Get on Board

Curious about cruising?  Come aboard!  At, we are creating cruisers, one dreamer at a time by sharing our story through books, blogs and videos, touring other boats and our Gifts of Cruising that we previously gave through Patreon.  If you love sailing videos, we produced five seasons on YouTube documenting our initial cruising days, our three-month stint in the shipyard where we re-built our rotten stringers as well as our first Atlantic-crossing (I say that because I envision many more – ha!) to our detailed preparation and voyage to Cuba in 2016.  While the videos were fun to make, we did find them time-consuming and decided it was not how we wanted to spend our time going forward (12 hours a week in a video cave as opposed to out on the water sailing!).  So we do not produce them any longer but Phillip and I are incredibly proud of the catalog we put out and that will be forever available for anyone to view.  Here, we continue to write (which is what I truly love to do) and share photos and short videos to really shine a light on the cruising experience, the rewards and the challenges, so those of you out there who have the dream to cruise can understand and fulfill that dream too.  Get inspired.  Get on board!

Five-part video series documenting our 2016 sail to Cuba:

Don’t miss our two-hour movie from our Atlantic Crossing in 2016!  WHOA!

And our YouTube finale:

Now, about this writing stuff.  Why a blog?  Why the books?  Why do I write?  The simple reason is–my dad.

photo (11)

No matter how many times I’ve heard him tell it, I smile when he gets to the good part because I know it’s coming.  He’s already built the scene.  You’re sitting in the cab of his grandfather’s rusted-out old blue 1942 Ford pick-up.  He’s told you about the dirt caked in the deep crevices in Grandaddy’s neck and that weird yellow foam showing in the chunks missing in the big bench seat, the kind he always picks at when he thinks no one’s looking and then denies it outright when anyone asks, his pockets full of it.  You know Grandaddy always took him along when he went to Willingham’s to pick up some feed and how, every time, my dad got a penny candy and Grandaddy got a can of snuff.  He would usually pinch off a wad and pack it in his gums before they even paid the cashier and then leave one big spat of it by the fuel pump before they left.  But, one time, this time, my dad would say, Grandaddy got in the truck, slammed the rickety door, slowly rolled the window up and spat a huge tobacco burst onto it.  My dad will tell you it splat loudly on the glass and dripped down like coffee in cane syrup and that his grandfather said and did nothing.  He didn’t even flinch from the back-splash.  He simply rolled the window back down like it never even happened.  See?  The good part.  I never get tired of that one.  It’s a great story because it’s a small event, a seemingly tiny, miniscule happening, that he crafted into a big story, pregnant with imagery, detail and, my favorite, humor.  And, because it’s told by a great story-teller.  My Old Man.  The rip-roaring, shit-kicking bull rider known as “Wild Bill” or “Trickey Dickey.”

As the Captain and I set off on this quest, I know each day and each adventure we endure, both on and off the boat, will have all the makings of a great story if only it were to fall in the hands of a great story-teller.  Not that I claim to be that, but I certainly aspire to. The ol’ laptop and I vow to use every bit of imagery and emotion I can conjure to take you all with us on this journey so you can experience each glorious undertaking and, the likely more plentiful, colossal mistake. With me on-board, I can assure you the latter will be a daily occurrence, I simply won’t have the time to document them all, but I promise to highlight, in excruciating detail, the really embarrassing ones for your reading pleasure.


From finding our boat to making its maiden voyage back to Pensacola, from our first weekend sails to my first attempts to make something resembling an edible meal in the galley, and everything in between, we’re certain to gather many stories worth preserving and passing on, which I feel is a very worthy endeavor.  Hence, the blog, books and videos: a mere platform for our innumerable, inevitable stories.

So, with that understanding, let’s set sail, shall we?


18 thoughts on “Get on Board

  • Annie, I can relate to your Grandpa, I once threw an empty bottle out a rolled up window.

  • Love those Great Story Tellers too. I saw the boat under way a couple of weeks ago. It was of such beauty & excitement while watching it move so smoothly & free. The Plantiff’s Rest is a sailboat that I will surely be watching for again. Keep us posted Annie !

    • The BAT signal! Ha ha! No problem at all – I was worried when I saw the message. Sorry to hear the news, but it was – as always – great to hear your voice. Miss you guys too! But, thrilled to have you following along! Take care!

  • Loving the book. My wife and I had a similar first voyage after taking ownership from a terrific prior owner. What a way to start sailing together. Keep going. Norm. Cape Cod

  • Hi Annie, Was looking for aerial silk on boats – and found you!
    I did it once in a private class and loved it. But we’re traveling too much to attend classes. However, we’ll be flying back to Australia where our sail boat is at the moment – and I want to bring some aerial silk from the US. Saw tons of different silk and rigging accessories on Amazon.
    Could you pls let me know minimum equipment for the start?
    We’ve got a 44′ Dean Cat and will probably rigg it to the little forestay/storm sail.
    Thanks so much in advance, and happy sailing!
    saseals2014 (at) gmail dot charlyoscarmike

    • Hi Iris! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’ve been buried in studies for my Captain’s License. I’m proud to say I just took the test last night and PASSED. Whew! Now, let’s talk about silks rigging. That’s so cool you’re getting into the silks and want to do it on the boat. The first time I saw a friend hanging from the mast of her parents’ sailboat in the Bahamas, I knew that was going to be me someday. It’s really fairly cheap and easy to get into (and not hard to self-teach yourself by just watching YouTube videos and cautiously trying new tricks. Key word … cautiously : ). I always recommend the complete aerial silks set-up from Ariel Essentials (link here: I went with the 16 yards, which averages out to about 8 yards per side … so roughly 24 feet of silk and that seems to work well for all my purposes. I also made a video on how I rig the silks up on my boat (by whipping a higher line around a forestay and pulling it back toward the center with another line), so hopefully that will work for you on your cat. Video link here: But let me know if you have any other questions and please always send picks of yourself floating free up there when you get it all rigged out. I love to see others doing it too! Happy silking!

      • Hi Annie,
        Thanks so much for your super quick reply!!!
        See, I’m not as organized as you are, and am also always slow in replying.
        But thanks so much for all then information!
        I had already checked out your videos and had a quick look at your recommendation.
        Will see if I can find same quality cheaper somewhere, maybe even used… It is quite an investment.

        I did it once with my stepdaughter, in an old circus tent, and totally loved it.
        Would be great to continue doing it – or get really into it. Am fairly sporty, so as you said, being careful, I think I can learn a lot just from videos.

        Our boat is in South Port, Australia and we’ll be cruising the Australian coast from August – January. Thought it might be a great thing to do.

        If I manage to get the equipment and when I have it set up, will be happy to send some pics – probably not before September, though.

        Again, thanks so much, fair winds, safe travels, and will get back to you eventually.

        All the best

  • Hello Annie,

    I have really enjoyed the video’s. Actually going to look at Catalina 30 this next week in Pensacola. It will be a live aboard as I continue in the trade of barbering. Hoping to save and work on her at night and sail some on off days. By the way tell Phillip Semper Fi for me. Looking to learn more about working on the motor, rigging and etc all while enjoying breath taking views in Pensacola bay and along the emerald coast. Hope to be able to accomplish some of the same feats as y’all have had the pleasure to do. Keep up the great content!!!!!

    Fair winds and safe travels who knows one day our paths may cross on a great sailing adventure

    Nathan, Soon to be a resident aboard in FL working in Gulf Shores

    • Hey Nathan! Sorry for the late reply as we we were traveling in the Bahamas! That’s so exciting that you’re looking at boats. The Catalinas are nice. And, Pensacola is a fantastic place to get familiar with your boat and dial her in. Lots of great marine vendors here (call Brandon at if you need work done) and lots of amazing anchorages to do your grueling work at! : ) Polishing stainless is always more fun on the hook with a drink in hand. Good luck!

      • Ive been Following you and Phillips journey and keep the posts coming I Offically bought the boat and spend Memorial Day weekend on the Hook in the cove behind Ft McRee BTW great recommendation on that spot for a sunset and great sunrise will defiantly keep Brandon in mind!!!!! No biggie on taking so long to reply I love Pensacola I grew up in Mobile so very Familiar with NAS and the water ways. Look forward to hearing about yall’s amazing time in the Bahamas!!!!!! Fair Winds and Following Seas!!!!!

      • Hey there! What a fabulous note. Thank you. I’m so glad you got to experience Ft. McRee. That is still hands-down one of our favorite anchorages, even now that we have done the Bahamas, it still ranks way up there. Glad to hear a Pensacola native, also, finally enjoying our waterways by sailboat. Congrats to you! Hope to see you out on the water soon!

Leave a Reply