01.04.2013

KATIE AND JESSIE ON A BOAT

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I have the most adventurous friends.

I’ve known Katie since 2nd grade. I’ve been friends with her through elementary school, and playing at recess, to middle school and having crushes on boys and all the way through our college years, visiting her in almost every city of California that she lived in. And trust me, she’s lived all over that state. (Santa Barbara, San Diego, Tahoe … to name a few). She’s never content in one place for any amount of time and I love that about her. Some of my favorite memories of the past four years have been while visiting her. Whether it’s eating the most delicious tacos of my LIFE in Rosarito, Mexico or driving from San Francisco to Tahoe in the midst of a snowstorm … it’s always something different.

Then there’s Jessie. I knew of Jessie while growing up, as she was always a close family friend of Katie’s. I didn’t actually get to meet her and have conversations with her until I visited Katie in Tahoe in 2010. Upon which the first thing we did together was take a shot of whiskey. Yes, that’s Jessie. She is also a fantastic photographer. In fact, before I even got into photography, I messaged her and asked the typical “what camera and lens are you using” … and then continued on to buy the same equipment as her. Jessie seems to find herself in the most beautiful of all places … her landscape photography seriously blows my mind and she has definitely always been one of my inspirations. She also lived in California with Katie and then Colorado for a short stint before making her way back to Michigan this summer as well.

I don’t know the details perfectly well, but all I do know is sometime last year Katie and Jessie decided to buy a sailboat and do The Great Loop. Jessie’s Dad did this trip when he was in his 20’s as well. So I guess adventure runs in the family. The Great Loop is apparently one of the safest long-distance cruising routes for boaters. That makes it sound easy … from what you can read off of their blog, it’s most definitely not always easy. Since I’m not very good with geography or explaining things … there is a map below.

While aboard Louise (their boat) they’ve encountered manatees, crazy currents, engines that piss water, mud, pelicans, high-winds, and they’ve even crossed the Gulf of Mexico overnight. And did I mention that they have a dog and cat on board? Yes. Bird (the cat) and Reggie (the dog). Bird came aboard Louise literally straight outta Petco. The tiniest kitten you’ve ever seen. Reggie is a seasoned adventurer as he’s been with Katie for I think almost 4 years now. He is a rescue dog from Muskegon, MI. They really are superheroes. And not only that, but they’re breaking the mold of what a twenty-something is supposed to do. Not that you shouldn’t go to college, and you shouldn’t get a job … but why not do something out of the ordinary? Why not be successful at something that is different than what everyone else is doing? And I mean different … because most loopers tend to be retired baby-boomers on boats much larger than their 1979 CAL 2-27 (did I use the right term guys?) Basically … it’s a small sailboat with a ton of character.

So anyways, I drove to Florida with Katie’s sister, Maggie and another friend of ours to go visit them. And it was amazing. I was lucky enough to sail with Louise from Sarasota, FL to Venice, FL and then again the next day from Venice to Fort Meyers. Apparently, sailing from sun-up to sun-down is a long time … and not normally done … but I was having the time of my life and didn’t even notice how long of a day it was. We hopped on Louise at sunrise and finally got off about 15min after the sun had set. It was one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen. I can remember sitting on the front of the boat thinking this is one of my favorite days. We were jammin’ to Dixie Chicks Pandora (which I have become obsessed with … hello 2005), the sun was shining, the wind was blowing and Katie had just whipped up a boat specialty … canned rice, baked beans and green chiles. Yee haw!

My point in sharing these images is to show you that you can make of your life whatever you want. You don’t have to sit back and look at other people having fun and think “Oh, I can’t do something like that,” … Because you can. It’s even hard for me to believe … but these two gals convince me. Sure, they may have ran out of money now (as they are currently in Ft. Meyers working two waitress jobs each), but they are finding a way to make ends meet and continue their journey. I do not doubt that they will make it to the Bahamas after this winter and then probably even finish the trip. And if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because they have already had 3+ months and a lifetime of experience.

And while after looking at these, do yourself a favor and check out their website. I hardly explain what they’re doing and you’ll be much better off reading that. Jessie is a hilarious writer and their videos will probably make you laugh out loud. Especially this one. I seriously watch it almost every day. You can also follow Katie’s instagram feed or their hashtag, #theadventuresofportandstarboard. They also have a Twitter ! And their website is extremely easy to remember … WWW.KATIEANDJESSIEONABOAT.COM

So, go! Be like Katie and Jessie. Go find adventure and go live life.

 

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This is just me at my favorite place.

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This is Bird

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This is Jessie.

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This is Katie talking to bridges. Yes, the bridges open for you … and it is the coolest. “Will you open your doors for us?!”

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Here’s Reggie. There’s not as many photos of him because he pretty much just sleeps the whole time on the boat.

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Yes, there were dolphins following us. I told you it was magical.

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These are called Little Beers and I have no idea how I have lived my life without them for so long. We had a big party with other Loopers and they brought these.

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This is Bob and Madeline. Two other loopers. They might be the most fun couple I have ever met.

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This is Ron. Him and his wife Jean just finished The Great Loop. They received this flag! Pretty cool huh?

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All of the Looper’s that I met while in Ft. Meyers. We kept asking them, “did you ever imagine that a couple of twenty year olds would be in your friend group?” They really are an amazing group of people.

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