One morning in the wee hours of the morning of 1999 I was on the internet e-mailing some old friends. Up to this point I had only used the internet for educational purposes when I was homeschooling my children, Stuart and Erin. I knew nothing about instant messaging, chat rooms, facebook, etc. Suddenly a little box appeared in the upper left hand of the screen. I had seen this a couple of times before and not knowing what it was nor interested in finding out I knew to click on the little x and the box would go away. This time however was different, this little box had my name in it saying, “Good morning, Linda, How long have you been separated?” This got my attention. What was this, Who was this and how did they know my name? For the first time I really looked at the box and saw a place to respond so I type “Who are you and how do you know my name?” The little box replied, “My name is Rusty and I got your name from your profile”. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about so I replied, “What’s a profile?”. To make a very long story short, my son, Stuart, on a lark put my profile on AOL. Rusty told me how to find it and the rest is history. We married in June of 2001.
Rusty has three children, Karen, Russ and Jonathon. Karen is married to her college sweetheart, Brian, and have three beautiful girls, Halley, Hannah and Heidi. Russ has three awesome children, Lucas, Abbey Kate and Lola. Jonathon, the youngest, is in a relationship. I have two children, Stuart, a confirmed bachelor, and Erin who had just graduated from college.
Rusty went to Lon Morris and Stephen F Austin University and presently works for JV Industrial as a Turnaround Scheduler. I also went to Stephen F Austin University (we were there at different times) and worked as a social worker and then Texas Rehabilitation Counselor at UTMB until I had children and then I was a stay at home mom. After Erin went off to college I worked during tax season for McClelland Samuel Fehnel and Busche, an accounting firm.
I believe the two things that were the strongest draw for Rusty and I was first our faith and then our love for the water.
How it all started:
When Rusty and I first met we discovered that we both loved the water and especially loved to sail. For our honeymoon we bare-boat chartered a Seawind 1000 and went to the Bahamas. Soon after we married we discussed “cashing out” when Erin graduated from high school and adopt the cruising lifestyle. I never could bring myself to sell our home. In 2006 Rusty had an opportunity to work in St Croix but I had just excepted a position with McClelland Samuel Fehnel and Busche and I did not want to leave my new job which I loved! Rusty graciously let the opportunity go. We would continue to charter a sail boat every year and sail to the Bahamas until 2007 when we bought our lake house. We love the lake house and thought that our thirst for the water would be satisfied. However, over the next couple of years Rusty started developing a bad case of Blue Water Fever.
I hurt my foot by merely stepping into the pool and I had another birthday. Somehow, the combination made me feel my mortality. My foot was really handicapping for weeks. In fact it is still not completely 100%. At the same time Rusty was kind of going through a bad case of the Blah’s. Everyone, meaning our children, were doing ok. We had had a lot of minor and not so minor disasters and I was still fighting with insurance over Hurricane Ike and car wreck and Tree on lake house…life. Our youngest, Erin, was graduating from college in December and planned on moving to Austin and life was …life. Both set of parents had some health issues but again…life.
One night I suggested to Rusty he needed to think about what would really make him happy, spice up the vanilla life we were living and go for some chocolate! Now this was the same time that my foot was hurt, I was needing to help with my mom who was having an especially bad time and my birthday was fast approaching. A couple of weeks went by. I was at my mom’s and Rusty called me to see how things were going. During the conversation he said “Well, I know what would make me happy”. He got my attention!! The thing about “us” is that we are both happiest when the smile is on our partners face.
He then proceeded to tell me that there were 6 Seawind 1000′s for sale on Yacht World. For those of you who do not know. Seawinds are an Aussie made 33′ foot catamaran that are not that common in the US. The most we have ever seen for sale is 1 or 2. We started talking in earnest about taking that extended cruise and we decided to “Just do it”, two weeks later we were signing papers.
The hardest thing for me was telling my boss, Al Fehnel, I would not be back for next tax season. He, as expected, was awesome about it and very supportive. The rest was easy. We considered what boat we would want and for our budget we kept coming back to the Seawind 1000. Rusty researched the market, flew down to Georgia to look at “Isle Cat”, we made an offer and put a contract on the boat.
We pushed hard to close quickly so we could sail her back to Kemah before Rusty’s turnaround started. Everything was a go so we left on Wednesday, September 16th for Georgia to close on Thursday, September 17th in Florida with just enough time to sail home and start the new job. Our dear friend, Tom Ibert, went with us to help sail her home and Stuart (our son) was going with us to drive the car back. Rusty had checked with his work to make sure everything was good time wise, but that changed…. We got to Tallahassee and Rusty got a call…. they needed him in Baytown the next day! We had to close that next day so arrangements were made… hands were wrung, tears were dried and we left our anticipated trip behind to come back for Rusty to be at work Monday. We did 2600 miles in 3 days. The boat was in Georgia and the closing was in central Florida so we made a lot of miles.
We ended up paying a Captain to sail her to Kemah. So essentially Rusty worked the first 2 weeks of his job for FREE! But he took care of his obligations and that’s what counted. We intend to journal our adventure home on this website, but as of this writing (November 23rd) we have only had her out once since she was in Texas. Rusty worked 70 to 90 hours a week, and we concentrated on the refit so we could shove off as soon as Rusty’s job ended… truly it was work hard, no play for us during those days!…. Soon we would be in warm waters with tall cool drinks… that somehow made 90 hours a week much easier to do (easy for me to say).
Rusty has been on a boat since he was in Jr. High but as far as long term cruising goes, we were newbies.
Our intent for this web site was to journal our adventure, share the good and bad of it, and give the guy sitting pinned in his office something to read and enjoy like we have for years. Rusty has lived his dream vicariously on “Bumfuzzle” and other forums for years. It’s time for us to trace some of our own lines in the sand with our toes… sittn’ on the beach… so we are… SittonOnTheBeach! Now in year #3.
We love you!!
SV “Sea Yawl Later!!”