Who Are We?
Hi! We are Dale and Cori and we sail on Hi Flite. We live in NC. We moved here from Minnesota in August 2004.
I grew up in northwestern Minnesota. While in high school my Dad bought a 40 foot wooden "project" powerboat. We spent most weekends in the summer going to Warroad, on Lake of the Woods to work on the boat. A neighbor several docks down bought a sailboat and offered day charters. One day we went out for a sail. This was my first time on a sailboat. My best memory of that day was when a gust hit us while I had the tiller and we started to turn up into the wind. Not knowing what was happening or what to do I just pulled the tiller harder to keep us on course. I now know that this was wrong, we should have let out the sheets to hold course. I remember how it felt and the power of the wind and at that moment I was hooked on sailing.
In the early 70's, Artic Cat, the snowmobile manufacturer a few miles up the road, started manufacturing a sailboat similar to the Sunfish. By this time we had sold the project boat and actually had a cabin on Lake of the Woods. My Dad bought one of these sailboats and I learned to sail. Eventually I moved to the Twin Cities and didn't have an opportunity to get up north very often.
I started shopping for a boat of my own and ended up taking home an AMF Force 5 that my Dad found in North Dakota. I trailered this boat to a variety of lakes in the Twin Cities and began to really learn to sail. What helped my learning was that if I did something wrong I ended up in the water. Soon I learned what not to do and started getting better. At this time I also joined a ski club that would take an annual charter trip to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. During this time I met Cori and took her sailing on the Force 5 and on the charter trips. Like everyone else I always had an urge for a bigger boat.
I grew up in on a ranch on the prairie north of the Black Hills of South Dakota. I lived for a time in Denver CO, Sioux Falls SD, and Cedar Falls IA, before moving to Minneapolis MN. While living in Minneapolis I met Dale. The Force 5 gave me a couple of sailing lessons by dunking me into the lake also.
One day after Dale changed jobs and was paid off for the vacation time he didn't use, we started looking at sailboats. We found a Chrysler 22 for sale and promptly bought it. We kept the Chrysler on Lake Pepin, a wide stretch of the Mississippi River on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. During this time we kept learning. Dale by practicing what the Force 5 taught him and Cori took sailing lessons at a sailing school on a local lake. Dale did make one trip with this boat to the Apostle Islands for a week of solo sailing and also took a charter sailing class so we would be able to charter a bigger boat in the Islands. We spent three years with this boat talking about what our next boat will be when we move up "in a few more years".
One evening I (Dale) was told "sit down we need to talk", a phrase that puts fear in any man. I was informed that a friend had called and was selling his Ericson 29, a boat that we had both sailed on. I was informed that "we have to find a way to buy her". Putting a plan together we became the proud owners of "Carina". Our initial plan was to get on a waiting list for a marina on Lake Pepin since that was only a 2 hour drive compared to Bayfields' 4 hour trip. A couple of months later the beauty of the islands took hold and we dropped that idea and chose to stay in the islands.
Cori's love of sailing did not take hold until we had the Ericson 29 on Lake Superior. She took the same charter class that Dale took to learn how to handle a larger boat. With encouragement from several other sailors in Bayfield her confidence grew. The second year we had Carina she began practicing handling the boat alone to prepare for an annual single-handed race. This involved Dale sitting on his hands and keeping his mouth shut. Not an easy thing to do. She competed in this race twice, finishing fourth in class the second year. After that it was not unusual to see her solo-sailing and anchoring out for the weekend when Dale couldn't make it to the lake.
During this time we set out from the Apostle Islands for a weeks trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula. The next year was a trip to Duluth MN and up the North Shore to Thunder Bay ON and Isle Royale. The most memorable was a three week trip from the Apostle Islands to Ontario's Pukaskwa Provisional Park. This was a trip of over 200 miles across the lake and a counterclockwise trip along the Canadian wilderness back to the Islands. This involved a passage with two overnights and covered more then 750 miles total. Our final trip was to Isle Royale and back to some of our favorite locations in Canada.
This is when the idea of cruising away really hit us. We met with a financial planner and started looking for the day we could slip the dock lines and go cruising. A reversal of the economy hit and Dale lost his job. Looking at this as an opportunity to start over somewhere else we put together a plan to sell our Ericson, our house, most worldly goods and relocate on the east coast. Deciding on Morehead City NC we packed everything into our new (for us) RV and headed east. Once settled in North Carolina we started shopping for a marina to live in and a boat where we could become liveaboards.
We had spent about three years off and on looking at boats after deciding that our Ericson 29 would not be the boat for our next chapter. We looked at many boats and changed our criteria many times, narrowing the search to a Pearson 424. In November of 2004 we purchased Hi Flite a 1981 Pearson 424 in St. Petersburg FL and moved her to her new home.
In October 2005 we moved out of the RV and becoming full time liveaboards.