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Closing The Loop: A Journey Of A Thousand Miles

Dana Greyson

Dana Greyson was born and raised in Washington state, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Today, she lives on a sailboat, and — while still an American citizen — travels around the world with her husband, Wayne Seitz. The couple met in 2005.

“He asked me to go sailing with him," she said. "I’d been on a sailboat a time or two, but nothing that I’d take seriously. But he asked me to a charter with him up in the San Juans.”

So Greyson and Seitz became a sailing team. Each had been married before but had no children. Seitz is an aircraft mechanic and Greyson had worked for Hewlett Packard. They had few ties to dry land.

“We were in Everett in 2010. Wayne was working at Boeing on the Dreamliner, and I was having a hard time  finding steady work," she said. "He just popped with it one day: ‘What would you think about having us chuck it all, buy a boat, and sail around the world?’ ”

Their plans developed. In 2011, Seitz flew to St. Lucia in the Caribbean to buy a sailboat. She said it was "a particular boat that’s known for being a real solid, seaworthy boat.”

They sailed from St. Lucia to Jacksonville, where Wayne had found a contract position working on commercial jets. They arrived in the summer of 2013 to escape hurricane season in the Caribbean, and planned to return to the Caribbean in December 2014.

“I had never been to Jacksonville. My husband’s an aircraft mechanic. The kind of work he does is in pretty high demand right now,” she said.

That gave them time to prepare their boat, as well as themselves, for leaving dry land behind.

The planning was both broad and practical.

“Make sure you’ve got all your health squared away, your baseline stuff — your doctor, your dentist," she said. "Is there anything you need to aware of? Immunization shots. Health is one of the reasons we chose to leave now, instead of waiting a few years, when it would be more prudent from a savings standpoint. Credit cards. It’s really important that you have multiple ways to access money when you need it.”

They kept only what they could fit into 150 square feet of cabin space. But shedding physical possessions was nothing compared to shedding habits — the mental and emotional preparation to live in an environment that would be out of their control.

“It’s a letting-go of any familiar routine, whether that’s people you see on a regular basis, being able to pick up the phone and call whenever you want," she said. "Your life is at the mercy of Mother Nature."

Greyson and Seitz sailed away from Jacksonville in December 2014. They’ve spent the last six months in New Zealand, which was the summer in the southern Hemisphere and cyclone season. They plan to leave soon for Fiji, Vanuatu then Australia, where they plan to sell their boat and go back to work for a while in the South Pacific — Dana teaching English, and Wayne fixing aircrafts. They have no plans beyond that.