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About the Author

Renee was raised in New York City and spent much of her early adult life moving from place to place looking for warmth. She found a kindred spirit in her husband, Michael, and the two of them ended up in Arizona for 16 years. While Renee wrote technical reports for government contractors, Michael became a landscape artist.  While most would be content with this lifestyle, Renee got bored and decided the winters were too cold - even in Arizona. The Caribbean seemed to be calling, and although neither Renee nor Michael had any sailing experience, the idea of buying and living on a sailboat started to form. Undeterred by their lack of experience, less than a year later, an idea became reality and Renee, Michael, and Shaka (their kitty) took off for destinations unknown.

The rest is history, as they say. Knowing that so many others wanted to do the same thing, Renee decided to share her highs and lows as well as lessons learned in A Sail of Two Idiots.   The two enjoyed constant 80-degree temperatures and sunny skies while documenting island life in St. Kitts on Renee's blog: Island Babble (posts up until August 2009), but ended up in Key West, FL in the fall of 2012 and documented their transition on The Babbling Conch.

After a year in humid and flat Florida, Renee and Michael (and their two Kittitian kitties) headed back to Fountain Hills, Arizona where they could hike and discover all the things they missed the last time they lived there. Their latest antics were documented on Scoop Fountain Hills. Not long after THAT (!), they moved back to the Caribbean (now with 4 kitties). The whole crew is still bouncing around, and blogs come and go, but if Renee gets settled and back in writing mode, she'll post it here and you can follow along.

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8 comments:

  1. Hello Renee,
    did you run into other newbie boaters/sailors on your journey with little experience also?

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    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      We did run into other newbies. One was a family of 4 that made it ever farther than we did and added a walking trek in South America. You can read about that at: A Life Without Borders by Carla BeDell (http://alifewithoutborders.com/). I edited the book, but it really is a great story.

      We also knew 2 people who not only didn't know how to sail, but never put their sails up! They motored all the way from Florida to the Dominican Republic, where they fell in love with the place and built a house (http://www.mytripjournal.com/carryokies) - and sold their boat.

      Of course, there's the famous Bumfuzzle couple who went around the world, starting out clueless. They took a break and ended up back out there with 2 kids (I think they're on land now in Mexico). You could read their early entries of their adventure before they became experts (http://www.bumfuzzle.com/blog/2007/05/30/budget-for-a-sail-around-the-world/).

      I'm sure there are others out there right now, but I'm not following them - sorry! You'll never be "ready" for the adventure because too much happens on the fly, but I do think the more confidence you have going into it, the more you'll enjoy yourself. It's stressful when you're constantly questioning yourself. Best of luck! Renee

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  2. Ken FergusonAugust 20, 2015

    Thanks to you Renee we have changed our Caribbean destination from St. John to Bequia this December. Maybe we'll run into you and John.

    Regards, Ken

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    Replies
    1. Ken, we're actually living on Virgin Gorda now in the BVIs (for work), but we'd rather be in the Grenadines. St. Johns is probably the best island in the Virgins, but I know you'll have a great holiday on Bequia. Make sure you get around to some of the other islands down there and have an underwater camera! Enjoy.

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  3. I just found you two! I'm a newbie trying to learn in the Great Lakes before heading to warm salt water soon! At least that's the plan. Goofing up quite a bit in the process. I'm interesting in reading all of your adventures and will get started now! Here's my stuff: www.mistakesofarookiesailor.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Good luck to you! Like it or not, we really do learn more from our mistakes or the mistakes of others, so it's good you're sharing the love. :-) We've sold the boat, but still live in the in the Caribbean, so life isn't too bad right now. Try to keep laughing and remember why you're out there.

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  4. You have gotten to live the dream that so many of us only dreamed of but never acted upon. I envy you!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, no! Don't be envious. Even if you can't take the full leap, there's probably something fun you could do that would still feel like an adventure and give you memories for a lifetime. Volunteer to crew for someone going thru the Panama Canal or someone island hopping the Caribbean, there are a lot of boaters looking for help year-round, volunteer to race in a regatta, etc. Don't give up on your dream!

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