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 About us in general

Our sailing experience

Preparing to go cruising - U.S. service recommendations

At the Valiant factory during construction process.


Steve was a sales manager and Debbie was a controller/CPA.  We both have now retired, hopefully never to return to "regular" jobs again!

We sold our wonderful house in 2001 and moved into a small, but nice, 1-bedroom + loft condo in Houston, close to both our jobs.  It's been really nice not to have all the house maintenance and projects anymore - of course they've now been replaced by the boat!

Debbie and Steve met in T.A.S.S. (Texas Association of Single Sailors) in January 1987, just after Debbie had returned from a crossing from Houston to Cozumel.  T.A.S.S. is made up of a lot of outdoorsy people, with common interests in sailing, of course, and scuba diving, snow skiing and partying.  Many, many couples have met in T.A.S.S. and gotten married, like us.  Early on, Steve informed Debbie that we would take off cruising some day, to which Debbie's reply was, "sure, sure" [wink-wink], as Debbie was a workaholic and intended to retire when she was 85!

By the time we got married in 1989, Debbie realized that there was more to life than work, thanks to Steve.  Debbie being very adventuresome, decided that Steve's idea of cruising sounded pretty good.  So we then started planning, saving and educating ourselves towards our mutual goal.

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We have never owned a boat before ARGO.  We have chartered extensively for 2 - 3 weeks at a time throughout the Caribbean, San Francisco and the San Juan Islands (Washington).  We have lots of friends with boats and have chartered through T.A.S.S. and other local charter groups.  We both have completed all courses in the United States Power Squadron (Houston Chapter) and are now Senior Navigators, which included 2 years of celestial navigation.  We have taken numerous other courses through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and are certified through A.S.A. (American Sailing Association).  We are Commodores in SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association).  We both hold our U.S. Coast Guard Captain's (Merchant Marine) license, commonly referred to as a 6-pack.  We are also General class HAM radio operators:  Steve's call sign is kd5pdx and Deborah's is kd5pdy. 

Debbie did a crossing to Cozumel in 1986 just before meeting Steve.  Together we did the Veracruz race from Houston to Veracruz.  We both have done numerous races and sailing offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Harvest Moon Races to Port Aransas.

We both have immersed ourselves in learning as much as possible before taking off.  The area we lack the most in is the hands-on experience of actually owning a boat, since this is our first boat, and dealing with all the things that can go wrong.  But we will take that as it comes.

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PREPARING TO GO CRUISING - U.S. Service Recommendations

A lot of work is needed to prepare for the cruising lifestyle.  Here are a few recommendations on services back in the U.S. that we found to be very good and have been using since we left in 2003 (and still effective as of July 2008).

MAIL FORWARDING: St. Brendan's Isle,  (904)284-1200 / (800)544-2132, www.sbimailservice.com.  Mention that Steve & Deborah (PMB #2101) referred you and we get a free month!
HEALTH INSURANCE: Insurance Consultants International, Craig Robinson, (719)573-9080 / (800)576-2674, www.globalhealthinsurance.com; he also handles mission trip insurance.  Currently our policy is with IMG, International Medical Group.
BOAT INSURANCE: Kevin Severance Agency, Garrett Heck, (281)333-3100 / (800)816-7714, www.insurancenavigators.com.  Currently our policy is with ORM, Offshore Risk Management.
MONEY MANAGER: We use a money manager but are not in a position to recommend any at this time.


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                                                                          Last updated 03/15/2009                                             



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