SIGHTINGS oaaot — cont’d loved having the opportunity to learn about the boat work, I think if I try to transition into a sailing job, I will focus more on logistics and the behind-the-scenes work.” Hopefully the program will continue, and one of the benefits Noble sees is in the increased resale value and interest generated in the donated boats they’ve sailed on. “If they’re sitting in a yard, nobody really wants them,” he said. “But if they’re out there doing events, and doing well, it definitely builds interest.” Vanquish is for sale, and while it has been maligned for its lack of upwind performance, it might be just the ticket for an offshore, downwind program. “It would be an awesome boat for California,” Noble said. — rob
san diego Normally, boat crews proceed to the starting line of a race or rally with singleminded focus on the countdown to the starting gun. But our annual Baja HaHa rally (www.baja-haha.com) from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas is renowned for its uniqueness, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the fleet will work its way toward the rally’s starting line on October 24, in a loosely-structured boat parade out of San Diego Bay. This all started three years ago, when
turning the dream into reality Charter trips in tropical locales have a way of fueling the cruising dream for many sailors, but for Tucker and Victoria Bradford a 10-day charter in the USVIs 11 years ago caused those dreams to coalesce into a concrete plan. “We were sitting in a beautiful anchorage and rowed over to another boat to ask how long he’d been cruising,” recalls Victoria. “When he said 13 years, it was the first time I thought that cruising as a lifestyle was a real possibility.” The couple spent the next five years scrimping and selling everything they didn’t absolutely need to pay off all their debts and start saving for an extended cruise. “I could have gone without a savings account,” says Tucker, “but Victoria couldn’t. It’s worked out well, though.” Part of what worked out so well along the way was the addition of two crewmembers — Ruby, 7, and Miles, 4. At a time when many sailors would be giving up on the dream, Tucker and Victoria were more committed than ever. As dedicated ‘unschoolers’, the couple are committed to teaching their children through exposure to the world, rather than hiding them away in a classroom. “Unschooling is a student-directed way of learning,” explains Tucker. “Ruby creates ‘museums’ of sea creatures and is learning biology that way. I said something to Miles about aircraft carriers and he asked what they were, so we spent time together learning about them. It’s great because not only do the kids become lifelong learners, but so do we.” As they continued to plan their cruise, the couple, now in their mid30s, were constantly looking for the perfect boat for ‘Convivia’ has turned out to be the perfect platform for the their family. They Bradford family’s open-ended cruise. had a few false starts, but when they set eyes on a Cal 43 in Washington a year and a half ago, they knew they’d found ‘the one’. Convivia was in excellent condition for an older boat, so they wouldn’t have to do an extensive refit — impossible for Tucker due to his work schedule for the SETI Institute — and she was within their budget. But as it is with any newly-purchased boat, upgrades were in order. A full complement of cruising electronics, a new electrical system, solar panels, a stack-pack system for the main, an electric windlass, a Monitor windvane, and dueling iPads for navigation, teaching and entertainment, were just a few improvements the Bradfords made to their new home. continued on outside column of next sightings page Page 76 •
• October, 2011
The Bradford family — Miles, Tucker, Victoria and Ruby — are setting sail on their dream cruise.
The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.