Jason - Seeker of sea, salt and sun

Having grown up always in, on or near the water has shaped the joys and comforts in my life. Much of which had silently gone missing for years, after university, when career building sets us off on a path toward success. To be candid, I hadn't even realized I missed the water, or even that it was something so integral to my needs. Then along came a new friend, a sailor, while I was in my early 30's. As children we had grown up only one town apart and shared many familiarities. One evening, while out with friends, she offered that I might enjoy sailing, that I should come out to her club in Battery Park City and go sailing in New York Harbor.

This is a good time to mention that I was no sailor. I grew up power boating and jet skiing all around Barnegat Bay, NJ; avoiding sailboats at all costs. On a whim I decided to give it a try and signed up for a basic keel boating class, it was June 2006. The seed had been planted. Being on the water brought back many memories of my youth. The ability to slice across the harbor, silently, was something altogether new for this power boater. I was hooked.

I consumed every bit of information available on sailing, my hunger was insatiable. I began racing sailboats, delivering boats, teaching sailing, mentoring budding skippers, anything at all to stay on the water. In 2012, a short six years after having learned the vocabulary of sailboats, I purchased Blue Moon in Stuart, FL and sailed her back to New York.

I became a snow bird, and a couple of winters in the Caribbean worked wonders on my soul. The idea to continue was infectious and so, rather than resist, I gave into the idea of a mid-life retirement. The plan was loose, to go at this new and somewhat alternative lifestyle with recurring check-ins, every six months seemed about right, a semi-annual evaluation to decide if it was still serving me. Well, years have passed and the friends and experiences continue to mount. Admittedly the nomadic nature of it all has started to wear a little thin and so a change is in order. One thing is for certain, whatever the future holds will include my being in, on or near the water.

Kate - The salty traveler

I too grew up in, on or near the water. My childhood was spent on the waters of Australia’s largest inland waterway, the Gippsland Lakes. My hometown, at the mouth of these lakes, was quite aptly named Lakes Entrance. I lived close to the beach; on a quiet night from my home I could hear the surf pounding its sandy shores.

When not participating in the family’s business my activities always included water. Winters after school were spent swimming laps at the town indoor pool. Summers meant getting as salty as possible. Whether messing around in a little dinghy, swimming, or zooming around with my brothers on Dad’s boat, the water always soothed. The beach however, being on the open ocean, was my happy place.

In my late teens I went to Denmark as an exchange student. It was there that I contracted an incurable desire to travel. Prior to Denmark I had considered a career at sea in the Merchant Navy. A year after returning home from Denmark I started my cadetship as a Merchant Navy Deck Officer.

It was the best of both worlds. I started away at sea in 1999 and as years went by I gained higher levels of seagoing qualifications and promotion. Rosters would range from up to three months away to only four weeks away, but these periods onboard always came with an equal amount of leave. I travelled nearly non-stop whenever on leave, and was always planning the next adventure whilst working away at sea.

My passion for adventure lead me to becoming a certified scuba diver, I regained my love for sailing through small 'trailer-sailers', and eventually shared a dream with my previous partner to buy a sailboat and travel. I had it all -- I love the ocean, I work on the ocean, I live on the ocean. I dive and I sail and I travel!

Now, after twenty years as a seafarer and ten with a Master unlimited tonnage certification, I have cut back my time spent working away. I continue to dive, sail and travel, but do believe some changes are on the way. Maybe a less nomadic life, but still a salty traveller.