I'm drawn to this voyage for two reasons. First, it's about following my curiosity to better understand the natural world and getting to know it firsthand. I value biodiversity and think that living close to the Earth teaches how to be less destructive. From this vantage point, I'm on the lookout for ways to be a steward of the sea and hope that Havili's stories will inspire others to take action. Second, life aboard Havili supports a wholesome lifestyle where best friends can live together, healthy food and activities are plentiful, and fresh breezes fill our lungs as much as they fill our sails.
My background includes a bachelors in mechanical engineering from MIT, two years co-founding a snow science and backcountry skiing company, and over three years working at SpaceX as an instrumentation engineer. I’ll be drawing upon these experiences to create a sustainable life for our vessel at sea. For past projects I've worked on, please see my LinkedIn profile.
I was born in California with a strong affinity for animals, which developed into a passion for wildlife and environmental conservation. This passion led me to caring for pandas in China and endangered felids in California, promoting bird conservation initiatives at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and conducting field research in Tanzania to assess the impact of climate change on local communities. After graduating from Cornell University with a B.S. in Animal Science and Natural Resources, I worked at Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit that creates and manages greenhouse gas sequestration and carbon offset projects.
With no prior sailing experience and 6,000+ nautical miles now under my belt, my mission is to document the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and island nations around the world. Through interviews with locals and interactions with all living beings of our natural world, my goal is to tell the stories of those whose lives are impacted by the ocean.
Our journey began in Tonga aboard a humble thirty-six foot charter sloop. Havili only needed five days to instill Sam with a dream that would last for two decades (and counting). It was probably the wholesomeness of eating freshly caught fish and foraged fruit, the excitement of visiting new islands, the stress of the anchor fouling with fishing nets during a midnight squall, and the beauty of a sunset eclipsed by whale tails. This was a good way to live, and Sam left Havili determined to find a way to come back.
HAVILI, PRESENT DAY
As the plan evolved, so did the ideal boat. She’d need to support the crew with guests and be comfortable for long-term living. The team developed an interest in starting a small business aboard to engage in scientific efforts to support both their curiosity and their journey. A Mariner 40 Ketch fell just short of the mark in 2015 when her keel fell off during the sea trial. (Lesson learned: don’t skip the haul out survey!)
Havili is a 1976 Transpac 49 ketch built in Taiwan, hull number three. Sam is her fourth owner, and while she was purchased in a very capable state with some upgrades, much has changed since she entered our world in 2016. She even left us briefly in late 2017 when an anchor chain fouled her propeller, resulting in a constructive total loss due to engine failure. But, alas, she has since been rebuilt and seems to be even hardier than her crew.
If a friend came to you and asked if you wanted to go on a trip on his sailboat to Mexico and further south, would you say no? An opportunity to sail, swim, and explore parts of this world for ourselves was too big of an adventure to pass up. With a crazy love for water, sun, and new ways of life I open-heartedly moved onto Havili!
Sam and I have been great friends since childhood, growing up in Central Maine together. Even then, a lot of time was spent in, on, or around the water: canoeing and rafting on the Maine lakes, sailing and fishing in Buzzards Bay, and taking SCUBA classes together in the frigid waters of northern New England. After finishing a voyage from Massachusetts to the turquoise waters of the Bahamas this past year with my girlfriend Catherine onboard our own sailboat, Vagabundo, Sam invited us to join him on Havili. We both jumped at the opportunity to explore a different area of the world and cannot wait to see what this voyage brings!
Woof! I’m a four year old mountain pup turned boat dog! My first experience on a sailboat was a ten month long sailing trip down the east coast of the U.S. and around the Bahamas on a 30ft sailboat, Vagabundo. I wasn’t sure about moving back onto another sailboat but the crew has rekindled my love for the ocean with fresh fish treats (bluefin tuna is my favorite!) and a comfortable place to be rocked to sleep on the saloon couch...I even sneak into the captain’s cabin every once in a while for a quick nap and peak out the porthole. I’m excited for the beaches, fish to be caught, and meeting more of my sea dog cousins!
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