There, we met up with the Salty Dawgs, a group of sailors who make a yearly ocean crossing from Virginia to Antigua. We did our first ocean crossing, with two in crew, in early November. I was a nervous wreck about the 1,mile trip and 11 days at sea, and our passage was not easy. The freezer, filled with food for the passage, died on the third day. Our autopilot worked sporadically, requiring us to steer mostly by hand.
Our rudder broke in a squall, so the men were forced to take one-hour shifts at the emergency tiller to complete the last miles. More than once, we discussed giving up and going home. But while docked in English Harbor, Antigua, fixing our rudder, we had an attitude adjustment. Mike was in the engine room, and when he heard Prince Charles was touring the marina, he popped up on deck in his sweaty T-shirt.
We realized that despite hardships and frustration, this was going to be a life of adventure. We embraced the cruising life — the warm, gin-clear waters; the dolphins, turtles and reef fish. We embraced the iguanas, the sloths and the monkeys.
We embraced countless sunsets and rainbows. Against all odds, I even learned to embrace moonless night passages, on watch by myself in the inky darkness. We embraced constantly monitoring and maintaining the engine, water, electrical, sanitation, rigging, HVAC, bottom growth, refrigeration, and the never-ending battle to fight the constant corroding effects of salt water and UV rays. Most importantly, we embraced a sailing community that looks after each other like no other.
We embraced new friends from all over the world. We help each other fix engines, rigging, and computer and electrical problems. We provide tools and spare parts. And we provide each other with emotional support. We sing, laugh and drink. Boy, do we drink. We are now well into the second leg of our journey.
We will make our way to Mexico, and then head back to the United States, where we will spend the summer seeing family and friends. I think now they are proud of us — and a little jealous — for following our dream. I hope that we have inspired others to follow theirs. We know life will sometimes be difficult and exceedingly frustrating.
Living The Dream
We know there will be stretches of boredom interrupted with moments of terror. We also know there will be celebrations with friends, more beautiful sunsets, and plenty of adventure. We could not be happier that we took this leap of faith. She has no idea how long her adventure will last or where she will explore next. Dare to Disrupt Aging!
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In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly receive communications related to AARP volunteering. Dan submits to a hairdresser in a bikini at the Shaggers Reunion and more mechanical problems leave them up a creek without a paddle. Mechanical problems continue to dog the rookie sailors, a turtle release lifts their spirits, and Maxine fails a crucial sailing test.
Dan reveals his secret fears on the eve of their sail home and a storm leaves them stranded in Mackay. Fear and apprehension bubble beneath the surface as the rookies continue their sail home. Navigating the Sandy Straits of the Great Barrier Reef causes Dan to have an emotional meltdown and all hell breaks loose at 3.
Finally, a cavalcade of dolphins welcome the weary pair home in Sydney with tears all round. Living The Dream.
Pursuing the Dream Archives - SS Magpie
Episode 1 — Saturday, January 27 Strong winds and a relentless current force rookie sailors Maxine and Dan to turn back on Day One of their great sailing adventure. Episode 3 — Saturday, February 10 The intrepid rookies venture way beyond their comfort zone to race at Hamilton Island with surprising results.
Episode 5 — Saturday, February 24 Fear and apprehension bubble beneath the surface as the rookies continue their sail home. Presenters Announced for Aria Awards.