Thursday, December 30, 2010

Inspirational Television
By Michael

Is TV still as bad? Yes.
Remember The Love Boat? In a weird way, that terrible and top-rated television show of the late seventies is responsible for my interest in sailboat cruising.

In 1979 I participated in a fundraiser for my 6th grade class, a magazine sales drive. About that time my folks returned from their first trip aboard a cruise ship, inspired by The Love Boat. Eager to read more about cruise ship vacations, they took a look at my list of magazines and bought a subscription to Cruising World. When the first issue arrived, it was clear they didn’t get what they expected.

Ten years later, they were still subscribers. I’d grown up without a sailboat, but with a magazine at home that gave me a knowledge and understanding of the cruising lifestyle. In my 20s, buying a boat and living aboard seemed as viable an option as securing an apartment. After living aboard for a short time, I learned that almost all of my dock neighbors were planning for departure. It took only a hint from a sailor I trusted to shift my perception away from the notion that I needed a boat designed by Colin Archer, Carl Alberg, or Robert Perry to plan a cruise of my own. The idea of a coastal cruise in my small production boat was born. For seven months spanning 1996 to 1997, Windy and I sailed from Ventura to Key West.
During our trip, we were on the lookout for other young cruisers and found few. Greg and Danielle Podlesney of Uhuru were among the few. Our wakes were in sync for a few months and we buddy boated. Eventually, we ended our cruises, sold our boats, and launched land-based lives. We settled on different coasts but kept loosely in touch and we each bought a house and had two kids. The Robertsons maintained careers, while the Podlesneys maintained their own businesses.
Now, 14 years later and all in our forties, both families are dropping out and heading off on paths radically different from how most Americans live their lives. Coincidence? This blog chronicles our big shift and Project Pragmatizo chronicles the Pod’s upcoming adventure in an RV they transformed.
My conclusion is that a taste of a different lifestyle should be encouraged for anybody in their second decade, if just to illuminate the possibilities. I think it helped offer us a unique perspective in our fourth decade. Of course, a big thank you is due also to Captain Stubing and his ABC crew.
P.S. -- I would love to find out where the first Del Viento is today—reportedly purchased from me by an Austrian couple for use in the Bahamas; I know that Uhuru was lost off the Pacific coast of Baja several years ago, two owners later.
--  MR


  1. Hey Michael,
    Weird coincidence--or non-coincidence based on your post... We sailed little Ceilydh from Vancouver to Annapolis from May 95- Oct 98. We must have crossed wakes with you somewhere in there. We've kept in touch with a bunch of the 20-something folks we met--and all of them are living less than typical lives these days.
    We lost track of little Ceilydh--she ended up being trucked to a lake in Kentucky.

  2. Hey Mike,
    Thanks for post up. You may have gotten your inspiration from Captain Stubing , but during that time in my life I think I got all my inspiration from Issac Washington " the bartender" Talk to you soon

  3. Thanks for sharing in this post.


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