Drena & JR
We met in 1997 waiting tables in Greenbelt, Maryland. We both went to the University of Maryland and graduated with degrees in education (Drena) and mechanical engineering (JR). In 2003 we bought the cutest little cape cod and have essentially taken it apart and put it back together again. We bought our first boat, Jacinta, in 2008 and Journey in 2012. Our dream of living on a boat derived from the desire to live cheaply in Ocracoke, North Carolina (our favorite place in the whole wide world). After tons of research, discovering the secret world of cruising, and about 4 years of saving for the kitty, we decided, “Why stop in NC? We’re heading south y’all!”
A little people teacher through and through, I love calculated risks and a good challenge. I was never good at mob mentality (ask anyone, I’m kinda’ a brat like that) and although I followed the herd for many years, the 9 – 5 thing got pretty mundane for me. I loved my 11 years in the classroom, but I always knew there was more to be done! After an “extra” year to prepare for the cruising life, (yeah, I bailed once) I’m ready for a change of pace. I love takin’ pictures, sailing wing and wing, french fries, reading, my huzzzzband, and I love to learn new things.
The most thoughtful and thorough guy in the universe, JR loves to figure stuff out. He has the brain of an engineer and the heart of a sailor. He is the king of DIY and if he doesn’t know how to do it, he’ll research the heck out of it until he does. If it were up to him, he would have left to cruise years ago! He is crazy loyal and extremely patient. He loves tools, forums, heeling (on the boat, that is), ice cream, and me! :) You may also hear me refer to him as “Jake.” Only a few folks can get away with calling him that, though. You know who you are <3
- Journey is a 1986 O’day 35. She was very well maintained by her previous owners and has been really good to us so far. She is 35′ LOA, has 11′ 3″ beam, and shoal draft fin keel with 4′ 5″ draft out of the factory. The previous owners raised her waterline 4″ for when she is loaded up, so technically there is 4′ 9″ worth of bottom paint now. They also replaced many of her original systems including the standing rigging. The spars, hull and deck, and engine are just about the only original components remaining now that we have replaced the rudder. The engine is a 21 hp Universal M-25 that had around 2,700 hours when we bought her. We hesitated to buy a boat with an engine almost 30 years old, but the hours are low considering the age and we were told most of them were cruising hours with good regular maintenance intervals. Journey has been to the Bahamas twice already, hopefully she’ll show us the way! Some of the features that we love about Journey that make her unique from some of the other O’day 35s are the electric windlass, direct-vented propane cabin heater, upgraded batteries and electrical system, and electronic instruments and tank gauges. Thanks David and Peg!
Our boat cat, Leo, picked us in 2005 when he showed up on our door step and refused to leave. He is about 15 years old and loves sleeping, cat nip, morning treats, his Snuggie, and kisses (well, that one is an assumption :) Leo is quite the dock jumper and has been known to hop on other boats that look interesting. While on anchor, he loves to sit under the dodger and bake in the sun. Leo’s favorite kind of sailing is motoring up the Dismal Swamp :) He also has several nicknames including Babushka, Baboo (for short), Boo (for shorter), Catty, Catrick, Wee, and Baby Lee. Currently, he is enjoying land life and baking in front of the radiator!
On November 2, 2013 we hopped on our boat and started heading south on the ICW toward Florida. On January 27, 2014, we jumped the Gulf Stream and headed on over to Bimini, Bahamas. From Bimini we island hopped on down to Long Island, turned around and made it back to Annapolis, MD in July, dodging 1 early hurricane. We’ll take a little break here to regroup, reflect, and replenish (the kitty :) but will continue to write about our smaller adventures on The Chesapeake Bay and various travel opportunities until we get back out there full-time. We started this blog as a little journal for us, a way to keep in touch with the folks we love <3, and to pay it forward…