Sailing nomads

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Scott Campbell



Scott Campbell

A guy meets a girl and eventually they sail off to the Bahamas together. Not exactly a movie, but this is what Erik Barber and Chelsea Kearns are doing. The couple have an online blog where they have been documenting details and pictures of their sailing   journey down the East Coast and sharing it family, friends or anybody who is          interested.
Barber, of Clarendon, and Kearns, of Quyon, began dating in 2004. In 2007, the couple packed up their car and drove across the country where they    settled in Whistler, BC. It wasn’t until 2009, when they bought a sailboat in Victoria, that their dream started to become reality as they began sailing the coast of British Columbia. “Sailing the BC coast in the beginning was great. It’s actually much more of an advance cruising ground than the East Coast, so the learning curve was steep,” says Barber.
Before their adventure down the East Coast began, the boat needed a makeover after the year of travel in BC. Their vessel named ‘Dreamer Blue’ is a 1979, Hughes 35 foot        sailboat. “In 2010, we trucked her home to the Pontiac, where we set her up on my parents’ farm,” adds Kearns. “We spent three years completing a refit, working and saving money.”
The couple departed from Rockhill Maryland in October and have been   sailing down the East Coast ever since. “The Bahamas are just one of the places we’d like to go. Being only 50 miles from mainland USA makes them the    obvious first stop,” says Barber. “The Bahamas are a massive cruising ground that stretches about 750 miles with 700 islands and 2,400 cays, so you could spend a lifetime exploring the place,” he continued.
The couple both agree that this adventure is not always the smoothest of sailing, but has plenty of challenges. “There are daily trials and tribulations, such as boat maintenance and weather, but it’s amazing how quickly human beings can adapt to situations given the opportunity,” says Kearns. “To pick one thing I’ve learned – it’s that everything that can go wrong will go wrong, eventually. It’s easier to find the positives in the situation, and in turn, you’re more prepared to deal with it,” notes Barber.
The one aspect that has been the most enjoyable for the couple has been the freedom they both feel. “The idea of adventure in general has always been in our minds,” writes Kearns from a stop in Florida. “Travelling and seeing more of this incredible world has always been a top priority,” she continues.
“It’s exciting and stimulating, to wake up not knowing what the day will bring,” says Kearns. “We’ve been seeing new places, meeting new people and adjusting to this new style of living. It seems strange to take life so seriously. We’ve only got one life and we plan to live it as we choose, while having as much fun as  possible!,” she concluded.
The couples blog can be found at www.sailingnomads.com