When you think about people in their mid to late twenties you probably think of saving money, job searching, stabilizing a career and buying a home.
Well… we did all that but not in any typical way. Billy graduated college and wanted to escape the cold of New York so why not buy an old boat, fix it up, live aboard and sail down to Florida? He dropped the hook in my hometown of Jupiter, Florida. He was completely broke and needed a job and just happened to start working with me at a kiteboarding and paddleboarding shop. A year later as a junior at Florida Atlantic University I moved onto that itty bitty 26-foot sailboat named Tula.
We spent a good amount of time sailing around the keys (after a failed attempt to cross to the Bahamas). We then figured we needed a tad more room.
Hmm, should we get an apartment?
I do not think that thought ever crossed either one of our minds.
We needed a bigger boat of course!
We sold that little sailboat and bought a 34′ Marine Trader Trawler project boat. Man, that thing was like a mansion. We cruised up and down the east coast and through many of the Bahamian Islands. We even had friends stay with us along the way. Our friends Travis and Kaycee have visited us a number of times and have claimed our V-berth as their home away from home. When asked about their time aboard they said “We had an awesome time hanging out on Neverland, checking out Stuart and seeing what boat life was all about! We went out to dinner on the water and Billy and Sierra picked us right up at the restaurant. We couldn’t have asked for a better time or pick up service!”
Our families have always been super supportive. I have to say our biggest fan has always been Billy’s mom, Laurie. When we first told her about our move to a bigger boat and our travel plans her response was: “What the hell?! I’m Jealous!” and ever since she has stayed completely up to date on where we are, what we are doing, and the coolest things we have seen.
My mom’s favorite question is “When are you getting a job?” She does find what we do very interesting but is always worrying. She loves getting the inside info about the places we have seen and where she needs to visit. She knows we love what we are doing so, for now, that is good enough!
My dad is dead set determined to find us a way to combine my degree in Marine Biology with traveling the world on our own terms. Did you know there are Killer Whales in the Bahamas? I did not either, but he knew and he wants us to find them. I constantly find fishing and science articles set aside at their house for us explaining the new kind of research opportunities that are available. If you were to ask him why he would say “because I am going to come work for you guys”.
Billy’s dad, Bill Sr. is definitely the biggest help when it comes to buying equipment. He is the Craigslist master and an all-time bargainer. He knows exactly where we can find things and how much we should be paying. When asked about his opinion on our travels he says “To put it simply, Sierra and Billy are “living the dream” by living and traveling on a boat. They are inspiring thousands of others to explore their dreams as well. I am proud of the clean, healthy, adventurous life that they are living”.
Our siblings are all very different from us. My sister Sydney likes to call us “strange birds” but will be the first one to raise a hand when asked who wants to go for a boat ride.
Billy’s brother Chris is what we like to call a big wig in the sports world. He is a part of a company that organizes and puts on athletic events around the world. When anywhere near surfing or paddling events he always makes sure he is sporting his Tula’s Endless Summer shirt which we are always grateful for. His response to our lifestyle is as such, “Unique. Definitely, very unique. While I would never be able to live on a boat, I do work for a billionaire who lived on a boat and launched one of the most well-known global brands from his cabin. I have similar expectations for the Tula crew”.
Catherine, Billy’s sister, is another big supporter of our dreams. She has even lent a hand crewing on both Tula and Neverland, so she knows first hand what boat life is all about. She explains that “most people would probably find the idea of living on a boat full-time to be a far-fetched dream, knowing Billy and Sierra it is hard to imagine them creating a home anywhere other than on the water… literally” and boy does she have that right we absolutely love the life that we have created.
We are beyond blessed to have both of our families be so supportive of our dreams and we could never thank them enough for all that they do for us!
I hope you enjoyed learning what the rest of our families are like and how they feel about this crazy life.