I've been lurking on here off an on for years but as I posted for the first time a few days ago (photo of Airstream345's KK 54') I figured I'd do an intro.
I've been working in software/tech for a couple decades but before that (when I was just a lad
) I worked as a hydrographic surveyor for NOAA. I'd never worked in maritime, never spent much time around boats, but averaging about 270 days a year at sea for 5 years will make a deep impression on a person. Obviously I loved it enough to stick around, and somewhat grudgingly left it to come back to the UW, finish off a degree, and then get married to a phenomenally patient woman (that part wasn't grudging).
It will always be the best job I ever had. Our job was to map every nook and cranny in remote and spectacular areas in AK (SE in the spring, Cook Inlet and the AK Peninsula in the summer, PWS in the late summer/fall), and then pick up where we left off the next year. I always dreamed of being able to come back and explore the same areas again for fun rather than work. And spending all that time at sea really resonated with me. The things that were valued - competence, judgement, a comprehensive set of skills - were things I placed a lot of value in.
Here's one from back then. This kinda thing happened a lot - we used to say our motto was "we hit the rocks so you don't have to!" - but I'm pretty sure this was in Gambier Bay, Stephens Passage.
Anyway, as I get older (I feel like I can *almost* see retirement from here) I think more and more about getting to a place where chartering or owning a boat would make sense for me/my family. Following the conversations on here, getting a better idea of all the things I *don't* know along with validation about some of the things I think I do, is super fun.