ABOUT US IN GENERAL
Steve was a sales
manager and Debbie was
a controller/CPA. We both have now retired, hopefully never to return to
"regular" jobs again!
We sold our wonderful house in 2001 and moved into a small, but nice, 1-bedroom
+ loft condo in Houston, close to both our jobs.
It's been really nice not to have all the house maintenance and projects
anymore - of course they've now been replaced by the boat!
Debbie and Steve met in
T.A.S.S. (Texas Association of
Single Sailors) in January 1987, just after Debbie had returned from a crossing from
Houston to Cozumel. T.A.S.S. is made up of a lot of outdoorsy people,
with common interests in sailing, of course, and scuba diving, snow skiing
and partying. Many, many couples have met in T.A.S.S. and gotten
married, like us. Early on, Steve informed Debbie that we would take
off cruising some day, to which Debbie's reply was, "sure, sure" [wink-wink],
as Debbie was a workaholic and intended to retire when she was 85!
time we got married in 1989, Debbie realized that there was more to life
than work, thanks to Steve. Debbie being very adventuresome, decided
that Steve's idea of cruising sounded pretty good. So we then started
planning, saving and educating ourselves towards our mutual goal.
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OUR SAILING EXPERIENCE
We have never owned a boat before ARGO. We have chartered
extensively for 2 - 3
weeks at a time throughout the Caribbean, San Francisco and the San Juan
Islands (Washington). We have lots of friends with boats and have
chartered through T.A.S.S. and other local charter groups. We both
have completed all courses in the United States Power Squadron (Houston
Chapter) and are now Senior Navigators, which
included 2 years of celestial navigation. We
have taken numerous other courses through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and are
certified through A.S.A. (American Sailing Association). We are Commodores in SSCA (Seven
Seas Cruising Association). We both hold our U.S. Coast
Guard Captain's (Merchant Marine) license, commonly referred to as a 6-pack.
We are also General class HAM radio operators: Steve's call sign is
kd5pdx and Deborah's is kd5pdy.
Debbie did a crossing to Cozumel in
1986 just before meeting Steve. Together we did the Veracruz race from
Houston to Veracruz. We both have done numerous races and sailing
offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Harvest Moon Races to Port Aransas.
We both have immersed ourselves in
learning as much as possible before taking off. The area we lack the
most in is the hands-on experience of actually owning a boat, since this is
our first boat, and dealing with all the things that can go wrong. But
we will take that as it comes.
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PREPARING TO GO CRUISING - U.S.
A lot of work is needed
to prepare for the cruising lifestyle. Here are a few recommendations
on services back in the U.S. that we found to be very good and have been
using since we left in 2003 (and still effective as of July 2008).
Isle, (904)284-1200 / (800)544-2132,
www.sbimailservice.com. Mention that Steve & Deborah (PMB
#2101) referred you and we get a free month!
Consultants International, Craig Robinson, (719)573-9080 /
www.globalhealthinsurance.com; he also handles mission trip
insurance. Currently our policy is with IMG, International
Severance Agency, Garrett Heck, (281)333-3100 / (800)816-7714,
www.insurancenavigators.com. Currently our policy is with
ORM, Offshore Risk Management.
||We use a money
manager but are not in a position to recommend any at this time.