I am running up walls and doing back flips like Jackie Chan. Electrified.  I’m ready.

I am sweating in the panic room like Jody Foster. Paralyzed. I am not ready.

I’ve spent the last two and a half years saving without knowing what I was saving for. This is it. My savings is being hacked away at to put it lightly – for those of you who have had something to loan it is oh-so-deeply appreciated.

Can’t thank those of you enough who reached out with items to sell or pass along, your enthusiasm is felt from all corners and it is outstanding.

We are checking off the list. The never ending list. When we check off one thing we seem to find yet another thing in need of checking. Trying to break this cycle. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. How many people have crossed oceans with  n o t h i n g  but a hull? A lot.

Knee deep in mud studying with no teacher. Head just above water in projects I can’t do on my own. Swimming in a sea of emails. Trying to understand my priorities even when they differ from others.

I know this feeling. This feeling of “never being ready”. I tell myself what I have so easily been telling everybody else for the last 5 years, “You will never feel ready, you just have to go.”…. thanks Jess easier said than done.

I am officially taking the St. Lawrence Seaway out to the Atlantic. Learning as much as I can about it. Please email me with any first hand advice on traveling this water-way in the month of May. Anchoring? Licenses required? Currents/tide? Ice bergs in the Gulf of St. Lawrence? South coast of Newfoundland? St. John?  TELL ME EVERYTHING.

It’s March today. 46 days until my goal departure date. It’s a full on northern Michigan white-out today. Fuck. The boat is an hours drive from home in a storage unit. The Wizard (dad) and I are commuting often as possible to complete projects. Pardon my fuck this afternoon I am just in no mood to be censoring.

The only time the Wizard ever says the “F” word is when we are working on the boat. It brings me great joy when it slips. Just in case you were curious.

If all goes to plan Katie Girl will be making a guest appearance as we sail this ole yawl out of the Great Lakes next month. She always raises my moral in the crappiest and coldest of “shit-uations”. I know you all miss her, cause I do too.



The engine has been rebuilt. After many struggles we lowered it back into the kitchen where it hides under a secret door and rests. In theory lowering an engine back into it’s compartment is a simple task. All I have to say is that nothing is a simple task on a sailboat. 

One step forward. Two steps back. Everytime.

The engine is not running yet. In fact the alternator and spacer to connect the transmission to the propeller is missing somewhere in our garage. Big problem. However it’s freshly painted and looks brand new and I just want to kiss it.

VHF & Seatalk instruments also missing somewhere on our property. How could this be you ask?!?!  I  l i t e r a l l y  do not know. Probably because our property would qualify for the next episode of “Hoarders”.  Another big problem.

A new head is being installed. No more stinky bladder from the 70’s. Surprised I just used the word “head” that was very nautical of me.

Luke is drawing plans and will be installing an inner-forestay as soon as he is state-side. Not to mention 37 other projects he is taking on while working a full-time job. Thanks babe.

Set of bullet proof  Hyde Sails are currently being manufactured in Philippines.

We are rebuilding the entire steering system. Edson Marine you rock.

I’ve purchased a HYDROVANE. Bye bye savings and hello to what I think is going to be the greatest investment I’ve ever made. I’ve already named her – Penny. We haven’t met yet, but I am already having conversations with her.

We have locked down a SWITLIK  life-raft god forbid we need to use it.



Having trouble finding valuble information on the Gulf of St. Lawrence… Ice bergs, tides, trade winds, anchorages, shipping, fog, etc. If you or anyone you know has sailed the St. Lawrence out to the Atlantic, I would love to hear from you. Anyone have charts?

We will have a Delorme InReach, and possibly an Iridium-Go as well. Advice on  communication and receiving weather with either of these devices would be helpful.

Anyone have a Hydrovane? Just tell me how much you love it please cause I already sent the check.

Still in search of an appropriate medical kit / contacts who might be of assistance or have any loaner kits.

Does anyone have a drogue appropriately sized for a 37′ yawl ?!




Desireé is currently in a yard sale state. Bit and bits (so english) tossed everywhere. Clutter is my claustrophobia. I put on my blinders every time I go out to the boat and focus on exactly what we need to work on that day.

Luke will be here in two weeks. I didn’t think I was needy. I am getting needy. And right now – I need him.

Doing my very best to live this romance novel on international engagement but I am stuck on an extensive chapter about boats. Since deciding to cross an ocean together one would think we were business partners, not lovers. I remind us to take breaks in this chapter and turn back to the romantic pages because I am complicated and seek a scientific balance that has not yet been discovered. That being said – we do make damn good business partners.

The more I expose this experience to the world wide inter-web, the more difficult I find it to write. When I think about the people who may be reading I question every sentence. I do my best to just type to a screen. To nobody. To outer space.

I am understanding the power of a simple blog. How it has connected me in unimaginable ways. It’s wild. 

Every night I lay down I think to myself – there is no way we can pull this off in the next month and a half.

Every morning I wake up I think to myself – we have every means, every ingredient, to pull this off in the next month and a half.

So here I am. Doing backflips up walls and then sweating in my panic room. Just trying to sail across an ocean.

Okay. Thank you. That’s all. Bye now.


29 thoughts on “46 days and trying not to count…

  1. Met you at in Picton and then again at Anappolis Boat Show. My suggestion is a go fund me site. Also, I’d be happy to donate some canvas work if there is a way to do it long distance. Maybe a couple of those pieces that mount on life lines outside the cockpit to break the wind, whatever they are called. Other than that , Go for it!

    1. Hey Charlie ! I was literally just out at the boat with a measuring tape to measure for those “side dodger” thinga-ma-bobbers. My mother is quite the seamstress and seems prepared to tackle the project. It might be worth getting you the measurements as well to see if you have any spare navy canvas / helpful advice for her? Thanks a million. Email me !

  2. Jessie, Bob (BETTY L) here.  We have charts from Lake Ontario to Gaspe Bay.They are 5/8 copies of Canadian charts.  You can have them.  Toss them when you are done.  I’ll send them when you give me an address.  Also have a Richardson of Ontario. You’ll have to let us know your time line so we can meet up somewhere along the river to meet Luke and wish you a safe trip.Keep the posts going.  Bob and Madeline

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S®6 active, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  3. I’m absolutely incredulous Jess. Your writing, your spirit, your amazing ability to be in the moment, while always envisioning the next step, or thousands of steps, beautiful, as are you!
    Love you beyond measure, AB

  4. Hi Jess, if you can get hold of a used SSB radio and pactor modem I would highly recommend one of those. A pactor 4 modem being the best. The annual cost is $250 for emails and great weather grib files from anywhere in the world. I have been following you for years and you inspired me to sell everything to sail off with my family which we did last July from the UK. The last month is hard and gets harder until you set off. It’s is the best life ever as you know. Over 2000 miles we have travelled and I hope our paths cross one day. All the best and safe sailing. X ps my daughter Jess 8 loves your blog too….

    1. Hey Howard, give your little Jess a hug and high five from me for being such a trooper. She is going to be an incredible young woman after being exposed to life aboard as a kid. Where are you guys now?! When can we cheers and swap stories? Thanks for the advice and for having the guts to sell it all and do it.

  5. “When I think about the people who may be reading I question every sentence.”: I am. From the other side (Lisbon, Portugal). I will not leave tips here since I have no constructive advice such a huge life project but I just want to say I like to read your ‘letters’ and I wish you the best on your ocean cross and on your romance (or partnership… isn’t it always a partnership also?!). Kiss an hug

  6. re: drouge – keep an eye on your local craigslist or similar. I got an old munitions parachute the right size for my 36′ for $100! The book ‘storm tactics’ is invaluable if you are going to use this type.

    If you meant a series type drogue like a Jordan those are harder to find and more expensive – if you have time maybe get the sailrite kit and make your own?

  7. The Best of Luck to all of you! Enjoy your adventures !!

    – Tim Walenga
    “Don’t just paint it, AWLGRIP It!!”

  8. I love the way you write … makes me laugh. I am sitting in a sand which shop in Dallas Texas eating a turkey bacon avacoda and laughing out loud … people dont stare much ha!

  9. Hi Katie!!!
    Dave, my husband, sailed with John Kretschmer from St Martin to Bermuda last June on his Kaufman 47 with his brand new Hydrovane “Lucy” 😊. Dave LOVED her, we will get one for our sailboat when we go cruising 😊
    Love hearing all of your plans, it will all come together!!! You have time to work it out as you go along!! XO Deb

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  10. Been reading you for awhile. You are SO encouraging!!!! And Awesome:]Looking at our first boat Sunday!

    Been trying to got one for over three years. Never fully ready, yes.

    Good luck, wish us ours!!!

    See you on the deep,

    F and Fam


  11. Hey sweet Jess…you’ve GOT this!!! Glad to be along for the virtual ride. I see you are all good with a life raft! Miss seeing you at the shows but it seems we are both off to other adventures!! I am going to try to hook you up with my friend Ken Lewis…he has traversed the St Lawrence single handed…literally. 🙂 Love ya Girl!! Luke I look forward to meeting you!! Take care of each other!! XOXO

  12. I love my Hydrovane and the people that sell them, a little temperamental in light air but then again what crew member is’nt?
    Fair winds and the best of luck on your sail and maybe we will pass somewhere in Cornwall or Devon when you arrive, will buy you guys a beer.
    Been a long time follower of your blog, its one I save for reading when I’m chilled on the boat.


    1. Hey Steve. I have Hydrovane off right now as I pass through Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. Extra rudder seems to massively impact boats maneuverability in and out of docks, locks, etc. Can’t wait to get to all set up for ocean crossing. Glad you have good things to say about it ! Lets cheers in England ?!

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