Category Archives: Steve “Papa Gringo” Barnes

Stories by Steve

Sailing Away!

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First selfie from the top of the mast!

Cheers fellow travelers! It’s been a while since we updated, but we have a good excuse – last year, Vicki and I purchased a used 34′ Gemini catamaran sailboat and have been exploring the coast of Florida. During most of that time, we’ve anchored in relatively remote locations without access to internet, except via our phones. So, we’ve been a little lazy and posting primarily to our FaceBook page. After a year of cruising, we’ve finally pulled into Legacy Harbor Marina in Ft. Myers for a little break. We have great Internet access and a little time to catch up.

Vicki at the helm!

Vicki at the helm!

Over the next week or so, we will be posting some long-overdue stories about ourĀ stops along Florida’s coasts, including a summer spent in St. Augustine, our winter in the Keys and our hot and buggy time along the Gulf Coast of the Everglades. Owning a cruising boat is a lot of work and responsibility, so we haven’t made any long explorations of remote locales, but we’ve certainly had our share of adventures.

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SV Second Draft, our new-to-us 1999 34′ Gemini Catamaran, which serves as our floating home and base for exploration.

Living aboard a sailing vessel and living the cruising lifestyle is something we have always dreamed of doing. With the kids grown and out of the house, we decided to take the plunge. We could have waited until we had more money, or more whatever, but we know that life is short and that we have to make the most of the time we are given. So, while we are still young and healthy enough for this strenuous lifestyle, we’ve decided to go for it! So far, it’s been amazing, even though we’ve spent the entire year cruising in our “backyard” here in Florida. Next year, we hope to explore the Bahamas and Cuba. We hope you will enjoy the upcoming posts and continue to share your stories with us! For a taste of where we’ve been so far, you can catch up on our FaceBook page here! Thanks for following SV Second Draft!

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I love to travel, but…

Traveling is awesome, but sometimes you just want the comforts of home.

Traveling is awesome, but sometimes you just want the comforts of home – like a hot shower, sans wires.

I love to travel. Experiencing new cultures, new foods, new smells, new landscapes and especially new people makes me feel alive. And it doesn’t much matter if the place I am exploring is on another continent or in my own backyard: The volcanos and colonial cities of Nicaragua or the woods and springs of the Ocala National Forest. I’m immersed, lost, no longer shackled to the people, places and things that have become too familiar, too predictable.

But travel – and especially extended budget travel – isn’t as romantic as some writers would have us believe. There is discomfort, delay, frustration and sometimes danger. Tonight, as we prepare to wrap up two months of backpacking through Central America, I am ready to be home. Continue reading

Gringos in Paradise: High Wire

Coming to theaters this summer: Gringos in Paradise: High Wire

Packing for the trail: Three countries, two months; one backpack

How to die (er, fly) cheaply

By Steve BarnesĀ 

I hate to fly. In fact, I’m one of those travelers who gets to the airport a couple of hours early not because of security hassles, but so that I have time to hit the Steve airport cartoonairport lounge for a Bloody Mary or two (or three) before take-off. But if there is one thing I hate more than hurtling through the atmosphere in an over-sized tin can propelled by strap-on jet packs, it’s paying too much for the privilege.

Fortunately, finding a decent fare has gotten easier thanks to the internet, but it still requires some knowledge, time and a bit of luck on your part. Continue reading