John and I have lived all our lives in Chesapeake VA. I graduated from Oscar Smith High School in 1981 and John from Great Bridge High School in 1980. We met and got married in 1985 and moved into a home in Great Bridge.

We have always been close to our family and we have vacationed with his parents and sisters and their families for many years. Water and the beach have always been our destination.

We have one great daughter Katie.

This is how we started on this path.

The year was 2005 and John was working at Naval Station Norfolk and he noticed they offered sailing lessons. We both had always been around water, from day trips to Virginia Beach VA to yearly vacations on the Outer Banks of NC. He decided to to take the sailing lessons. He liked it and then he took Katie, our daughter, and me out. We liked it, a lot. The first words out of my mouth was “let’s get a sailboat”. We went to a boat auction and by May we had our 1st boat. It was a 1979 21 foot Ranger. She was a nice, fast boat, but no cabin to speak of and no head(think toilet). After a few weeks I wanted a bigger boat, something that we might be able to take for weekend trips, but we were just not sure.

We took a vacation that summer to San Diego and we rented a 25’ Catalina and knew we could handle bigger. John started looking and By April 2006 we had a 1984 27 foot Catalina. We named her The Sailing Ferrell’s. We started to go to boat shows, and get involved in the boating community. About that time we also started to make a plan. The plan was for us to live aboard our boat. We even started looking at bigger monohulls.

The Catalina was nice and we enjoyed her on day trips and overnight trips till 2008 when we went for a cruise on our friends Gemini catamaran. I walked off and said “get me one”. I am not one who likes to heel and John liked the extra cockpit space.

So John started looking and looking and looking. We found one and lost it.. Then in 2009 we found her. She was a 1986 Gemini 3000 and she was rough, very rough and she was stuck on a trailer in a field with her mast down. After the money changed hands we had her trucked to our home in August of that year and that was where she stayed and stayed and stayed. We sold the Catalina in February 2010 with the thought we would have the Gemini in the water that June or July…………..it did not happen. It was 1. a bigger job and 2. I was not as hard a worker as John was.

18 months later we put her in the water. She had been striped down to the fiberglass on the inside and everything and I mean everything was new. She was going to be our “forever” boat and we knew her like the back of our hand. We named her B Sea NU and we stayed weekends on her, and even took her up the Chesapeake for week long trips. She was our baby! Now she was 30’ long and had a 14’ beam(that is why a lot of people LOVE Geminis). Well and the 18” draft. But, well there is a disease that affects boaters called “3 foot-itis” and for our 50th birthday we chartered a boat in BVI and she was BIG 39’ with a 20’ beam. We knew, just knew we needed another boat. So John looked and looked and looked. We even drove to Tampa FL to see some boats over a long weekend. We could not find a boat in the size we wanted for the price we wanted. We did not have a kind in mind but we knew we did not want a project boat like the Gemini. We wanted one that we could make our own but not take forever to get there.

John found her in 2015 in Edgewater MD. She is a1999 35’ Wildcat and she has a 23’ beam. We went up May 2015 to sail her home…….we made it as far as Deltaville VA when the starboard engine gave out. Now with 2 engines we should have been able to bring her home but the port engine was having exhaust issues and we could not count on her. Now John is very handy and he tried several weekends to get her working and we thought we did and we set out in about 100 degree heat to take her home…………nope 30 minutes out she died and we could not get her working and there was zero wind. SeaTow came and we were towed back to Deltaville and put her in the hands of engine professionals. She still stayed there all summer but when she came home she had one new starboard engine and a repaired port engine. Now we are making her ours and while we have done a lot, the real work starts now because John at 55, after 35 years of government service, has retired and we are starting phase 2 of our life together. Living and cruising on our sailboat. I will join John April 1st as a retired person and we will then start “Living Our Dream 4 Us.”

Spend the next year with us as we get ready to live our dream. We will be selling our home of 30 years, making Dreamers our new home, moving on her, and taking small trips as we are getting ready to leave fall of 2018 for all parts south. Then you can live the cruising life with us.

6FC32149-05ED-4617-9F20-8252687EE141Heidi and John having fun in the sun.