Five. Miles. Per. Hour.


“Life-lanes” by Progressive Insurance asked me to answer a few of my most common questions. A very common series of questions sounds like this… “What did you get out of it? What did you learn? Why would I want to do it?” Every – damn – time I freeze up because the answer is lengthy, intense, and actually requires emotional effort to respond in a fashion that I care to have it understood.  I stutter at the task of trying to sum it up. Most people regret asking this question because I either A) Go on a tangent or B) tell them that I perfected shitting into a bucket.

Anyways. Here is my response in a nutshell. Or in a bucket.

There is something to be said about traveling slowly. Something magical. Something that as far as I am aware, can be not be earned elsewhere. There are many ways one could choose to travel slowly, and in this particular story it was by sailboat.

It took my best friend and I 87 days to get from Northern Michigan to the boarder of Florida in a 27 foot sailboat. Averaging 25 miles a day and 4.5 knots. Together we sailed down Lake Michigan and entered the seam of America, stitching our way south along the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Tombigbee rivers until we met the Gulf of Mexico. I could have driven that distance in 18 hours. I could have flown it in 4. I could have roller-skated faster.

I would spend 8 hours a day sitting in the cockpit holding a beautifully handcrafted wooden tiller, doing absolutely nothing but steering the boat and dodging unidentified floating objects. Months passed. The time that passed had absolutely nothing to do with having to be at a certain place at a certain time, but everything to do with substituting the the only way in which I ever knew how to spend time (work, family, friends, relationships, school, recreational activities, other miscellaneous non-sense like shaving my legs and organizing my underwear drawer) with the following :

Time to think back // You have time to rewind. Push play. Think back to all the reasons you are where you are. Think through all those decisions you made in the past that were never actually thought through. You get stuck on the things you hate thinking about the most. The things you stowed away in a very secure place years ago, with no intentions to ever look at them again. You peel back the years, the layers, and toss the clutter you no longer need. You recognize your wrong doings and rejoice your attributes. Clearing space in your mind for the following :

Time to be present // You don’t miss a beat. It’s merely impossible. You see every bird, every animal, every type of tree, every cloud formation, every bend, every movement of the water. You look at it for more than seconds, because you have minutes, maybe even hours. And you don’t just look at it because it’s all that’s in front of you, you even have time to be fascinated with it. With the fascination comes curiosity. With curiosity comes questions. Your still left with time to try and find the answers. Are you catching my drift? The art of being present is rather educational. Your mind has then made room for the following :

Time to discover // By being in a constant stream of odd situations, you discover things you’re great at and things you’re horrible at. You discover Resource management. You discover how to budget. You discover how to be a jack of all trades. You discover the side streets. You discover how to talk to strangers. You discover beauty in everything- even mud. You discover your priorities. You discover exactly how little one requires to be happy. And eventually you discover this large compartment stocked with the following :

Time to appreciate // And I mean truly appreciate. Allow me to take the word appreciation to a whole new altitude. I am taking it off a rolling hill in Iowa and putting it on top of Alaska’s’ Mount Denali. From the simplest of amenities like running water, electricity, refrigeration, controlled climates, and plumbing. To the clouds that block the sun even if it’s just for a moment. The brief rainfall that is your only means of cleanliness. The wind that cools you off at night and moves your house free of charge by day. The spider who lives in the cockpit and feasts on intruding insects. The power-boater you met that day who offered you ice. The couple anchored next to you who has the right size wrench. The family you met while aimlessly wandering town who took you in and offered a square bed and a hot meal. You get caught up in a state of gratitude and can’t help but to start thinking about the following :

Time to pay forward // I began a list while traveling down those rivers, and keep it going till this day. I wrote down every person that went out of their way to do something for us. Whether it was lending us a tool, cooking us a meal, towing us off the ground, passing down their charts, or spending hours in our ridiculously small engine room we referred to as “the basement”. The list is long. There is a good chance we will never be able to re-pay favors to these particular people. Helping hands, encouragement, and willingness to teach can be passed on. The rest of my time on that boat entailed trying to figure out how I was going to spend the rest of my life – doing exactly that.


Thirteen states, three countries, and nearly two years later I was still sitting in that same cockpit. Holding the third beautifully handcrafted wooden tiller (after splitting the first two) dodging unmarked rocks in Canada and days away from sailing into the same bay in northern Michigan I once left from. One huge circle taught me everything I ever wanted to know.

5 things before take-off-7citybest & worst -2Trent-Sev-35storm-53home stretch-33C-O Canada -5city-58Lord of the Flies-11Coast-28Benjamins-23Plane ride-6

Disclosure: I was compensated for content provided to Life Lanes from Progressive. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The best bits…&…the worst bits

Once upon a time my house was 27 feet long and 9 feet wide, space was tight. Amenities minimal. When our daily lives weren’t frustrating, they were hilarious. Progressive insurance got a kick out of this and asked me to answer some of my most common questions. One of them being – What was the best, and the worst part about living and traveling aboard a 27 foot sailboat for two years? 

best & worst -10.jpg(ABOVE: How to stay warm in Canada)

So I present you… the glitter and the shits.

I began writing a simple list: The best things about living aboard a tiny sailboat. I shocked myself with the amount of bullet points that dotted this category. It was as if they had been pent up in my brain waiting to be released onto paper. I then began my second list: The worst things about living aboard a tiny sailboat. My brain fired again, and the bullets struck the exact same points as the first.

Every reason that was the best was also the worst. My lists were nearly a perfect match. Contradicting? Well, kind of, yes, let me explain:


Simplicity // You have with you one of everything you need and nothing more. You have left all the clutter behind. Your diet is simple. Your wardrobe is slim. You might have two pairs of shoes, if you haven’t lost one overboard. You sleep when the sun goes down, and you awake when it rises. You stop paying attention to time, calendars and all of numbers that once defined you. When you have no Internet, you read a book, and when your phone dies, you write letters. You perfect the art of sitting still. You find joy in the simplest of things.

Take your home anywhere // The longer you live aboard the boat, the more foreign a square house in a cement neighborhood begins to feel. This vessel becomes your home, your safety zone, your friend, your transportation and your ticket to explore the world. Restrictions are slim, and opportunities are endless.

Jack of all trades // You get to try on a lot of different hats. When something breaks, you take the time to figure it out on your own before making a phone call. When you are on a tight budget with plenty of time, you will be amazed at what you are capable of fixing, much the opposite of those who have a plentiful budget and are tight on time. You suddenly find yourself to be a bit of a mechanic, plumber, electrician, craftsman, sailor and a navigator. At this point you lose your mind a bit and start to think you are really funny, this is the best part.

Mother Nature // As you can imagine, this reason is self-explanatory. Sunrises. Sunsets. Harvest moons. Wildlife. Eagles. Pelicans. Herons. Otters. Dolphins. Alligators. Manatees. Sharks. Spiders. The brightest of stars. Incredible cloud formations. Thrilling thunderstorms. Blinding rain. Flowing rivers. Fresh water lakes. Vast salty oceans. Ever changing scenery. It never gets old.

Uncertainty // Every day your goal is to get from point A to point B. You don’t really ever know if you are going to make it. In my opinion, there is nothing more thrilling nor motivating than a good challenge. There is a perpetual flood of unanswered questions, and you are constantly educating yourself simply by being curious.

best & worst -3(ABOVE: How to fit into the v-berth with all your crap)



Simplicity // When it rains, you get wet. When it’s unbearably hot, there is no air conditioner. When the deck frosts over, you have no source of heat. When all of your clothes are dirty, you have no laundry. When you are starving, you open a can of tuna with a side of brown avocado. When you are filthy, you jump in a salty ocean or a muddy river for a bath. When the sun goes down, you turn on your headlamp. Above all else, there is sometimes never-ending physical discomfort.

Take your home anywhere // Once you are used to constantly being on the go, it is very, very difficult to flip that switch off. You are never settled. It’s hard to stay at a job. It’s hard to stay in a relationship. It’s hard to stay in one place—period—knowing you can untie the lines at any time you please. The ability to move your home trumps everything. So you go, and you keep going, and you are constantly saying goodbye.

Jack of all trades // When your engine quits, you will sit in front of it for countless hours praying that your intense stare will fix the problem. When you can’t fix the engine, you become the sailor who sails in every direction besides the right one. When your head breaks, you are the plumber. When salt corrodes your electric wires, you are the questionable electrician. When you are lost, you are still the navigator. The dirty jobs cannot be pawned off to highly-qualified tradesmen.

Mother Nature // There is no negotiating with Mother Nature. Quite frankly, she couldn’t care less about you and your needs. She will change her mind at any moment, day or night, forcing you to alter your route, take shelter or ride it out. You are always at her mercy. She is your mother-in-law who you secretly despise. You are nothing but a game piece on her game board while she deviously deals the cards.

Uncertainty // Again, you are never certain if you are going to make it to where you are trying to go. The variables and obstacles that could be chucked at you throughout your daily travels will keep coming, but you will never know when. Having to re-route, seek out plan C or backtrack is common. Nothing is certain. Even when you have firm plans, you must understand that things may not go accordingly.

You see what I am saying? It is merely a matter of perspective. If your glass is half full, you understand list one and might consider this a lifestyle for you. If your glass is half empty, list two is enough to make you cringe every time you see a sailboat hereafter. List one wins in my opinion, and if list two hits home for you you probably shouldn’t live on a boat and I apologize that you just read this whole article.

best & worst -1(ABOVE: How to shower in your living room)

C-O Canada -19(How to successfully beg for food)

Life-Lanes-1(How to successfully be a bed hog)

best & worst -7(How to pretend you are going faster than 4.5 knots)

best & worst -11(How to park your house)

best & worst -12(How to … live)

Disclosure: I was compensated for content provided to Life Lanes from Progressive. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Turn that ridiculous drawing on your fridge into reality


HI, welcome back. For those I am welcoming for the first time, HI  – quick backstory for ya

I was 23 years old  (4 years ago… mmm) when my best friend Katie Smith and her pup Reggie, decided to buy a 27 foot sailboat and spend two years sailing America’s Great Loop. A lot of people asked how & why and at present I didn’t have much of an answer besides “why-not?”. The idea began as a joke. Neither of us had any qualification or prior knowledge on the subject-matter. It wasn’t until later that I found it’s meaning and I understood how the decision to travel this massive circle was the most educating adventure I could have ever signed myself up for. It completely re-routed the way I think, see, live, and move forward with every decision I make. In documenting this story over the years, I continue to receive emails of ambitious adventurers who aren’t quite certain where and how to start planning their own…  Over the next few weeks I will be answering a few of the most common questions asked. Beginning with –

” 5 Things to know before un-tying the lines “

1 – Draw out your plan

Literally. Get out a paper and a pen and start drawing. Most likely it is a map. Draw in your boat, your airstream, your motorbike, your vehicle of choice. Mark prospective waypoints. Jot down miles, dates, landmarks and goals. How does it look on paper? Do you look good on that map? I bet you look fantastic. Add to your drawing over time. Scribble all over it. Keep it vague. Grey areas are important. A plan is necessary yes, but make sure to factor in the ability to work around those plans when your plan – does not go to plan. When your artwork turns into reality it’s going to look a lot different than the masterpeice hanging on your fridge.  Allow yourself a daily visual of your adventure. You probably don’t know what the end reward is yet so wait to draw that in – that is, after all, the whole point of starting in the first place.

2 – Talk to people – real living people

Do your research. And by research I mean talk to people. Face to face, like we used to back in the day (Iphones’ Facetime not included). Pick as many brains as you can – people who have done something remotely similar. Retain that direct and firsthand knowledge before the information you may find on the internet machine. There is value in hearing as well as seeing one’s emotion behind their personal experience and words of wisdom.

We all know the word ‘naive’ is typically used in a negative context and is not how one would care to be categorized. But I am 100% certain there is a bit of magic that comes along with a teaspoon of naivety and I am here to tell you that it is okay to be naive – in small doses of course. One who is slightly naive does not share the same fears and resistance as the well-polished professor (I love you sister, this is not referring to you).  It’s okay not to know every detail, statistic, and hazard about what it is you are going to do. There is however, an art to being naive – the art is knowing exactly when you are being naive and to heighten your senses to everything that is happening around you. Without this art, your dose of naiveté is that of a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon and you might get yourself into trouble. That’s fine too, it will make for a better story.

When you talk to people about your plan, face to face that is, you will most likely find that they too didn’t have much of an idea of what they were getting themselves into. Carry on with your research. Learn what you can. The real learning won’t happen until you leave.

3- Pack light 

This is very straight forward and very important. The less you bring the less you have to lose. The less you leave behind the less you will miss. The less clutter the more space. The more stuff you have that can break, you more you will have to fix. We as humans require a fraction of goods we own to remain perfectly healthy and happy. Think simple. Pack light. (Katie was great at this, until it came to toiletries)

Invest in a “Spot” device. This satellite GPS tracker will send your location via email to your friends and family every day with the press of a button. Should you find yourself in an emergency situation it can also contact the Coast Guard. We pressed the “safe” button when we were securely anchored at the end of each day or after we successfully navigated an overnight passage or a long crossing. Only once did we have to use the “sort-of-an-emergency” button when we broke down on our way home from the Bahamas and had to get towed back to Florida.

Think seriously about what’s in your tool box. You are only as good as your tools and when something breaks – and I promise you it will – you are going to be the one to fix it. Investing in a good set of tools is priceless. We learned this the hard way time and again. We needed a very specific wrench to adjust part of the propeller shaft known as the “stuffing box” to prevent water from leaking into the boat. I could never bring myself to spend $30 on that stupid wrench, but every single time we were in a “slowly sinking” situation, I would have paid triple to have it.

Mmmm lets leave behind “Shades of Grey” and make room for guide books. Guide books often become your only source of information when you have no cell service and find yourself alone, possibly lost, and miles from civilization. Dozier’s “Waterway Guide” and “Skipper Bob” cruising guide series saved us a time or three. When you do have cell service and/or Wi-Fi available, I insist you download “Navionics.” You can pre-download incredibly accurate and detailed charts to your phone or tablet and still use them for navigation when out of touch.

4 – Leave your list incomplete

Don’t let an incomplete list keep you from leaving. Even when you think you have checked everything off there will be a never-ending psychological list patiently waiting. You will learn along the way what you need and more importantly what you don’t need. How does one gain experience without experiencing? You will make mistakes and If you already know you are going to make mistakes then listen, these are the 3 things to be certain to check off your list before departing :

1) Insure your boat – or whatever kind of vehicle it may be. When we left, I barely knew how to sail, nor motor Louise our 1979 Cal 27.  Having it insured freed me of the never ending anxiety I had every time I ran around (frequently)  hit a rock (twice in Canada) rammed a dock (when the shift cable snapped in the Bahamas) or backed into another boat, etc. (For the record I never backed into another boat).

2) Pre-flight. Every single morning before departing from point A, check the status of every working part in/on your boat to ensure it’s ability to get you to point B. When something goes wrong it goes wrong at a time of severe inconvenience, better to diagnose any potential problems while stationary.

3) Check your mental state. I am being completely serious. Your attitude and mental health is equally as important as the boat you are to rely on. Just like you rely on it, it relies on you. Don’t hesitate to wait a day, take a break, or call it quits early if you are not feeling up for it. Chill out mate. Tomorrow will be better.

The rest of the list will sort itself out. Carry on.

5 – You are superhuman 

So you have this idea…this grand plan…this wild adventure… it’s brewing thick as lava that molds to the mountainside while it cools. In your mind, acting on this possibility, is set in stone but in reality you are terrified to reach out and touch it because it might be unsafe. You spend your mornings justifying every reason under the sun to go for it and pass your afternoons shooing away the obnoxious list of reasons it’s not possible. This silent battle is your first and largest mistake. Put down your damn weapons and go. Make that first Progressive decision. You have the power over, and are in control of,  every decision small or large that you make. You will hold that power as long as you are alive. You are not stuck. Use this power to your advantage. This power is superhuman when you understand how to use it. You are superhuman. Turn that ridiculous drawing on your fridge into reality.

5 things before take-off-3 5 things before take-off-4 5 things before take-off-8 5 things before take-off-9



travolta-1Hey mate. Casually I am allowed to use the word “mate” because I have recently returned from England . I tried to explain to a British lad that when I heard the use of the word “mate” I immediately concluded one was referring to A) a (soul)mate/significant other or B) the person you are physically mating with. I was reassured that A) I am American and B) apparently I know nothing, oh and C) Everything I have ever known to exist was invented in England.

Then I tried to explain that if I were in Key West for example, and referred to Katie as my “mate” the assumption would be that she was my girlfriend.  In return I was delivered the historic definition and how the word is used in a nautical context. Yeah, I get it, I’m just saying #Cultural differences.

Back in America. Back in the grind. Back with all of my favorite people.  Back to wide roads, open spaces and country music. Back to my sleepy little town in northern Michigan. Most importantly – back to boat shows.

I’ve missed it. ‘Merica, that is. Feeling patriotic.

Sailing has recently brought a lot of new traffic to our blog so I wanted to encourage and invite those of you who have not heard the full story to come listen to one of our seminars. Let us enlighten you on what it is really like to live on a 27 foot sailboat for two years with your best friend and a dog. The full story.


Thursday 14TH – 1pm (Great Loop)

Friday 15th – 2:15 (Bahamas)

Sunday 17th – 1pm (Great Loop)

Monday 18th – 11:45 (Great Loop) 3:30 (Bahamas)


Thursday 11th – 4:45 (Bahamas)

Sunday 14th – 3:30 (Great Loop)

monday 15th – 3:30 (Great Loop)

OAKLAND BOAT SHOW  //  April 7-11 

Seminar times to be determined

If you don’t catch a seminar, swing by the Cruising Outpost booth and say hello. You should probably bring a beer. We will be working all week with Bob Bitchin and his bad ass wife Jody.

On a sidenote – A lot of you are aware that I took this past fall to travel across the pond to a continent most commonly know as – Europe. I had high expectations for myself to do nothing but write. I admit to placing those expectations at an unfathomable height forgetting that I am only 5’2” and can not physically reach, climb, nor pole vault that high. But I tried. And I did write. In fact I wrote a lot. But not in the way I had imagined. So… I had ditched my employers, ditched my roommates, ditched my family, packed up my bags, took off to Europe on a one-way ticket with dreams to accomplish my passion project and found myself… um…slightly frustrated… in the same way I have been all year on this subject. So proceeding this I am going to stop talking about it. Not giving up. Just going mute.

Isolating myself in Hungary where I couldn’t speak to anyone (at all) I had intentions to stay for a month. I signed up fully aware that conversation would be light if it existed at all. But somehow I’d forgotten what it felt like to be alone with my own thoughts. You’d think this issue would be pretty obvious coming from one who spent two years on a boat stuck inside her own head. Whoever I was having conversations with in my mind over there in Europe…had me completely convinced that this project was/is the stupidest Idea I have ever had and that I am quite possibly the worst candidate to be the author. Every time I sat down to write I was staring at a freshly painted white canvas. I could smell the paint that had erased everything I completed the day before. Nothing there. Not shit. Just because I have a story doesn’t mean I can tell it in the way I want people to understand. Just as one can take a photograph of the most beautiful landscape they have ever laid eyes on, only to later see that photo gave no justice to what one actually saw. Nothing there. Not shit.

That being said, I started to move around. City to city. Country to Country. Buses. Trolleys. Trains. Planes. Boats. Hovercrafts. I walked, and walked and walked and walked some more. I took thousands of photos (a few below) I took notes (mostly mental) I watched people (not in a creepy way) I mastered the art of going to pubs alone (trying not to look desperate for conversation)  I honed in my survival skills (after misplacing my phone in Budapest for two weeks) I stared at my computer screen hour after hour (completely constipated) And even experienced an power failure at 300 feet aboard a single engine Piper with my friend Mark (end of constipation)

I drove 111 mph on the Autobahn while having a sip of beer in Germany. I sang “The Sound of Music” through Austria. I rudely stared at the beautiful people of Prague. I had lunch in Poland. I got lost more than once in Budapest. I was weakened in the knees by England’s seaside and cream tea. I spent 30 minutes in France. I didn’t even smoke weed in Amsterdam. I ate cheese and drank beer through Belgium. I found myself to be one of the most logistically uncoordinated humans ever as I repeat visited most countries twice at completely different times.

I saw a lot. I missed a lot. I learned a lot. I am most complacent when scenery is passing me by. I don’t care what the scenery is. I don’t care which mode of transportation. I don’t care where I am going. I don’t care how long it takes. I’ve sealed the envelope and stamped these two things  – my motivation comes from movement, and from people. I want to keep moving, but I don’t want to do it alone.

Right. Ok. See you at the boat show, mate. 

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.    : )

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:  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.

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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







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.