Summer in Seattle, after detour to NY for the TODAY show!

Fireworks flashed in the distance last night as the Bainbridge Island ferry pushed through Puget Sound’s dark water. This was supposed to be our last leg for summer travel back to the Seattle area, the culmination of a plan crafted in minutes while in Grenada last fall after learning Totem’s hull needed drying out. Instead, we’re headed to New York soon to tape an appearance on NBC’s Megyn Kelly TODAY. Holy exciting plan shakeups, batman!  Our interview is due to air next Monday, July 9, and we hope you’ll tune in.

How did this come together? Kicked off by a contact through this blog, followed by a broken phone call with a producer in NY as the Baja’s Sierra Gigante mountains interfered with the cell phone signal in our anchorage. Details finally worked out, plans shifted, and a couple of days ago an initial interview was recorded on a California beach with the gentle warmth of Lauren Ina and a great supporting crew.

It’s a little intimidating to think of the scrutiny this will bring. It’s been six years since our first taste of the mixed response from broad exposure after NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted/Facebooked about our family. His post was entirely positive, as were many comments in response, but it’s remarkable what ugliness the anonymous uninformed are ready to throw at you! You know what? We can deal with it. The opportunity to inspire others to live more adventurously, and show just how accessible it is for people who feel stuck in their lives to make a change, is too good to pass up. Maybe we’ll even be able to help a few of them!

For now we’re in a vortex of busy travel. After tens of thousands of miles at the moseying pace of a sailboat, we hit hyper speed this week with a whirlwind of busses, planes, and automobiles… the final ferry transit adding a dose of familiarity on the water… the cross-country trip still ahead.

As much as I miss rocking in our floating cradle at night, we’re overdue for time at home. At least we can rest easy with Totem’s location in the very far north of the Sea of Cortez. Hurricanes are the northern hemisphere sailor’s worry this time of year. But Totem is hauled at Rocky Point Boat Yard, aka Cabrales yard, safely north of named storm risk in the shrimping port of Puerto Peñasco.

It was an intense week of work preparing to go. The boat’s bottom was stripped down to bare fiberglass. We weren’t just packing ourselves up for months away, we were packing anything Niall wanted to bring with him as he moves off Totem to start college. Boatyard owner/manager Salvador Cabrales’ guidance and crew made it possible to get everything done quickly.

Totems bare hull

Totems bare hull in the Cabrales Boatyard

Packing up the boat for months unattended is a big job. One task is removing any food that could tempt pests. Even after significantly reducing our stores, a lot had to come off the boat. One of the security guards, Amador, provided a channel to limit food waste. After telling us about where he lives – “the real Rocky Point,” an impoverished community near the garbage dump where some lives are eked out by picking trash and dogs are used for protection, a door opened. We passed him about 50 pounds of food and several bags of clothes to be re-homed, while relieving our excess.

We’ve been in 48 countries/territories: Tijuana scores the creepiest, most intimidating border crossing EASILY.

Relatives near San Diego were the first stop on our way to Puget Sound with cheap seats on 4th of July flights. Getting to California from Peñasco involved an overnight bus to Tijuana, a forgettable ride with uncomfortable seats and regular stops (including disembarkation of the vehicle at 4am for a military search) that made sleeping a struggle. Walking across the border was the easiest (if eeriest) part, through a cage-like tunnel to homeland security checkpoints. A few days under Dan & Hillary’s care provided the perfect gentle landing, softening re-entry into the bustle of the USA. We love our cousins and are so grateful for their support!

Summer speaking

This summer in the Pacific Northwest is a gift, one we hadn’t anticipated until Totem’s condition made it the obvious choice. I can’t wait to reconnect with friends and family, most of whom we haven’t seen in the decade since we left. A decade!?!? I only blinked, I swear! (And that, truly, is another reason not to wait with whatever it is you’re planning/dreaming).

When we were in the planning/dreaming stages for our own cruising life, attending presentations and seminars from the people who made it, who got away and sailed for a blue horizon, were important to keeping the dream alive until it could be our turn.

Now, it’s our turn to give back. Jamie and I have a number of speaking engagements around the Pacific Northwest this summer. We can’t wait to share our stories, to pass the spark and nuge those in our wake. Maybe you’d like to come to one?

  • July 12: Seattle Yacht Club at 7pm. “10 years around the world” – all welcome, registration required. (206) 325-1000
  • July 24: private talk in Ballard. Practical advice for cruisers turning left from the Strait: get in touch if you’re interested.
  • September 7-9: Wooden Boat Festival. Presenting all three days.
  • September 12: Bluewater Cruising Association, Vancouver, BC. canceled
  • September 14: Seattle’s Corinthian Yacht Club. Details here.
  • September 18: Shilshole Bay Yacht Club’s September dinner meetingThis event is for SBYC members; if you’d like to attend, contact me for details to join as a guest.
  • September 21: Puget Sound Cruising Club’s September meeting.

Meanwhile, returning to Puget Sound for the summer gives us even more reach to help gonna-go cruisers in person, a rewarding addition to our coaching service. Jamie’s expertise is available for on board for sail handling or sail/rig inspection. We can do 1:1 guidance about systems or gear choices/setup. My personal favorite: route planning! Affordable rates, plus travel costs – get in touch, and we’ll look forward to meeting you.

For more about our appearance on Megyn Kelly’s program, and a video of our 10-minute segment, see the subsequent post: Turning Sailing Dreams into Reality.

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11 Responses to Summer in Seattle, after detour to NY for the TODAY show!

  1. Jim (in Essex) July 5, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    Great write-up… fills in a lot of gaps in guessing what is going to be next. Will keep you in mind for any referrals I can make. Fully expect to see NBC’s Monday ratings go through the roof… maybe see if you can fit in a plug for your coaching services. Cheers!

    • Behan July 6, 2018 at 11:42 am #

      It would be wonderful if this helped hopeful cruisers find our coaching service, for sure!

  2. Linda July 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm #

    Congratulations, B! Your epic adventure continues… I will be cheering you on from California — 📺 set to record.

  3. Diane Sanderbeck July 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi Behan and fam! Looking forward to watching y’all on MK Today at 9:00 AM EDT Monday here on the East Coast! Enjoy your summer on Bainbridge Island. It’s so pretty there. All the best!

  4. Jennifer Angelo July 5, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Behan and Family –

    My kids and I will be sure to tune in to see about your amazing journey!

  5. Deb Doyle July 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm #

    How cool. You are famous people I know now. Love what you did with your food and extras.

  6. Ardyth Hintzman July 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm #

    I am so impressed by all your adventures and you are the perfect team to present this family lifestyle to the world. Can’t wait to see you on air, from Haiku

  7. Teresa McCanb July 7, 2018 at 11:41 am #

    We want to see you!!! Can’t wait to catch up and have you over for dinner. xo

  8. Luke Fogleman July 9, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Our family has been following yours for a while, and we had tempered excitement to see your family on Megan Kelly…tempered because of the typical negative media questions we have come to expect. We just finished watching it and you guys did wonderful!! And the Q&A was surprisingly upbeat. We were very happy for you. Have fun on the remainder of your trip.

  9. Patrick July 10, 2018 at 11:57 am #

    It’s interesting you still consider Seattle your home after 10 years of your sailboat being home. We think of our boat as our home, which goes wherever we go, but also still think of Seattle as our home. I guess cruisers always have two homes.

    • Behan July 31, 2018 at 7:59 am #

      No question, “home is where the boat is.” But this is where the kids were born, where their grandparent live, the one place on land we have tangible ties. So it’s another homeplace for them, well, kind of? The reality is they don’t recognize it, but it has an important role in their personal stories to retain.

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