People always want to see what and why we are doing what we are doing. I think our story is funny and interesting to people. I am purposely making this page long so that people can really get a feel for whom we are and why we are doing what we are doing.
This is a compilation of various friend/family comments about our impending journey:
Everything is bigger in Texas and that wasn’t untrue for us. Our story is rare but not unique. We had two gas-sucking trucks, a house that would accommodate six large families in some Eastern countries, with all of the fixings of your typical suburban life. Looking back, it seems absurd that we had two full-sized refrigerators; a deep freezer and one of those little dorm boxes in case we couldn’t hold all of our Lonestar Beer and BBQ sauce under one roof.
Miss Lone Star was purchased in 2014 on Lake Travis Texas. She was fist named Joint Resolution, after a big attorney-like decision to buy a boat that would sit in a covered spot on the lake for an eternity. He saw her and fell in love with the vessel, which was in good order and sea worthy, still on a lake; a Cruisers Yachts 37’ twin engine- class A rated vessel. His childhood dream was to cruise the Caribbean and retire there.
Captain Robb met who would become his First Mate in 2014. He fell in love with Aubrey, after they met on Match.com (seriously). He fell in love with the Chief Stew, Bianca and Un-Able seaman, Blake. Aubrey wouldn’t stay aboard the boat because she was afraid of the water. It was a phobia. Blake caught his first fish aboard the boat but Bianca was somewhat oblivious to the whole idea of being on a boat because nothing fun happened on it.
We got married on New Year’s Eve in 2014 and took our honeymoon in St. Croix, USVI. We loved the clear blue water of the Caribbean and we felt it beckoning. We went home to our land-locked house in Austin and definitely felt like something was missing. Austin wasn’t close to a beach but the Caribbean was so far away. We remembered we had a boat so we decided to go back to the Caribbean, permanently.
Packing was a monumental task. We were your average American hoarders, so what to do with all of this stuff? We kept an 18x8x8 storage pod filled with all of things we couldn’t part with and everything else was up for grabs on Ebay, Craigslist, consignment and pawn. Four garage sales later, we were ready to go, but not before we bought all of the crap we needed to be full-time liveaboard cruisers!
We bought all of the supplies suggested by anyone who claimed to live the salt life, since everything you need to know about boating can be found on the Internet! Aubrey diligently unpacked thirteen 50-gallon tubs into our boat as our adventure began. Most of this stuff now resides on the ocean floor (some items have new bullet holes). We imagined sipping chamepign on the bow at sunset but what we really got was confusion, high seas, vomit, shoaling, the sweet smell of sewage, a tide of acute disrepair and old men laughing from the docks as we struggled to figure it out.
Despite the fact that our head (toilet) is only two feet from the galley (kitchen) food always tastes better on the hook (anchor). Our family is closer than we’ve ever been, literally. We reside in 128 sf. of interior space, which counts the tops of our beds. Our living space, with or without kids, is smaller than any “tiny house nation” home ever built. We have never been happier!
Challenges aside, this lifestyle has far exceeded our expectations. We never miss a sunset. Blake fishes from dawn to dusk proudly supplying us with a sustainable food source. Bianca expertly combs beaches turning her finds into crafts that she sells. Aubrey easily meets her catch a day quota of native species. Robb no longer has to travel to dive in clear water. Diving is just one giant stride away from the boat. Onyx fiercely guarded us against raccoons, iguanas, storks and dolphins; just to name a few.
We found a family we never knew we had in sailors. There is a genuine sense of community and friendship within the boating community. Society’s hard shell of distrust doesn’t exist on the water and deep, lasting friendships are made during a weekend. Our life is like an unending summer camp.
Homeschooling our kids is easy and the kids are blossoming under our direction. There is always time to read or to learn a lesson in science. At their early ages, our kids know more about nature and natural science than their former classmates. They are becoming fluent in Spanish and they read at an above average level that is unbound by any school’s guidelines. We watch the kids transform socially and they are able to easily create relationships with adults and other children.
Aubrey always said that we could make an adjustment if we didn’t like the lifestyle but we never discussed what that adjustment would look like if we wished to make it permanent. Our new address is somewhere in the Big Blue.
Five souls are aboard Miss Lone Star. Thank you for reading our journal and joining us in our best adventure yet!
Our Big Plan Before We Departed Austin, TX (Things Change!)
We are a small family who currently lives in Austin, Texas with big plans to move aboard our boat and cruise the Caribbean for a year or more. We named our vessel Miss Lone Star and we are moving permanently to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands at the conclusion of our voyage. Our departure date is July 2015 and we will provide videos and information on all aspects of our preparation for the journey.
Our other videos will feature different aspects of life on our boat, fishing and catching what we eat, cooking, boat renovations and repairs, storage ideas, navigating, seamanship, anchoring at sea, clearing customs, charting courses, anchorages and ports, provisioning, travel destinations and more.
Aubrey is a professional photographer and she has amassed every expensive piece of gear that she needs to capture amazing images along the way. She will also be adding photography/ video tips and techniques to our YouTubeChannel and Blog. She has become a organizing queen during our months of preparation and she will teach you what she has learned.
Robb is a US Army Veteran and former professional tactical gun trainer. He is a dive master and loves to scuba on a regular basis. He plans to spend his time fishing for dinner or finding buried treasure with his metal detector.
We are homeschooling our three and six year old kids along the way. Stay tuned to see how we tackle this monumental opportunity! We will detail learning experiences, projects for kids and explore cultural issues along the way. In researching our planned cruise, we found that there was little information out there on the “how to” of raising and educating children on a boat.
Blake is our pesky boy who gets into more trouble than a pack of puppies. He loves pirates, sharks and dinosaurs. Bianca is our little princess who attempts to rule the boat like a dictator. She loves shells, art and making messes. Onyx is our huge black German Shepard. Her hobby is protecting us and herding kids.
We will be catching all manner of fish, lobster and critters as we go. We will provide a “cruiser’s guide” on how to catch, clean and cook what we eat. We will share our favorite recipes.
Our cursing bounds include: Florida Inter-coastal Waterway (ICW), the Bahamas, Grand Bahama, Abacos, Nassau, Eleuthera Island, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Inagua Island, Turks and Caicos Islands, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spanish Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. We will likely continue on to explore the rest of the Caribbean Islands/ Central America before we settle down.