Whether I’m walking the dusty streets of small town Mexico, using my paddle board to ferry large loads of laundry or supplies to and from Cat2Fold, or setting my anchor in what is now my traditional downwind, under sail, “park brake skid” style, people tend to notice me. Sure, the fact that I’m 6’7″ with long blond dreads in a country where 6′ is TALL, and where well kept black (or silver) hair dominates the scene, clearly helps distinguish me from the rest. It also doesn’t hurt to be sailing a very unique, one-of-a-kind catamaran that catches the eye of even the most nautically ignorant. However, the more people that I meet and have the opportunity to take sailing, or even just talk sailing, or life in general, the more I realize what it is that people see in me besides the physical and nautical anomalies.
Over the past season and a half, I have been blessed with the opportunity to take well over a hundred friends sailing aboard Cat2Fold. As each day begins, we never know what kind of winds we will encounter, whether whales and dolphins will be out visiting us, or whether it will be sunny or not. I’ve had some trips start by spending the first hour under sail just trying to get out of the anchorage with virtually NO wind. Luckily for me, everyone I’ve had on board has always enjoyed playing the game the way I like to, that is…we SAIL, no matter what (well…99% of the time). Depending on the group, sometimes my guitar comes out, sometimes we rock the boat to some dope beats on the stereo, sometimes we just enjoy the subtle sound of Cat2Folds’ slippery hulls, sliding through the water. Inevitably, in every group, there’s always at least one person who, with star struck eyes, talks to me about the “Hows” and “Wows” of this awesome lifestyle.
I think that to a lot of people, whether reading of my adventures afloat from their computer screen, meeting me on the beach or street, or having just personally experienced a magical day on the water, I represent the pure embodiment of freedom that is rarely seen in this modern world. I do what I want, when I want, and I do it with a smile. Sure, I’m just like everyone else with my own lists of doubts and fears, but since I’ve taken on this life of following my passions, even when those doubts rise to the surface, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and my path, that was once hidden from view, becomes illuminated, guiding me through this life as if holding the hand of God (Jah, Alah, Magic, The Great Weirdness, etc…) itself…
With wild, unkempt hair, twinkling eyes glowing amidst my tropical sun cooked skin, a smile that I wear more often than I wear clothes while sailing aboard the coolest cat in Mexico, I’ve heard people say that I’m “winning at life”. Viewed from the outside, anyone else’s life can appear to be perfect, or at least better than what they currently have, especially when the viewer is not following their own bliss. And, even though I struggled with my own head my first two seasons down here wondering what I had to offer the world, and what I should be doing, I’m finally realizing that what I have to offer is quite simple…
I offer people a look into a real, unplanned life of magic, and pure, wild freedom with an underlying tone that ANYONE CAN DO IT!!!
A “F@ck Yeah” attitude that is contagious!
Whatever you dream of doing…DO IT!!!
Not sure if you’re ready?…DO IT!!! Were you ready to be born?
Don’t have the finances together?…DO IT!!! The details will work out.
Not enough experience?…DO IT!!! Gain the experience first hand.
Don’t have all the gear?…just F@cking DO IT!!!
Change the words “I wish” into “I will”, and start NOW!
When I first bought Cat2Fold while already living my land based, off-the-grid mountain cabin dream life in SE Idaho, I had very little sailing experience and absolutely NO boat ownership experience. Through tedious online research, and a little bit of sail chartering with my ex wife, I knew that if I were to advance my sailing experience past the dream level, I absolutely had to have a multi-hull, and with my general preference of all things unique, my first plunge towards this life of magic unknowns was to purchase the world’s only 36′ folding, trailerable sailing catamaran with an even rarer, free-standing, double masted, biplane rig. No manual. No online explanations of sail trim. No traditional sail anything. So, with just a decent mechanical aptitude, and an adventure loving attitude, I was able to instantly jump aboard, pull some strings and make her go…
A couple of week long trips in the high alpine lakes of NW Wyoming, had me believing it was time take on the ocean and sail down to Mexico. F@ck Yeah!
But, wait…from everything I had read online, I can’t possibly go overnight ocean sailing without the latest GPS, AIS, RADAR, EPIRB, SSB Radio, paper charts, proper experience, diesel motors, life raft, water maker, blah, blah, blah, and a note from your Mom!!! Luckily, I have a Kiwi friend who helped me fully embrace the “you don’t need it” attitude, which I mixed with my “F@ck Yeah” attitude, and off we went.
Leaving Los Angelos, CA, on the way to Mexico, in 2011, the small GPS that came with C2F was full of chart details. Depth contours, shipping lanes, lights, detailed coastlines, etc… everything was there. 400-500 miles south, half way down the Baja, all details just disappeared. It was as if we were sailing off the edge of the known world! Well, as nice as it is to have a very detailed GPS map is to help navigate, it is NOT absolutely necessary. Using ones senses and good judgement helped countless mariners, for thousands of years, navigate the entire globe! There’s no reason why it can’t still work. Just the same as navigating ones way through life without a “proper plan”…you’ll always end up somewhere, so you may as well go where you please, how you please (but, be nice). After approximately 1200 miles of sailing south with the very basic GPS, and a Mexican road atlas, I finally bought an iPad and now use the Navionics App for incredibly detailed mapping of the Mexican coast, but not before gaining the confidence of doing without…
Whether building beautiful strawbale houses, playing guitar, skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, sailing, paddleboarding, etc. I’ve always followed my passion du jour. However, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized the need to share these experiences with others.
In the past, I was never any good at “tooting my own horn”, I just lived my life the way I wanted to in a quiet, off beat way. But now, I’ve come to realize the importance of sharing…a smile, a song, a chapter of a life most only dream of. If I only touch one person, through the sharing of my own moments of “F@ck Yeahdom” while following my passions, and it helps them reach a life that had only been an unobtainable dream of theirs before, well then…
Before sailing off to the warm winter wonderland of Mexico and discovering this sailing/cruising lifestyle for myself, I honestly didn’t even know this life existed. It’s hard to dream of something you don’t know exists. I had spent 40 years in HARD winter country. The sort of life lived in a place where one spends nearly the entire (short) summer season preparing for next winter’s onslaught of cold, snow, and long hours of dark. I now find myself similarly spending my entire summer preparing for the next winters’ season, however, it is a season spent sailing warm, tropical waters, meeting fellow travelers from around the world (whether sea or land based), and taking on the challenges, and the rewards of the sea and life aboard my very own boat, living the dream…And, if I can do it, than so can anyone!!!