some of  those people whom I consider my grand prize.
These people, these places, these situations, these things…are everything.

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Clocks & Calendars


I have gotten caught up in the world of “clocks and calendars” as my friend Dave Bricker told me I would. It happened quickly and snuck up on me with a warning that I ignored. Robbing me of my wings and wanderlust, in which I have always considered to be my currency. Freedom my cash, exploration and experiences my credit. What is money anyway? No one should be defined by a number.

I have set aside the salty life and pardon me while I eat my words for just a moment – am trying to save up a little cash. This is the longest I have been in one place for years… and it hasn’t even been a year… and the longer I stay the harder the thought of leaving is… and the more I understand why people choose to do so. I have always wondered about those who stay versus those who go. Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to meet new people? See new places? Just fly away? Just go. We don’t all think that way, and truth is I kind of wish I didn’t. Last time I stayed in one place for this long I was knee deep stuck in the Mississippi mud. For the first time in a long time, I have chosen to stay. It was a hard choice to make. It was a great choice to make. This is not to say I don’t think about up and leaving at any moment because I do, but I am beginning t0 see the up-side of resisting that. I’ve never fully realized how often I had been saying goodbye in the past. How many times I had set myself up for failed relationships, short-lived friendships, and disposable jobs. I’ve just walked away time and time again. I have hurt people by doing so, and every once and a while myself. I have racked up years of “hello’s” and “goodbye’s” until as of late, I’ve noticed that by sitting still I can continue to rack up the “Hello’s” and extinguish the “goodbye’s”. I don’t know where I am going with this.

It is right here in Traverse City, Michigan that I have begun to feel some roots. Weird I know. It is here where family is. It is here where my friendships feel differently than ever before. It is here where the time I give to others has become more important than the time I give to myself. It is here where I feel most lucky. I am not saying I wont leave (god forbid I eat my words again) but it is here I will always come back. And that thought alone, has changed my entire mentality.

I’m not joking when I say that I am full-fledged dependent on clocks and calendars these days. Without these tools I could not survive, and it is these tools that keep my inconsistent schedule, consistent. I no longer need a tube of 5200 or a jerry can of diesel to make it through the day. I am your average American worker who is expected to be certain places at certain times upon commitment. This requires me to have what we call “a schedule”. For two years I ignored the clock, and the calendar and now it dictates me like mother nature once did. I never check the radar anymore, I check the calendar. I rarely check the clouds, I check the clock. I never check the tides (not that I ever did that was Katie’s job), I check my bank account. I look down, not up. I am defined by numbers. I am not saying I am upset about this, it is purely a reoccurring observation. At the end of the day I am satisfied when I am able to flush a toilet.

With all that non-sense said – I have a few dates for you to mark on your own clocks and calendars because I would be thrilled to see you. There are several upcoming presentations about our story on America’s Great Loop, followed with Q & A and probably the nearest bar.




OCTOBER 7th-12th :: ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW, MD:: TBD we will be working the Cruising Outpost booth all week.

If you did not get a chance to see the article in SAILING MAGAZINE here is the link ” A LOOPY ADVENTURE “ This write up meant the world to us, I think our lives are complete after making it into Sailing Mag.

ALSO, on a serious note… my sister lives in Dresden, Germany. I fly out on a one-way ticket Oct 15 for an extended visit. I am looking for a place to hole-up and write for the month of November. Preferably in a non-english speaking country because I am obsessed with making strangers my friends and I need to eliminate any potential social life. I have truck-loads of information and introspection in my head waiting to be unloaded onto paper. But I only have two hands. I will be looking for a place to disconnect for a little while.

Does anyone have like… a castle in the hills of Ireland I can come live in? A fully functioning tree house with internet access? (I don’t need plumbing) A charming chateau in the south of France? A bungalow on a cliff over-looking the Mediterranean Sea? Better yet… a boat? A place to check out… and tune in all at once? I am completely kidding about the luxury. I am dead serious about anyplace, anywhere, any connections or friends you may have for me while I explore Europe. Anything helps.    : ) jesszevalkink@gmail.com

P.S. Should you need a photographer? I am for hire. Weddings. Engagements. Families. Sailing across the ocean and need someone to document… you know… that kind of thing. I still need to find a ride back from Europe, and am open to that ride being on a boat instead of a plane.

Thanks. You’re great.


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The Unknown Odyssey

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Hello there. It’s been a little while. I still exist. So does Katie… and Reggie, and believe it or not so does Louise. I still have two legs, two arms and walk upright. My torso is still short and I remain 5’2” on a good day. My blonde hair has faded brown and my brown skin has become transparent. The freckles on my face got bored and took off but the moles are here to stay. I don’t eat like a cave woman anymore, but I kind of still dress like one. I am delighted every time I log on and reminded that I have a job to do – to entertain. It would only be fair for me to provide my readers with more chapters because like you, I don’t want it to be over.

You may appreciate a little insight on land-life and how it has thrown both of us for a loop, and not a “great” loop, but a lesser great loop without navigation or guidebooks. Wind and waves still come from every direction but instead of floating with the elements I am at an awkward stand-still. Which leads me to the big question. Who do you listen to when you are incapable of making decisions and you can’t hear yourself think? I don’t have a clue where my indecisiveness stems from and it is beginning to piss me off. I try and listen to myself but I can’t find my ears. When trying to make decisions everyone always says “follow your heart”, but I seriously can’t find that either.

There is so much noise. It doesn’t matter how quiet the room is – it never truly feels quiet. I use this word broadly. Noise is this computer. It is my  iphone. It is Netflix. It is the bar down the street. It is my social life. It is my family. It is running errands. It’s the gym. It is material items. It is paying rent. It is bills. It is health insurance and taxes.  It is the rat race. It is trying to keep up. All of these are unsolicited voices that manage to construe my thought process. It’s funny, the whole time I was boating I thought I was looking for answers. Like Christopher freaking Columbus. Well I wasn’t looking for Christopher, but for something…anything. Whether it was a place, a person, or to potentially fall off the edge. Now I can’t help but see the obvious, the exploration was about myself and nobody or anyplace else. It was a journey out of selfishness, and curiosity. Here I am back home, in a beautiful house, still feeling selfish and curious because I now know what can come of allowing yourself to be nothing but those two things. Magic. Maybe selfish isn’t the right word, or maybe it is.  Lets call it “self-serving”.  There is an appropriate time in life to have these traits and even though I feel as if mine should be suspended I want them to last forever. But that’s not how the world works.

I looked up the definition of “Millennial” today. This cracks me up.

“Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment” 

When I read this sentence I can’t help but replace the word “Millennial” with “Jessica And Zevalkink”

“Jessica And Zevalkink’s optimism entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, has lead her to severe disillusionment” 

FUN FACT: My middle name is not “And” but when I was little I thought every person had a first AND  last name. My middle name is actually “Anne”. Get it? Every time I heard my full name I thought they were saying “and”, not “Anne”

Which brings me to another thought, one that consumes my mind more than most subjects. Why doesn’t my generation know about “America’s Great Loop”? How has this trail of waterways not become the new Pacific Crest Trail…the new Camino De Santiago… the new Eurotrip? Is it because it involves a boat? Do boats scare people? My generation is adventurous. We are wild. We are constantly dissatisfied and reaching for the possibly impossible. People jump off cliffs in squirrel suits, kayak across oceans, bike across countries, walk pilgrimages, backpack foreign countries alone, climb mountains, you name it. We want the highest, the fastest, the longest, we want to break records, we want to be remembered. We want to feel, and often putting ourselves in danger is the greatest way to feel because overcoming fear is one of life’s highest rewards. Some of us choose to never conquer it and are happy inside four walls. Those of us who choose to look it in the eye, become addicted. So back to my original question – why isn’t “The Loop” a known revelation? Is it not wild enough? Is it because It takes place right here in America? Is it because it involves moving at five miles an hour? Is it because it involves a boat? Why is this unknown by my peoples?

I have been working closely with Kim Russo the director of AGLCA (Americas Great Loop Cruising Association). She is wondering the same thing. There have been very few 20-somethings to complete the Loop. We are trying to understand why us millennial’s have yet to catch on to this incredible odyssey, and how we can increase its’ awareness. My selfish side wants to keep it all a secret. My curious side wants to share it with the world and is eager to get other youngins on board. This is “Not your parents trip”.

Sure, there are some obvious answers here about why so few are interested – Finances, lack of experience, fear, etc. But those are common ground hurdles that we share as a population. The only difference is how we individually deal with them. Those three hurdles were a part of our every single day, for two years. But we adapted to those hurdles. Our legs became longer and the leaps became hops. We learned how to budget and how to become minimalists. We got experience by experiencing. We overcame fear by feeling it so often we confused it with excitement. Anyone can do this. Anyone.

I am no motivational speaker but I am certainly motivated to bring awareness to the Great Loop and to help encourage others to consider this an option. I invite you to join me for an AGLCA seminar Saturday, April 18 during which I’ll share the why’s and wherefores – why Katie and I traveled the loop, how we did it, how we financed it, our scariest moments, the good the bad and the ugly, and most importantly how we have changed because of it.

Come hang out. Have a beer. Pick my brain and I’ll pick yours. It will be great.

Click here for DETAILS. 


  • I still reside in Traverse City, MI. Working part time as a personal trainer. Part time bartender. Part time wedding photographer. And when I am not working on being all of those women, I am working on being the other one I want to be… a cave-woman, who sits in front of her desk and writes till a book is born.
  • Katie moved to June Lake, California. Together with her handsome boyfriend they have four dogs. Yes Reggie is one of those dogs. Captain Reg & Katie are very happy to be back in the mountains, where space is unlimited and you can pee anywhere. She will be working at a charming coffee shop & hotel at the entrance to Yosemite National Park. Most likely spending all of her free time running around with four legged creatures and saving birds n’ things.
  • We recently met up half way in between CA, and MI and spent a few days in Colorado together.  We are still best friends, and understand every single thought that goes through each others head. In fact this entire winter not only were we dealing our own adjustments, indecisiveness, and decision making, but each other’s as well. It was like double estrogen. Awful right? I didn’t realize how much we had been feeding off of eachother. I texted her recently and said “I say this in the nicest way possible – “I am so glad you’re gone because I can finally think for just myself. I didn’t realize how much work this was.” We laughed. She completely agreed. Katie and I live parallel lives. Doesn’t matter if I’m here and she’s there. In fact when we met up in Colorado we had the exact same sickness (razor throat ) at time of arrival. Not long before that we shared insomnia on the same night. And in no time we will be buying donkeys for a trek across America. Because America is really cool.
  • A few months back, we went to an audition in Detroit for “The Amazing Race” One of the weirder things I have ever done.
  • I am continuing to write my series with “Cruising Outpost” So keep buying issues!!!!!
  • Also keep an eye out for the May/June issue of SAILING magazine, you will find us inside and we are beyond flattered to be a part of this one !!!
  • Louise has moved on to new ownership. I will have an entire story about this in the near future, but please stay tuned because not only did they buy Louise to DO THE LOOP, but they are also bringing A DOG (OR TWO) !!!  The Louise legacy continues !!!!




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Will there be a book???

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Katie and I took on the Chicago Boat Show a few weeks back and I was blown away at the interest thats been shown in our adventure and in The Great Loop. When I was finally accepting that all of this was over… being able to do presentations and continue to talk to others about how they can do it too, reminded me that it’s not actually over at all. In fact, it’s like we are starting all over again – same subject – different classroom – kind of thing. Huge thank you to the incredible Bob Bitchin and his beautiful wife Jody of Cruising Outpost Magazine for hosting us.

To be honest, it was frustrating at first to talk non-stop about something that you did – versus something that you are doing… which sounds kind of ungrateful.  I didn’t like hearing myself talk about myself. Kind of like that drunk guy at the end of the bar rambling about something legendary he did 30 years ago, no one cares, and no ones listening. While we were traveling, in the midst of it all, talking about it was appropriate and in context; Two haggard girls pull up to a dock in a tiny sailboat with dog – easy conversation starter. People asked, we told. Two regular girls pull into the city in a Honda Accord, in clean clothes with dog – boring. But people still asked, and we still told. What I am saying is, I never expected to continue to talk about my life in past tense as often as it was talked about while it was happening. I never expected to be able to light a match under a few people’s asses hot enough to send them boat shopping and Great Loop researching. I never expected my voice to be the one speaking in a huge silent room full of people. I never expected to be capable of impacting anyone, having answers to their questions, or helping them get one step closer towards their dream. This entire time I have been looking for that impact – to be hit by a flaming meteorite revelation telling me exactly who I am and what I am supposed to do. I have been looking for answers to my own questions. I have been looking for the person who can get one step further to my goals. And for just a moment, I felt I could be to others – what I have been looking for for me. Like a stupid kitten chasing my own tail… I stopped running in circles and looked up. Am I making any sense what so ever? Sorry if this is getting confusing. What I am trying to say, is thank you. Thank you to everyone who came out to listen, to ask, to support,  and to encourage.

For months the infamous question has been “Whats next?”

Followed up by “Will there be a book?”

And for months my answer has been “I don’t know”

Followed up by “I don’t know” While I silently throw F bombs around in my brain for not having an answer.

I mean really? I’ve had over two years of sittin and thinkin on a boat and all I can come up with is “I don’t know” ?!?!?!?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

The answer itself has been spelled out in front of me every time I’ve read it, and I am just now seeing that it’s simply been a word puzzle. You all have just been messing with me, haven’t you?

QUESTION : “What’s next?” Will there be a book?”

ANSWER : “What’s next? There will be a book!”

All I had to do was  switch around the “will” and “there” to “there” and “will” while swapping out the question mark with an exclamation point. And there ya have it, WAM BAM THANK YOU MAM.

“There will  be a book.”

Geez. My apologies for taking so long to see the writing on the wall. If you continue to be patient… and I mean really patient, there will be a book. Stubbornly I do not like asking for help, and will reroute myself in many inconvenient ways to avoid asking for it. But I’m going to suck it up – I am going to ask for help.  Because for this project I will need it. There are several things you can help Katie and me with to support us in the book publishing process:

1) Attend our next presentation – open to the public TOMORROW Feb 5th, at 7:45 at the Elks Club,625 Bay Street, Traverse City, MI 49684  (TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS)

2) Listen to our live podcast Friday, Feb 6th at 10:00 AM here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aglca  If you miss it, listen to the recording after-the-fact at that same site, or download it from iTunes. Just search AGLCA on iTunes to find it. (TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS) 

3) BUY A T-SHIRT ALL PROCEEDS FUNDING THE PRINTING/PUBLISHING/DISTRIBUTING OF “THE BOOK” (we don’t know what it’s called yet any suggestions?) T-shirts are hand printed by Katie Smith at Michigan Rag CO. (TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS)

Your support is everything. Without it my answer remains “I don’t know” But with it I confidently say “There will be a book!!!!!!!!!”

The ball is already rolling, but it’s heavy, and I need help pushing it.

Thank you : ) Email me with any questions… comments… complaints or whatever ya got. Jesszevalkink@gmail.com

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First of all, a huge thank you for all the positive feedback we’ve received after finally posting the “homecoming” post… which clearly I had been avoiding. And I mean it when I say HUGE thank you… HUGER than the two silly words “thank” and ” you” could ever express. And yes, I know “HUGER” is not a word. But you get it.

To everyone we met along the way… to every one who leant a hand, to everyone who has shared our story with others… and to everyone who completely randomly stumbled upon this blog. Receiving emails from strangers who had never heard of “The Great Loop” and who are now interested in traveling it, is fantastic. That is my whole purpose here, re-introducing this adventure to my generation, and to those who never even knew it existed. It is possible. If Katie and I made the full circle without sinking a boat, trust me, so can you.

Second of all, I bring to you exciting news… we are doing a presentation on our adventure for the very first time Tuesday, Jan 13 at the Glen Arbor Township hall 7:00 PM !!!!(Leelanau County, MI). Condensing two years into 30-45 minutes is an adventure in itself. Quite frankly we are tempted to just tell silly stories until you are all baffled that the two of us actually came out alive. Weaved in with some of our best and worst of days, you will get a clear over-view of the logistics… with time to ask us those questions you have secretly been wanting to know. Lets go ahead and get two questions out of the way that no one ever dares to ask…

“Where did you go to the bathroom?”  –  A bucket.

“Did you ever get bored and kiss?”   –  Seriously? No.

The Glen Arbor Women’s Club is hosting us, and it would be so great if you could join. HOWEVER, if you can’t, there is yet another opportunity to listen in the following weekend at the Chicago Boat Show! Look for us at the “Cruising Outpost” booth.

CHICAGO BOAT SHOW (McCormick Place, downtown Chicago)


Cruising Outpost booth 6:00-7:00 PM


Cruising Outpost booth 1:00-2:00 PM

Seminar Room 2:15 – 3:00 PM


Email me with any questions jesszevalkink@gmail.com








WE DID IT!!!!!!!

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Katie, Reggie, Louise and I completed America’s Great Loop on September 4th, 2014. Crossing our wake just north-east of Northport Point, my stomach was in knots as I processed that it was the last day. I didn’t write in my journal for 5 days because I was having a hard time understanding what I was actually feeling, I was drawing blanks. It’s been nearly 4 months and I am still unsure If I can find the right words, hence my reluctancy to write this post. From the moment I got home, I stopped writing, I stopped reading, I stopped looking at the clouds, I stopped appreciating where I was, and suddenly 4 months passed and I don’t think I have accomplished a thing. Today is the last day of the year, and the first day I am realizing that it is is all in the past. Mission complete : )

I thought it would be fun to reveal my very first, and last journal entries


This photo was the morning we left Northport, fueling up and saying our goodbyes. We look like babies.

September 4th, 2012  // Leland, MI

“Sitting on the dock in Leland. Cannot figure out how to start this journal for the life of me, I’ve never been one to write. English was my least favorite class. Last Fall Katie and I decided to buy a boat, and sail it to the Bahamas. Today we left. And for some reason, I am more relaxed right now than I have been all summer. I am happy. I wonder if it will last. Reggie is eating flies. Katie is fixing our amateur dock-line situation, Ben and Tucker are grilling us a bass dinner. This is the beginning. I have zero answers to my millions of questions. I don’t know where we will end up, or if we will ever make it home. I don’t know how we are going to make money. I am impressed we even made it here today without hitting something. The only thing I know is that I have a new home now, and it sails.

When we rounded Northport point and I took the last look at my little town, the only thing clear was that I haven’t a clue what I am doing. But I am okay with it. I know we will be okay. I know we will mess up. But it’s okay. In two days we will be in Muskegon to un-step our mast and cross to Chicago. As much as I am looking forward to Katie and I being on our own, and figuring things out together, I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to Ben – who will be getting off the boat in Muskegon. I don’t know when I will see him again. I don’t expect him to wait. If I linger on the subject it makes me queasy.

Quickly we are becoming resourceful. Peeing off the stern to save room in our holding tank, and trapping bugs by duct taping them to the ceiling.  The return fuel line even popped off and diesel was everywhere in the engine room. Ben fixed it before I even registered what the problem was and when he asked me what I would have done if he wasn’t there I said ‘ Shit. I don’t know.’

This is fun. I wonder whats next.”

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Angry skies on our last leg home.

September 2nd,  2014 // Sturgeon Bay, MI

“I’ll never forget this day.  I have given up. I’m crumbling like a stale muffin. Screaming like a boiling tea pot. Mother nature does NOT want us to make it home, she has dictated every decision we have made as incorrect. With 34 miles to travel from Mackinac to Beaver, we left the harbor knowing it wasn’t going to be a pleasant ride. At this point home is around the corner, if something goes wrong – I can call the wizard, even though he probably wouldn’t answer the phone. Every degree we turn the wind follows, every tack we make is pushing us backwards. In 8 hours, the Mackinac Bridge is the exact same distance behind us. When we passed underneath the structure, it was magnificent. Now I just want it to go away. By 7 pm we give up, darkness is closing in, Beaver Island is too far. A mushroom cloud is taking over half of the sky. Its been creeping on us all afternoon and at this point we are being stalked. The wind continues to increase nearly stopping us in our tracks. We divert to “Sturgeon Cove”.  The change of course lays Louise on her side and we fly forward moving the same speed as the storm clouds. We can’t outrun them anymore. The sky has turned Mammatus, my favorite of all clouds, although it represents nastiness. We set anchor in the cove, which is not at all a cove, exposed in every direction but one. In the cockpit I am stiff, perplexed – I am done. Spending the a few days with our Mothers on Mackinaw was so comforting, I could taste home, making these last 3 days unbearable. I just want to be there. Right now is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen, which is kind of making me angry. The sky has been raping us all day, and suddenly it wants to cuddle.”

I really had myself convinced I was over it, ready to be home, ready to move on. Over the last 4 months, it is clear to me that my frustrations were mistaken. I was only hating that it was all coming to an end. I spent two years figuring out my role on the water, and suddenly I had to do it all over again on land. I didn’t want to start over. I spent all my time thinking about what my life on land would be like once I got home, and now here I am spending all my time thinking about what my life would be like if I never came home. Reading back on this now makes me laugh. Sometimes things only make sense in retrospect.

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Two days later, we round Northport Point on a cloudy day wearing nothing but smiles. Well not really, we had clothes on. We knew the “dad’s” would be zooming our direction in the Pantera at any moment and kept a close eye on the horizon.  Katie’s phone rung, it was her Dad, “Hey girls, we broke down we gotta hop on the Mastercraft, but keep on coming.”  We found this hilarious and envisioned throwing a line to the broke down “Pantera” and towing them back to the marina for our grand finale. I mean what are the chances that the dads break down on their way to welcome home their daughters? Silly question. The chances are good, very good.

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In no time, we spot 4 jackasses ( I say that with love ) hooting and hollering like teenage boys. My dad was driving the Master-craft at what looked like full throttle. We immediately start laughing so hard we’re crying. They keep coming towards us, and my Dad circles around so close to the cockpit he drenches us with spray. They were just as excited as we were, if not more. They were proud. We were proud. The moment was better than the one I had dreamt up in my head since day one, instantly erasing any negative I had ever felt. We did it.

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We did it.

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To my readers… thank you for coming back time and again. You are the our greatest source of encouragement.

There is so much more I have to say.

So many people to thank.

This blog is not over yet.

We have several presentations coming up this month, and I will keep you updated on the when & where.






No wonder men have such a hard time understanding women.

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“My Imagination doesn’t run wild like It used to. Last time I was here I pretended this rock was my castle, and when I got bored of that I played “animals” with my sister. Now, I’m laying here with my headphones in, feeling like this is completely normal – as if it were my own back yard. Mostly trying to understand how it took us nearly two years to get here.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night because I lay in bed writing a book in my head until it kept me awake so long I had to pick up a real one.”

“I’ve noticed I avoid putting extremely honest words on paper. If I don’t write them – I don’t feel them.”

“There are only three boats anchored here. OH, probably because the wind is hauling ass out of the one direction the books specifically advise you NOT to anchor here in. If sketchy, rocky, windy, and rough channels don’t scare us anymore, I am unsure what does. Not even the spiders we share this house with, the snakes we share our bath with, or the poison ivy we share the woods with.”

“Going home. That’s what scares me.”



“Pissed. I have never been so cold. Neither of us have any more layers to put on. I can’t wait to crawl into a warm home. 2.5 knots into a 15 knot head wind. Why are we even trying? We should turn around. But the thought of backtracking drives me insane. Bad attitude today.”

“We spend the morning whining and bitching, which ultimately made it hilarious because we both know that we don’t have a damn thing to actually whine or bitch about.”

“We tacked back and fourth until were got so frustrated we full throttled dead into the wind and waves to make it to Blind River. We are so stupid.”

“My face is burning. My finger and toes and are in the de-numbing tingling phase. I am done.”

“Katie got so pissed at me when we walked into the town of Blind River. She is scary when she is pissed, and not worth arguing with. It all had to do with “who had the right directions to get into town.” She thought she was right, I thought I was right, and when I was trying to make light of the situation she said she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. But the way in which the words came out of her mouth, “I don’t want to talk about it anymore” was like a gun shot to the chest. We can’t get along all the time. This is the final stretch. We are bound to break at some point”




“The sky is icy blue, not a cloud in it. The breeze is on the nose again but no stronger than I could push air out of my own lungs. We are both dressed like we are about to go flying down a ski hill. If I close me eyes I am on a chairlift, but I left my mittens at home.”

“We don’t sleep anymore. We have become goo brains whose minds are running marathons through deserts, mountains, and valleys and apparently Great Lakes.”

“Only a matter of hours until we cross the imaginary line that separates two countries.”

Patrick is driving today. I am so cozy in the cockpit after bringing my entire bed outside. Both of us have a book in hand, and feel the need to be nowhere else. If I am not okay with anything, it is that I have spent my last days unable to talk myself out of a crappy attitude. Look at where I am.”

“I think every day that I write I contradict myself. I make no sense. No wonder men have such a hard time understanding women.”


“The customs man showed up in his combat boots and gun on his hip. If not for his costume he would come across as a very nice man, but the suit beefs him up to be a tough action figure. He didn’t go anywhere besides the cockpit. I was nervous he was going to inspect the plumbing. It’s been broken for some time. If we were to get hit with a ticket for that, it’s on me because I am technically the plumber in this here house.”


“Less than 100 miles from crossing our wake and we are stuck in a town called DeTour, Michigan. How Ironic” – Katie

“Lake Huron was not welcoming this morning. The waves grew larger. The rain fell harder. The wind wanted us to stay in Canada. We were in no mood to experiment.”

“Every once and a while we make good decisions. Like to tie up here in DeTour. A thunderstorm kept us wide-eyed and wired for 4 hours and the thought of being anywhere but here was disturbing. It’s the loudest and most intense thunder I have heard since being in the Bahamas. Thunder crackled so loud I felt like I was laying inside an egg shell that could crack open at any moment.”

“Our goal is to make it to Mackinaw Island by Monday, where we will meet our mothers who will arrive via ferry. We have two days, and it looks as though a weather window will get us there with ease. I have not seen my Mom since Christmas. Enough stuff has happened between then and now it feels like years.”

“We were on 7 & 4 news last night in Michigan !!!!! What?!?!?!?!”



“Docked in Cedarville next to Uncle Dave and Aunt Connie. How wonderful it feels to reunite with these friends who helped us get ready for this trip since day one. I love them. Now I truly feel close to home.”

“Mother nature was so bi-polar yesterday. Waves. Rain. Fog. Sun. Heat. No rain. No clouds. Flat water. More rain. More waves. And then sun again. Mother Nature and I are on the same level – all over the freakin place.”

“At one point today we cruised at 6 knots, sails up, calm glassy rollers pushing us forward, warm air and sunshine. And for a moment, I never wanted it to end. I knew where I was, I knew who I was, I knew exactly what I wanted. It has been a long time since I had that feeling, I forgot it could exist.”

“The rain started falling. Hard. But it was warm rain. I turned the music up louder as the rain fell harder. I loved every drop.”

“Tomorrow, we get to see our MOMMIES !!!”


SEPTEMBER 1 // Mackinac Island

“We sailed into Mackinac at the exact same time our Mothers came flying in on the ferry. When we saw the ferry coming we turned around to parallel them. The moment we spotted two little ladies jumping up and down in the top deck flailing their arms, Katie and I both started jumping up and down laughing and crying at the same time. Within seconds the wake of the ferry rocked us so hard we both fell over and disappeared into the waves and laughed even harder. It never crossed my mind I might cry when seeing my Mom after all this time – but obviously her being there meant more to me than I realized. ”

“Only three days left.”

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