We created this blog to document our voyage on Jean Marie.  The goal is to leave Alameda late summer or early fall 2011 and make our way down the California coast to Mexico, where we plan to spend a season or two cruising the Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico before crossing the Pacific and island-hopping to New Zealand.  When (or if) we get that far we'll update the plan.  At this point we want to intentionally leave the details undefined and let the journey unfold on it's own.  Uncertainty and unpredictability are constants in the cruising life.  To try and impose any notion of schedule or itinerary would be futile and stress-inducing.  We want to ease our way into the lifestyle and, as the saying goes, a sailor with time never sees bad weather.  We plan to take our time.

And, we'll use this blog to track our progress and position as we go.  It's a great way to share the experience with family, friends, and anyone else who may be interested.  We plan to send email postings via the boat's SSB radio so we'll be updating the content on a regular basis.

In the meantime we're busy getting the boat and ourselves prepared.  Outfitting and provisioning a 40-foot sailboat is no small endeavor, even for week-long vacation.  This, on the other hand, is an open-ended voyage with no set return date.  There are so many things to consider -- equipment, financing, insurance, healthcare, security, documentation, customs, weather, communication -- the list can be overwhelming.  However, we're giving ourselves a little time to get it all done.  I think we'll be ready.

We're also giving ourselves time to get used to the idea of living on a boat.  We sold our house in April 2010 and have been liveaboard's since.  It took some adjusting to the move from a 3-bedroom home to a 40-foot sailboat but we seem to be settled in now.  Jean Marie is a strong and well-equipped boat, and I have a lot of confidence in her.  The more time we spend on her the better prepared we'll be. 

We've enjoyed the frequent weekend trips to Sausalito and the occasional sail out the gate to Drakes Bay, the Farallones, or Half Moon Bay.  Each time we go out we gain a little more respect for the boat and confidence in the crew, but always wish we could just keep going.  So, after many years of daydreams and distractions, the wheels are finally in motion.  The stars are aligned, the die has been cast, and the countdown has begun.
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