My wife and I quit our jobs to sail the Caribbean

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2023-01-24 15:30:09

It is devoid of buildings, trees, cars, cellphones and the internet. Seemingly limitless water extends uninterrupted in all directions.

You don't have to travel a great distance to discover this other cosmos. At 10 miles offshore, you're already there. At 100 miles, on a course away from shipping lanes (about a full day's sail in a small boat), the effect is complete: Civilization recedes, along with any sign of humanity.

I grew up around boats. My father liked to build them. The pride of his flotilla was not a sailboat but a small "power cruiser," Talisman, that he designed and built before I was born. My older sister and I were bundled into a car nearly every summer weekend until my late teens to make the trip from northeast Indiana to the south shore of Lake Erie in Ohio, where Talisman waited patiently through the week, tugging gently at the dock lines.

I was always more intrigued, though, by wind-driven vessels than any relying primarily on mechanical propulsion. As a kid, I devoured the adventures of Robin Lee Graham, the teenage solo circumnavigator, in the pages of National Geographic and, later, in Graham's book, Dove. However, it wasn't until about 20 years ago, well into my adulthood, that I took up sailing in a serious way.

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