About Us

When we were in our twenties we decided to buy a sailboat and cruise to Mexico. Here we are aboard Skua just before we left. This was in the 1980s before GPS, cell phones, and the Internet. How did we ever do it?
Then for a while we settled down, started a business, bought an airplane, had some kids...
built a home, restored an old VW for the kids to drive, made numerous camping trips.... 
and traveled on jet airplanes to places like Europe and China.
Now we are ready to retire so we bought another sailboat and are fixing it up for an open ended cruise. We intend to go wherever the wind and whim take us as long as we are enjoying it.

Summer 2016:
We have been out cruising for almost two years now and traveled down the Mexican and Central American Coast to Panama and through the Panama Canal. After transiting the canal on June 24, 2015, we headed to the Guna Yala, or San Blas Islands, where we were struck by lightning on August 12, 2015. With no autopilot, VHF, Inverter, or Wind Instruments, we pushed on to Cartagena, Colombia; our favorite stop of our cruise so far.

Then we did what everyone told us we couldn't do: sailed upwind and upcurrent to Aruba, Bonaire, and Grenada. It was pretty miserable, but no worse than our California Coast can dish out. We loved Bonaire for its easy, gorgeous snorkeling and spent several months hopping up the Windwards and Leewards. We left the boat in Puerto Rico in March 2016 and flew home to help with family matters. When we got back in May 2016, we hauled the boat for its first bottom paint in almost two years. Then we sailed through the Bahamas and on to Florida where we are doing boat repairs and maintenance.

So far we have totally disassembled the generator to replace the pistons and rings, stripped and re-varnished the exterior wood, polished the stainless, ordered solar panels, and figured out a new refrigeration system. We could have done all those things back in California, but then we'd be two years behind. If you are contemplating going cruising, don't wait until everything is perfect because you'll probably never go. Just do the most important things and fix other things as you go.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear to got back onboard safe and sound - really enjoyed reading your blog - will keep up on your travels - happy sailing from Ken and Wanda

Derek Williams said...

We gotta convince Katie to take the Ducati with me down to Baja! These are great photos. I never knew you guys owned a Super Cub (I don't know if that's what that pane is, looks like it though).

Andy Barrett said...

I have been looking at Alden 44's and came across your website a month or so ago. Lo-and-behold, when I was on a long weekend in Guadeloupe this past weekend, and chartered a cat for the day on Saturday, I saw a beautiful Alden 44 at anchor, and after a lot of drooling and squinting at the name, realized it was you. Looking great out there!

Andy Barrett said...

I have been looking at Alden 44's and came across your website a month or so ago. Lo-and-behold, when I was on a long weekend in Guadeloupe this past weekend, and chartered a cat for the day on Saturday, I saw a beautiful Alden 44 at anchor, and after a lot of drooling and squinting at the name, realized it was you. Looking great out there!

Laura Fortune said...

Thanks for the comment Andy. We love the Alden 44 and are quite happy with her layout, sailing abilities, and size. If you ever see us again, come knock on the hull and we'll have a nice visit.

Kd Hiebert said...

Hello Fortunes, we're the Hiebert's and we have a 1982 Alden 44 her name is Lemanee, I'm just wondering if you have a Centerboard and if so, if you have ever had it out and if you have any tips on removal. I know we have 40 or so sister ships out there , but you are the only one that posts in a blog besides us ( SailBlogs Lemanee)
I do have the blueprints for all the systems on our boat.
Any help or advice is appreciated
Thank you Dennis and Kandy
hiebertfamily60@gmail.com

Keith & Nicki Davie/Dunbar said...

Say, nice Mooney aircraft! was that an M20, with the manual landing gear? (My prior life was in aviation...)
Hoping we get to see you folks while we’re both in Florida!