I purchased my Mariner 31 Bolero at the end of 1995 and lived aboard
for a few years, got married and moved ashore. I outfitted my boat
for blue water sailing and took off from San Diego in October 1998 to Hawaii,
single handed. This took 21 days and was the most memorable thing
thing I have ever done. I left her in Hawaii unattended for 6 months
and returned to sail with a friend to Palmyra Island, then Western Samoa
and finaly American Samoa (one month of sailing) where I had her watched
over for 6 months. Another friend then came with me to sail her to
Fiji (6 days only), where she stayed on the hard for 1 year (Vuda Point
Marina, near Leutoka). I came back with my father a year later and
discovered the Perkins 4018 was rusted solid, and it took 4 days to loosen
her up and get her going. Our father and son trip was the best and
we sailed the Yasawa Group together. 6 months later I sailed with
a different friend from Fiji to Tonga, over a weeks passage that found
us in some very remote Fijian islands. I was just back in Tonga in
September, 2003 with two friends for 10 days, swimming with the whales
and exploring the middle group of Tongan Islands, which the pictures are
To equip Bolero I did all the instalations myself, including underdeck auto pilot, dedicated trysail track, radar, integrated GPS, high output alternator, smart regulator, AGM batteries, and referidgerator. I also practiced with an asymetrical spinneker and parachute anchor (which I did use on the way to Hawaii) prior to departure. I carry a well provisioned ditch bag (with a personal PUR watermaker), towing and wing generater, life raft below decks, EPIRB, at least two GPS's, Sextant, mounted and handhelp VHF, SSB transciever (I have a HAM license) and a rented satalite phone to call the family. My sail inventory includes a woking Jib, 150 genoa, asymetrical spinneker, main, old main, trysail, miizzen, and a ridding sail for th mizzin to be used at anchor or with the parachute anchor. I will have a storm jib made soon, and I do need to buy a drogue or two. I am sure there is more that I can't think of at the moment!
I plan to revisit Tonga every year for a while (until my 9 month daughter gets a littel older) and then cruise to New Zealand, Australia and New Calidona. If Bolero is still afloat (she better be) I will continue to the Indian Ocean, Mediteranian, Atlantic, Panama and back home to California. This may take 10-20 years to do, but hey, the hardest part is leaving home-port in the first place, and I still have a job to do in San Diego between sails. I realize that most people work to gain the money to sail off untill the "kiddy" is empty and then return home to work, but there is another way. Work 6 months to a year and sail your Mariner to a new location, then work again to pay for the upkeep and the next trip. This not only keeps you from "sailing burnout" (if that is possible) but reduces the stress of keeping your family happily together and your retirement benifits intact. Also, I don't think I could wait until retirement to start my "World Cruise".
Update 12/06/03: "BOLERO", is currently in the Pacific having sailed from San Diego to Hawaii, Palmyra, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji and most recently to Tonga. Ted will keep her there for a few years before heading to New Zealand and beyond. He currently lives and works in San Diego.
Thanks for the update Ted.