Mid-Life Cruising Sabbatical

Chapter 1

Who We Are


We are Jim Barrentine and Diane Mayo. In 1991 (when we left Florida on our cruise) Jim was 43 and Diane was 40. We both had been married and divorced. Jim had two children (then ages 12 and 15) living with their mother. Their support and college educations had been taken care of so this was not a consideration in our plans.

Jim grew up in Mississippi (where he did no sailing) and moved to Ohio in 1969 where he began sailing with friends on inland lakes. He started going on week-long bareboat charters with his friends in the 70s. When he got enough experience, he bareboated on his own, mostly in the Virgin Islands. His only formal sailing instruction was the Coast Guard Sailing and Seamanship courese taken in Cleveland.

Diane grew up in California (where she did a little sailing) and for the previous 12 years had lived in Arizona (where she did no sailing).

Diane took a week-long live aboard sailing course for women as part of our preparation for our MLCS. She will describe that in a later article.

We both have graduate degrees and are what Peter Drucker would call "knowledge workers". Jim has an MS in computer sciences and Diane in library science. Jim has worked in the information industry since 1969 and Diane has been involved in selling automation systems to libraries. We met when we were working for sister companies of a conglomerate and became friends when Jim was transferred to be president of the company for which Diane worked.

A significant hobby which we both shared was food; both cooking and eating.

Jim was even part owner in a French restaurant at one time. We both had traveled extensively with our jobs and enjoyed eating in the best restaurants. We tell you all this to let you know that we had no interest in a cruising lifestyle where all the food was rice, beans, Spam and Tristan Jones burgoo. We took our cookbooks, our food processor and our Le Creuset cookware. A sailing friendís daughter said, upon seeing our galley, "Youíre not going sailing, youíre going cruising."

Jim had purchased our boat Down Time in April 1988 in Miami. He sailed her to the Bahamas before having her trucked to Cleveland later in the summer. In April 1989 Jim was transferred to Boston. In November 1989 we had Down Time trucked back to Miami. Our logic was that Miami had a year round sailing season and our Boston jobs had us traveling so much that it was easy to triangulate trips and get a weekend sail whenever we wanted.

We spent Christmas of 1989 on Down Time in the Bahamas.

This now brings us to April 1990 and the big decision for the Mid-Life Sabbatical Cruise. We are living in rented apartments in Boston and Down Time is in Miami.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Jim & Diane

Send comments to: jkbarrentine@earthlink.net


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