Back in 2001, my wife Karen and I bought a sailboat and took our kids sailing around the Caribbean for nearly a year (see Google Earth visualization of that trip, and see the “blog” for that trip). My wife and I thought cruising and exploring by sailboat was such a great idea, we planned to do it again when our kids moved out for college. In fact, we decided we would sell our house, buy a new boat, and live and sail around the world for five years. Meanwhile, Frank discovered Google Earth and fell in love with the application and its ability to let you virtually explore the planet. His desire to explore other places in person has only increased since he began blogging every day about Google Earth.
Our kids (who are twins) started college in 2008. So, we bought a new sailboat called Tahina in August 2008. We spent a year doing an enormous amount of preparation, not only for the boat, but also to get our house, cars, and pretty much everything else ready to be sold off (see older blog posts on this site for stories about the preparation).
Google liked Frank’s idea of documenting the trip in Google Earth, so we partnered with Google to help bring our content to millions of people through Google Earth. This gives us the opportunity to help raise awareness about concerns about the health of our planet, and share the wonder of remote places so few people get to visit. So, we’ve turned our trip into an expedition to help raise awareness and to help people share in our amazing travel experiences. Find out about other partners for the Tahina Expedition. Also, learn tips on using Google Earth for sailors.
We departed North Carolina on November 14th, 2009 and sailed to St. Martin in the Caribbean. We made our way through the windward islands of the Caribbean, the ABCs, and Cartagena. Then we went through the Panama Canal in late March, to the Galapagos, French Marquesas, Cook Islands, Niue, Amercian Samoa, Tonga, and spent six months in New Zealand. We then spent a season traveling in Fiji, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia before sailing on to Australia. Late in 2012 we sailed from Australia through Indonesia to Singapore and Malaysia. In 2013, we spent more time in Malaysia, sailed the eastern part of the peninsula during the summer, then in the fall we sailed up the Malacca Straight to Langkawi. At the start of 2014 we started out the year cruising in Thailand, we then went back to Johor, Malaysia and prepared for our Indian Ocean crossing. We left in May and went to Sunda Straights, Cocos Keeling, Rodrigues, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, and landed in South Africa at Richards Bay in late September. Next we crossed the South Atlantic stopping at Luderitz, Namibia; St. Helena, and arriving again at Prickly Bay, Grenada where we celebrated completing our circumnavigation. We spent another few months sailing through the Carribean and Bahamas before making the final passage and returning back to the same place we left in North Carolina in June 2015. Read more about our route.