The sailing world is flush with professional races that operate like finely tuned machinery. So when a truly grassroots competition arrives on the scene, it’s a breath of fresh air among intrepid pull-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstraps adventurers who make up for their lack of deep pockets with their courage, persistence and irrepressible good humor.
A pair of 23-year-old friends tackled the Great Loop on a boat a decade older than them with a dog and a cat as their crew. What they found was a profound personal journey filled with wonderful people and inspiring experiences
On September 4, 2012, best friends Jessie Zevalkink and Katie Smith cast off the docklines in Northport, Michigan, aboard a capable pocket cruiser named Louise. The 23-year-olds had little sailing experience, yet they were determined to tackle one of the continent’s great adventures—the Great Loop.
When Harriet and Tom Linsky first took off aboard their 28-foot Bristol Channel Cutter for four years of liveaboard cruising, they expected to have a life-changing experience. What they didn't expect was to be deeply moved by the generosity of indigenous communities despite a profound lack of basic necessities. And while they knew they would go cruising again someday, they certainly didn't expect they'd be doing it with a fledgling not-forprofit organization in tow.