Our “Endless Summer” Comes to an End

Cheers entering La Paz Channel, February 2008

Cheers entering La Paz Channel, February 2008

I’ve always known that my life was not going to follow a straight and narrow path, but sometimes the curves in the road astonish even me…

Just over 5 years ago, in February 2008, Mark and I left the U.S. and sailed Cheers south to Mexico. Although we had no way of knowing it at the time, it was the beginning of what we’ve come to call our “Endless Summer”. We both worked in chilly Alaska that summer, but returned “home” to the warmth and sunshine of La Paz. We went to Greece for the first time, and then spent that winter working in sunny Baja California. Over the next few years, we lived aboard in La Paz, exploring the islands in the Gulf of California aboard Cheers when we weren’t working. In 2009 and 2010, we spent 6 months of each year in the Mediterranean, working aboard S/Y Panorama, and falling completely in love with Greece. The other half of each of those years was spent working either in tropical Costa Rica and Panama, or back in Baja California. Then, of course, we have this past 18 months; during which we went from autumn heat in San Carlos, to a tropical, northern-hemisphere winter in Puerto Vallarta. Sailing south and west, we found more warm weather in the tropical Pacific, and then arrived in New Zealand in time for the southern-hemisphere summer. We’ve had gorgeous sunny weather for most of our time here in NZ, continuing our “endless summer” for 6 more months. We’ve joked that we haven’t seen any real “winter” weather for a long time! That, however, is about to change.

We’re off on a new adventure, and it’s completely different than the one we expected to be embarking on, just a month ago. In a few days, Cheers and her crew will leave Auckland, to explore some of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, before sailing down the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula to the Bay of Plenty. By the end of this month, we should be berthed in the Bridge Marina in Tauranga, and deep into passage prep, of a different sort. You see, I’ve been offered and accepted an amazing full-time job that will take me first to Sydney, Australia, then back to Seattle. Since time is of the essence, we’ve decided to load Cheers aboard a freighter, and ship her home to the Pacific Northwest.

Yep, you read that right. After nearly a month of discussion, researching various possibilities and a lot of soul searching, we’ve committed to a big course change that will close our South Pacific chapter, and take us on a new adventure. Although our “endless summer” is coming to an end, we’re excited to be returning to a place we both love so well. Cheers is coming with us so we can still get out on the water, and will be our home for the foreseeable future. We may be returning to a more “normal” life, but neither of us will ever forget our incredible South Pacific journey, and, after all, we’re still pretty much boat bums at heart.

We’ll continue to blog about our preparations for shipping, and the recommissioning of the boat, as a number of our cruising friends have asked us to share photos. Once we’re both settled back in Seattle, we’d love to tell you our stories and share our photos in person, all you have to do is ask.

Hoping that all is well in your world, Michelle

Cheers under the rainbow, Pier 21 Marina, Auckland

Cheers under the rainbow, Pier 21 Marina, Auckland


Posted on April 15, 2013, in New Zealand. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. good luck on your new adventures. cruizing is full of surprises.

  2. Hannah Stevens

    See you soon!

  3. Michelle, we had a great time exploring Vietnam with you,
    Waiting to hear all about your new adventure.
    Simone and Tom Young

  4. I am sure it is a great decision and will lead to an even more exciting adventure! We loved getting to adventure with you and look forward to running into you again! It is a small, round world on a boat! Best of luck!

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