Sailing into the New Year

Posted:  January 3, 2021
In:  Blog | Projects
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I’m sure I don’t have to be the first to tell anyone that 2020 was an absolute dumpster fire of a year. Like… a Taco Bell at midnight, on the wrong side of town dumpster fire. Hot and smelly, full of various things to fuel the filames. Although it was definitely a trying year, Chris and I decided to celebrate every silver lining and bit of good news, because for a while that is all we had to keep us going. 

New Years Past…


The beginning of the year wasn’t so rough. We rang it in at China Peak Mountain Resort, upholding our family tradition of DJing the party in the Day Lodge, watching fireworks, and dancing into the new year. I had planned a Roaring 20’s themed party that prompted people to dress for the occasion. There were special cocktails and decor transporting us back to the 1920s… unfortunately looking back I think it was a bit too reminiscent given how the rest of the year had turned out with a “prohibition” of sorts due to the Coronavirus, but we will get to that later. 


In February we celebrated our 22nd and 23rd birthdays at the happiest place on earth with our families and best friends. Chris and I are one year and four days apart, his birthday falling on the tenth and mine on the fourteenth (yes, Valentine’s day). Disneyland was decorated with hearts and cupids, displaying their headline sweethearts Mickey and Minney smooching on nearly every corner. As soon as we entered the park I made a Beeline for Galaxy’s Edge (AKA Star Wars Land) to take it all in. Two steps in and my breath was gone; there I was, fully immersed in a Star Wars planet I had only previously encountered in my dreams. The family eventually caught up and we took our boarding positions flying the Millenium Falcon (no, not the Millennial Falcon) and laughed the entire ride. In fact, we endured the line and rode it twice. After a long day of running around the various parks, we were finally able to ride the “main event”… Rise of the Resistance. 

The force is strong with us… it had to be to survive 2020!

To preface this all: Growing up, Star Wars was in the fabric of my upbringing. My dad was (and still is) die-hard star wars fanatic with a hefty collection of memorabilia even after sacrificing some to his young kids. To be fair, how can you have miniatures, stuffed animals, and Lego sets that are “just for show” in a household with two kids? To this day, a cardboard C3PO stands by my bedside, his counterpart R2 somewhere hiding and I have become numb to his soulless cardboard eyes. Fast forward to sitting on the Rise of the Resistance ride… I saw my dad’s jaw drop up as the ride completely immersed us in the action. We all left that experience speechless, and craving more. However, that was our one shot of the day/night and we would have to wait for the next Disney visit. Little did we know we would be one of the last groups to enjoy the ride before the park shut down for the third time in its operational history.

March – Hello Pandemic!

March came with a vengeance as Chris and I hauled out Avocet onto the hard at the Ventura Harbor Boatyard. We had originally anticipated a one month stay and fairly easy project timeline considering we had done prep work in our slip, but we could not have been more wrong. We were hit with bad weather preventing us from painting, material delays due to the coronavirus which also led to a dwindling fear we would be stranded in the boatyard if they were closed down and unable to splash us. We were in fact, landlubbers and felt trapped. Fortunately, to help ease the stress of the constant noise and add a degree of separation between work and rest, our friend Mike and his girlfriend Kris had decided to go on a trip to the desert to isolate themselves from society, leaving Mike’s home available for us weary boatyard goers. Having a cozy home with instant water, a bathtub, and laundry made a huge difference and kept our spirits up through the entire ordeal.

As if the project delays and impending doom of the world were not enough to terrorize the corners of our minds, I got a call two weeks into our yard stay that it was time to say goodbye to my golden retriever, Sierra, and help her cross over the rainbow bridge. As I write this my heart sinks. With everything that happened this year, I truly don’t think I had time to properly mourn her loss and I’m not sure if I ever will. However, I will celebrate the love she gave in her 11 short years and will reciprocate that to animals everywhere. Heartbroken and tormented, we returned to the boatyard after our short trip home to Santa Cruz. 

The following weeks we remained focused on finishing projects (a theme we developed this year), refusing to allow ourselves to sink into despondent thoughts. Chris worked from dusk to dawn daily and I would stop by on my lunch breaks to assist where needed and gave my 100% on my weekends. Due to the virus, all of Chris’s video shoots were postponed (later canceled) allowing him to focus all of his time on the boat, while I became the family breadwinner, doing whatever I could to make our haul out less stressful. Life in the boatyard definitely tested our strengths and weaknesses as a couple, but we made it out alive and stronger than ever adding another accomplishment to our growing list of accolades together.

After 2 months of hard work, we were finally able to splash and return to life afloat on April 27th. That morning I woke up with the scene from Finding Nemo in my head where the fish made their grand escape. In fact, I made a pretty quality Instagram post about it which I will post below.

Safe at home with this Lil’ nut!


Due to the uncertainties of the pandemic May was relatively uneventful as Chris and I remained quarantined on the boat, heavily focused on our projects and settling back into life afloat. Chris and I watched the world around us crumble as we tried to stay positive. We avoided social media and news as much as possible (a little hard for me since it is my job) and kept our hands busy. The month flew by and although the world changed almost as soon we splashed, we were thankful that we had each other and safe at home once again. 


In June we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary in Cambria at Mama Neely’s beach house. It was a quiet anniversary at the height of the pandemic, spent indoors enjoying the sound of the rain and enjoying a weekend away from boat work. The following week we welcomed our 12-year-old nephew, Troy, aboard Avocet to continue the Neely tradition of getting the young ones involved with boat projects. Troy was immediately put to work washing decks, sanding, varnishing, and becoming our designated dinghy captain for sunset harbor puts. At the end of the week, Troy’s favorite part of it all was motoring around the marina, eating sushi, and playing on Auntie Marissa’s Nintendo switch (even though he cut down all of the trees on my Animal Crossing Island- I am still rebuilding!) We look forward to welcoming him back as an honorary crew member, any time. 

Chris and Jon working away on a friends HC 33

When we returned Troy to Chris’s sister, Chris left Avocet and flew East for another round of boatyard life. Chris lives by his father’s motto “do anything, for anyone, anytime” making it his daily mantra, which is why when his big brother asked for help working on another Hans Christian 33’ in North Carolina, Chris didn’t hesitate and flew over for a week to lend his hands. While he was away, the projects continued on Avocet as I was tasked with varnishing our newly constructed nav station in addition to a few other odd jobs here and there. I was happy to see Chris and his brother working together again, combatting the heat and massive bugs while tackling various projects… but truth be told I severely missed him, and Cleo did too. 

When Chris made his triumphant return to Avocet, his black Carhartts had been turned into jorts and he made me promise to not make him sail to North Carolina- something about killer wasps? With Chris back onboard, we were ready to finish some projects, but first, we took a weekend to get some sailing in, just not on Avocet.

Due to the pandemic, the annual High Sierra Regatta was canceled which put a damper on our summer fun but we still managed to squeeze in some lake sailing on our Hobie 18’ Magnum, Hobie Wan Kenobi. Chris loves to listen to the Hobie hum as one hull leaves the water, hovering as we glide across the lake. Despite my concerns, I was finally convinced to hike out on the trapeze after my last attempt a few summers ago where I lost my footing and was dragged. The wind danced between my fingers as I raised my arms up, smiling ear to ear. The cold freshwater kissed my legs before the sun wrapped me in a warm hug. Little did we know that the beautiful scenery surrounding the lake would be charred and changed come September 6th. 


Mama Neely’s Mason 43’, Sea Castle, has called San Francisco bay her home port for the past 28 years. It was there Chris and his siblings learned how to sail on the ocean as well as care for a blue water cruiser. Chris remembers his dad, Van, lowering him into hard-to-reach places to replace lord knows what, introducing him to the wonderful world of boat work. The past few years the marina Sea Castle was berthed had become increasingly tough and run down, which escalated our fears for Mama Neely’s safety, since she often visited the boat alone, since Van’s passing. In addition to our personal concerns the need to move Sea Castle south was heavily influenced by Chris and I being able to work on her if she were nearby and being able to truly enjoy the boat as a family since we could sail the Channel Islands for years to come, enjoying the warm weather and endless adventure. 

In July, we sailed Sea Castle south to Ventura from Berkeley with the help of our friends Mitch and Quincey. It was a bittersweet trip, but lively nonetheless with dolphins and whales showing off in the distance. The constant hum of the engine eventually became numb in our minds as we routinely took our watches and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a 3 day motor sail south, upwind the entire way but we made it to our destination safe and sound! For more details check out our video recap or blog about the trip! After our incredible trip aboard Sea Castle, August retailiated against our fun and reminded us that in 2020 you are not allowed to have extensive amounts of pleasure without your fair share of commercial breaks of chaos.

Living in California, we are accustomed to “Fire Season” just as we are earthquakes, however, none of us could have prepared for what hell on earth this year brought us. The Lightning Complex fire raged through northern California, starting in August 2020. The fire complex consisted of fires in San Mateo and my home town of Santa Cruz county, the result of a thunderstorm that produced close to 11,000 bolts of lightning and started hundreds of fires throughout California. 

August – $h!t hits the fan here…

the view out of my families home, lots of smoke

Two days after the fires began, a change in the wind caused them to rapidly expand and merge, growing quickly to over 40,000 acres and dangerously close to my family in Santa Cruz, nearly causing them to evacuate. The fires destroyed 1,490 buildings, including those in the communities of Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon, Swanton, Last Chance, and along Empire Grade Road. Fires burned in both Butano and Big Basin Redwoods state parks, where a number of historic buildings were destroyed, including the visitor’s center at Big Basin. On September 22, Cal Fire reported that the “complex fires”, which had covered 86,509 acres, had been fully contained after a month of restless nights worrying about my friends and families safety. Little did we know, we would be dealing with another threatening and devestating fire, all too soon.

In the midst of the fire worries and still trying to squeeze out every last reminiscent thought of our Sea Castle adventure, we received a nightmare of a phone call. On July 31st Mama Neely had called Chris around 8:00 pm and with a broken voice told him she was in an accident and headed to the hospital. After hours of trying to gather more info we discovered she was in a nasty head on collision on her way home from work. Fortunately, Mama Neely was driving her Toyota 4Runner which protected her from most of the impact from the speeding sports car. In addition to being absolutely shaken up with potential brain damage, her ankle had been what the doctors called “degloved” from the brake pedal cutting her open. 

Due to Covid, leaving Ventura and driving north wouldn’t make a difference since we were unable to see her anyways so instead we paced the cabin sole waiting to hear more news. She was admitted under an alias, which made getting intel tricky but fortunately we have a lot of friends who are medical professionals that were able to assist us in getting word from her doctor(s) and her condition. Eventually, Chris was appointed as the main contact and started working with insurance companies, doctors, and therapists to arrange the best care for his loving mother. Chris, who had already lost his father at 13 years old, was incredibly shaken but handled the situation with patience and grace. 

The shock and uncertainties surrounding Mama Neely and what the future would hold deeply concerned us but Chris and I both knew his mom was (and still is) a fighter, and she would not surrender to this circumstance so easily. The rest of August was consumed by phone calls with dotors, lawyers, family members, insurance companies while doing our best to make sure Mama Neely had all she needed for a comfortable and smooth recovery.

September- More Bad News

After weeks of hospitalization and rehab, Mama Neely was moved into the care of her good friend Terrill who had not only made accommodations to house mom, but also volunteered to be her caretaker/nurse. Terrill, if you are reading this: You are a hero, and we are so incredibly blessed to have you. With Mama Neely in caring hands she was able to start her slow recovery and integrate back into the “real” world. Unable to move well, she was still bed ridden for weeks before progressing to a wheelchair, then a walker. In true 2020 fashion, bad news comes in threes and during this crucial time of recovery, Terrill, her family, and mom were all evacuated from their homes in the Shaver Lake area due to Creek Fire

The trauma we endured the following week the Creek Fire makes it incredibly hard for me to write about, even cathartically, because I am not ready to rip open that healing wound and relive that experience through my memories. Instead of attempting to contemplate that hellacious time, here is an small excerpt from my blog that covers the event in full, raw emotion fueled detail:

“It was another silent car ride as we tried to prepare for what we were moments away from witnessing. All too soon, charred forest came into view making a town we knew like the back of our hands absolutely unrecognizable. Our mouths started forming words our brains barely had time to create, voicing things like “oh my god” on repeat. Almost missing our turn, we drove down the hill towards Chris’s sisters to document how the fire has affected the neighborhood. A family friends home was in ruins. Nothing but a charred classic car frame remained, smoking.” Excerpt from Up in Flames

If you would like to read more on the Creek Fire check out the full blog which you can find here. Since many families are still displaced from the fire and in need, please consider donating to the Resiliency Fund


When the Neely and Hushaw homes were out of harm’s way, Chris and I felt a weight lifted off our shoulders, but a new responsibility to educate those on the importance of proper forest management and how we got to this point. It was the perfect combination of climate change and years of neglect, turning our beloved forest into a tinder box connected to a ticking time bomb. The once lucious landscape is scorched, scared and changed. A reminder of what was, and what can never be again. 

Although the Creek Fire continued to burn through December, a majority of its damage had been done and all we could do was wait for the incredible fire crews to stomp out the fire. Life had to go on, and we needed to change our focus to get out of our depression. When Chris and I returned to Avocet, we were finally able to focus our efforts into finishing our bulwark project and get wind in our sails! September coming and going market an entire year since we had last sailed, making us more determined than ever to leave the dock.


Of course, staying on brand with 2020 it would not be as simple as untying the lines and just going… no, of course not. We had to give maximum effort into relaxing. After we finished sawing the last hausehole for the lines, we were stuck hoisting our head sail due to a tricky foil on our furling system. Up the mast Chris went to repair and recover the issue before we were finally able to get the sail ready for our adventure. Back onboard, we untied the lines 2 hours behind schedule and headed out of the breakwater, smiling from ear to ear. 

It had been an entire year since we had sailed last, plus a huge boat yard refit which involved a lot of new gear aboard. We expected this sail to be a shake down cruise of sorts to work out any kinks but good lord we didn’t expect a pump to fail 20 minutes out of the breakwater, right outside of the shipping lane! Down below Chris scrambled to fix the issue while Cleo and I stayed in the cockpit at helm. Bobbing back and forth mixed with the pungeant smell of diesel fumes had my head pounding in the hot sun. I leaned over the transom and relieved whatever contents were in my stomach. As I threw up my guts into the water below I couldn’t help but admire the reflection of our name beautifully displayed on the stern, detailed with gold leaf. 

Anchored at Santa Cruz Island in nearly perfect summer weather was so surreal given that our last escapade here (an entire year-and-some-days ago) included my parents, a nasty gale wind, and rescuing a small fishing vessel that later became our friends, FV Persistence. We let the sun drench our bodies in its warm rays, and dove into the crystal clear waters with only rash guards on. We hovered above the garibaldis, investigated the urchins latched onto the rocks and I did my first REAL dive without looking like a wounded animal. It was a successful day, and one I will never forget because it was the first time in a long time where I felt like our hard work had paid off.  Our Island trip was short due to our work obligations on the mainland, but we left with a renewed taste for adventure that would become a craving and inspiration to finish all of our projects and work harder than ever before so we could leave the marina and set sail for anywhere.

October-Summer faded into October-Fall and we found ourselves in the comfort of the Leary home again, house sitting and caring for Cleo’s kitty crush, Smokey. Living in the Leary home allowed us to blow apart the interior of Avocet completely so we could address the many small issues we had been tiptoeing around. Well, small and large issues I should say… we did replace our lower chainplates which crumbled in Chris’s hand when he tried to remove him. Absolutely terrifying we were sailing with them in that condition. A word to the wise: Inspect your chainplates. It doesn’t matter if they are encapsulated, hard to get to, or you are just lazy… make it a priority before your entire rig comes down. Preventative maintenance is crucial and can mean life or death. In addition to the chainplate replacements we also tore apart our fridge to reinsulate, cleaned our fiberglassed water tanks, revarnished, repainted all lockers and cabinets, and installed tank sensors.

Keeping on-brand with the $h!t-show that is 2020, after a long day of boatwork we came back to the Leary home to find that Smokey’s eye had swelled up. Working at a humane society in Tahoe and assisting with many medical procedures I assessed his wound which didn’t seem to be oozing or causing any pain, so we gave the little fluff ball some kitty-friendly allergy medication, thinking it may have been a reaction to something he rolled in outside. The following day his condition worsened and we drove him to the nearest vet, and it was a good thing we did. 

According to the vet, Smokey had gotten into a tussle and was bit by another cat, causing his eye to swell. It had to be lanced with a drainage tube attached meaning the little guy was stuck with the cone of shame. With half of his face shaved and crust, Smokey earned the October appropriate nickname of Kitty Kruger, our Cleo taking pity on him and finally allowing snuggles.

When Smokey was stable, the Howells volunteered to take care of him so we could get a couple days of Island sailing in. We are so beyond thankful for good friends, it definitely has made life reasonably bearable during such a turbulent time. Upon our return from our brief Island getaway, Chris and I headed to the local pumpkin patch to choose our pumpkins to carve. I was extremely impressed with my carving skills, and giggled at Chris’s cute attempt. 

While we prepared the house for Mike and Kris’s return, we began shifting back to life afloat, moving abroad Sea Castle while we finished Avocet’s interior projects. As we progressed through our projects and made leaps in our work, I casually reminded Chris that in four months it would be the anniversary of our boatyard haul out. I shouldn’t have done that. In the middle of his mental breakdown he received yet another devastating phone call… his grandfather had passed away. 

Papa Tom was the Neely family Matriarch and is survived by his two daughters Jill and Kim, multiple grandchildren and even a handful of great grands. He lived a long, fulfilling life and enjoyed woodworking in his shop, which young Christopher remembers well. Papa Tom was Chris’s last surviving grandparent after losing his Grandma Alice in December of 2018. Oh how I desperately wish grandparents could live forever. The funeral was held Halloween weekend, and we gathered in Madera, CA to say goodbye as his ashes were laid to rest beside his late wife Betty. 

“As if losing a grandparent was not enough for one day, a few hours after learning of Papa Toms passing we were en route to the emergency room to get Chris checked out for potential cancer. Doubled over and uncomfortable, my usually upbeat husband spent the morning staying busy through the pain despite my many suggestions to take it easy and not overextend himself, quite literally. Not knowing how to slow down, he went to work helping a neighbor with his Hans Christian 43 and returned to Avocet only 30 minutes after his departure, calling to me through the portlight ‘Babe… we have to go’” Excerpt from Level 9

Wanting to have kids someday and with his family history of cancer, we weren’t taking any chances and thought a professional opinion was best… especially since according to Web.MD he was already doomed. We were separated at the hospital entrance due to covid which only heightened the emotions. I walked back to the car to wait (and cry in peace) while Chris bravely endured being poked and prodded by masked strangers and trying to not have a panic attack. Chris has seen his more than his fair share of hospital visits, and we often joke that he should have a punch card- maybe the next time it will be free? After 2 hours of waiting, he was released with a clean bill of health and no real explanation for his pain. The doctors speculate it could have been a minor hernia, and recommended he take it easy the next week. If only they knew my husband. 

Despite the doctors orders, Chris continued to work but met me halfway and did work the laziest ways possible, making sure not to over extend himself physically and metaphorically. He continued this “relaxed” work pattern for a few days then returned back to his regular self, even though I urged him to lay low. 

At the end of the month we celebrated Halloween as best as we could in a Pandemic. Although Halloween was rather bland this year given the multiple circumstances, we still dressed up for our annual photo and ate lots of candy while watching Hocus Pocus and Halloween Town one through three, but not four because the fourth movie was awful. 

Russell and Mr. Fredrickson from the movie Up!


A fire was lit under Chris’s behind, and he began working quicker than I thought was even possible. One project after another was getting checked off our list and before I knew it we had countertops ordered and a boat prepped for varnishing. Reminding Chris he had other obligations, he took time to edit for our channel as well as his client’s who graciously floated him editing work during his otherwise idle time in the cinema industry. In addition to the editing, Chris began working on neighboring boats, and shadowing one of the local surveyors who saw a spark in Chris. 

Although I was thrilled to have my husband share the pressures of providing an income to keep our family afloat (literally) I had simultaneously lost one of my favorite digital marketing clients due to their decision to move  marketing “in house”. This personally devastating loss inspired me to build up my business and within days I had a full client list and I was busier than ever before! While balancing work and projects, we were thrilled when Chris’s brother and his partner had finally set a date to fly home and help our with Mama Neely who was still rehabbing from her accident. Knowing big brother was making his return, Chris was “inspired” to finish projects quickly and pay extra attention to detail, wanting to wow him. 

To finish our projects, we were in need of a few key materials that California no longer stocked due to the high VOC laws prohibiting their sale. With Las Vegas being a 5 hour drive east, we decided to pay the Silver State a visit with a shopping list in hand to get our tried and true products. Being extremely cautious given the ongoing Pandemic, we found an affordable room off the strip that was clean and easy to get in and out of with limited human interaction. It was a lovely mini-vacation and with a stocked truck bed we drove back home to California. You can read all about the details of our Nevada expedition here!

When we returned home, we put our boat-legged products to work painting and varnishing. As Thanksgiving approached, we had realized that despite the many downfalls of 2020 there was a lot to be thankful for. For the first time since becoming liveaboards, we had a marina full of young couples that had become our close friends. Of course, given the pandemic, we were careful with our time spent together and made sure we were all healthy and socially responsible prior to getting together. Although our time with our friends was short due to their cruising plans, our hearts were full knowing that there were many more friendships to be made beyond the breakwater once we start cruising… and hopefully catching up with them!

Chris and I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Santa Cruz in lieu of the annual Hushaw ghetto-gether hosted by my great aunt and uncle. After my mom and I lightly fought over who would make the mashed potatoes, we sat down to a wonderful feast, just the 5 of us. Although we were all together, I couldn’t help but miss Sierra’s head that would usually be sitting right next to (if not in) my lap, knowing that I would be the one to cave and feed her scraps from the table without my mom seeing. It had been months since her passing over the rainbow bridge, but the loss still weighs heavy in my heart. In the spirit of celebrating silver linings: I am Thankful for the time Sierra was in my life, and although 11 years was selfishly not enough for me, I am happy she was able to touch so many lives with her gentle demeanor and compassionate gaze. 

December – We Made It!

Finally! December! The end of 2020 is near! We had made it this far and I would be DAMNED if this year took the spirit of the holidays away from me! Although we continued to work on Avocet and live aboard Sea Castle, Chris and I did our best to summon the holiday spirit starting with creating and sending out our holiday greeting cards to friends, family, and patrons. Almost every night we watched a Christmas movie and drank hot chocolate (if you call instant hot chocolate “hot cocoa” I have a bone to pick with you) and shopped for our loved ones gifts. 

Since it was hard for most people to feel festive this year, I partnered with a few of our favorite small businesses to host a 4 week long giveaway where each week we would giveaway a gift! Sailing Avocet partnered with: Tea Tree House, Channel Islands Native Sunscreen, Latitude 38, The Nomad Club and West Marine which was a special surprise! The giveaway was hosted on instagram, giving our followers the chance to win by tagging friends which served as an entry. I am so happy with the outcome, and look forward to hosting another next year! 

With Christmas quickly approaching, our entire family was covid tested and we all quarantined for the recommended amount of time prior to visitation so we could send Christmas together. After a lovely Christmas eve with my family in Santa Cruz, we drove south to Cambria where for the first time in many years we were not in the mountains. Without the annual Neely Christmas party, it never truly felt like Christmas but on the day of when everyone was together opening our shockingly boat themed gifts to each other, there was a hint of Christmas in the air. My heart was warmed watching our nephews open their gifts from Chris and I; especially since this was the first year we had a little bit of extra income to spoil them. Legos for the littles, a golden game controller for the tween, and glow in the dark capture the flag for them all to share. For the adults, we created special “Neely Armada” mugs that featured all of our boat logos (SV Avocet, SV Prism, SV Sea Castle) and paired that with tea from Tea Tree House as well as some other little items. 

The Neely Armada

After gifts we put on our matching Neely Armada shirts designed by Chris’s sister Tess and gifted by Mama Neely, and headed to the beach to take a family photo. It was nice to be all together again. That there was a crab feast where everyone (besides me) stuffed their faces full of crab meat. Personally, I don’t like seafood. If it lives in water… I won’t eat it. Luckily, Tess had made vegetarian lasagna so I didn’t starve- thanks sis. After we were full, there was not much room for dessert… so we enjoyed my home made rum cake in the morning with coffee. 

The following day Tess and her family left, leaving just Mama Neely, Jon, Shannon, Chris and I. It was a lazy day, never changing out of the comfort of our PJ’s and enjoying eachothers company. Chris and I had planned on leaving that afternoon since I had work obligations, but were (easily) convinced into staying another night and leaving the following morning early. One of my 2020 New Year resolutions was to go with the flow, and enjoy the little moments so to honor that commitment, we stayed… and I am so glad we did. 

2021 on the Horizon

When we returned to Avocet it was a downpour. The rain came in heavy with loud thunder claps and lightning strikes. Our first real rainy day since March. Chris cleaned up Avocet to prepare for us moving back aboard while I was at work. On my lunch break, I visited the boat while he was working diligently and took a moment to look around and take it all in. What a wild year… through it all, we are still here together. My reflection bounced off the freshly varnished walls, pulling me back down to earth from my space out. I admired Chris’s craftsmanship as the new improvements like the Nav Station and galley compression post added new characteristics to our home, where the pops of white in behind the shelves and on the cabin sides made me appreciate my own design efforts into making Avocet truly ours. 

It is incredible to think about how much we have accomplished this year with every up and down. Together we powered through and with the support of our friends and family we were able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Brighter days are on the horizon, and we look forward to sailing into 2021! As we finish off our project list, we are excited to announce our cruising plans in 2021. Until then we are enjoying every happy moment as they present themselves and celebrating the silver linings.

As we enter into 2021 we are thrilled to announce that our YouTube channel hit 12,000 subscribers and our blog has a steady following with regular traffic! While we continue to write articles for magazines, schedule podcasts, and work on collaborations with other creators we look forward to sharing more aspects of life afloat with you and hope to be an inspiration and example that your life can be anything you make it out to be, because if 2020 taught us anything life as you know it can change in the blink of an eye. We decided to set “goals” this year versus resolutions; one of them being to have a whole lot of fun on the water together!

Thank you all for continuing to follow our adventures, we are so excited to share new blogs and videos with you soon! Have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

Fair winds, 

Marissa, Chris, and Cleo Cat.

P.S. We stole Jon for a week to help us with boat projects, so stay tuned for “fun” brother content. Like this blog and comment if you think SV Prism needs to make a YouTube comeback!




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