A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

See More, Do More, Be More

A youngster innocently asked me recently why don’t we just live in a house like everyone else?  Boy, is that a complicated question.  I was thinking about how to respond so a 14 year old boy might understand based on his little but all important world.

I don’t think there’s much point delving into deep philosophical concepts or political ideologies when talking to young persons who main focus is sports and girls.  You can literally see his eyes go glassy with complete and utter boredom when you start talking about the incredible satisfaction of waking up to a beautiful sunrise while anchored in a pristine and empty achorage.

Lacking an adequate answer I proceeded to tell him how cool it is to live on a boat and travel around and see different people and to me- that’s pretty cool but it didn’t seem to really encompass the full measure of why we chose to abandon a more traditional lifestyle to set out on a gypsy vagabond life with two children.

After more thought on why we prefer a mobile lifestyle over a traditional 9-5 life I realize it really boils down to three things for us:

  1. See More
  2. Do More
  3. Be More

It’s a BIG world out there.  I’ve been across the country and did the backpack thing through Europe but comparatively that’s only a small slice of the big pie which we live and I want to see A LOT more than I might if I only had two weeks paid vacation per year.

I admit it, I’m a junkie for new experiences.  I like to try new things on for size and see how they fit.  Not everything works out, but more importantly I’ve determined an avenue that I AM NOT interested in pursuing which opens up more time to pursue new and fun activities.  My list of things I want to do seems to keep growing every year and my interests are pretty diverse.  Snowboarding in Colorado, Windsurfing in Mexico, writing classes, diving classes- how could I possibly hope to keep my growing list in check if I stayed in one place most of the year

You may not believe this, but we have met the kindest and most generous people on our travels off the beaten path.  In Key West a nudist couple anchored next to us gave us a $900 outboard engine because we had to row ashore against strong winds with our 18 month old girl aboard.  We’ve had complete strangers take us ashore and treat us to a wonderful day on land in Miami.  There was a couple on a beautiful trawler that anchored next to us in one of the Keys and invited us (on our lowly 30 year old mono hull sailboat) over for cocktails on their beautiful and luxurious boat.  A shrimper in Darien, Ga. gave us an anchorage book for the ICW and spent several hours showing me his favorite spots on my charts before we started our trip south.  With each of these encounters, my faith in mankind takes a huge leap forward and it encourages me to follow these fine individuals examples and pass this kindness forward and be a better person.

There may be a day when we decide to lay roots and settle down, but it’s not today and I doubt it will be tomorrow.  We are simultaneously challenged and inspired by the adventures we encounter along our travels.

Why stop now?  This is just the beginning.

You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.

6 comments to See More, Do More, Be More

  • Davina and Matt

    Another day on land and the rain has been falling. The leaves are starting to trickle down into the backyard and I can’t believe I’m going to be raking this yard, again!!! For some silly reason, the paragraph about the kind people brought tears to my eyes this morning. The couple we are buying our boat from in the Keys have been so patient and kind and encouraging through our house selling process. They are anxious to help educate us about the boat and look forward to hearing about the adventures that our family will encounter. Everything I read about cruisers, just as you spoke about above, brings rays of sunshine into our landlocked life. I felt very touched that you and Hil and Emma found time out of your busy visit back to Atlanta to stop in to introduce yourselves to our family and share some knowledge over coffee. It’s clear that you are already returning some of the kindness your family has been given back into the universe. When I used to race mountain bikes, I was always challenged by the difficulty but bored by the repetition of the same laps you have to do over and over once you rise up in class. I feel the same way about life. I love a challenge but I want it to be different each time. We are only on this earth for a short time and I can’t wait to see more of it! For now, we’ll be heading off to the the L5P Halloween Festival this weekend (the whole family dressed in under the sea theme: a snail, a squid, king neptune and a mermaid) and perhaps raking those first leaves but all the while I’ll be dreaming of the big blue and awaiting the first night we lay our heads down in a berth to await that first sunrise aboard. Thanks for your post as always!

  • joey presnell

    jc yall be careful i hope rick dies out im busy today from the boat show in georgetown sc just getting back on my mooring ive got to go get a friend of mine to change my anchor light bulb dont need a $500.00 ticket dont have it anyway please be careful and take care yall have had enough storms what happened to the atlantic

  • big cheese

    Thanks for keeping an eye out for us. We’re crossing our fingers as well. Only a little more than a month to go before end of Hurricane Season.

    All the best,


  • big cheese

    Matt & Davina-

    You’re definitely in the doldrums! Nothing to do but wait it out until there’s a fresh breeze.

    Hil and I were talking last night about the changes we’ve experienced within ourselves over the last year alone. While no where near a level of acceptable financial solvency that responsible society would expect, we find ourselves with a light heart and openness that I never knew working in Atlanta. Everything is more colorful now. The people more interesting, the colors more vibrant, the experiences new. We enjoy the ‘newness’ of things as well.

    Try to enjoy your remaining time in the doldrums. Be present to the friends and family around you that may not be in your life when you start the next chapter.

    Best of all, dream.

    All our best,


  • Davina and Matt

    We had a great post parade Halloween party with a few family members and friends. Using this weekend to visit both sides of our family. Yes, the doldrums…but we are trying to do exactly what you suggested. Called around to lots of marinas yesterday in the Keys to get an idea of what place we can use as a home base for the first month or two. Any suggestions for good marinas down there? Finding everything from $525 to over a $1000 a month. Marathon is proving to be much cheaper than farther south. Would prefer to stay a little bit south of Key Largo as I still feel the “hustle and bustle” when I’m in Key Largo!! We don’t want to be tied to the dock but figure the first month or so we may feel more comfortable having a set place to go to if we need it until we get our “sea legs”. Hope the next festival produces better results for you guys! Be Safe!

  • big cheese

    Well, in four months of cruising this year we stayed at a marina one night. That was at the St. Augustine municipal marina.

    A slip is going to be expensive, but may be a good bet for the first month. The next safest option is a mooring ball. Marathon would be the best place to stay on the ball for awhile- very protected and lot’s of folks to help out while you’re getting your feet wet. Stock Island is next to Key West and there’s a less than gorgeous marina you could check for a cheap slip or bulkhead but anywhere down there is going to be pretty expensive especially during the winter (high season). There’s a few places in Miami near Key Biscayne that have mooring balls. Work would be easier to find next to a big city and getting parts and supplies would be a piece of cake. We absolutely loved Key Biscayne and No Name Harbor.

    I think you’re on the right track. Marina life is ‘almost’ like land life. The next step on a mooring ball involves the commute back and forth via dinghy- which is part of the cruising life and you’ll learn a lot. Not easy lugging groceries and trash back and forth during bad weather but the peace and quiet are worth every moment! Start thinking about finding another dinghy. You’ll likely need two. One can (and probably should) be a beater, but the other you’ll want to be your cruising dinghy. An inflatable would be a good choice for one and a rigid dink with a small outboard would be great as the Yugo commuter. DON’T buy new outboards- big theft hazard.

    The next step is ‘on anchor’ or ‘on the hook’. I’d suggest making weekend trips or overnight trips nearby at anchor because at first you’ll not sleep a wink worrying about dragging anchor. Don’t worry- everyone feels the same. At best, when you get used to it and you’ll fall into a routine of waking every few hours and check your location out the windows or hatch and go back to bed. Make sure the ‘watcher’ can get in and out of bed easily.

    You’ll soon appreciate the saying, “The best insurance is a big anchor and strong chain”. In weather that insurance policy is nowhere as reassuring as a hefty anchor!

    On a parting note, I’ve had the most amazing dreams sleeping on a boat. So good, it’s like a drug making you ache (as I do now) for a fix. In a way, I envy you. To go back now (knowing what we know) to have that experience again would be magical.

    In Marathon, there’s a bar on the second floor at the marina as you come in the channel. WHEN you get there, WHEN you are on YOUR boat, and WHEN you are watching a glorious sunset- have a drink for me and CHEERS!