Sailing Without A Boat

Teresa Carey Words 15 Comments

Yesterday I was at Napa Auto looking to purchase a needle gun for some rust-busting. As I was at the checkout counter, behind me I heard,

“Hey, I know you. Isn’t your name Daphne?”

I smiled. I hadn’t heard the name Daphne in a long time and it brought back wonderful memories.

“My name is Teresa,” I told him, “But my boat’s name was Daphne.”

“I watch your videos online. They inspired me to get out sailing more. What are you up to now?”

The funny thing is that despite having sold my Nor’Sea 27 and being temporarily boatless, Ben and I seem to be doing more sailing than ever… here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to in <600 words…

After we sold Elizabeth we high-tailed it to Maine, our favorite sailing grounds. We feel at home among the rocky granite coast, fog encased islands, and cold ocean dips at 0530. I sailed as captain with Outward Bound, Ben sailed as mate aboard the Lewis R. French and Mary Day.

After the summer season was over, we delivered a Caliber 35 from North Carolina to Solomons Island, Maryland. Then we holed up in Annapolis aboard a power vessel to help a friend secure her boat as we waited for hurricane Sandy to pass. Then as winter settled in, we focused on making some progress on our film for a few months while living aboard a Wuaquiez 38 in Back Creek.


In the new year, I sailed again for Outward Bound, this time in the Florida Keys. Outward Bound vessels, can be deceiving. Although small, they are incredibly rugged and designed to test you in ways you never thought possible. Its exactly why I will continue to return to work for Outward Bound for years to come. Sailing a pulling boat reminds me of what I’m capable of, and brings out the most important and real aspects of sailing—those which cannot be found aboard any other vessel.

As the weather warmed, we hopped on Aviva, a Beneateau 423 for a training delivery from Florida to Rhode Island. We sailed a mixture of offshore, coastal, and ICW but made our final landfall in the middle of the night, peering through thick fog to find the narrow entrance to Block Island’s Great Salt Pond.

After saying farewell to our new friends, Fred and Dorothy, we took a couple months to work again on One Simple Question before launching into another season in Maine aboard traditionally rigged and very modern vessels. Ben sailed as mate aboard American Promise. She was formerly Dodge Morgan’s boat, aboard which he completed a record-setting round-the-world voyage. Now she’s being used by The Rozalia Project as a research/education vessel and platform for marine debris cleanups.



I sailed and slept under the stars as Watch Officer (captain) for Outward Bound, followed by a few voyages as mate aboard the schooner Lewis R. French. We concluded the season in the boatyard. Every well-rounded sailor spends some time chipping paint, varnishing, sanding, servicing, rigging, etc and this year we did our time aboard Sea Education Association’s 134′ steel brigantine,  Corwith Cramer. Now as the leaves begin to fall,  we are headed for Rhode Island to begin another training delivery aboard a brand new Rustler 36. We’re bound for Annapolis just in time for the boat show. While we’re there, we probably won’t be sailing, but you can be bet we’ll be talking about sailing! Ben and I are honored to be sitting on a discussion panel of cruisers, and to be giving a seminar titled Egalitarian Couples Cruising. We’re also organizing a casual meet-up where everyone is welcome—so join our Facebook community to find out more about it.


Comments 15

  1. The (Brian) Loveless Family

    Thank you for your Email. Glad to hear all is well with you and Ben. I enjoy those pictures of the vessels that you been hanging out on. It must be great…

  2. Erik Snel

    Hello Theresa,

    Your article brought some wonderfull memories to me as well with your mention of Mary Day. I sailed on her as a deckhand some 30 years ago for a whole summer. Nowadays I have my own 34 foot yacht ‘Dutch Rose’ that I sail around the North Sea. Great fun, but so was sailing in Maine. One day I’ll sail her to Maine just to show her!

    Erik Snel
    The Netherlands

  3. Stormy

    One of my greatest joys in life is sailing other peoples boats, I don’t have to be the captain and can just sit back relax and sail, there are no decisions to be made and every boat I have ever sailed has been a joy. They are all different in so many ways but there is one perfect one out there for each of us. To date I have been fortunate to sail on hundreds of boats each one slightly different. I love to experience all the little differences in the how and why they are set up and always learn something new. Sail on my friends, the boat is the smallest part of the journey.

  4. mschroeder

    I just sold my boat. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bum some rides. Thanks for keeping the dream alive. Boatless sailing – it can be done!

  5. Travis C.

    Good to hear you are at least on the water. And maybe even more since it’s other folks’ boats. I do miss seeing both Daphne and Elizabeth in Annapolis (or at least knowing the great folks aboard it!) Best wishes this fall!

  6. Erik Snel

    This article brings back good memories to me too: some 30 years ago I sailed a summer as deck hand on the schooner Mary Day! Now I have a 34 foot yacht that I cruise on the North Sea, but sailing her to Maine is something I would love to do!

    Erik Snel
    s/y Dutch Rose
    The Netherlands

  7. Aldo

    Hola Teresa,
    Quiero comprar un velero hunter 34′ y traerlo navegando hasta las costas de Colombia, no tengo experiencia ni permiso.
    Que me recomiendas

  8. Daniel

    Sounds like you two have been busy. Have fun.

    BTW, I attempted my first sail on my NS27 this past weekend. Didn’t end up well but it should go better next time 😉

    1. Ben Eriksen

      Congratulations on your first sail! I recall my first Nor’sea sail well… the delivery home to NY from MD. What fun is was learning how she handled while trying to make best possible speed back home!

  9. Daniel

    I learned a word: egalitarian.
    To me it means equal rights for a couple.. reminds me of Oprah’s story about the “two apartment marriage.”

    It also reminds me of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — a document my grandpa told me to read 20 years ago and I just read it this year at age 40 and am finally changing my 20 year couch potato life.

    Teresa, your emails are helping me overcome great obstacles (mainly my oppositional wife that won’t let me homeschool my kids)

    Thank you so much.

  10. Mitch

    Currently boatless–but in early stages of getting a design to build in the basement–I’m a small boat person–what the Brits call a Dinghy Cruiser. I still find inspiration in your videos and articles.

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