Meet the Sailors

Him – I’m Erlin, a long time Seattle resident and liveaboard.  A brief history includes a birth in San Francisco, a hippie childhood with stints in a commune and living in a tent in the woods, and a childhood bouncing around western Washington that finally ended with moving onto a houseboat I built on Lake Union.  The sailing bug bit a bit slowly, starting with a high school friend introducing me to the idea and my first times out on a sailboat, and a college roommate who’s father allowed us to take out a Cal 40 he owned.  Mostly it was a good way to invite girls out on a unique experience… After I moved onto the houseboat, I decided I wanted a sailboat, and traded my motorcycle for a MacGregor Venture 25′.  While I had done some sailing, most of it was following the instructions to pull this line, or sit on that side of the boat.  So out to the middle of Lake Union I went, armed with book knowledge, and I hoisted the sails, looked at how other boats had their sails trimmed and which way they were going, and started learning.  It was a wonderful way to spend sunny weekend days, and summer evenings.  Eventually the MacGregor gave way to an Irwin 25′ ( a bigger 25 footer), then a Triangle 32, a rather rare 60s vintage fiberglass center cockpit ketch with dual swing keels I thought would be the boat to fulfill my developing dream of sailing off to the tropics on.  I began a remodel of the houseboat, eventually quitting my IT job to finish the remodel myself, and as my savings and summer ran out, I finished the job, just as the economy crashed.  And I found out I was getting kicked out of my wonderfully located and reasonably priced marina.  New slips were located, and after a prolonged houseboat marketing campaign including failed stints of listing it on Craigslist and using a yacht broker, I found a real estate agent specializing in houseboats.  After some adjustments in expectations on price I finally sold the boat in the late summer of 2010.  Meanwhile I had begun racing on more serious sailboats, and had new ideas about what I wanted out of a cruising sailboat.  While the Triangle 32 was a sturdy and remarkably roomy boat for the size, it didn’t have the sailing performance I wanted, and there were some layout issues I thought I could live with on purchase that I began to reconsider.  The details are in the about the boat section, but a very reasonably priced Tartan 37 fell into my lap, and I jumped on it.  It needs a lot of cruising gear, but it is in good shape and is providing a good home while it is fixed up for cruising.  I found someone to buy the Triangle, and for the first time in a long time, I only own one boat.  But it is a lively sailor, has an active web site, and will take me wherever I want to go.


Her –  I’m Jenn. I have lived in several places in my lifetime, so answering the question, “Where are you from?” can be a little complicated. I was born in the Philippines, spent my adolescent years in Colorado, moved to the east coast and lived in Boston for 9 years with a 1 year stint in New York. In 2007, I decided to see what the Pacific Northwest had to offer, packed everything I needed in a rented SUV and made the long trip on I-90 from Boston to Seattle. I worked in I.T. for most of my adult life until I grew tired of it and decided to give up my big girl job for a less stressful one as a waitress. It allowed me to work less and play more.

I had never been on a sailboat until the summer of 2009, when my good friend Lele was invited out for a casual sailboat race on Lake Union by the IT guy from her office, and brought me along. I was invited out for another, and hit it off with the skipper who lived on a boat and had a lifelong dream of sailing off to the tropics. I fell in love with the guy and the idea of sailing off with him. When he sold his houseboat and purchased the Tartan, we moved in together on it and started the process of turning his dream into reality.  We have been working hard to get the boat ready for our trip to Mexico in the fall of 2011. I’m learning to do things like varnishing teak, installing new light fixtures, and steering the boat under sail. Now if only I could learn how to swim…


The Cat – Minion is a true boat kitty! He was born on a boat and does not associate land with good times since he has only been offshore to go to the vet for shots and neutering. He enjoys sunbathing on the boom, duck watching from the stern and playing with socks. Despite our best efforts, he has not learned how to handle lines or tie knots yet but he does his part in keeping the boat spider-free. He is excited to go to the tropics as he hears the lizards are a real delicacy.


35 thoughts on “Meet the Sailors

  1. Interesting to read about your preperations. We have just saied our Condor 37 (English T37) to San Diego arriving Aug 17, 2011. If you are interested we could shed some light on our passage.

    • Leif – I’ve tried to email you but it keeps bouncing back, I would love to hear your insights. You can email me at our boat name at

  2. Hey Erlin. Just found and started reading your blog. As the one who purchased your MacGregor (which has now made its way up to Desolation Sound BC), now upgraded to a 26′ T-bird and continue to dream bigger – we are wishing you and Jen all the best. Looking forward to hearing more.

    • Hey guys, glad to have you onboard, so to speak. That was my first sailboat, so look where it can get you! We are having a wonderful adventure, doing some learning and adjusting on the fly, but not regretting cutting the dock lines.

  3. Hey Erlin!

    Good for you guys. This time of year, the California coast is ALL fog! Until you get a little further south that is.

    Rainy and cold this morning on Lake Union.

    • Dave – I wanted to stop, but we needed to get to San Diego to have stores available for some parts and final outfitting. If I get the work done in time maybe we can sail back up there for a night and back to San Diego for the start of the HaHa.

  4. Hey Erlin,
    I am so happy for you. What a cool trip! I remember when you first moved onto your house boat and bought your first sailboat. I went to a couple of duck dodges with you and you took me and my two large labs sailing. I remember you saying you wanted to take off sailing one day. Well it’s here now.Can’t wait to live vicariously through your adventures.

    • I guess they weren’t kidding about the charts down here, as we entered the marina my GPS showed us driving over the jetty. Good news is the GPS was wrong, not reality!

    • It has been fun so far, trying to balance a very touristy town with a cruising budget! Getting a few blocks off the main drag helps quite a bit. Hitting Cabo Wabo tonight probably won’t!

    • Hey Chris – they are pretty rare boats. I sold mine about a year ago. If you want to email me (ventured at gmail dot com) I can tell you what I know about them.

  5. Hey Erlin & Jenn,

    Found your blog on the T37 BBS. I’ve read up to your departure from Ft. Bragg. Sounds like you are living the dream! Can’t wait to continue your story tomorrow. I’ve really enjoyed your writing style. My wife Muki and I have Betty Lou, hull # 118, a deep fin, home ported in St. Helens on the Columbia River. Our cruising plans are aimed in the other direction. We plan a VanIsle circumnavigation, a summer up in the Queen Charlottes, and points north. I’ll drop you another line when I get all caught up with your adventures.

    Fair winds…

    Jay Kerr
    Portland, OR

    • Thanks – the sailing only gets smoother from Fort Bragg on – in fact Fort Bragg to Monteray was our best sail of the trip down the coast. Our new friends on Bella Star did Vancouver Island before heading south, their blog is The Tartan 37 kind of fell in our laps, but so far we have been exceedingly happy with how the boat has handled every condition we’ve encountered. I’ll have to catch up on your blog now!

  6. IHi Erlin and Jenn, I was looking for an update on the BBR and found your site. My wife and I were doing the good life down there for a couple of years aboard “Luffin It” our 367 Pearson cutter. On March 2nd last year as we were enterenting the Tenacatita Bay to meet up with friends aboard “40 Love” we ran into a large humpback. The long and short of it is we limped into La Cruz over a three day period being finally towed by 40 Love the last 40 miles. The last we saw of Luffin It was on March 12th on jack stands in the yard at the La Cruz marina. The survey came at 20 percent over the insured value, so the insurance company took ownership in early June. We miss the sailing down there, but still are recovering from a bit of PTSD. You can check out our blog Take care and we look forward to following your adventures. Darryl and Donna

  7. We live on a large lake (35 miles long) in north Idaho. So after our loss we replaced Luffin It with North Star, a Catalina 30. We are able to keep it on a mooring ball in front of our cabin during the warmer months (not quite there yet). We woke up to two plus inches of fresh snow this Thursday morning. We don’t think we will acquire another boat in Mexico. We sailed through Tropical storm Patricia between La Paz and Mazatlan in October 2010. It took 95 hours to make the trip. Neither of us are particularly superstitious, but…! Take care and have a great time.
    Darryl and Donna

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