Monday, September 12, 2022

What's the plan?????

This is the million dollar question for most cruisers.  This can be a very difficult question to answer looking forward 24 hours let alone several months or years.  On one hand, schedules in a world that is dominated by weather is a dangerous concept.  On yet another, you can go just about anywhere your heart desires.   So what's it going to be?  I believe every cruiser starts with a big dream, something that drives them from land life to sea life.  Something so powerful you are willing to change everything for a shot at achieving your goal.  For me that started with a promise I made many many years ago and resurface with an idea that could quite possibly fulfill that promise - how could so much come from just one promise?

This promise, as I said, came many years ago.  Our family was young.  As a couple we were just getting started.  For me, at 23, I was having the time of my life, traveling all over the world, with our nations leader (aka the President of the United States), seeing the most incredible things.  However it was this job that led to the promise I made to Tami.  As I traveled to all these wonderful places and had all these wonderful experiences, Tami was home raising the big man Tyler.  So I said to her "some day I will take you to all these places and more."  Classic Scott with his big mouth making even bigger promises.  In the moment, I was probably just selling her on staying with me a little longer, but in my heart I really meant it.

Fast forward several decades sitting on a bench overlooking the harbor in Monterey California Tami says "look at that, there is nothing more beautiful than a sailboat gliding through the water."  Then she said, "why don't we live on one of those?"  At first, very selfishly, this idea meant I could quite possible retire early or take an extended break to reset things as bit.  As we started to research this we quickly found out this was not an original idea, go figure.   There was tons of YouTube sailing channels documenting this exact thing - things changed quickly.  I remembered the promise I made.  We were both very excited for different reasons, yet heading in the same direction.

Time goes on, we learned a ton and our vision starts to become reality.  We buy said sailing vessel, prepare it and ourselves to travel the world.  More specifically, we will start with cutting our teeth with the Sea of Cortez and then cross the Pacific Ocean and begin this new chapter of travel, adventure, cultural experiences, living simply and secretly fulfilling my promise.  So much excitement!  Murphy's law shows up and this was quickly dashed when we learned that not only do we need to immigrate ourselves and the boat, but we have our four legged family which is way more difficult, near impossible in most island nations.  So although we achieved the life style, the big idea was gone and we had to come to terms with that - not cool

Or is it?  Recently our good friends, @WESail aka Warren and Erica, crossed to the South Pacific.  They contacted Tami and I with much excitement as they encountered many boats with DOGS!  WTF?  How could this be?  Short story is they felt we needed to investigate this further before we totally change course, so we did...

Turns out there is a new process for animal immigration into French Polynesia.  👀What. What.  The government has placed a Bio Security officer on Nuka Hive, in the Marquises Islands, where we will check into the French Polynesia.  This is great news. We also learned that there is now an "authorized vet", on Nuka Hiva, to sign the dogs off per the Bio Security policies .  Why is this a big deal?  Well the crossing takes 30 days, more or less.  In the old system the dogs would have to remain on the boat until Tahiti, which could be months later.  Now the dogs can be fully checked in the same time we are!  This is a game changer...

To be fair, we should not hang all our decisions squarely on whether or not the dogs can disembark the boat, there is much more.  Since we bought the boat we have upgraded or replaced every system on the boat.  There is no better time to undertake a long and difficult voyage for the boat.  There is a long list of those upgrades we can share later.  Also, equally important, is we have almost 4 years of sailing under our belt.  We have learned a great deal and there is always more but we enjoy it and are not afraid to take on new things.  We also know our limitations and when to ask for advice and we have great resources for that as well.  So we are ready.

As you have probably figured out, we have made a slight course correction back to the original plan.      WE ARE GOING TO CROSS TO THE SOUTH PACFIC IN MARCH/APRIL 2023.  The other half of that news is we decided to launch from Puerto Vallerta, yep we heading back to the north.


  1. BRAVO! I have no doubt you will make the journey successfully. Can’t wait for the story!

    Living vicariously thru the adventures of SV Animal Cracker


  2. Ah thanks Kent! You had have been along with us the entire time.

  3. Great to hear of your upcoming adventure but sad that you will be gone before we hit the Mexico area.

  4. That's awesome! What an adventure.
    Jamie Wetzel

  5. Great that you two are making it happen! Let us all know how to track you on your travel when it gets closer. Love seeing all your travels so far!

    1. Thanks! We will definitely be communicating ways to track us before we leave.

  6. Live the dream, sounds like a great plan.

  7. Yay! Sounds crazy with everything going on in the US that people are actually worried about dogs nowadays!

  8. It's pretty simple actually, North America is infected with Rabies and many other illnesses. These small island nations are not and don't want to be so there are lots of tests. There country their rules.

  9. This is so helpful! we are hoping to do a similar trip in 2025 so your experience is so beneficial for us to hear - thank you!

    Do you have a rough map of which islands youll be able to stop at with a dog on the way?