Whenever I think of our friend Jack, a vivid memory comes to mind. James Brown is singing “I Feel Good” at high volume through the speakers of his boat. Jack is wiggling his bottom to the music and swinging around the cockpit. He is busy pouring us a second helping of the most potent yummy margaritas an Alabama man could make. There will be dock crawling in our future if we drink more than two. No matter, the pouring continues. One thing Jack learned during his stint in Texas was to make the best margarita in the state. I still hold all margaritas to his high standards.

Jack was older than us by about thirty years as were a lot of our boating friends at the time. We spent many a night on one boat or the other solving the world’s problems and dreaming of a day when we’d untie the dock lines for good. Jack proudly wore a t-shirt that said “Sail Naked” and we have the stories to prove that he did.

Like anything in life, time passes very quickly. Mark’s career took us to Georgia. Jack and Carole moved back to Alabama. Life got busy and we lost track except for the occasional card or email. When the day arrived for us to untie the dock lines to leave we made sure we found them again to let them know we made it. We were going on our adventure. And, a small part of them was going with us. It is because of people like Jack that we are out here living our dream. Jack was an inspiration to us. Recently the world lost a wonderful man. We lifted a margarita and played James Brown in his honor.

Top left: Mark (So young!). Top right: Doug. Sitting: Jack. Taken in 1992 the day the crew left Corpus Christi, Texas to sail to Pensacola, Florida with Jack. Mark’s first extended sailing trip on the Gulf of Mexico (3.5 days). A trip that would solidify Mark’s desire to cruise full time.

This is not a post to make you sad. Jack would not like that. It is not a post about the overused phrase about how short life is and to go live it. We all know that is true. And, certainly not a “Just do it!” post either. Too many people start out unprepared and have to leave their dream earlier than planned.  I guess this post is more to remind us that in the end it is the people in our lives who inspire us. Those inspirations, no matter where they come from help us to live our dreams. We might have lost touch through the years but few people would be as happy for us reaching our dream as Jack.

Fishing while sailing. USVI

Our lives of constant adventure and being perpetual tourists can wear us down some days. Like our dear friend Mona often says, with every country we enter we have to start all over again. We sometimes miss an easier way of life where we had more consistencies. Then, sometimes the challenges are part of the adventure. Just depends what day you catch us on. We get homesick for friends and family some days too. But, it is ok to miss things once in awhile. It is only natural. The things we miss will still be there when we return. For now, the adventure still outweighs it all.

Our hope is that if any of our scribbles and thoughts helps get a person to their dream, then we’ve done a good thing. That is part of the reason we publish these posts. For people like us who look to blog posts for inspiration and answers. And, so our friends and family can click a button to find out where the heck we are this week and what we are doing.

There are quite a few people past and present who have inspired us one way or another. Whether inspiring us to get here or inspiring us to continue cruising, they are all part of our journey. We would not be here without them. Or the pictures they send of terrible traffic jams and snow storms that go a long way to making any bad day in paradise a wonderful day paradise.

Cream Puff off Long Island, Bahamas

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