Have you ever wondered what it might be like to cast off your dock lines and sail away from the life you are living right now to do something different? Have you wondered what the impact might be if you leave your job, family, friends, and lawn mower behind to float 1500 miles from land in any direction or to visit distant and exotic places? What could you learn? Would you be able to face the challenges? Would you have any regrets? How could you even begin to tackle a goal that is so far afield from anything you ever expected from yourself?
I can never tell what you might experience, but Oddgodfrey is a blog designed to let you peer into the dirty details of our adventure - the good, the bad, the truly ugly and the utterly amazing. It will take you from the beginning to the end (still to be determined) of our hopeful circumnavigation - from the moment it was hatched, to all the stages in between.
Step One: Find Your Adventure Buddy
February 28, 2003, Captain Andrew Godfrey and I ventured out on our first date. We hiked to Flintstone's Living Room, just above Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah. While sitting on slabs of rock strategically shaped like a couch, we snacked on apples, cheese and a Red Tail Ale. We hit it off right away, so that evening we added a stop at a coffee shop and attended the symphony at Abravenal Hall for good measure. Both natives of the U.S. Mountain West, sailboats, sailing, and open ocean were the furthest thing from our minds. But, by the end of this evening, we both suspected we'd make pretty good adventure buddies. Without us even knowing it, the first step of our journey had been taken.
Step Two: Get a desk job.
Fast forward a few months to Christmas of 2004, I was wrapping Christmas presents for the upcoming holiday, and Andrew was "supervising", i.e. drinking beer and watching me wrap. Snow accumulated in the Salt Lake Valley, the ski season was just about to get good in the mountains that completely surround the area. Andrew recently graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering and had started his first desk job. He was already fussing around for a new goal.
Andrew: What would you think about sailing around the world?
Leslie: Do you know how to sail?
Andrew: No, do you?
Step 3: Learn the First Thing About Sailing.
A week later, Andrew found a class at the Salt Lake Library put on by sailors at the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club. The first class we went to was all about tying a bowline knot. Andrew won a book about how to sail, and he considered that a good sign. So we continued to attend meetings until one day, one of our fellow sailors invited us to join their boat as “Rail Meat” for the Frostbite Race scheduled for February 28, 2005. Exactly two years from the day we went on our first date, Andrew and I stepped foot on a sailboat for the very first time. This, too, seemed like an auspicious sign.
The race was slow, as the winds were light. After the race was over, we ate chili on deck from a slow cooker that had been braced down and bubbling away below decks. I thought to myself: “This sailing thing is great!” I didn’t realize Neptune was easing this sailor in with a lull, but it was a pleasant start to our sailing career.
Step Four: Convince the Travel Buddy its a Good Idea.
There is no way I could have known the full meaning of such a decision, but I returned home that night to make a starry-eyed promise to do everything in my power cast off our dock lines for a circumnavigation. I rolled up my promise and stuck it in a bottle that I painted as a gift for Andrew. (How else would you deliver a promise to sail around the world?) And the very first part of our plan was hatched.
From February 28, 2005 forward, we thought about sailing every single day: how to sail, how to travel great distances by sail, what type of boat to sail, how to fund a large trip under sail, the value of traveling by sail, what we might lose and what we might gain as we travel by sail. By the time we complete our circumnavigation - if we complete our circumnavigation - we will be at it for over eighteen years.
Our self imposed deadline is almost upon us - February 28, 2016, of course - and we are about ready to cast off. This is your chance to come along with us; see how it goes. We'll spill all our secrets and together we can find the answers to the two questions we really want to know: