We are Jeff and Mary Pernick from Detroit Michigan. We have 3 children, as we head off on our journey Brian is 28, Sarah 26 and Nathan would be 20. Brian and Sarah live near Bellingham Washington and have just started a white water rafting company called Adventure Cascades (adventurecascades.com ). Nate died May 6, 2011 as a result of an auto accident. He was an avid Color Guard and Drum Corp member and had been driving from Michigan to South Carolina to try out for Carolina Crown Drum Corp when his accident occurred. We miss him so very much and remember him often. We are fortunate to have travelled so many places in the country with him and almost daily say “remember when…” thinking of times and places with him. We miss Brian and Sarah too and try to keep tabs on their adventures as we have for the past several years as they have moved around the country rafting and snowboarding.We have been together since 1975 (married in 1978) and have almost always had a sailboat in our fleet. The list includes a Lakeviewer, Lightening, Seafarer, Luger, Ice Boat, Wind Surfers, Sunfish and now Beneteau. We lived on Lower Straits Lake in Commerce Michigan for 30 years and had a few ski boats over the years so we have always been around water and as of April 2012 now live on it.
We sold our home in March 2012 then drove out to Washington with a trailer full of “stuff” for Brian and Sarah. Once back, we moved aboard Echo. We have decreased our material possessions significantly, sold some, donated some, entrusted some to friends and family for special care and left very little in a hanger we lease at an airport near Detroit.
We had purchased Echo in April of 2011 and at that time has about a 5 year plan to ready the boat for living aboard and long term cruising. Clearly our life changed dramatically on April 28, 2011, the day of Nate’s accident. What we wouldn’t give to have a reason not to have started on our adventure for another few years…
We spent 2 months on board in the summer of 2011 traveling through the North Channel in Lake Huron and journeyed in to Lake Michigan a bit. This time allowed us to become very comfortable aboard Echo and formulate our plan to move up our departure date. Jeff had not been involved in the day to day operations of his company since Nate’s accident and since things were going so well saw no need to reinsert himself. He also was not in the right frame of mind and so very much appreciated that the troops at IHC took care of things so well.
We arranged for indoor winter storage at Jefferson Beach Marina in St. Clair Shores Michigan (our home port) and began making plans for improvements that we would make over the winter. We were very busy during the winter and spring as we moved from our home of 30 years and completed the list of Echo projects. We set sail on this journey on July 17, 2012.
Our plans are fluid…we are heading from Detroit through Lake Erie to the Welland Canal. We will visit Toronto then head to Oswego where we will enter the Erie Canal, then the Hudson River to the Atlantic. We know we will winter in the islands but not yet sure wether we will head directly to the Caribbean once hurricane season is over (November 1) or work our way down to Florida across to the Bahamas then out the chain of islands. Remember – fluid.
It is our hope to continue cruising until we tire of it. Nothing is cast in stone but some of the places we hope to visit include Ireland, Europe, the Mediterranean, the West coast of the US (maybe an extended stay in the Pacific Northwest where Brian and Sarah live), then on to the South Pacific. Of course we reserve the right to alter our course at a whim and stay for a while anywhere we are really enjoying ourselves. We hope to meet many new and interesting people and hope friends and family will meet up with us along our path and share in our adventure.