The day before our daughter, Phoebe, was born, Jim asked me if I would consider sailing around the world. (May 31, 1998) She was a month early and we were at a BBQ at our neighbors house for an impromptu Baby Shower, so I did not reply immediately. A couple years later we were at a Neil Young concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, sitting under the stars with friends listening to music, I turned to him and said yes. At that point we put a sticky note on the refrigerator with a departure date, November 16, 2005. Once the decision was made, we saved what we could and did not put any more money into the house. I read all the sailing/cruising magazines and cut out articles that I thought would be relevant. I took sailing and navigation courses through the Coast Guard Auxiliary. All the research we did suggested the best age to cruise with children was between the ages of six and thirteen. When Drake turns six, that is when we are going. These ages were perfect, the children are out of diapers, they know how to swim and will remember most of the trip. Plus I still understood their math! It is the ideal age, as they still like us as parents and want to spend time with us, unlike teenagers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday together, how many children can say that!
Our sailing experience consisted of racing on Tuesday and Thursday nights on a boat owned by Bob and Val Cole, named priorities, at King Harbor Yacht Club. This was a great way to learn how to sail, you have to react quickly and learn from certain situations. Through them, we met Dick and Jean Reinhardt and the Galloway's. they were looking for a third partner to split a 30' Catalina. This was a perfect solution for us to partially own a boat and learn what we could. They were great teachers and it worked well, as we had two small children, we could not use a boat all the time.
A year prior to our departure date the search was on for the perfect boat. It was important to us to have a full keel, center cock pit vessel, as they are safer for ocean crossings and the center cockpit allows for more room below. After looking at several boats, we came across Blue Sky. She felt like a home inside, was large and roomy and solid outside. There was so much to learn and do and the boat needed quite a bit of work done, as you will see from our logs.