We all start as dreamers...

Inspired by the writing of famous freediver Carlos Eyles in his book The Blue Edge, our journey to becoming cruisers started with the decision to go. Neither of us knew how to sail, just that we fiercely loved the ocean. We craved independence, freedom, and the ability to experience places we knew were at risk of becoming endangered. 

We learned to sail through a local yacht club and ASA classes, then spent every free weekend sailing our 1976 Windrose 18, Moxie, around Lake Mead until it was time to quit our jobs. We finished building and selling our houses while shopping for boats and downsizing our lives.

Building our foundation

Completing an offshore sail training expedition with John Neal of Mahina Expeditions proved invaluable. His curriculum and teaching process onboard were incredible, and we account much of our success in boat shopping and seamanship to our early engagement with him. When we set foot back on land ten days later, we knew undoubtedly that the cruising life was for us. 

Practical preparation is key

Since many of the cruiser stories we’d been reading and hearing involved exorbitant boat maintenance bills and nightmarish refit projects, we decided that getting a solid education in all things boat-related could only help us. Nine months after enrolling at Skagit Valley College's Marine Technology Center in Anacortes, WA we both emerged as 4.0 students and ABYC and NMEA certified marine professionals, able to assess, diagnose, and correctly repair a multitude of issues we might encounter while out in the big blue. Let's not forget that prior to going back to school, Julie was always convinced that electricity was out to get her! 

The more we learned, the easier it became to pick out safety issues, problematic systems, diagnose the cause of many “boat quirks” that boat listings noted, and talk through refit scenarios and timelines on the spot while we were still viewing the vessel. Combined with the exceptional training and boat purchase consultation services we received from John Neal, we became an incredibly discerning and balanced cruising boat evaluation team. Every broker’s dream, or nightmare, depending on who you ask.

Buy the right boat

We purchased a beautiful Swedish built 2002 Malӧ 39, Sea Fox, in San Diego, CA. Strong, capable, and ready for the bluewater adventures we craved. We spent a mere five months living aboard, learning the boat, and correcting her most critical system deficiencies before we set sail for Mexico, Hawai'i, Alaska, and British Columbia. 

All within ONE YEAR of purchasing Sea Fox. And best of all, we completely relished our first year of cruising. We had fun, learned a ton, and grew closer as a couple and a competent team. 

It doesn't happen by accident

A far cry from the dozens of cruisers we met who were plagued with endless maintenance issues, unbalanced crew training, the list goes on. There were challenges of course, but our emphasis on sensible preparation coupled with our network of resourceful friends and colleagues across the globe gave us the competence, confidence, and support we needed go just about anywhere and fix just about anything. 

None of this happened by accident or luck or spending every available minute watching YouTube. It took years of diligent practical preparation and skill development for us to accomplish what we did and continue to do. 

As luck would have it

That is precisely why we started Pelagic Blue Cruising Services. We know the boat project list will never be done, that you'll never feel totally "ready", and that the comforts of land life can be tricky to disentangle yourself from. We also know from our own experience how to realize that ultimate cruising dream we all have of buying a boat, hopping aboard, and setting sail for distance shores WITHOUT spending years in the boatyard, taking class after class, or attending every boat show seminar but still feeling like you are missing some critical chunk of learning. Or worse, never departing at all, which is the most common and unfortunate outcome we encounter. We can help you avoid that! 

The path to successful cruising is paved with practical preparation. Know your boat, know your crew, and know yourself. This tripod of knowledge and trust will be your ultimate safety net at sea, and we are here to show you how to develop yours so that you can get out there sooner, just like we did (and still are!). Our first and only priority is preparing you and your boat to safety set sail and do it without spending YEARS working on a project boat only to discover its a lemon or taking unnecessary risks by departing without adequate preparation. The longer you wait the more projects you will deem nonnegotiable, the more you will feel you "need" to have accomplished before your departure, the greater the chances are that you will not depart at all. We see and hear endless accounts of dreamers who never shove off or return quickly with unfavorable experiences fresh in their minds. Let us help you plan and prepare properly so you can set sail sooner, minimize the hiccups, flatten the learning curve, and just get out there!

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."