Now, to put this into perspective, Windy and I have been cruising before. In fact, it's how we met. In 1996 I lived aboard a Newport 27 in Ventura, California and signed Windy on as my sole crew for a 7-month trip to Key West, via the Panama Canal (SAIL magazine published an article I wrote about this trip in their November 2007 issue). We had the time of our lives and dreamed of cruising again, someday. Of course, we would first settle down, buy a house, start a family, contribute to IRAs and 401Ks, join the neighborhood association, attend Back-to-School night, and hopefully take two weeks off each of the next twenty years to vacation. Eventually, our kids would get out on their own, we'd help pay for college, maybe a couple of weddings, and then buy a boat to pursue our cruising ambitions. This script was tried and true, the American Dream. So what happened?