Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Crew

 Meet the First Mate

Hi, I'm Alissa. I will (for now) be the first mate, nurse, cook, navigator, bosun,  winch person, seamstress, cleaner, painter and all around disgusting jobs specialist among surely many other things on board Aquabat, as well as the primary voice here on A to B to Sea. We know our roles will evolve, especially as I get more comfortable with sailing, but these are just distinctions we have made from the beginning to ensure that all areas are covered!   

Although it had always been on my list of things to learn to do, sailing was never something I actively pursued until I met Bryce. Our first sailing trip together (and my first time sailing ever!) was a week long charter in New Zealand and while I wasn't blown away, the good news was that I didn't hate it and didn't get violently seasick! My real sailing education came during the summer of 2012 while we were living in Wisconsin and both joined Hoofers Sailing Club.  As I have learned to sail and have been learning more about sailboats in general, my appreciation for sailing has grown. More than just the sport of sailing itself, my eyes have been opened to this seemingly massive sailing sub-culture where there is such a sense of community that I love.  

From the beginning I always said that even if I didn't like sailing, I could still appreciate where it would take me. I love to travel and am looking forward to all of the places that we are going to go, things we are going to see, people we are going to meet and food we are going to try. For me this is one of the most exciting things about this whole adventure. On the other hand, having traveled and moved so much in the last few years, I am really looking forward to being able to settle into one home for at least the next five years and have it travel with us. In this life we are choosing, I feel as though we are getting the best of both worlds.
Meet the Captain

I'm Bryce and this whole shebang is the culmination of my dream of the last 10 years or so.  During this time, we've been scrimping and saving away some money to make it reality.  It is enormously exciting, humbling and daunting that we've been lucky enough to be able to embark on this voyage/adventure at this stage of our lives.  I first started sailing as a youth crew on the sail training ship Young Endeavour.  I fell in love with it then, and have been lucky enough to have sailed on the East Coast of Australia, the Tasman Sea, New Zealand, the Coral Sea, and the lakes (great and otherwise) of North America.  

I've got a stack of jobs on board.  These include captain, pilot, weatherman, electrician, plumber, diesel mechanic, computer technician, radio operator, radar operator, accountant, handy man.  It's a bit of a handful trying to get all these skills up to a reasonable level; basically if it breaks while we're at sea and we can't fix it, we need to do without it!  Therefore my philosophy is to keep things as simple as possible, and have backups for important systems wherever possible.  

We're not dealing with extreme sailing here.  To me, good seamanship is about avoiding possible issues before they come up, such as to avoid tropical cyclone areas in their danger seasons and avoiding high latitudes sailing in the winter. I'm very conservative when it comes to dealing with the power of the sea! Wherever possible, we'll be staying comfortable and well rested and keeping our boat in good condition so crew and boat have the best chance of dealing successfully with what may come. 

We both hope that we're able to meet with our friends and family at several points along the way and that they can come and enjoy some of this experience with us - enjoy reading our blog and we hope to see you soon!


  1. Hi - I just stumbled across your blog - nice to read about your adventures down under. I also had my first sailing experience chartering in the Bay of Islands in NZ. We had a blast and my husband's "brainwashing" campaign seems to have worked as we now seem to own our own boat.
    Cheers - Ellen

    1. Hi Ellen, I never thought about it as a brainwashing campaign but it definitely fits! :)