Guest Crew

Although our family feels quite comfortable and capable sailing Sophie pretty much anywhere, we will never turn down the opportunity to host family and friends on offshore legs. This page is where we celebrate the awesome people who have joined us on passages during our adventure.

Seattle – San Francisco, September 2012
This was our first offshore passage and covered 800 miles down the west coast of the US. We covered the distance in 4 days and used up 105% of our fuel doing so.

Dan Rogers
Dan was the best man at our wedding, share’s a birthday with Leo and is an all-around excellent friend. He netted Sophie’s first tuna on this leg leg and spent an hour cutting it up and vacuum bagging multiple meals for us. Husband to Cheryl, father of two awesome daughters, and driver of the fishkiller Cecille.

Karl Riebeling
Karl flies jets, hangs out in Hong Kong, and knows everything about everything. He provided the lure that landed the tuna and then did an amazing job searing it using a Martha Stewart recipe for our best meal on this passage. Husband to Tanya, father of Hans, and captain of the Hunter sloop Time out of Time.

Becky Hoppins
Jenna was sooooooo happy when Becky agreed to join us on this leg because she is smart, funny and doubled our number of female crew for the trip. She really enjoyed eating the tuna Dan and I caught using Karl’s lure. Wife to Ian, mother of Willow and Jewel (dogs), and captain of the Bayliner Nimbus.

Karl and Becky are both members of the Seattle Yacht Club.

San Diego – Marquesas, March 2013
This 3,000 mile passage will most likely be Sophie’s longest leg for our entire circumnavigation. It was a great trip that we covered in 18 days.

Dan Rogers and Rich Utzschneider
Dan flew down from San Diego to join us for our Pacific crossing. He is also the first person on the adventure to get a tattoo. Joining Dan was my brother Rich, who is pretty much the ideal crew for a Pacific crossing. He is my brother, but much more importantly he is a mechanical engineer, CEO, chef, musician, and parent with two transatlantic crossings under his belt. Overall he is an extremely pleasant person to hang out with, and we were lucky to have TKOF (“The King of Fun”) on the leg.

Bora Bora – Rarotonga, July 2013
After Rich and Dan left Sophie in Nuku Hiva, Jenna and I (with the help of our kiddies) sailed Sophie down the Marquesas and then through the Tuomotos on our way to the Society Islands. When it was time for us to leave the Societies, Karl Riebling, his wife Tanya, and their son Hans were on board. Karl and Hans joined us on the trip to Rarotonga which was one of our roughest passages, with 35 knot winds and 4-5 meter seas on the beam for 2 days. Hans remains the only young adult who has done a guest passage with us. Tanya, unfortunately, had to leave early and missed the pounding.
Tanya, Karl, and Hans Riebling.

Fiji – New Zealand, October 2013
Jenna and I had been worried about this passage since we started our trip in 2012. We had read many horror stories about boats getting pounded on the nose by southwesterlies after they left the tropics and approached the New Zealand coast. This turned out to be a fairly uneventful trip for Sophie, with easterly trade winds giving us a strong beam reach for a couple of days, and then a system chasing us from the north for the next couple of days. We used almost all of our diesel but made it into Opua in a little over 5 days. We know of another catamaran that was dismasted on the same passage, so we felt quite grateful.

Fortunately we had some great crew for this trip.

Fred Pot
Fred is a fellow Seattle Yacht Club member and a globally-recognized expert on cloud-based marine navigation systems. He’s from the Netherlands and taught me that Holland was just a county. He constantly tracked our position and insured that Sophie executed proper maritime flag etiquette at all times. He was an absolute delight to have on board.

IMG_0892Frank Ritter
Frank is yet another Seattleite (spot a trend yet?) who is originally from Germany. He races sailboats on the local Seattle club circuit and won the award for making the best loaf of bread anyone has ever brought onto Sophie. It was this dark German rye bread covered in seeds and nuts that he hand carried from Seattle to Fiji. It was delicious!

New Zealand – Fiji, May 2014
For our return to the tropics, we once again turned to good friends to assist us on a long passage. This trip turned out to be ridiculously easy, with flat seas and winds at our back.

Dan Rogers (again)
Dan returned to Sophie for his 3rd offshore passage, this time sporting a short hair cut and a beard. He was awarded for his grooming efforts by landing the big marlin we caught on the passage.

Ravi and Alison Raman (aka “Ravison”)
Ravi and Alison are friends from Seattle who quit their jobs to backpack around the world. They hooked up with us in New Zealand, and we somehow convinced them to join us on the passage to Fiji despite their complete lack of sailing experience. Talk about adventurers! I am not sure what was the biggest challenge for them: sailing 1,100 offshore miles or being vegans on a boat that normally serves meat or fish 3 times a day. They are a great couple to have on board.

Fiji – Vanuatu – Solomon’s – PNG – Jayapura, Indonesia, Sept-Nov 2014
We covered 3,000 miles across four countries in 10 weeks, and we will spend much more time in this area on our next circumnavigation. And there will definitely be a next circumnavigation.

Lauren Bowes
Lauren joined us in Fiji after working as a chef on a professionally-crewed luxury catamaran. She’s from Florida, grew up in Virginia, went to culinary school in Vermont, and even worked with Jenna’s cousin Eric in a restaurant in Michigan. She loved to fish, stand watches, drink beer, and even started to clean the boat when she got bored! And man, could she cook. I will carry memories of her mahi mahi fish cakes to my grave. Best crew ever.

Sorong – Ambon, Indonesia, Dec 2014 – January 2015
By the time we hit the north coast of Indonesia, we had transitioned to passagemaking along the equator, which involves lots of motorsailing while trying to avoid sudden squalls.

gunshotSteve Schufreider
Steve joined us for two weeks in Raja Ampat, then helped us get the boat from Misool to Ambon in a nasty blow. He works for Yachtmasters in Seattle and installed most of the systems on Sophie before we left. It was great to have him join us for a vacation, even if I did occasionally ask him to hand me a screwdriver. Good friend and a great crew.

Ambon – Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, February 2014
It’s funny how more friends and family began to show up as we approached Bali.

IMG_4787Holly Wakefield
Holly is Jenna’s cousin and lives in our house back in Seattle. We all love her so much. She was a regular on Sophie before we left, joining us on the boat dozens of times every year. We were so happy when she finally joined us on our cruise. Unfortunately, she had a bit of a baptism by fire as we pounded through a 40 knot gale on her first night offshore as we left Ambon. But she covered a respectable 600 miles with us, including stopovers in Hoga and Riung. Holly enjoyed her night watches. We all wish she would quit her job and join us permanently.

Updated March 2015






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