Wine Diva Deb had this sign made for me. Over the years, I have seen it every morning as I start my day in Redmond, WA. Little did I know that a 14 month Offshore Journey to New Zealand was in the future.
Six years ago, when I turned 50 in 2012, I got my United States Coast Guard Six Pack License and American Sailing Association teaching credentials. I began working for San Juan Sailing and Yachting in Bellingham, WA, where I have taught over 285 students. Diana, one of my first ASA students and her husband Jeff bought SV Arctic Loon, a 45’ 2008 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey DS. In 2014, Diana and I spent 71 days cruising round trip on S/V Arctic Loon from Poulsbo to Glacier Bay, Alaska. Jeff was able to spend some of that time in Alaska with us.
Last year, after attending seminars at the 2017 Seattle Boat Show, Diana said she was ready for an offshore adventure to sail from Poulsbo to New Zealand. Crossing a major ocean on a 45’ sailboat was never on my radar screen, now and once again I found myself offering to join Diana on her New Zealand journey.
Diana, Jeff and I have been to endless workshops of topics ranging from sail selection & rigging, safety at sea, weather, storm avoidance, provisioning, etc. Although SV Arctic Loon has been to Alaska four times, getting a boat ready for a long-term offshore journey requires new systems to be added and a whole new checklist to be performed. Diana and Jeff have spent countless hours over the past 12 months getting SV Arctic Loon ready. I thank Diana and Jeff for this opportunity and for all the marine technicians that have assisted in getting SV Arctic Loon extra seaworthy.