Sailing the world's seas is a far cry from Karen's previous life in the suburbs. Below is a recent interview with her about how she came to be a cruising sailor and her life afloat.
All sounds exciting! Can you tell us more about your adventures?
We started our sailing as crew on other peoples boats. We'd planned to sell some real estate to buy a yacht of our own but circumstances made it impossible at the time so rather than not sailing we decided this was the best option. We also thought this would be a good way of finding out if we were just in love with the romantic idea of sailing off over the oceans full time or, if the reality of long distance cruising was really for us. We have now sailed about 17,000 nautical miles (22,000 klms) around the top of Australia, throughout South East Asia, the Mediterranean, England and extensively around the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.
It wasn't fair winds and calm seas to begin with,
but we never gave up on the Dream.
|Helming Moksha down the Italian Coastline
After that we crewed with some excellent skippers on different boats in Asia, the Med and Atlantic. It was great and we learnt so much that had us far better prepared to sail a yacht of our own. The Indonesian trip started it all for us but was also a very interesting adventure in human dynamics and not without its dramas.
Oh ... How so? Well now that's a story in itself .... You could write a book about it. Oh! That's right. Rob did.
|We departed for over two years just after this photo was taken.
Lyla our Granddaughter was 5 weeks old. Her younger
brother was born while we were in the Mediterranean.
Fortunately, modern internet based communications make it easy to stay in touch with family and friends.
|Far out in the Coral Sea at North East Herald Cay 360 klms off the Australian coast.
Could you tell us more about the way you travel?
|Click here to see video
|Tunisa is a country I had really never thought of visiting but it
proved a fantastic experience sailing there on Moksha.
|Click here to see video
How did you decide on the boat's name?
|Our Dreamtime in Fitzroy Reef lagoon.
Why sailing? Has it always been the dream?
|We fell in love with cruising life sailing in Indonesia.
I had a wake up call a number of years ago with the passing of a very close friend before she turned 50 ...None of us know how long we have so I said to Rob "We go now while we can and do something adventurous with our lives." He took a little time to come around then our choices came down to riding Harley Davidson's around Europe or sailing. Having limited funds, sailing is a cheaper way of life with travel as the added benefit thrown in so sailing won.
You are a very dynamic and outgoing person, how do you go about meeting new people?
|Sundowners are a tradition among sailing cruisers .
What do you love most about your travels and what do you find the most challenging?
We blog, we write books, we sell boat merchandise, we YouTube and I sell my artwork. Compared to our previous life, we now live very, very cheaply! We were surprised at how little you need in life to be happy. You really don't need all the "Stuff" you spend ridiculous amounts of money on.
When we are back in Australia we try to do find work to top up the kitty. Last year we flew off to Europe and worked leading flotillas of Charter Yachts around the Greek Isles. At the moment we're back in Brisbane working to build the funds up to head off in Our Dreamtime again. Books available on Amazon
|Setting up an exhibition of Karen's work and the book launch of "Stuff it Let's go Sailing Anyway"
What advice would you give to those who want to follow your lead?
|Beside Moksha in Grand Harbour Malta
If moving to the country is your thing do it. If it's sailing be aware not all days are blue skies, calm turquoise seas and champagne in hand. Lots of days are just about making sea miles to get to those exotic destinations we write about. But that's what makes it worth it. What ever it is that will make you happy, don't wait. That perfect time may never come before it's too late..
In a few words sum up what the cruising lifestyle has given you.
Freedom, travel, togetherness with my soulmate and the opportunity to have a life rather than an existence.
|Working as Flotilla Leaders for Greek Sails in 2017
So Karen, what is next for you?
And a last mandatory question for the music lovers, what’s on your playlist?