Our Inspiration

“You are doing whatttttt????”  
 “Buying a boat and living on it?”
  “Are you kidding me?!”
You are going WHERE in that thing?


Take one triple Type A personality and one Type at least a 'C 'personality, blend together in marriage and let the YING and YANG begin. One full tilt aimed at Adventure Go For It and the other more hesitant but game to always Try It. Throw in a decision to charter a boat - a Trawler --what IS a trawler? - None of us knew, but with exaggeration on our boating Resume and a Just Do It attitude with a group of Go For It friends, we found ourselves in the British Virgin Islands about 8 years ago, aboard a 48' trawler, cruising ourselves (no Captain) successfully for 10 days in the garden spot of the world. The YANG, Type C personality smuggled a large number of books aboard in order to kill what he thought would be a very boring time aboard this trawler thing and the YING Type A brought aboard a list of 1,000+ places to see and snorkel...all in a 10 day period. YING and YANG survived the trip, as did the rest of the 'crew' of fun loving friends. Kicking and screaming, hating to leave, the group of us sadly flew back to the US after the best ever vacation aboard this Trawler 'thing'.

Sometime during the three more trawler charter trips back to the BVI’s and one charter trip to Belize, YING and YANG began dreaming about plotting a new, totally unanticipated and unexpected course for our lives. Why NOT cruise full time? Why NOT live aboard a trawler? Why NOT explore the unknown?
Sharon Larrison Stepniewski & Andy Stepniewski

Our Trawler, FINALLY FUN, represents the closing of many of life's chapters, including moving from gainful employment to retirement from the pharmaceutical industry (Sharon) and from the US Air Force and from various distribution companies (Andy) and from the daily challenges and rewards of hands-on parenting six children (3 hers and 3 his). 

To the Students:  Your teacher, Lindsay Larrison Lea, is my youngest - the baby of the family.   She thought it would be
Lindsay climbing into a dingy
a fun learning experience to follow our adventures as we embark on the trip of a lifetime, cruising 2,066 statute miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Grenada, a tiny island way down in the Caribbean Sea.  By the time we return in a couple of years or so, traveling up and down that island chain, we will have covered more than double that to approximately 5,000 miles.

Let me digress (back up) to the beginning of our story so you understand that we did not just ‘do this’!


Even the “YING Just Go For It” is cool headed enough to prepare thoroughly to minimize risk, thereby potentially saving the (yet to be purchased) boat, our lives and certainly our marriage. We discovered the world of cruising and the resources available to one that wants to learn and most importantly, to learn from the experiences of others. Attendance at numerous TRAWLER FESTs, the taking of numerous boating courses, including such things as diesel repair, navigation, weather, ship's systems from stem to stern, & on and on increased our knowledge base and our confidence.  Trawler Fests and numerous boat shows enabled us to climb aboard a large number of trawlers of all sizes, all with various characteristics, features and with price ranges as vast as the Atlantic Ocean. After several years, we narrowed our search to a particular trawler brand, the DeFever Trawler. Planning & preparation then began in earnest.

Student Discussion Topic:  Why does one need to prepare in order to accomplish a goal.  What happens if one does NOT prepare? 

There is NEVER a perfect time to cast off -- much like there is NEVER a perfect time to have children.... One must just GO FOR IT (here speaks YING again). With a strong belief in never wanting to say, "I WISH I HAD..I wish I had done this or I wish I had done that.... and waking up one morning to two very loud thoughts reverberating about my brain...(1) realizing that my spouse and I were not getting any younger and that one needs good health to cruise and (2) that somewhere along the line I had lost sight of the fact that even though I believed in Working to Live and not in Living to Work....my life was consumed by work and there was no hope of turning that around. The decision to retire early a year or so ahead of my personal timeline was quick and easy to make and came as a shock to many, including my YANG spouse (who had already retired, him being much (grin) older than I) my children and certainly to my colleagues at work.

Student Discussion Topic:  Setting goals in order to follow a dream or a desire.  How does one set a goal?  How can one break a dream into small parts that can be managed and prepared for?  How does one measure success of each accomplishment?  What happens if one does NOT set a goal?