Erik has been sailing on his parents Nor’ Sea 27 since the age of 5, and even though his parents will tell you a different story, for Erik those early sailing years were full of long arduous passages and high seas adventures. At the age of 6 his family sailed the Nor’ Sea to Valdez, AK where Erik spent summers sailing and exploring the pristine and breathtaking wilderness of the rugged Alaska coast. The first boat he called his own was a 26 foot motorsailer he and Meagan trailered down from Colorado to San Francisco. Although living on a boat that size did nothing good for their marriage, they fell madly in love with the boating life and became addicted to sailing the immense sailor’s paradise that is San Francisco Bay. So they did what any boat obsessed person lacking better judgment would do, they bought a bigger boat, and Erik spent the better part of a year, fixing, updating, and teaching himself all things boats. With a stout 36 foot Cascade beneath him and the invaluable knowledge he acquired from his trials and tribulations with previous boats, least of which a minor run aground episode off Tiburon, he is ready to point his sails toward the open ocean and see what life has in store for him.
Meagan grew up in Florida and although the sailing community is alive and well in the Tampa Bay area, did not find it until she moved to Alaska in 2010. Erik took her sailing on his families’ Nor’ Sea 27 in Valdez every summer and somehow despite the constant ice cold rain and less than ideal situations they often found themselves in (for example the time they paddled back to their boat after enjoying an afternoon at Shoup Glacier only to find their boat was not where they left it, or the time their forestay became detached in rough seas and although Erik neglected to mention it at the time, they were in danger of losing the mast), she still liked sailing enough to want her own boat. Moving on to a 36 foot sailboat in Alameda, California in 2014 was a natural progression from living in a dry cabin in Fairbanks, AK. Although the living area was much smaller, the weather was milder, there was a toilet on board, and hot and cold water ran from the taps. San Francisco was an incredible place to learn to sail and she enjoyed a year long crash course in everything sailing. Armed with enough sailing experience to make her dangerous, she embarked on this trip ready to explore a world that her career in geology could not take her, beyond the mountains and the valleys and into the vast blue oceans.
Nikka is a peppy 11 year old dog, that could give most pups a run for their money. Although she still loves playing with her frisbee, since turning 10 she spends more and more time lazily curled up on her plush orthopedic dog bed. Sleeping, luckily for us, is an activity which is very conducive to the sailing lifestyle. Nikka’s thick black and brown patchwork fir, large stature, and long trail of drool that incessantly streams from her jowls gives her the look of a scrappy mutt. “Perro estreeto”, was how a man we met in Ensenada so affectionately described her. Despite her looks, she is a sweetheart, greeting everyone, dog, cat, friend or foe with a juicy lick and tail wag. Teaching Nikka to use the bathroom on the boat after a decade of reinforcing that she never do her business on our things, was difficult to say the least, and gave credence to the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” However to Nikka’s credit she quickly picked it up on our first overnight out of San Francisco and has been watering our windlass daily ever since.