El Viaje Sin Fin

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.

-Kurt Vonnegut Jr, A Man Without A Country
El Viaje Sin Fin, "The Trip Without End", was a sailing adventure from Oregon to Colombia, South America.  My pie-in-the-sky goal was the fjords of Patagonian Chile, but that proved a bit more than a novice captain could achieve on a 35-year-old, 5000 dollar, 27 foot sailboat.

On a total budget of under $15,000, my buddy Mac and I sailed from Hood River, Oregon in September of 2008.  Our plan was to surf and kiteboard our way down to at least the tip of Cabo San Lucas.  After a few near disasters while navigating the Columbia River, we hit the Pacific Ocean and took a left.  Two adventure-filled months later we were out of food and low on cash in the Sea of Cortez.  Two days after that we had "dream jobs" and were living in the guest house of an NFL stars' ridiculous seaside mansion.  It was that sort of trip...

Maestra.  One Damn Good Dog.
Mac stayed put in Baja California, and I continued on alone.  At a real dark time in the trip, I met a Mexican street mutt named Maestra who adopted me.  She sailed with me for the next year and now enjoys an exceptionally posh existence (by Mexican street mutt standards) living in a little cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

After running completely out of money in Mainland Mexico things got a little ridiculous.  For about eight months of the trip, I was completely broke and survived off of donations to my blog, odd jobs, and impromptu sailing charters.  I was also joined by some real characters, notably a NOR*CAL landscaper named Tu Laki who bankrolled three months of joint sailing from Costa Rica to central Colombia and back.

Without the help of strangers I met along the way, I probably would have died.

After making it back to the relatively calm weather and phenomenal surfing of Pacific Central America I set up shop and fell in love in a small Nicaraguan fishing village.  A few months later when all that went to shit, I easily sold the boat for $300 less than I paid for it, making my total expense for the trip well under $1000 per month.  With a nice stack back in my pocket, I flew back home to Jackson Hole... just in time for ski season.

All in all, EL VIAJE SIN FIN proved a surreal experience filled with magic moments, epic defeats, fleeting triumphs, a smattering of scary bits, countless new friendships, a taste or two of romance, and - above all else - UNCERTAINTY.

It was a hell of a trip and I learned a great deal about the Ocean, the World, frustration, patience, and myself.  It was almost everything I hoped it would be, and I encourage anyone interested to do something similar.

This blog originally began to document that trip. If you start at the first post (back in August 2008) and read through chronologically, you can access the whole ridiculous story... well, at least the bits fit for print.

This blog could be a great resource for anyone contemplating a similar trip or facing a trying situation, as there were many throughout the voyage.

A journey of over 5000 miles started here...