This incredible story ought to be shared with Cactus Thorns readers. It is written by Stephanie Schulte for the Press-Enterprise. A married couple now living in Murrieta sold their home, pooled all their worldly assets, learned all they could about sailing and navigating the open seas and oceans — and spent the next 16 years sailing 44,000 miles around the World. Here is their story:
Press-Enterprise, October 11, 2013
Some dream about giving it all up and sailing around the world.
Ken and Margaret Crabill, of Murrieta, did just that, traveling 44,000 miles and visiting 48 countries as they sailed around the world for 16 years.
It all began in the 1960s when the couple lived in Malibu.
“Most of my friends played golf and I wasn’t interested in playing golf,” Ken Crabill said. “I would drive from our house in Malibu and see all the sailboats on the water and decided to take up sailing as a hobby.”
He joined a local sailing club and began taking lessons. More than two decades later, the couple decided to take their love of sailing to a new level.
“In addition to the extensive planning involved I took several boating classes through the U.S. Power Squadron,” Margaret Crabill said.
After several years of planning the couple sold their house and belongings, purchased a sailboat and set sail from San Diego on May 11, 1991.
During the first leg of their voyage, the couple traversed the Pacific Ocean towards the Marquesas Islands.
“As soon as we passed the breakwater, a feeling of freedom came over us,” Margaret Crabill said. “I had a lot of confidence in Ken’s abilities.”
She said contrary to many people’s ideas that sailing is all leisure, there is plenty of work to fill the days on the water. Maintaining the boat, personal grooming and eating kept them busy.
Every three hours, the couple took turns at the helm.
“Someone always has to keep watch,” Ken Crabill said.
While circumnavigating the globe, they dodged cyclones, stargazed, explored foreign lands and met native people.
“Everyone was very friendly, we never really had anyone treat us poorly,” Margaret Crabill said.
The couple also was treated to a host of sea creatures.
“The most amazing thing we saw was hundreds of dolphins swimming, jumping and spinning as we sailed the Indian Ocean,” Margaret Crabill said. “The dolphins were synchronized. It was like watching the Olympics.”
At the end of their journey they pulled into Ensenada on June 9, 2007, to decide what to do next as they eased back into society.
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