The Crew

Del Viento is crewed by the Robertson family. This is who we are at the start of 2011.
  • Michael (also goes by Mike and Miguel) is 42-years-old. He is an English major who wound up working in IT. He is eager to begin writing full time and sees this trip as a means to that end (among ends). He is eager to spend most of his time with Windy and the girls. He will miss real good hot showers, easy Internet access, and the facility of a land-based kitchen. He hates potatoes and loves bitter ales and strong porters. 

  • Windy just turned 40-years-old. She is a geography major who spent 10 years making maps for National Geographic and will soon be using charts as our navigator. She is eager to have her family all in the same boat. She will miss the cats, real good hot showers, easy Internet access, and her DC homeschooling cooperative. She loves potatoes and prefers red wine.

  • Eleanor is 7-years-old. She is pleased to have seen the boat before we bought it, and before her mom and sister. She is looking forward to moving aboard, but will miss her animals, her friends, a large Christmas tree, a fire in the fireplace, and traditions like making cookies for neighbors. She loves pasta and horchata.

  • Frances is 5-years-old. She said, "Yeah, same as Eleanor." She will undoubtly assume the role of our ship's little ray of sunshine. She loves orange juice and is eager to learn Spanish.

Our Backstory:
We did this before, pre-kids. I (Michael) lived aboard my Newport 27 in Ventura, California in the early to mid-1990s. When I finished school and decided to go cruising, I hired 25-year-old Windy Travis to be my crew. I'll never understand why she consented to join me.
I was interviewing crew reluctantly, knowing I needed help managing my tender boat with the unreliable autopilot. I secretly hoped I wouldn't find crew and could justify sailing off alone, joining the fraternity of singlehanders.
I wasn't rude or mean when we met, but I sought to dispel any pleasure-cruise notions Windy may have picked up from magazine covers. I made it clear during a cold, wet, rough daysail that the whole trip would be like this, no different. Del Viento had no dodger. We were close-hauled and the wind blew ice-cold spray over the coaming. I was adept at dodging much of it, she was not. She was chilled, wet, and smiling when I announced she was welcome to join me. She said yes immediately.


My trip quickly became our trip. We sailed from Ventura to Key West, via the Panama Canal. We visited Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, and Cuba. We had more fun and adventure during our seven-month trip than either of us could have possibly imagined.

Afterward, we finished school, we married, we bought a house, we got some pets, and we had kids. That was a 14-year break break from cruising during which we headed down the expected path. We're now chucking it all to live differently, again, but this time with two additional crew (and a dodger). We don't have any illusions that this trip will be a repeat. We are different, our boat is different, and our crew and considerations are different. And this time we are in it together from the planning stages--and we are open, eager, and excited to see exactly what is in store for us, and to document it here.

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