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Our Family Sailing Adventure
The Broom family takes a break from the rat race aboard SV Dilly Dally.
Dilly Dally has left the building
Lisa/HOT and Humid
07/01/2011, Minnesota

Dale and several friends have been working very hard to get the boat house down so Dilly Dally can take a trip to the water. The boat house was built by Dale and consisted of a framed up structure covered in billboard tarps! Dilly Dally has been under cover since the fall of 2008. She finally saw the full light of day on Wednesday and was trucked up to Duluth on Thursday and splashed in the afternoon. Rumor has it a through hull was not plugged but only a few inches got in the bildge before that was taken care of!
Things have happened really fast this week as we also confirmed a renter for the house.
Good thing they hired someone for my position at work as I am not going to get anything done the next 2 weeks!!! OMG - 2 weeks, eeks.
Check out DD with her beautiful new bottom, slotted aluminum toerail and new ss ports!!

07/19/2011 | wade
sounds like an impulsive adventure that will create debt.
07/19/2011 | Annie G
This sounds like an amazing experience for you and your family! Our family will be "following" you on your trip!
Itinerary so far...
06/21/2011, Minnesota

Saturday July 16th - Bon Voyage party - 3:00 at the soon to be empty Broom Boatyard
Sunday July 24th - take Madeline to Camp
Monday July 25th - Dale, Wyatt, Timski and another (do YOU wanna go?) leave from Duluth heading for Buffalo, NY
Saturday August 6th - Lisa and Madeline drive to Buffalo, NY to begin the Erie Canal trip (do YOU want to go through the canal? - one opening available)
After that it becomes very free form. We would like to be in Newport RI by September 14th for the Boat show, to get our Life Raft packed and to go sailing with the NLSC.
October to November 5th - open, but ending in Oriental, NC.
November 6th - 10th - Lisa attends Conference in Boston to maintain professional certification (yes, we are coming back).
November 12th ish - head to the Caribbean. Leave Oriental, NC for St. Maarten via Bermuda (if needed) - still looking for crew.
The rest will be totally at the whim of the crew and the weather. We plan to be home again mid-August 2012. The kids gotta get back in school and Mom and Dad will have to work us out of debt ;-)

06/21/2011 | Jen Spring/formerly Safari Tu
Remember to look us up in Newport - we're happy to share some tips and a killer slide show of the trip we did... Good luck with all the final prep!
06/22/2011 | Suzie
Wow - how wonderful is this!! We'll try to get to the Bon Voyage party :) Nice Photo of Dale by Dilly Dally!! Love & Kisses xoxo
Our Girl

Learning to post pics

06/21/2011 | Tyler Howell
She looks a lot sweeter then the last time I saw her.
Safe journey and Fair Winds
07/19/2011 | steve j
Nice looking boat, the ketch was a great choice for family sail handling. Please share more details (and photos) about the boat for those of us who must share your adventure vicariously.
07/19/2011 | steve j
Ooops - I missed the photo album.
How did this happen??
Admiral Lisa
02/16/2011, Minnesota

Sometimes you gotta wonder - why would 2 seemingly sane people pull their kids out of school, quit their good jobs and go sailing? Trust me, a lot of people have asked me this - especially my mother. So, how about a little history.

I grew up in South Minneapolis near the "Lakes". Plus, our family has a lake cabin where we spent most weekends growing up. I was always interested in learning to sail. Every summer when I was a teenager and in college I would make this list of things to do. One of them was to "take sailing lessons". That never happened but the interest was there.

I grew up downhill skiing, swimming, dancing and doing most things middle class kids do. I never felt my parents restricted our activities and I was always up for something fun!! Fast forward to 1988. My roommate comes home and says "You wanna go skydiving?" Of course I said yes and off we went. I made it to 871 jumps, had a baby and quit skydiving. Side note: making my first jump in 13 years this weekend!!

After baby #1, Dale and I thought we needed to get scuba rated. By this time my mother is starting to accept I like to do these "somewhat" dangerous things. I know it's risky, but the risks can be managed with education, information and common sense. Fortunately, I have all 3!

So, you can see where this is going. It must be noted that Dale was certainly my partner in all this and most to blame for the sailing piece.
I meet Dale skydiving. He had already sampled flying, motorcycling, aircraft mechanic, truck driver, heavy equipment operator and marriage (twice). We hooked up and just continued having fun.

In 2001, Dale went on a Boy Scout trip with his son Mike to Sea Base in the Florida Keys. They spent a week on a 65 foot custom ketch. The bug nibbled. About 18 months later we vacationed in the Keys (to scuba dive) and found the same boat and arranged an afternoon sail. Now the bug had bitten. Dale comes home and starts looking at boats online. This led to a Catalina 22 "The Dog House" (I wasn't happy about this purchase at first.) Then to "Northern Dancer", an S2 8.0a. We loved this boat and spent several summers on board as a family. We joined a local sailing club. My first big charter trip was to Tahiti on a 46 foot catamaran. Now the bug was biting me too!

Finally, after too many margaritas at Bob Bitchin's Advanced Cruising Seminar in 2005, I agreed to start looking for a cruising boat. We found "Dilly Dally" in May 2006 in Miami and sailed her to Lake Superior. At the end of the 2008 season we moved her home and have been updating her for the big trip.

We have come to sailing in mid-life. But we had kids kinda late in the game. So, if we want to do this the kids need to come with. If we wait till they graduate high school, we will be in to our 60's and there are no guarantees. Besides, we want to do this as a family.

So here we are trying to get everything ready to go in June 2011. The only thing that would grind this all to a halt is not renting out the house. So, cross your fingers for a good tenant!!

04/12/2011 | Christina Ruddiman
Great story! You are going to have so much fun with your sailing adventure. We still have 3 months of sailing left. We all wish it could slow down! We went to a store on Harbour Cay in Eleuthra named Dilly Dally. It made me think of you, and I was wondering how the planning was going. We are now in the Abacos.
The Plan – what there is of it...
Admiral Lisa
12/03/2010, Frozen Minnesota

My first post!! I thought it was time to get this started so I can put the link to the blog on my Christmas cards.

Yes, we have a Plan. We also know that plans change, particularly when they are governed by weather and a couple of kids.

We intend to put Dilly Dally (DD) back in the water in Duluth Minnesota some time in May 2011. The kids are not out of school until June 9th. If we are ready, then off we go. The only real deadline will be getting out of the house before any renters move in. Hopefully we will be able to get underway before July 1st.

We will head across Lake Superior, to the Soo Locks, through Lake Huron, Lake Erie and the Welland Canal and then Lake Ontario. How long we spend and where is completely open! We would like to go out the St. Lawrence Seaway, around to Nova Scotia and Maine. Ideally, we would be there in the "heat" of the summer which might still require blankets at night!

September and October 2011 are really up for grabs as we are not sure where we will be. Heading for the Caribbean usually occurs after November 1st - the official end of hurricane season. So, we have some time to dilly dally. Maybe the Chesapeake in September, the Annapolis boat show in October. Who knows!!

Around November 1st we will head to the Caribbean. Exactly how we get there (which route, how many stops) is still under discussion between the Captain and the Admiral. We want to go all the way south to Grenada and cruise our way home up the islands. We know this is backwards for many but a lot of folks that go down island are not coming back up! It just sounds like a good idea to cruise facing the direction you need to go. Then we don't have to constantly think about "when should we turn around?" There is an SSCA New Years day party in Trinidad - maybe we'll go to that! (wow-that sounds cool).

December 2011 through June 2012 will be spent cruising the Caribbean. It sounds so simple to say. But that one statement has years of preparation, dreaming, hoping and worrying all rolled in to it. Those will be discussions for later blog posts.

June 2012 may be spent in the Bahamas if the severe weather holds off. This will definitely be a play-it-by-ear time controlled by the weather. We will be doing some big decision making too as we need to decide when to go home, were to store the boat, etc. We have not made any firm decisions other than admitting that we will be so broke that DD will be on the hard for a season or two. Lake Superior slips have a high price so we will have to rely on our friends in the Northern Lights Sailing Club to get our sailing fixes for awhile. The only deadline here is getting the kids back in school by September 2012.

Hmmm-re-reading this post has given me a few butterflies. Is this really going to happen??? We have talked and planned and changed the date for so long that it doesn't seem real. Writing this down has made it more so. Now I am starting to think up more lists of things to do. So much to do, so little time - eeks.

01/30/2011 | Christina
Hello to you all. You left a comment on our first blog posting over a year ago, and sent best wishes for a great adventure. So now I send best wishes to you as you get ready for yours. We are now in the middle of our trip and I am willing to share some of our experiences with your family as a possible tool to aid in your planning. Our blog is now private, but if you email us, we could share the information. We are also a family of four, spending an amazing year cruising and would love to follow your blog. Enjoy the planning!
06/22/2011 | Dianne Siebrasse
Lisa and Dale and family,
I can tell you that you will never regret the adventures and times you are going to have on your journey. All of you will grow immensely and wonder why it took you so long to throw off the dock lines. The best bit of advice I have is to remember to be flexible, adventurous, and open to new things and people. They are everywhere. Happy sailing.
07/19/2011 | Mark
Be sure to read up on the Bumfuzzles, another MN couple with extended sailing experience and living life afloat:
07/19/2011 | Scott Fogelson
I did the trip you describe from June 1977 to August 1978 with my parents on an Allied Luders 33. We crossed the Great Lakes, down the Erie Canal to the Hudson, went up to the 1977 America's Cup Races then down the Inter Coastal Waterway to Florida and the Bahamas and back. I was in 8th grade at the time. My father retired the first time at age 52 and we headed off. Home schooling was great but the adventure was better. May you have a safe and exciting trip. I would be happy to discuss the trip if you are interested. Good Luck
07/26/2011 | Sean Linnan
My wife and I have had a 9 year plan (currently down to 6) to take our kids with us when we circumnavigate. We've always thought of retirement early but then realized that it made more sense to take off 4 years "in the middle" and enjoy the kids before they get out of the nest. Our plan is to sell off all of our things that we dont have a sentimental attachment to and buy a 45 foot Catamaran (lagoon) and hit the road. We've done a lot of research into the online/home school options. Any suggestions? We also have made some inquiry as to medical kits/perscriptions we'll need along the way. My wife is a pharmacist so that has been helpful. Most of our friends think its nuts and have thought it may be a detriment to the kids (who will be ages 13, 12, and 7 when we leave), but we both think that there is no better gift we could give them than a trip like that. Like you, we live in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul) and feel like an escape from the grid is in order to keep them forward looking and keep the kids out of trouble. It's been a really difficult road to pave because it has impacted whether we buy a cabin, what money to spend on our cars, vacations, primary house, etc. Its tough to make sacrifices now for a plan that seems so far away. Congrats to you for doing it!!!

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Follow our year long journey starting July 2011 from the Great Lakes to the East Coast and Caribbean
Who: Dale, Lisa, Madeline and Wyatt
Port: Ham Lake, MN
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