Why Cruising Isn’t Enough

Teresa Carey Words 15 Comments

Most of my sailing life has been in education. I’ve spent many years teaching teens, adults, men, and women how to sail coastal, offshore, in big ships, in tiny lifeboats. One day I thought – there must be something more. So, I decided to purchase Daphne and move aboard. My goal was to experience life at sea alone—forging a close relationship with nature.

After cruising a few months I quickly realized that a “close relationship” must be a give and take, but I was only taking. I was sailing, swimming, enjoying the sights, the smells, and experiencing the thrills. Of course I was grateful and respectful, always trying to leave the smallest footprint possible. Still, it didn’t feel quite right. How can I call it a close relationship with nature if the voyage was all about me, and only me? I needed a cause – a way to give back to the world.

My perspective was changed and now I’m heading in a new direction. Many of you have been following along ever since the beginning. You’ve seen me frustrated with a new boat, confused about finding work and money. You’ve watched me fall in love and get married, move ashore and then move back aboard. You’ve read about my family’s house-fire and the loss of my Gammy—all big moments. You even helped me make a feature length documentary—which will be out on DVD this fall! I feel like I’m on the brink of another big moment—nervous that I could invest so much time and make many sacrifices, while still the future is all unknown.


All my friends and most people my age are working toward climbing the career ladder. Instead, I was admired for focusing on simplicity. But there is nothing wrong with climbing a career ladder. Especially if it is very meaningful to the individual and if it is done for the right reasons. Ocean conservation is my great reason and I’m excited to see how this new moment unfolds.

For the past year Ben and I have been working hard to create Hello Ocean. Our goal is to connect people to the ocean in the same way we feel connected. A connection that is greater than sailing, but is for sailors, greater than science, but will result in scientific research. We are creating citizen science projects that address several of the most timely and critical topics in ocean science today. Our hope is to engage people all over the world in giving back to the ocean they love by becoming an important part of research that will be used to inform legislation and empower change.

The ideas are bold. But so was taking out a big loan to buy a boat on the same day I quit the only paying job I had ever had. I must be crazy. But you all supported and encouraged me all along the way while I shared my ups and downs.

Now on to another adventure! I hope you’ll continue to follow along.
You can learn about Hello Ocean here.

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Comments 15

  1. Pingback: Why Cruising Isn’t Enough | Michelle Rodas

  2. Philip cepek

    I’m sorry, but you lost me a long time ago. I followed you closely while you were on Daphne, but you lost me when you became a crusader.

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      Teresa Carey

      What can I say? I’m a dynamic person – always growing and changing. There was a time for solo sailing with Daphne, and I cherished that time deeply. However, now is the time to move forward to new challenges and new goals. Does being an advocate for studying and protecting the very ocean I love to sail turn you off? I still plan to write about sailing – because it is a wonderful venture – but for my personal growth I need to keep infusing more meaning into life. Always growing. Always changing.

      1. Keith Davie

        Your journey speaks to a higher purpose, a greater awareness. For that we thank and salute you and Ben!
        Perhaps Philip just hasn’t had the opportunity to think outside himself yet.

        1. reggie

          Perhaps Phillip is stating his opinion and in doing so has triggered an issue even if only mild, I agree with Phillip relating to why i was so interested in Teresa and Ben’s Journey at the beginning to and yes that has been lost.

          I followed for some time and now i have lost interest to a degree not so much because of the direction they are going, i think that it has been Teresa ultimate gaol and the sailing and Documentary were steps to gaining a stronger voice and possibly a strong presence as a stake holder in the future.

          Sure they have marketed them selves well an found what might be called a nich market, yet thousands of individuals make up this global arena. save the ocean, it not new but it is becoming a stronger product to gain revenue from.

          i don’t agree with Teresa about land mass being lost and humans moving more permeant to water ways IE Oceans yet. there are a great many asian countries with large parts of their communities already doing such practices is this by chose or simply because of poverty.

          living on boats as a permeant life style in western culture by enlarge remains in the hands of the high class income earners, yet you do have many who live well with out money.

          In australia there no were to live on a boat if you do not bring home a huge pay packet. it has become about revenue for those in power so as alway those who have little will find it harder to transition to such life style if they chose that.

          in my country you need a licence to fish just about any were now and it is very costly they say it is about conserving the fisheries. but then the government lets super trawlers in to Australia waters to fish and kill dolphins and thousands of other species just to feed the rich.

          Of cause this is about revenue for the government not about conservation for the oceans water ways it is again the creation of legislation for punitive practices to the single person which gives revenue to local governments, and rewards to the corporations.

          my country is very punitive to the people who live here there is very little you can do with out a permit or licences now. to live on a boat and sail it there is some thing like 10 permits you have to have and license the list goes on and it not about safety or helping people its about revenue thats my opinion. i have near given up on the idea of living on a boat sailing because of the cost and legislation you have to understand. a family coming from new Zealand on a international trip sailing coped a 10,000.00 fine because paper work was no perfect. we have remained a world of punitive practice based around revenue. not helping people who make simple mistakes how sad has the world become. i wish you luck teresa Ben on your journey

          The primary goal should be clean up ones own back yard in this case ocean. Given Teresa is usa then that would fall under usa sea boarders given that it usa britain Australia Japan and china asia asia are the biggest polluters of ocean water ways. Clean up our own back yard rather than telling the rest of the world what they are doing wrong western culture does not all ways have the answers that works well with other cultures. we should learn to educate with out impeding on the other cultures values and beliefs

          You can not impede or force legislation on to other countries it becomes like the christens travelling to isolated communities and telling them thats wrong our way is the right way.

          Cleaning the ocean begins at home. We tend to believe law is the answers to every thing but it is not education is the tool not punitive practice that engages revenue practise if you encourage legalisation you in courage revenue which isolates the disadvantaged because only those in power can really influence law and gain from those laws.

          When one begins a sentence with legislation, we then begin to understand the individuals growth and their understanding of the world. that nothing can be done unless we are punitive.

          This link below is the beginning of understand what can be done for the oceans with out being punitive with legalisation, further more it was created by a twenty year old.


          learning to work together and understanding thru education not legislation

          i babbled on a bit sorry.

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          2. reggie

            Cheers for the correction, It does appear another member was addressing the issue of humans moving to water for living.


  3. Chrisg288

    Dear Teresa and Ben,

    I was stunned by the idea in your project of crowd-science. I’ve been following your videos for a year, and receiving your sailing simplicity as it appeals to that part of my mind that sees simple independent mobile living units on the water as a possible future, for myself, and for the future of humanity.

    The earth is 75% water. The global population is something like 6 billion. It is the simplest of equations to predict a migration to the water-based lifestyle. That being said, there are a multitude of problems, and I think that your teaching of your simple living lifestyle is an extremely important body of work. the future will thank you for laying this foundation of skills, understanding, fortitude, and respect for the living ocean.

    There are many other issues that will arise, especially governmental, and yet I think the sea-steading movement (www.seasteading.org) is very actively promoting an open initiative to found new government services styles. I still think that what you are teaching will be so important for those multitudes who will migrate to the sea. You will be a wise mother to that movement.

    I think that the scientific fact seeking effort is brilliant, and essential. It is not given to us to know what the universe holds, but with an open mind, and a method, we can learn.

    Best wishes

  4. Paul

    Hi Teresa,

    Welcome back, I’ve really enjoyed your blog (I only discovered it 6 months ago) and I spent a long time reading back through the older blogs. Your blog has helped my shape my ideas of what I want my life to be. I love your approach to life of enjoying nature and giving back where you can and it is this attitude that has helped me think through what I want to try. I am currently counting down the days till I will be on the water full-time (1021 days to go!). I hope I will be able to have fun and to give back too.

    Good luck on your new venture and thank you for your very enjoyable blog.

    A soon to be blue water sailor!


  5. Therese Dignard

    Am totally loving the “mission statement”. Still cheering you on from the sidelines. The seas sure need a warrior spirit fighting for them. 🙂

  6. Anthony Mikel

    Just stumbled upon you for the first time today. I was feeling a little down, and watching your videos, and reading your blogs, brought my spirits right back up! I live dry-docked on a 27′ Cal in Maui, HI. I’m originally from the Chicago area, so I think your accent comforted me too. I’ll be looking up more about Hello Ocean in the near future. I did foresee needing a purpose out there as well. I thought about linking with charitable organizations to deliver food, medicine, or anything needed to remote islands in the Pacific. I figure it could be quite fulfilling and a great place to see and visit with people I might not otherwise have met or seen.
    The name of my 27′ Cal is “Someday”. She’s been named in my mind years before she came into my life. Over the last four years, I’ve been learning how to live without a regular job( I’m sure you guys no that struggle), and it has been going great. I picked up a 16′ Bayliner and fully restored her for practice. For me, the worst part about my Bayliner is pointing the bow back to the harbor. I decided it’s time to live on the sea full time! I’m selling the Bayliner to buy new rigging for my mast. I continue to search for inspiration and find it through blogs like yours. Keep up the good work!

  7. Randy

    Completely inspirational, whether it is directed towards sailing or the crowd sourcing of ocean testing or sail bag videos. Keep up the great work no matter the direction you guys take the adventure. Living it fully is what I’m watching for not just another sailing vblog..

  8. Suzie Townsend

    Hi, Therese, I followed you a long time ago when you first started out on your own boat and I remember when you and Ben got together. After a year or two I somehow quit following you. I really don’t recall why. But I thought of you today and googled Sailing Simplicity. I was thrilled to see that you are still out there on the water!

    I am so pleased to see that you are following your heart. And how wonderful that you have found a life partner to share your dreams with! My husband and I met in Mexico when I was visiting friends and he was there on his boat. We have been together almost every day since – living in Mexico, California, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina and now Arizona. We have had two sailboats and adventures that all of our friends envy. It was not easy for us financially but we have survived. We enjoy our life – each day – no matter where we are or what we are doing. We have sold our boats and now we camp in the wilderness whenever we can. Getting up there in years rather curtails our adventures but we keep trying!

    Life is short – just do what makes you happy! Go for the gusto!

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