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We're purveyors of eccentric travel adventures on water and land.

Purveyor. Don't you just love that word? It's kind a posh way of describing a person who sells or deals in particular goods. Not that we're posh in any way, shape or form. Far from it. Just take one look at our normal attire of ripped and stained clothes and you'll agree. But it's a fun word which will earn you 16 points in Scrabble, so we're sticking with it.

Don't worry. We're not purveying dodgy used cars, vacuum cleaners or those strangely intriguing slicer-dicer things you see advertised on infomercials. No, we're just purveyors of our travel adventures and other oddities. Sometimes, the humor around here gets a bit eccentric - some might say weird. But, it makes us laugh. Hopefully, it will make you laugh too. Even if it's at our expense. We're okay with that.


One day, we started dreaming of sailing away.

Well, actually Scott started dreaming of this whole sailing away thing first and then convinced (or is that brainwashed?) Ellen that this was a fabulous idea. Ellen had been dreaming of escaping the rat race and a sailboat seemed like a reasonable mode of transportation out of corporate la-la land. After all, what could go wrong? What was there to be scared of? {Spoiler alert - turns out there's plenty to be scared of. Like whales smashing your boat into smithereens, being eaten by a shark and decapitating your husband by accidentally gybing the boat. You can read all about it on the blog. Not that any of that stuff has happened to us...yet.}


All the cool kids had blogs.

One of the ways Scott got Ellen onboard with the whole sailing away thing was to get her to hooked on sailing blogs. If other middle-aged, slightly pudgy women could move onto a boat and have fun doing it, then she could too! If other folks could start a blog to document their journey from landlubber to cruiser, then she could too!

And so it began. We started a sailing blog in July 2013. If you read our blog from the very beginning, you'll see that there was a lot about sailing, especially during the first year. Because that's what our focus was at the time - leaving corporate la-la land, getting rid of all of our stuff and moving onto our sailboat full-time in New Zealand.  Along the way, Ellen was doing some serious catching up to Scott in terms of learning about sailing. As a result, in the early days, you can find lots of posts about boat buying, sailing fears, cooking on a boat etc. All from the perspective of someone who knows absolutely nothing about what she's getting into. What a learning curve!

Over time, things changed on the blog. While there is still a big focus on sailing, the cruising lifestyle and exploring the world from the water, we also write about other stuff. Like our travels around the States in our tiny camper and the more mundane aspects of daily life. Occasionally, we even do photo shoots of polar bears. And, as we're the proud founders of the Moa Preservation Society, you'll hear about that from time to time, along with other oddities.


Actually, I do all the writing on the blog.

Enough of this third person thing already! As our Communications Officer, I'm responsible for our blog and write all of these weird posts. That's me talking by the way - Ellen. Scott is our Chief Photographer. I love his pictures. He's also the cynical one. He likes to contribute from the sidelines, preferably reclined on the settee with a beer in hand giving me suggestions about what to write about and pointing out my typos.


We met in a sugar beet field in Michigan. As one does.

Where else would a guy from North Dakota meet a girl from Cleveland? Only a few months later, we eloped and got married in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1991. No white dress, no flowers and no wedding pictures. Instead, we wore blue jeans and hiking boots and celebrated with a bottle of cheap red wine afterwards. The perfect wedding. And with all that money we saved not having a proper wedding, we were able to backpack around Europe for a month. The perfect honeymoon.

We're camera shy.

You won't notice too many photos of us on our blog. Which really isn't a surprise given we don't even have photos from our wedding. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to pictures of us. By the way, this is the perfect look for those family portraits if you're having a bad hair day. We hate looking at photos or ourselves - why would we inflict it on you? However, we love looking at pictures of our travels and the interesting people we meet along the way, so you'll see plenty of those.


I sold my soul to the devil for medical and dental insurance.

In 1993, we went on a camping trip from Michigan out to Oregon. We liked it and decided to stay. We lived in Astoria, then moved to Portland where I got a job in corporate la-la land. Turns out that anthropology degree of mine was pretty useless in terms of making any money and getting health insurance, so I got a job in HR instead. Scott also has an anthropology degree, but he made better use of his working as an archaeologist. A lot of people think that must be a really interesting job. But it's really not as glamorous as you imagine. We're talking mud, working in the rain and endless hours writing reports which describe the color of dirt in excruciating detail.


We loved traveling, but work got in the way.

That's the problem with regular pay checks. They expect you to turn up to work regularly. This two weeks of vacation a year that you get in the States just doesn't cut it if you want to do some serious travel. But then, I got transferred to Scotland at the end of 2001 and things got so much better. Now we had oodles of vacation time and we could get cheap as chips flights to Europe and other fabulous places. Fancy a weekend in Paris? Sure! Want to grab a last minute deal and head to Tunisia for a week? Why not. Things were good.


But, then we got itchy feet.

After seven years in Scotland, it was time to move on. I think we've always had a nomadic spirit - it just got quashed after years in corporate la-la land. So when I got a job offer in New Zealand, we didn't hesitate for a second and in 2008 we moved to Auckland - the City of Sails. Scott had spent several years cruising and racing in Europe, but now it was time to start his "let's go live and travel on a sailboat" brainwashing campaign in earnest. We chartered boats in the Bay of Islands, Scott got hooked into the racing scene in Auckland and, before you know it, we bought our first sailboat.


Then, I got made redundant.

Well, technically my job got made redundant in 2013. I'm not sure if the term "redundant" is used in the States. Basically, it means they told me to scram. By this point, I was more than ready to scram. While I loved my job, it was time to quit the rat race. As a parting gift, they gave me a check which helped enable us to set sail. It was a win-win for everyone. It was sweet as, to use another Kiwi expression.

And that's when the adventures began.

I escaped from corporate la-la land, we left the rat race and we moved onto our boat at the end of 2013 and cruised around New Zealand for a while. Since then, we sold our boat in Auckland, headed back to the States, bought a 13' Scamp travel trailer, traveled around the States, bought another boat in Florida and have been having a blast along the way. We're chuffed to bits that you're visiting our little corner of the blogosphere and joining in the fun!


Want to know more?

If you want to know more about us (and we wouldn't blame you if you didn't) then check out these links:

39 comments:

  1. Ellen, I just read most of your blog and have been laughing out load by myself in the vberth. I love your humor and writing style. I will definitely be following your adventures. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time!

    Deborah

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    1. Hi Deborah - Thanks for that nice feedback! We're definitely looking forward to moving onto the boat next month and the adventures that await us. Cheers - Ellen

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  2. You two sound fantastically fun and adventurous!! I found you as you showed up as a referrer via Harmony from taketotheseas.blogspot.com/. It will be fun to follow along with you! ~Jessie, s/v The Red Thread, svtheredthread.com

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    1. THanks Jessie for the nice feedback! I've added you guys to our sailing blog list. Looking forward to checking out your blog.

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  3. The new look is awesome. How did you get the pictures together in the box? Still working on our site, http:/ladyjjourney.blogspot.com it seems it is constantly a work in progress. We made it into Canada yesterday. Yay!! Who knows maybe some day we will meet on the water. Until then happy cruising.

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    1. Thanks Jana! I've been following along on your adventures - it looks like things are going really well for you two. Yippee for making it to Canada! Hopefully, our paths will cross one day - would be fun to meet up.

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    2. I use Pixlr Express for the collages. Really simple to use and you can choose from lots of different collage options.

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  4. First, thanks for stopping by by blog "Coastal Cruising with Hugh & Suze" http://www.sailblogs.com/member/hugh17/ and leaving the kind comment about my 2nd Grand-mate. I've recently updated the blog with a post about my 1st Grand-mate.

    I've have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. You inject a huge element of humorous cynicism in your writing, which makes it entertaining and easy to read. I will enjoy keeping up with you here and on your blog. Take care!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! We have fun with the blog and it's nice to hear that others find it entertaining.

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  5. Hi guys! Just read through your site, looks great!! Found you through our own sailing blog www.mondaynever.com. So great to "meet" others who are out there doing a similar thing. We'll keep following you and hopefully our paths will cross in the not too distant futures. Fair winds and safe travels - Cat & Will

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    1. Thanks for popping by! We're heading down to the Bahamas and Caribbean in November so you never know, we may cross paths :-)

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  6. Love your humour. Life is supposed to be fun. What an adventure you're living. Coming to La Cruz, Nayarit, anytime soon? Happy sails. And thank you for visiting my blog.

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    1. No plans to make it to La Cruz anytime soon sadly, but hopefully our paths will cross one day!

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  7. Hi, Ellen! I'm enjoying your humor, as well. Nice to know that there are other middle-aged women who are, ahem!, not as thin as we used to be, sailing and purveying and getting into trouble. Looking forward to hearing more. Kimberly (www.sophiasailing.com)

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    1. Thanks for popping by Kimberly! Glad you're enjoying the humor and it's always nice to hear from other ladies of a certain age :-)

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  8. Ellen,

    I found out a few things tonight: first, that my WordPress blog, "Bimini Dream," has a Stats place in its dashboard that shows me where my referrals are coming from; thereafter, that The Cynical Sailor had provided one of those referrals; thereafter, that the referral came via the addition of "Bimini Dream" to your sailing blog list; thereafter, that the editors of the list have more than a passing familiarity with Scrabble; and finally, drawing an inference from what I remembered of the point values of the other letters in Scrabble, that the "V" in "purveyor" must have a face value of 4.

    I am left to wonder, however, how one goes about playing Scrabble in a heeling sailboat without either A) watching the letters slide routinely off the standard board or B) resorting to the Deluxe Edition with that unfoldable turntable-mounted coffered board that is larger than our nav station and is suitable for use in a gale as a second anchor.

    My suddenly burgeoning self-consciousness over that gaping hole in my essential seamanship skills notwithstanding, I found, finally, a great deal of enjoyment in reading your "About" page. So I expect to be back.

    And thank you for the referral!

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    1. This is one of the funniest comments anyone has ever left on our blog. I found myself rereading it a few times because it made me laugh. Thanks for popping by and glad to know that you'll be back! Maybe our paths will cross on the water one of these days and then you can make me laugh in person :-)

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  9. It took longer I than expected to read it but I'm glad I did. Nice to meet you 'properly', Ellen. When you first joined in my walks I had you confused in my head with another sailing lady, but now I'm a bit more sorted. :) Wish I had a more adventurous partner. He doesn't have a wandering bone in his body :( I love boats but would be a hopeless sailor. Nice to dream though :)

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    1. Thanks Jo - it's nice to meet you too :-)

      Scott is definitely the more adventurous one in our relationship, but we manage to make it work!

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  10. Ellen, it's nice meeting you and Scott. It sounds like y'all found the perfect life. I can't imagine living on sea. Of course, I'm a big scaredy Cathy, so you won't EVER find me on a boat or a plane. I'm a true landlubber to the core. You popped in on me yesterday and so I wanted to first to get to know you before I jumped into your current posts. Thanks for the lovely intro and I looking forward to getting better acquainted with you guys during the A2Z challenge. Happy sailing!

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    1. It's nice to meet you too! I'm a big Scaredy Cat too, but I find eating a lot of cookies helps to ease my fears a bit :-)

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  11. Fun to run across your blog and 'meet' another sailing Ellen! Really enjoying your A2Z Nancy Drew posts - what a fun idea! Are you still living on board in Florida? We've never been with our boat (sadly bypassed it when we were super late for the Caribbean sailing season), but have a lot of friends there and just love it!
    Cheers,
    Ellen
    s/v CELESTE in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

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    1. Us Ellens are few and far between :-) There was actually another Ellen living at my marina this year which surprised us both as we're used to being the only Ellen around.

      I'm still living aboard our boat in Florida, while my hubby works overseas. We're hoping that he can wind up the contract he's working on soon so that we can get back out there cruising.

      Glad you're enjoying the Nancy Drew posts. They've been fun to write.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. Hello, and what fun to "meet" you. I noticed you'd liked one of our recent posts, was curious with a grin when I saw your "name" and immediately clicked on your link... and have been reading along all morning with my cuppa coffee. Love your writing style and can't wait to delve deeper, but in the meantime, thought I'd pop in and say "hello" :)

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    1. Aww...thanks so much for popping by our blog. I feel very honored to have you visiting this little spot in the blogosphere. I've followed your blog for quite some time and love your writing style. It's very quirky, which is a very good thing in my books :-)

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  13. Very interesting to read about your history! And now I understand why I can't find any (close-up) photos of you two. The mysteriousness works wonders with your amazing sense of humor! :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. Unfortunately, we're not the most photogenic folks out there and we like to spare our readers of the horror of it all. Unlike you guys - you have great pics of yourselves on your blog :)

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  14. What interesting lives you've had so far. The photos with the boxes over your heads made me laugh. My dad is like that, too. I love your sense of humor. I'll be back to read more.

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    1. Your dad sounds like somebody I'd like to meet :-) Thanks so much for popping by!

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  15. We share some years in the HR field, and I love the politically correct verbiage they use these days regarding employee/company relationships. :-) If you are going to blog, it is good to have a team - writer and photographer. :-)

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    1. Nice to meet another HR veteran! You definitely have to be very careful about what terms you use when you work in HR :-)

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  16. Wow! Ellen - this is my first time here and I loved your writing. Yes, Scott's pictures are brilliant but your writing adds a story to them. I will see you around cos I want to know more from your side of the world and your journey.

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    1. Aww...thanks so much for your kind words Parul!

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  17. Hey Ellen. Found you on the IWSG Blog Hop. So many great writers in that group. Loved your blog post and your witty writing style. You are living life to the fullest. Sounds cliche, I apologize, but you are! After we sold our flower business, we ended up full timing in our fifth wheel camper for 8 years. I loved it. Housekeeping is a breeze. I bet it's the same with a boat, but hey no dust if you're on the water, right? Now we have roots in FL in the winter and MI in the summer where our kids are. Continue to enjoy and appreciate every moment of it.

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    1. RVing full-time and cruising are so similar. I kind of see our boat like an RV on water :-) And, you're right, it's sooo much easier to clean house when your house is so small.

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  18. Ellen (& Scott), I just discovered you through Lexa Cain's blog. What a fun blog you have. And what a great adventure you are having. My husband and I love travel, too (although not via sailboat). We'd love to go to Scotland one day. (Right now we are hooked on Spain and Portugal.)

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    1. Thanks so much for popping by and saying hi! Lexa has a great blog :-) I've traveled in Spain, but never Portugal. Yet another country to add to my bucket list.

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  19. Hi guys. I found your blog as I was looking for information on Moody Center Cockpit sailboats. Would love to hear your thoughts on the boat as I'm making plans for our next (bigger) boat and the Moody caught my eye. Any feedback you can share would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. Hi Maurice - thanks for popping by! We're quite happy with our Moody. It ticked a lot of the boxes we were looking for (not all of them, but no boat will ever do that). The aft cabin is probably my favorite feature of the Moody 346. I'm also quite fond of the sugar scoop which makes it so much easier to get on and off the boat. If you check out our boat page, you can find links to some blog posts about the Moody 346 (http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.co.nz/p/our-boat.html). You can also find links to some posts we did on our "wish list" for our next boat (the Moody 346 we now have) and what we were looking for. All the best with your boat buying process - it's quite an exciting time! Give a shout if you have any more questions.

      http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.co.nz/p/boat-buying-tips.html

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We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.