The Voyager Diaries: S/V Tropic Tramp

I wish you could all meet Roger… Roger has been cruising for twenty three years, and began his voyage from Port Townsend, Washington in 1994. He is 75 years old and is single handing his beautiful wooden boat named Tropic Tramp. He’s visited over 60 countries and is one of the best story tellers we’ve ever met. He is quiet, humble and hardworking, with the kindest blue eyes you have ever seen. He has left his boat multiple times over the years to travel, trek, explore and work in the hidden corners of the globe. He worked at a horse ranch in Mexico for several years, built composting toilets for villages in Ecuador, trekked remote parts of the Himalaya, walked through Kashmir and parts of India. He’s caught giant squid in the Sea of Cortez, an 8ft marlin on a handline in the Pacific, dove for giant clams in Indonesia and still spearfishes today.

He is a true legend!

After getting to know Roger a little better, he invited us aboard his boat for a tour. There were so many special little details that he has added to her over the years; welded flower vases, hand etched glass work, delicate lace over the port holes, and even a pair antlers on the bow pulpit. Each detail held its own beautiful story.

Being with Roger made me feel like a child again; the world opened up and I was reminded that anything was possible. He let me climb up the mast like a jungle gym, just to get a better view!

We are so thankful for the opportunity we had to befriend Roger and we look forward to meeting up with him again one day. He is truly a special person and has inspired us to never stop pursuing the life of our dreams.

The Voyager Diaries

Hello family and friends! We know it’s been forever since we’ve updated the blog but we are currently working on lots of content to keep you updated on our trip, look forward to sharing with you very soon!

This week we are starting a new photo series called ‘The Voyager Diaries’ where we will be sharing the stories of the people we meet along the way. Every person we’ve met so far has taken a different road to get here.

We’ve met solo sailors, young couples, retirees, families home schooling young children, cruisers with pets, some pinching pennies and others living in luxury. Every single person we have met has inspired us with their own unique journey and we hope you enjoy hearing their stories as much as we do! Let us know what details you are most interested in and we can try to include them in future posts.

Chapter 1: S/V Ardea.


Jon and Michele are two of the most contagiously positive people we’ve ever met. We first met this couple in Ensenada after a rough overnight passage from San Diego, and we continued to meet up with them as we sailed down Baja, getting to know them better over the few weeks we spent in Mazatlan.

Michele is truly determined, a woman who makes dreams happen! A few years ago, she told a friend that in five years time she planned on sailing around the world with the love of her life. At the time, she wasn’t in a relationship, nor did she own a boat, and yet five years later here she is sailing south towards the Galapagos with Jon, the love of her life!

Jon is brilliant and a jack of all trades. He is humble and passionate, and the way he loves Michele is beautiful.

Their relationship is inspiring enough, but their journey to get here has been nothing short of Herculean. It started with a notebook titled the ’27 Month Plan’, detailing the steps they needed to check off to sell their home in Seattle, move aboard Ardea and hit the open seas.

They sold their house, their cars and most of their worldly possessions, downsizing their life on to their 44ft sailboat. During that time they were both working full time, as well as refitting their boat for cruising in what little spare time they had. A year before leaving, Michele was in a sailing accident while racing and sustained a brain injury, but in true form she persevered. Then, five months before leaving, Jon went in for a routine physical before they would leave the country, when the doctor found a life threatening heart issue.

Not only did these two have to deal with the emotional aspect of saying goodbye to everyone and everything they knew, but they had to overcome the fears that came along with the diagnosis.

Most people would put their dreams on hold. Most people would let fear, doubt and excuses get in the way, but these two… these two amazing souls love life too much to put things on hold. They are true fighters and each day no matter what life throws at them, they put on a huge smile and set to work making a plan! They have shown us how positivity, dedication and a whole lot of love can make a hard situation into a truly beautiful opportunity.

S/V Ardea In Mazatlan, Mexico
Catching up in Turtle Bay.

Follow along on their journey @ardeafish, and their Facebook page, American Expat Ambassadors for Peace.

Adrea (Ardea herodias is the Latin name for the great blue heron) is 1984, 44′ Beneteau Idylle.

They departed from Seattle in June 2016, sailing up through the inside passage to Alaska, then down the Pacific to Mexico.

Ardea is currently in Mazatlan rebuilding their engine before sailing south toward the Galapagos, Ecuador.