The seed to the dream began while working at a summer camp in Spanish Wells, Bahamas when I was 19. There was a sailing yacht slowly motoring its way up the channel during sunset on a windless day. At the time I didn't understand that was a horrible day for a sailboat, yet the vision it created formed a new dream. In College I read Dove by Robin Graham. The dream took root. I had a new goal in life. People told me I was crazy. The fertilizer of all dreams, challenges by ney sayers. As I began my professional career I met Wendy who found the idea of cruising the world on a boat tantalizing. Note: She had never sailed before; wasn't a water rat, but was an adventurer. A lifelong partnership ensued with a commitment to new life experiences.
We bought a Westsail 32 kit boat and began working on it in Monmouth, Ill. Wendy took a new job in Fl so we could cruise there. The boat; Principia, was finished enough to launch in the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. There I completed more work with the boat tied to the sea wall at the Sailing Club in Davenport. My neighbor while growing up and a life time friend; another Dave, motored the boat with me to St. Louis. Dave (my friend) jumped ship (he did have a work life) and I motored to New Orleans. I then sailed / motored it to the Gulf of Mexico where Wendy flew up to help move the boat to Tarpon Springs. We left Pensacola and made an event filled three day trip to Tarpon Springs. Principia was sailed out of Sail Harbor Marina in Tarpon for 10 years. When in their early 30's, they took a year off to sail full time. Wendy on a sabbatical, Dave went jobless.
Wendy and Dave sailed Principia to the Virgin Islands and arrived at a fork in the road. Continue on or return to the 9-5 world. Wendy felt she had invested enormous capital in her degree and wanted to return. Dave had invested enormous capital in Wendy. It was decided: return to the working / rat race world. In the end; because we survived those years, returning was a great decision.
We bought a place on the water and moved the boat to its new slip. Dave discovered a love of teaching, some people might say a knack. We sailed to the Bahamas and Mexico from our new home in New Port Richey during the Summers. Joined a tennis club and played tennis in the winters. All this time however the dream's root system was growing.
We knew if we wanted to cruise further on Principia we would need to make some major upgrades, mostly to the power plant. Originally I had followed the Pardey's advice and put in a smallish engine thinking, hell, it's a sailboat. Big mistake! We would need to repower and upgrade other things too. Figure $15 k . In the end that 15k $ wouldn't change the value of the boat. We could sell her, save some more, add the $15 k to the kitty and buy the boat we always wanted; a Westsail 42. We watched the prices, watched for the boat we wanted, a Westsail 42 with a big enough engine to push her in bad weather, tall rig, and no teak decks. One became available in California.
Immediately after 9/11 I flew to California to look at her. She had few sea miles on her. And she had three things upper most in our mind, plus few previous owner screw ups. The only issue; she was in California. Purchase price plus five thousand dollars, we had it sitting in Florida ready for our 3-5 year refit.
Two time lines began to merge. We expected to complete the boat just before we retired. This left a year or two to shake out any issues made refurbishing her. These pages begin and meander through those years. The blog provides greater detail to issues and events while these pages provide more photos as well as product evaluations. As time permits, more info on projects and places we have had the pleasure to experience will appear.