Seven Years Before the Mast In a Teensy Boat

You'd have to be a little crazy to climb aboard a 31-foot boat with Wendy Hinman and her husband Garth and sail 34,000 miles, sans their saltwater addiction, nautical skills, and crazy optimism.  Qualities that make them ideal traveling companions for armchair sailors, who'll cruise through Wendy's memoir, Tightwads on the Loose, A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey, wishing it would never end.

Never waiting for the perfect wave or boat, this intrepid couple cruised across the Pacific, from Seattle and back, in a gossamer contraption they christened Velella.  "We learned that a sense of humor and teamwork are what matter most," says Wendy, temporarily anchored in the Emerald City. "I also learned I could do things one step at a time. Amazing things I never thought I could."

Even when they are about to be swept away by typhoons, you root for Garth and Wendy to keep on trucking. I worried at one point that they would be sensible and not sail to Japan, but I should have known better. Their passion for adventure and love of freedom push them across the globe.

What's up next? They've purchased a 1920s farmhouse with lots of room for Garth, a naval architect, to build them a dream boat. Yes, they've parted with Velella. When the new craft is shipshape, they'll set off for Patagonia and Europe.  Wendy talks about their adventures below.

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