S.V. Dark Angel
Tell us who you guys are.
We're Lisa & Dave. We love to travel anywhere warm and friendly, to explore, meet new people, see new places, and share what we see. Sailing Dark Angel is our unscripted tale of learning a whole new life. Freedom and adventure on the water, living an alternative lifestyle.
Oh Hey now
How did you become interested in sailing?
We didn't start out looking at sailing. We started out looking for a warm climate to move to. As we researched, we began to lean toward sailing as a means to travel and explore rather than be tied to one location.
Dave - I raced sailboats as a Sea Cadet when I was a kid.
Lisa - Dave introduced me to sailing starting with a little Hobi cat, on vacation in Jamaica, and I was hooked.
When did you start?
We started planning more than three years ago, placing our business online and putting things in order to move onto a cat.
On the line
What made you want to start cruising?
YouTube was a huge influence in our decision to start cruising. We followed channels with beginners and concentrated on cruisers who share our goals.
They also hate snow
Tell us all a little bit about your YouTube channel!
We decided our YouTube channel would reflect the new experiences and discoveries we make. We don't have a ton of experience for 'how-to' videos and the only advice we offer is to get out and live life. Don't wait for it to come to you. We hope to inspire people the way we've been inspired.
What kind of boat do you have?
'Dark Angel' is a 2006 Fortuna Island Spirit 401. South African built and designed for offshore sailing, she has 3 cabins that we've whittled down to 2, a very shallow draft and excellent sailing characteristics. We fall in love with her more every day.
She's a beaut clark!
What is your most memorable moment aboard your catamaran?
Dolphins swimming and playing off the bow of the boat. It just doesn't get better than that. We don't think we'll ever tire of dolphins!
What is your favorite part of the nomad sailing life?
The best part of the nomadic sailing life is constantly seeing new scenery, meeting new people, and discovering places and things we've never experienced before. Every day is a new adventure.
What is your least favorite part of the lifestyle?
The only real downside to cruising is missing our (adult) kids. We hadn't planned for the travel issues that make it very difficult to connect. We hope these things are resolved soon. We miss them every day.
Thats got to be tuff
Tell us about your shenanigans at sea.
Hmmm, which shenanigans can we share?
Dragging behind the boat while underway, to cool off on a hot day...
Hey hunny- get out the rope your going to for a dip
Do you prefer being at anchor or moving around?
We love to be at anchor in new places and it's a fantastic feeling to pull the anchor and sail off to the next adventure. Each is our favorite while we're doing it.
Why is the rum always gone
We love spicy food! Trying new foods is part of the fun
somthing about peppers
What are some of the must haves you have on your boat that you couldn't go without?
Aside from each other, the most important items on the boat are water and energy. Without the watermaker our flexibility to travel would be extremely limited. Our solar panels are tired, so we hope to upgrade soon. They don't keep up with our needs at all. In the meantime our little generator gets a daily workout topping up our 900ah battery bank.
Arbys - We have the Power
What's next for you and your adventures?
We plan to continue our shakedown cruise throughout the Bahamas and then head to port, probably in Florida, for upgrades and repairs before venturing out to explore the rest of the Caribbean. We plan on eventually crossing the Panama canal and discovering the South Pacific. Fiji and Bora Bora are high up on the list.
Saddle up we're going on an adventure
We plan to add SCUBA as we refit 'Dark Angel'. A compressor is really needed to get the most out of SCUBA as a live-aboard.
One goes this way one goes that way
What's it like living on a boat?
Living on a boat is breathtaking and at the same time loaded with compromises. Everything is very different compared to shore life, from the bathrooms to power and water management. Also the weather now dictates everything we do. We have several apps that we refer to constantly to keep up on wind and wave patterns. Safety is paramount.
Can't swim with sharks off your deck at home
Favorite meal to cook while out at sea?
If we are running the engines we love to throw ribs in the slow cooker. That's the only time we can spare that much power for the hours it takes to make delicious slow-cooked ribs
I mean who dosent love BBQ
Where would you like to see yourselves in 10 years?
10 years from now we should have a better idea of where we'd like to eventually retire. Hopefully we'll still be healthy and ambitious enough to keep traveling. We get bored easily.
Cheers to the next 10 years
Is it hard being together all the time, and do you find it taxing on your relationship?
After 11 years together we are still joined at the hip. Yes, we're those people. We hate to be apart. Even away from the boat we are rarely beyond arm's length from one another. This lifestyle will not save a damaged relationship, but it can really strengthen a solid one. A couple has to truly be an equal team to live this way.
Smile says it all
PS. hope to meet you guys at the boat show one day
What was your favorite port so far and why?
The nicest marina we've been to is The Marina at Ortega Landing in Jacksonville, Florida. For food and entertainment we have to go with St Augustine. Having said that, we really don't care for marinas.
There are so many amazing places in the Bahamas it's hard to pick a favorite port. Some of the isolated anchorages we've visited in the Berries and Exumas are stunningly beautiful. Every time we think we've found the best place, we discover another.
Sweet or sour?
How does one choose between sweet and sour?
Sweet or sour? Yes please.
So basically these
What's your favorite book?
Lisa- My favorite book is Swan Song although I'm currently loving reading the Game of Thrones series.
Dave-I have to go with Armor by John Steakley and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
This fits well
What is the craziest thing you have done while sailing to date?
crazy while sailing... does it have to be non-x-rated?
what is it about being offshore...?
Dave-while racing albacores as a kid, Ron Pihlaja and I perfected the 'dry roll'. We could fully capsize and right the boat while under full sail, barely losing any speed. Capsizing was often a part of racing albacores and we could pull that maneuver flawlessly. Won a lot of races.
What happens off shore stays there / wait are your kids reading this?
Never mind while sailing, what's the craziest thing you've ever just done?...
Lisa- the second craziest thing I've ever done was skydiving with my son. 3,000 ft solo jump after 5 hours of ground training. I've never been so scared. The craziest? Selling my beautiful home and everything we owned and buying a catamaran to go sailing around the world.
Dave- I love to go fast. I've raced just about everything with wheels, tracks or keels, on water, ice, snow, logging roads, pavement and dirt, but I agree with Lisa. Selling everything and venturing off on a cat is certifiable.
Normal people don't do this!
Who needs a house!
Lisa - My favorite comedic movie is Spaceballs. My favorite sci-fi is the Alien series. I have a pet face-hugger on my boat.
Dave - My favorite movies are Galaxy Quest and Men With Brooms. Love off the wall humor
Pool or Beach?
We had a pool and loved it. It got us through hot summers and lock-downs. The local beach was not great. Having said that, we love exploring beautiful new beaches. It's a big part of what we do now.
No one invited me to the pool
Do you have any advice for a new cruiser?...
As a new cruiser, do your research. Put in the work or you'll be sorry. This is not for the faint of heart. Try some boats and sample this lifestyle before diving in. The best boat deals are to be had from people who tried this without knowing what they were getting into, and then discovered it wasn't for them. Be prepared financially. Getting into this and maintaining a vessel can be a pricey proposition.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to just get up and start sailing?
There are websites looking for crew and there are local yacht clubs that will take you out and teach you the lines. Learning to sail is a lot of fun and it can be overwhelming. The right guide/teacher can change everything for you. Get out and do it. You can't learn to sail online or from a book.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to buy a boat?
Buying a boat is a big ticket purchase and needs to be treated seriously. Find a broker who understands what you're looking for. Know your budget and understand what you want and need. Buying a boat is a study in compromise. You won't check all the boxes. Get a survey and make sure you have a good contract. There are a lot of hoops, especially if you are buying in a country you aren't a resident of, like us. A good broker will help you find the right boat and resources to navigate through the documentation.
Now that's a view
If you were a drink what would you be and why?
Lisa- I'd be a tequila sunrise... why? Tequila!
Dave-I'd be a Kracken and Coke. Smooth, with a bit of a bite.
Hmm I,m with Dave on this one, But the Rum is always gone
Do you prefer the number 34 or 3?
Based on numerology we'd have to go with 34.
"The number 34 essentially symbolizes the use of creative energy to achieve your desires and life purpose."
We aren't overly superstitious though.
Make sure you go give these guys a sub..