Actually, my girlfriend Lauren’s parents’ high school friend knows a guy, who knows a guy who sailed around the world (Kevin Bacon may actually be closer). The important part however is that a few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Larry Jacobson, who recently returned from a successful circumnavigation and who graciously volunteered his (and his partner Ken’s) time to sit down and talk with us about their trip and make sure we weren’t forgetting something in our planning.
Armed with two pizzas and two thousand questions we showed up at his apartment where we instantly began absorbing everything they had to say. Nearly five hours later we left inspired, motivated and perhaps (just a little) terrified. You can see some of the key points from the notes we put on our wiki.
Equipment-wise we felt like we were fairly on top of what we needed, our boat came well equipped which means we’ll have the benefit of things we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford (radar, redundant self-steering …). Thats not to say we won’t be making some painfully expensive trips to the chandlery but given our other choices of boats we’re feeling we made the right choice. Talking with Larry helped us prioritize some of the major purchases we’ll need to make.
The real value of talking with Larry and Ken, was the reassurance that we actually are on the right track. We’ve been planning non-stop, and you begin to wonder if your research is founded too much on books and internet and not enough on experience. Before our meeting with Larry I was scared about lack of off-shore experience, storms, groundings, etc. Afterwards I’ve found the only thing that actually scares me is the idea of leaving a city and lifestyle I love. But also more than ever, I can’t wait to leave.
Larry just released a book about his trip, “The Boy Behind the Gate”. If you’re interested, you can buy it off his site (in which case he gets more money) or off Amazon (in which case he gets more acknowledgement).