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Exploring the Caribbean

During our 10 years in the Caribbean, we spent a lot of time living and working in St.Maarten.  We did various jobs there, and always worked hard saving up the next lot of money to go sailing again.  For a year and a half I worked as Marketing Manager for St.Maarten's 12 Metre Regatta.  This is a tour company that had 5 famous America's Cup yachts, and would take tourists out racing.  They had the original Stars n Stripes boat that Dennis Conner had won the America's Cup with, as well as a couple of famous Canadian boats.  They would stage actual races around stunning Great Bay.  Here I am aboard Canada's True North IV.   After we had our...

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The scariest moment of our ocean crossing...

Back in early 2001 we had bought a small sailboat, learnt how to sail, also how to navigate, quit our jobs (mine was Head Designer for Billabong South Africa), provisioned and set sail out of Cape Town South Africa on a mission to sail to the Caribbean.  Here is a photo of me sitting on the floor of our tiny apartment, varnishing tin food (to prevent them rusting on the boat before we could eat them) Surely this idea was the sort of crazy thing that only someone in their 20's would think of doing.  To be honest, we didn't embark on this adventure lightly.  We did do our homework.  We both did the courses, we could both navigate, and we both did...

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A sailing kid...

You don't often stop to think about how your childhood shapes the adult you become, but this week a post went live in our social media with this photo of me on a yacht in Fiji at 7 years of age. How does a suburban kid from Australia end up on a yacht in Fiji.... well that is a story in itself.  My dad's sister (Aunty Jane) had met and married an intrepid surfer guy (Uncle Mick) who was sailing around the Pacific Islands on a yacht that he and a bunch of his mates had built in Perth, Western Australia.  These guys had taken turns going out to work in the outback mines to earn money for the boat,...

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Ocean Crossing before I was 30 - what could possibly go wrong?

  In my 20's I graduated Fashion School, did really well in Australia Fashion Awards, got a fashion industry job quickly and got valuable industry experience.... but once that education was done, I just wanted to go traveling and see the world.  I wanted to work in the rag trade overseas. I worked hard and saved hard.  I had a job doing computer pattern-making during the day and then went home and did manual pattern-making on my bedroom floor at night for extra dollars.  A round the world ticket for a young person in Australia is not cheap, because being "down under" is a LONG WAY from anywhere I wanted to go. Once I left home I worked in some incredible places and...

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Drawn to the sea.

Sailing as a kid instilled in me a sense of adventure and a love of the sea, but it didn't really teach me how to sail.  Sure I could helm the boat, and I understood how the boat should "feel", but I didn't know any more than that.  I remember steering the boat across the Whitsunday Passage when I was about 12.  The wind was quite strong and the sea was up, but we cruised along nicely, surfing down the waves.  Dad let me helm the whole way.  I remember that feeling of pure exhilaration, and I felt that again many years later on my own boat.  Here is a photo of me helming the boat at 10 years old, with...

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