She was the editor of Cruising World magazine, he was a psychologist in private practice, when they bought a 39-foot Shearwater cutter named Ithaka, quit their jobs, sold their house, and set off on the cruising adventure that would change their lives. In the six years that followed, Bernadette and Douglas Bernon sailed Ithaka from Newport, Rhode Island, up to Canada, down the American coast, along the coast of Central America, down to South America, and finally back up through the Bahamas and home to Rhode Island.
As you read their highly entertaining blog, at first it seems as though they are destined to learn everything the hard way. But through the laughter and tears, the broken gear, the magnificent landfalls, the storms, adventures, fears, joys, and all the excitement, they became seasoned cruisers, and took us along for the journey.
In 2007, Douglas and Bernadette returned home to Rhode Island, to family and friends, and to a land life they found somewhat more hectic than the cruising life they'd left behind. Returning from cruising was such an adjustment, said Bernadette. Everything and everyone seemed to be moving so much faster. The cable news stations seemed so loud. Everyone had smart phones, and were in touch with everyone else all the time. "We'd come from such a quieter life, paradise really, and a rare community of people who all helped and supported each other, no matter what our differences were. It was hard to leave that, and start fresh again. But we were excited, too, and knew how lucky we were to have had that adventure."
Over time, Bernadette and Douglas carved out new and very happy lives back at home. Today, Douglas teaches at Brown Medical School, and has a private psychoanalytic practice. Bernadette, after working as a freelance travel and adventure writer for several national magazines including Islands, Forbes Life, and others found the perfect job. She's now the Editorial Director for BoatU.S. Magazine, steering our Association's flagship publication and our growing media department, making all our magazines more exciting, inspirational, and vital for our active Membership. The Bernons still love sailing, and make it a point to travel to some interesting corner of the world for a month every year, where they charter a boat, and explore to their hearts content.
The Log Of Ithaka is a blog that tells a timeless story about real cruising, relationships and characters, boats and technology, best Caribbean destinations, travel tips, and learning to live together in 39 feet, 24-7. If moving aboard a boat and going cruising is a dream you've harbored, welcome to the world of Ithaka, and to two people who will make you believe that if they can make their dream come true, then you can do it, too.