Here we are in coastal Washington, two newlyweds dropped into a new state with new jobs and a new home after living on a sailboat for a year. How in the hell did this happen? It started by saving up a little bit of money and then taking the plunge and quitting our “real” jobs. This was in 2012, and we have been trying to control our destiny since then, working in places we want to explore and doing jobs related to things that we love.
We started by buying an inexpensive sailboat and sailing the Sea of Cortez for nearly a year. We went where the winds blew us, occasionally supplemented by a bit of diesel fuel, as we snorkeled, fished, explored and generally tried to wring every last drop out of life. After that, we headed north to Tutka Bay, Alaska where we worked as naturalists, guides and boat captain (Mark was just the deckhand) in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Now we are living near Bellingham, WA, trying to find a balance between our passions for farming and boating and trying to scratch together a living while doing work we love.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Where is Wylie Now?
Wylie was by our side on the sailboat 24-7 for the entire year. It was most certainly the best year of his life. While we were working in Alaska, he was off playing at summer camp with the grandparents in Austin, Texas. Another great adventure of getting spoiled by the family. He’s now by our sides here in the Pacific Northwest and busy sticking his nose under every fern and in every pile of bull kelp searching for that elusive sea squirrel.
2) How are you financing this trip?
Our day to day expenses were much lower in Mexico, and it was cheaper yet while living on sailboat. Here in Alaska, we have room and board covered, and there’s nine miles of ocean between us and the nearest storefront. But alas, we still have bills that follow us (student loans, health insurance, etc). We’ve been paying down debt, pinching our pennies, and tracking where our money disappears to on Mint.com. Basically, this adventure is possible because we stopped buying crap that we didn’t really need. We sold our truck, we stopped eating out so much, and we drank cheaper beer on occasion. We are also lucky enough to own a house that we are able to rent and cover the mortgage, so that even while we’re away, we’re building equity in our home.
We also have a small GIS analysis business, Blue Water GIS. After our summer in Alaska, we’ll once again seek out map making and consulting opportunities that allow us to work from anywhere with an outlet and an internet connection.
3) Did Wylie like living on a boat?
Wylie’s year in Mexico was the greatest time he’ll probably ever experience. Everyday he got to swim for hours and run miles and miles through the desert. At night he got to curl up with us in the v-berth and snuggle the ever loving bejeesus out of us. We only had two or three passages that were longer than 12 hours, so his year at sea was really more of a year running amok in the Sonoran Desert. Check out Wylie’s Bio to learn a bit more about our four legged child.
4) What sailing experience do you have?
Katie has been sailing for about 10 years, holds her US Coast Guard Captain’s license and has worked on sailboats for years in Hawai’i. Mark has been learning alongside Katie for about 2 years now on both of our Previous Boats and dives into every sailing book, website and resource he can get his hands on! Katie has the experience, but he’s the one that’s truly obsessed!
5) What type of sailboat did you have?
We were are the proud owners of a beautiful 1962 Pearson Triton. Although Selkie was 50 years old, she was built strong and tough and has had extensive refits along the way. We have separate pages for her Prior Restoration as well as the Current Restoration that we are doing. In the process of learning about these incredible boats, we’ve compiled quite the Triton Resource Page of additional details, the amazing history of Pearson Tritons, and tons of links to other useful Triton related sites.
Are there more questions out there we haven’t addressed? Let us know.
We’d love to hear from you!