Sailwhisper.com and Sail Whisper blog retire

16 November 2014

Friends of Whisper,

As the annual renewal for sailwhisper.com came due, we had a look at the traffic stats and our annual spend on hosting and decided it was time to retire sailwhisper.

In 2001, when we started sailwhisper.com we didn’t have wordpress, so this hand-crafted html/php site served as the main blog and photo-sharing album of our trip. As blog and social media technologies progressed, they rendered our self-hosted blog/website obsolete as we (along with the rest of the world) made the quick transition.

I looked around for solutions that would allow us to migrate an old website to wordpress or other free hosting service but didn’t find anything (simple, fast, & free).  So in the end, we decided it was a good time to close it down. I’m sure Fischer Panda generators is happy about that decision — our page describing our ongoing six years of FP-generator misery is (was) ranked #4 on Google!

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Ah the memories…

November 2014 month marks the 10-year anniversary of our arrival in Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand — after two years in Mexico and a wonderful summer of 2004 cruising the South Pacific –French Polynesia, Niue, Palmerston, and Tonga. Then exploring New Zealand’s beautiful south island, followed by three years living-aboard Whisper (while working) in Auckland — all while enjoying the awesome coastal cruising around Northland New Zealand, Great Barrier Island and the Hauraki Gulf. So good.

We added Fiji and New Caledonia in 2008, but never quite found the time to add Australia and the end of our trip. It is now the end of 2014 and time to say goodnight to that awesome 7+ year chapter of our cruising life. We can always have a look at our locally-saved version of sailwhisper if we get the urge to reminisce.

Back in the real-world now, we’re still enjoying our work/life here in San Francisco while dreaming-up next adventures. We’ll see you out there.


The San Francisco housing search is on

28 June 2009

When we arrived back to the San Francisco bay area in mid-January we lived in a Summerfield suites in Belmont for a month while we looked for a short-term rental and jobs.

We found a great furnished/view apartment in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood, signed a 6-month lease, and then focused on the job search.

Well, now it’s June. We’re both gainfully employed again and our lease ends next month, so we’re now on the hunt for a longer-term place. Since Robin and I are both working in the City and we like the SOMA neighborhood, we’ll focus on this area. There are lots of new condos and apartments available here and after living on a boat for 7 years, even a 1200 sq ft apartment seems spacious!

We’re hoping find a place soon and get more permanently settled. It may be a good time to buy, so we’re considering that option as well. We’ll keep you posted.


Back to Work!

4 May 2009

It’s been a wild ride for past couple of months. After some whirlwind interviews in March and a great match-made, I snagged a great business analyst role at Atlassian.

Atlassian is a very successful privately-held software company based in Sydney but with an office here in San Francisco. I spent three of my last five weeks in Sydney — meeting my new team and getting up to speed on the products, internal systems, and the business model. I’ve been climbing a steep learning-curve but I’m just now starting to make a positive contribution.

Atlassian formed 7-years ago with a great product and a smart strategy to achieve a global-reach. Their flagship product is JIRA, a great browser-based “issue tracker” (issue/bug/feature/task/project tracking & management) solution. Atlassian expanded their product suite with “Confluence” the leading Enterprise Wiki, then introduced a suite of developer tools which are now used by thousands of software developers world-wide.

Atlassian has offices in Sydney, San Francisco, Amsterdam, and recently Gdansk. My boss and the rest of my internal systems team are located in Sydney, but I’m working primarily with the internal marketing, sales, and support folks here in San Francisco. The company has a great energy, culture, and attitude and it feels great to be a part of it. Bottom line? It feels great to be back to work — and especially for such a cool company!


Back in San Francisco

27 February 2009

Well, we are back in the San Francisco bay area and getting somewhat settled. We have a short-term furnished apartment rented in San Francisco, a hybrid rental car, and we are on the hunt for gainful employment.

The apartment is just south of Market near South Beach and on the 23rd floor of the new residential tower. The view is spectacular, and the building amenities are very nice. The apartment includes a very nice private gym with a lap pool. It’s nice to have this a 30 second elevator-ride away–no excuses not to go work out.

We’ve got our our home office(s) set-up now, including high-speed Internet via a cable modem! Sweet… We feel “connected” again.

Both Robin and I are pursuing our short-list of companies in the hope we’ll find some interesting, fun, and challenging work sometime in the next month or so. We have some excellent leads, but have no idea how things will evolve.

Once we land these great jobs, we’ll get a better idea of where we might want to live long term. Wherever we end up, our objective is minimum commute time (by car). A stress-free train ride or quick bicycle ride is just fine.

When we’re not working on our job search, we’re catching up with friends, reconnecting with work colleagues, learning some new technology stuff, and researching the cool companies we might want to work for.

We’re also spending a little cash to help stimulate the economy. We needed a few items to get established again. You know, clothes, shoes, a Bose 3-2-1 home theater system. The new iPhones are just too cool. We also needed a stock-up on some new movies and music. The iTunes Store folks must love me.

There are also some great restaurants nearby to sample, and we always keep an eye out for fun stuff to do in and around the City. I could get used to this city-living. Life is good…

NOTE: For friends that usually keep up with (or contact) us via Sail Whisper or our blogs, please come join us on Facebook!


Whisper is sold!

11 January 2009

Well, to our surprise, Whisper did sell in Australia — to a nice couple from Melbourne. The deal happened rather quickly and the closing was perfectly timed for our return to the States.

Whisper will go out cruising with her new owners in the next few years. I hope they have fun in the islands — she was a very comfortable home and excellent passage-making yacht.

As far as our return to the USA goes, we will spend almost a week in Sydney visiting friends, then fly back to San Francisco on 17 January 2009.

We look forward to our re-starting our work and social lives [somewhere] as land-lubbers.


Plans congeal. Or is it coalesce?

13 December 2008

Our re-entry into the real world has required a bit of planning. The first decision, was “pick a country”. Australia, New Zealand, or the United States of America?

Decision made. We are returning to the San Francisco bay area to live and work. One-way flights from Sydney to SFO on 17 January 2009.

Once we made that decision, we then needed three parallel project plans with tasks and contingencies…

First there is the sell the boat (or ship it back) plan. We are still trying to sell Whisper here in Australia. The exchange rate has dropped precipitously in the last quarter, so finding an Aussie buyer becomes less likely each day, but we are still hoping. If it does not sell, we will put it on a freighter back to Ensenada sometime in the next year and figure out what to do then.

Next is the “find interesting work” plan. Yes, we know it will not be as easy to find work as in the boom years, but we are fairly confident we’ll find something interesting, challenging, and fun to do. We are both actually looking forward to getting back to work. Go figure? We have decent professional networks and we have been watching the short list of companies that interest us. We’ll at least have focus for our initial search.

Finally, there is the find a place to live, start-over, and find transportation plan.

We will jump into a week of furnished corporate housing when we return, with the intent to find a short term place to rent for a while during that first week. Then, as we ascertain where we will be working, we’ll find a better long-term rental that optimally reduces both of our commutes. If one person needs to compromise on a commute, we’ll look for a place near mass transit! We’ll likely wait a while before we jump into any home purchase. For now, we have an Earth Class Mail address and a couple of Skype phone numbers to hold us over during the transition to a long-term rental.

Although we’ll ship back a few boxes of household goods, we are basically starting over. I hope we’ve shed some of our previous hyper-consumptive ways, but we’ll see how we do. There is a bit of pent up demand for things we miss from civilization (no offense New Zealand and Australia), but we’ll approach these with moderation.  Fast Internet and a reliable cell phone are top priority.

Transportation? For the first month back, we’ll be renting a car. Hopefully, we’ll quickly ascertain where we will be working and assess our commutes. We’re pretty sure we’ll still need at least one car, and we’ll go as tiny and green as we can handle. I think a Tesla Roadster would be nice, but I don’t think I’ll get budget approval. Maybe a Smart for Two?

It’s all very exciting and we are looking forward to returning. I know the bay area won’t be exactly like it was six years ago when we left, but I’m sure it will still be fun — and we always find it refreshing to start-up again.


Update from Brisbane, Australia

17 November 2008

Well, we finally made it to Brisbane and we are now settling Whisper into her slip in the Scarborough marina. She will stay here until she sells, or until we move her on to wherever we live next. With the world economy slowing and the AU$ exchange rate slipping against our US$ price, there is a good chance we will end up keeping Whisper as a very nice daysailer!

We picked up our rental car today and did some re-provisioning to carry us through the holidays, but tomorrow we start scheduling some of the work we need to do on the boat. This week we’ll focus on preparing the boat for sale and next week we’ll start our job search.

We have an American friend visiting us in Brisbane over the Thanksgiving holiday and will look forward to visiting some friends in Sydney over the Christmas holidays. We hope to get back to work first thing in the new year — somewhere in the world!

Right now, we are looking at possible opportunities in the San Francisco Bay area, Sydney Australia, and Auckland New Zealand. Until we get a better sense of our work prospects, we’re not quite sure where we will end up living. The good news is that our skills seem to be in demand down-under, so if the economy is struggling back home in the USA, we can still live somewhere fun and find some interesting work.

That’s about all for now. After it sinks in that two days ago might have been the last time we’ll ever sail on Whisper, I’ll write an update on how it feels to be wrapping up our cruising lifestyle.


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