Six times up the mast

Let’s take a moment and talk about boat projects. As social media (@sailingkairos5) attests there are ALWAYS projects to be done. It’s the nature of boat ownership. When and how and where are the only questions and often necessity dictates those answers. A week ago, we woke to thick fog. It was a travel day. […]


Six Month Check-in

Way back when this dream was becoming reality and we realized we would not have a firm time frame, Dave and I decided that nobody could call it quits until we had tried it for six months. Even then with all the excitement of anticipation we knew the transition had potential to be rough. We […]

Slimming Down

Many of you folks near and dear to us have noted with concern that it appeared we were losing weight. To put all concerns to rest, it has been a healthy process for us all. But the overall count of who lost more might surprise you. The stats: Marcie: 15 lbs Dave: 30 lbs Kairos5: […]

Phase One Done

Yesterday afternoon St. Augustine inlet came into focus on the horizon. We had left West End on Grand Bahama in the Abacos Wednesday at 8 AM. What followed was the fastest 240 mile passage yet and also the most comfortable. What?! Most often when the wind picks up and we increase speed so also the […]


Making Miles

On March 6 we pulled anchor and left Sainte Anne and Le Marin behind. Six weeks we spent there adjusting to life afloat. The move aboard on January 23 was significant as we learned the systems of Kairos5. A few weeks in we added boat projects and a couple weeks after that school for the […]


The Hook

“Sailing is 90% boredom and 10% terror.” ~ Dave Bell circa 2003 Looking back, I’m sure this phrase was one that Dave picked up while cruising the Bahamas so many years ago. As a 23 yr old, this phrase enticed me. I wanted to experience that kind of life where you’re not quite certain what […]


Island Time

Island time is notoriously slow. Everyone jokes about it. Now we can say with utmost confidence that island time is even slower than Westside time. We spent the last fifteen years on the westside of Grand Rapids and like most city environments it has it’s own culture for timeliness. Some of us adjusted more quickly […]


We are now free to move about the world!

Huge news! The official papers from France have arrived. Kairos5 is now our boat in every aspect and we are thrilled. Our sights are turning north and (God willing) we will leave Sainte-Anne later this week. We are planning to stop a few times as we work up Martinique’s coast. St. Pierre and hiking the […]

Two weeks in

What a life this is! The highs are glorious, snippets of sheer delight and quality interactions; star gazing on the trampolines, snorkeling together (even Jude who rides on Dave’s back), swimming/playing in the water, meeting other cruisers with kids, and discovery together. (Three other cruising families invited us along for a hike to this pristine […]


“Is everything all right?”, Dave asked. I kept my face neutral as my mind raced to decide how to answer that question. Clearly, he was asking because my reaction to Asa breaking a glass while on dish duty was not gracious. We constantly tell the kids you get to choose – will you react or […]


All In

When I lived on a boat for half a year back in 2003, I met oodles of fascinating people. I noticed a trend. Many people had an established land life they put on hold for a time – rented out the house, put things in storage, etc. – fully planning to pick up where they […]


Two Weeks

Two weeks out check in: Dave has transitioned from full time work to a flexible schedule. One vehicle has sold. (Anyone want a Freestyle?) Toys are packed and stored or packed and weighed. Plan B is in full swing. No shipping barrel (import tax, papers to French consulate, etc) so ten pieces of luggage with […]


Everything’s Breaking

It’s time to go. Everything’s breaking. Dave pulled his foot out of his winter boot and the boot split at the heel. The toaster was sparking and now the center coil is burned out. Adelaide’s lunch box no longer zips. Asa’s zipper pull sheared off his winter coat. Jude has only two pairs of school […]

Don’t make a Freestyle mistake

Late spring we rather tragically lost both our vehicles in the space of three weeks. That time will go down in family lore as the Great Car Debacle of 2018. The scramble to replace vehicles while keeping in mind we would sell them again in eight months was not an enjoyable process. We decided on […]


Answers to the most frequently asked questions as we tell people of our plans for the next season of life: Homeschooling – Ten, eight, and five. Starting in Martinique. Exploring the Caribbean, New England… Panama, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, beyond? Selling the house. 10 years in the planning. Yes, pirates are real, but only in limited, […]

All the Feels

Ode to Grey Socks Grey socks, grey sock how warm were you Grey socks, grey socks until my toe poked through. Grey socks, grey socks you must go in the trash Grey socks, grey socks all the tears I will dash. Farewell grey socks, I bid you adieu You will always be remembered as trusty […]

The Plan

Way back when Dave and I started dreaming this adventure, we envisioned buying the boat somewhere in the Great Lakes. We would have the boat for at least a few seasons in Muskegon and get used to her and she to us. That way, when we finally threw off the dock lines we would know […]

Another One Bites the Dust

“and another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust…”    -Queen   Another month gone, the departure date marches closer and I wonder, are we on track to get out with our sanity intact? The pace that we are maintaining in dispersing with belongings, the research we are doing into life […]

Boat Shopping Take Two

For about a year, Dave has been interested in engaging Jamie and Behan on s/v Totem in their coaching business. I resisted; after all, we were at least a year out AND people do this all the time, how hard can it be? Right? I mean all we’re going to do is buy a boat, […]

No Turning Back

Dave worked his last day today at Progressive AE. It was a pretty sweet gig as far as jobs go. He had flexible hours within the 8-5 workday so if his 4 year old was singing in a little preschool production at 11 AM, he was there. If I needed some time to breathe and […]

The Waiting Place…

“…headed, I fear for a most useless place. The waiting place… for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for […]

Boat Shopping

Frontier Airlines flight 1772: Grand Rapids – Orlando, Seat 25C There’s so much to know. So much to learn. A job to do. Kids to raise. A house to attend. But here I sit on a flight to Florida. This follows a trip to North Carolina (that boat was a wreck). A trip to Mobile followed that. […]

The Conception

Fifteen years ago, Dave returned from a six month sailing adventure in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Thirteen years ago, Dave and Marcie said “I do” and began to dream (and save!) of traveling broadly as a family. Ten years ago, Adelaide arrived and ushered in the childbearing years, or as they are fondly […]