Blainefamily sailing around world – with kids

Published on Thu, Sep 7, 2006 by CarolHogan

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Blaine family sailing around world – with kids

By: Carol Hogan

Carl, Yvette, Joel, 14, and Kyle, 11, Nichols have recently left Blaine Harbor on a long-planned cruise aboard The Liberty, a 42-foot cutter recently purchased just for this trip. Experienced sailors, Carl and Yvette have sailed together on smaller boats, dreaming of blue water cruising since the boys were small.

“We like to travel. We like different cultures and people, and we’re a little bit older than most parents with kids this age, so we have the option to take off and go enjoy what we have and take the kids with us,” said Carl, who moved onto the boat from an 18-acre property in Spokane. “It’s a great opportunity for them and a great opportunity for us and we wanted to take off and go sailing.”

They’ll pick up crew in Everett, stop briefly at Neah Bay, then sail directly to San Francisco.“The kids have never been there but we’ve been there many times,” Carl said. “They’re excited to see Alcatraz Island.”

Working their way toward San Diego, stops along the way include Monterrey, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, and Newport Beach for an inland trip to Disneyland.In San Diego they’ll rendezvous with around 150 boats entered in the 750-mile Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria.It’s a fun trip where safety takes precedence over performance.

“We’ll meet people that have the same itinerary and have somebody to chum up with,” Carl said.“From Cabo San Lucas we’ll take our time and work our way up to La Paz.”They’ll spend Christmas there, depart for the Sea of Cortez, Mazatlan and Puerta Vallarta and wait out the hurricane season there from June 1 to October 31, 2007.
“I think Carl got the cruising bug when he went to a 2003 Mahina Expeditions offshore cruising seminar in Seattle,” Yvette said.“He came back with the thought in mind ‘hey, we can do this.’ Next, he went on the long-distance cruise offered by seminar leaders John and Amanda Swan Neal. Yvette attended a seminar, then they both went together and she was sold.

“I just got back from a trip from San Diego to Acapulco, 1400 miles in 14 days,” she said. “It was my ocean sailing experience and I will say it forever. If it hadn’t been for going with them I wouldn’t be going (on this trip.) They really helped me build some confidence.”

After Puerta Vallarta their trip includes Acapulco and Costa Rica.
“Then we’ll reevaluate and if we’re still having fun, we’ll just keep going, down to the South Pacific and New Zealand, eventually,” Carl said.“If not, we’ll go to Hawaii.” then return to Washington.

“We told all our relatives, ‘we don’t know when we’re coming back.’”

Carl sold his business to finance the trip and Yvette is a registered nurse who can work if she needs to. They’ve rented their two-year old home and are looking forward to the simple life. Yvette will home school Joel and Kyle using A-Beka, a Christian based educational program from Pensacola Bible College.

“We want to give them the world,” she said.

Onboard, they have everything they’ll need to be self sufficient including a ham radio, four GPS, charts, a laptop computer, email and access to weather information. To follow their travels you can go to their website at www.libertydaze.com.

At last report, they had reached San Francisco. Their destination is Mexico with the first stop in Ensenada to check in.

They’ll continue on to the Mexican mainland and join the Puddle Jumper Rally headed for the Marquesas Islands, and later depart for the South Pacific.