There is a young couple (and a dog named Spot) who were formally docked in E basin are now somewhere off of the coast of Mexico on their way to Costa Rica, (definitely), Florida, (probably), and possibly around the world, (possibly). John Barbie and Ruth Arras departed Marina del Rey on December 15th to experience their first long distance cruise. They have been preparing their 1975 Endeavor 32 for the past two years and now the moment of truth has come. Still in their twenties, John and Ruth wanted to have this adventure now while their lives are still relatively uncomplicated, or has John puts it, "We wanted to go traveling before we got too old!"
The couple shares a penchant for traveling and, in the beginning, as they talked more about where and how they might travel together, sailing began to creep into the conversations. Ruth's father crossed the pacific crewing on a boat and the couple also has a few friends who are sailors.
"We didn't like the idea of bringing our suitcases everywhere and staying in rat infested rooms, so we thought a boat might be a good idea." Ruth states. "We started talking to some of our friends who have sailing experience and they gave us tips on what kind of a boat to buy."
They eventually settled on a 1975 Endeavor 32 which, according to Ruth was, "relatively inexpensive, but definitely had a ton of work to be done on it. We got a lot of good experience from everything breaking down and having to fix it ourselves, which was actually remarkably helpful because now we know how to do stuff."
Although the couple has gotten experience with repairs and maintenance, they still haven't done any extensive sailing. Upon buying the boat, they have made a trip from Dana point to San Pedro and then San Pedro to MDR. They have also made a few trips to Catalina, but their cruising experience is quite limited. However, it's clear as you speak to this couple, that this lack of experience is in no way threatening or frightening to them. They have read books, gathered the necessary charts, spoke to experienced people and pondered all the looming questions. Ruth has even completed a course in celestial navigation in case the GPS fails them. They have also picked up some important guide- books.
"Our main resource is a book by Rains, <I>California to Florida, Through the Panama Canal<I> John says, and we have charts and a chart plotter to support them"
They plan to make their first landfall in Ensenada and harbor hop their way to Puerto Vallarta, hoping to arrive by New Year's Eve. They will then set their sites for Costa Rica and upon that momentous landfall, decide if they will travel through the Panama Canal (for Florida) or choose another destination.
As the old saying goes, "it's not the destination that counts, it's the journey". And this couple is most certainly subscribing to that adage. They are optimistic, yet cautious and are in no way married to sailing's modern devices and crutches.
"I like to read the old books where people did things with just a sextant. Ruth says. When it comes down to it, I want to make sure that everything on our boat can be brought back down to basics if need be."
Hopefully, it will be a journey free of problems and/or dilemma. Good luck folks!