Courage and I were married in 2003 and have owned boats for much of that time. We found our dream project in 2012 and bought it! Courage worked the better part of a year almost exclusively on getting the boat floating. This was a very busy year me working full time and Valiant born in July of that year, but a great and productive year nonetheless. Here’s the sales video for our boat so you can see just how rough it was. It’s possible that not many people loved her like we did. We named our boat Lil’ Explorers as it just seemed to fit. We had a large and young crew and our goal was to set out to explore the world.
January of 2013 we moved onboard (we’d rented our house out as of December, so we were more than ready to move onboard after the launch). We added the stanchions, lifelines, mast and rigging all after the launch. We took a few sea trials out to Catalina and Santa Cruz Islands to test her out.
In March 2013, we left the US and headed down the coast of Mexico. We worked our way down the west coast to Panama, having wonderful experiences along the way. Then we decided to make the jump and headed across the Pacific to the Galapagos, French Polynesia and beyond.
Our first cyclone season in the Pacific we spent in Neiafu, Tonga. We were just missed by Cyclone Pam, so we decided to go help. We went up to American Samoa to gather supplies (and meet friends) then went to Vanuatu to do disaster relief with Sea Mercy. Having met some wonderful friends and rewarding experiences, we cherish volunteerism as a part of our journey.
The next cyclone season we went to New Zealand. After a few months of cruising and inland travel in New Zealand, we left the boat on the hard and went home for a year to California. We set our then 18 year old daughter up for college, worked to save some money and re-organized our land life.
In January 2017, we returned to our boat (with the added benefit of our 13 year old nephew also onboard) and returned to cruising New Zealand, Minerva reef and Fiji. We have been more than blessed and are looking very forward to our return to Vanuatu and into the more remote islands of the Pacific.