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LIVING ABOARD, 1996-1997

We have many lengthy stories to tell of the year and a half we spent living on a sailboat, but we'll keep it to a brief summary here - we have also added just a few photos here as well as links to more photos in Webshots albums.

Photo Disclaimer:
Regrettably, digital cameras were not available when we were sailing, so we were dependant on film which was expensive to buy and develop. Most of our film was sent to Seattle Filmworks (which became PhotoWorks, recently gone out of business) and developed to disk - but back then, digitally developed pictures were really low resolution. Thus, we have very few photos of our adventures overall, and the photos we have are rather poor quality.

Jay has sailed for years, ever since he moved to Minnesota in 1970. Dorothy had never had the chance until the two got together. After one of our sons gave Jay a subscription to a sailing magazine, we began discussing a "live-aboard" life in which we would buy a sailboat and live on it permanently! We had been sailing our little 17' scow around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, but it was time to find out how Dorothy would react to sailing in the ocean on a larger sailboat.

In the fall of 1994 we spent a week in Sausalito, CA, living aboard a 32-foot sailboat and sailing 9 hours a day with a sailing certification trainer in San Francisco Bay. It was a no-brainer; we were happily certified, and the decision to go forward was made.

October 1994: Celebrating Our Sailing Certifications with our
sailing companions and our instructor at Margaritaville in Sausalito, CA

It took months of research to find the right sailboat; in February 1996 Jay officially retired from Cargill, Inc., and began working full-time to find the right vessel for us. About a month later, we put our house on the market and sold it in just four days. The day after we accepted the offer on our house, Jay purchased our 1973 50' Gulfstar Ketch in Norfolk, VA - he sailed it along with our son, Doug, from Norfolk up the Chesapeake to Annapolis, MD, where we had decided to live while we did some fixing and updating of our new vessel.

By the end of May 1996 Dorothy had resigned from Honeywell and we had divested ourselves of 90% of our possessions - just a few boxes and valuables were stored by our children (we have six grown kids between us). We drove to Annapolis, MD, in our Honda Civic along with our cat Sylvester, pulling the smallest U-Haul trailer available - we were now officially live-aboards!

May 1996 - Dorothy & Jay, Leaving Minneapolis

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Chronology of Living Aboard "Second to the Right"
  • May 1996 - moved onto 50' Gulfstar Ketch ("Second to the Right") in Annapolis, MD
  • November 1996 - left Annapolis for Hampton, VA; sailed from Hampton to San Juan, PR
  • Winter 1996-1997 - spent in San Juan, PR
  • February 1997 - sailed to island of Culebra where we spent a couple of weeks and celebrated Jay's 60th birthday
  • February 1997 - sailed from Culebra to the city of Fajardo, PR, where we sat out some stormy weather for a few days, then returned to San Juan, PR
  • April 1997 - sailed from San Juan, PR, to Provo (Turks & Caicos); then sailed to Mayaguana and then to the Abacos
  • May, 1997 - arrived in Beaufort, SC
  • June 23, 1997 - arrived in Annapolis, MD
  • September 1997 - made the final move off "Second to the Right" and returned to Minneapolis, MN
Copyright 2004-2011 Dorothy & Jay Harris