The story of a family who crossed the Gulf of Mexico the same week the Corona virus shut everything down
Greetings! Yes this is a story of a family from Austin who spent 2 years planning a lifestyle of travel on a sailboat. I promise to not drag this out into 100 pages in order to get to the youtube video 🙂
The Bump-Wright family has its own authentic ring tone to it. His last name is Bump, mine is Wright. Why change names when the Bump Wright family sounds so great!
Well, here goes nothing! My name is Megan and I am going to tell you a story about how my husband and I sold everything and bought a boat..
There you got it! In a nut shell that is what happened however it took 2 years of planning and refit before we could follow our dreams into the wind!
- We sold our first investment home one was in Austin Texas and the other was in Humble Texas..
- Then we paid our debts
- We sold everything off of craigslist,offerup, and letgo.
- We crunched and saved and built a home that was ready to cross the unfortunate truth that the Gulf of Mexico is like a wishy wash machine with giant Riggs every where…
The adventure began
2 years ago My husband and I decided we were going to sell everything and buy a sailboat so we can live a life of travel and adventure. We decided that the way the government was turning, and all of the expectations that came from a basic middle class life was not for us. So we began to minimize everything we have collected over the course of living with each other for the past 10 years. We liquidated out investments, Hosted Pirate garage sales in East Austin and served Tacos ( Of course)
April of 2019 we found the perfect boat for us in Florida, so we packed a bag, invited my father in law and our friend Stephan friend for some extra crew and flew out to Florida to sail her back to Texas so we could finish selling off our things and prepare our vessel for a life at sea.
It took 2 weeks of sailing around Florida to Pensacola where we ran into a bit of an issue completing our trip. A huge storm was crossing the gulf and Later hit Houston pretty bad. We had to stay in pensacola while that storm decided where it wanted to land and we had run out of travel time before we were all fired from our jobs .
The night we decided Pensacola was our last stop for this trip was a heart sinking moment. We had planned on moving into her immediately and start saving our money while spending it on boat projects ( HAHA) By not completing this adventure my husband would have to pay another months worth of rent for his place he was staying at in Houston and we would have to pay another months of mortgage on the house I was living in in Austin. Not Ideal considering we were hoping to moving into the boat when it got back to Texas, So our options was to pull the mast and have our boat shipped by a big truck back to Texas Which would have easily costed us over 5k to do.. Our other option was to hire a captain to transport it but the oil rigs in the gulf around the Mississippi looked to be everywhere and if the captain fell asleep at the helm and ran into a rig that would have been absolutely everything we had been working so hard to aquire just -Trashed- It was nerve wrecking to weigh out if the lower cost was worth the risk…
The next Morning a friendly sailor we had met on the dock our first time into Pensacola had knocked on our boat and asked what we were doing back ( We had left to head to the Mississippi but the Mobil Bay is absolutely terrifying at night with super shallow waters outside the channel and broken water way posts that were not replaced properly but instead stamped with a reflector a foot out of the water. We decided to head back and end our trip)
Babbaloo ( the wonderful sailor we met a few days earlier) Offered us some rations and over dinner said ” A sailboat has no place being on land, What if I sail your boat for you ” Not only did he mention to sail our boat, But at a fraction of the cost as long as my father in law joined him and He even let us borrow his car to drive back to Houston to save us expense of renting a car and his return. By the looks of his boat and how he carried himself John and I decided it was like fate was handing us a card that we couldn’t resist but to go all in. So that is exactly what we did.
Fast forwarding a little bit
John and I lived on our sailboat in League City Texas for a year. We had a 2 year plan to launch our Traveling Education Youtube channel and travel the world educating anyone who wants to learn more about our life style, DIY Projects, and traveling secret treasures, and how we are making a positive impact on this earth. We waited one month before our official departure date to launch our channel because we want to have safe travels and be a little ahead of where our channel is however with this Corona Virus outbreak I thought It was a good Idea to launch a little preview into our crossing since many of you are at home quarantined and are mindlessly scrolling the web to kill time 🙂 What we didnt anticipate was that the whole world would essentially burn to the ground and everyone would linger on the internet endlessly making editing and producing that much harder. We left Texas in March of 2020 with a tour booked, and was ready to push out videos. Nothing went to plan…
The Oil Rigs
This is the map that is shown to you when you decide to research the rigs in the Gulf of Mexico… A Bit over Whelming don’t you think? The internet makes these buggers look insane! Our original plan was to go out far off shore and spend a little more time outside the chaos and chill with out newly installed Auto Pilot.. Unfortunately after day two our Auto pilot sensor crapped out on us and we were then forced to hand steer the rest of the time and we decided to go into shore a little closer because our engine was over heating when we motor sailed during the no wind times… What we later found out was that the sensor cores to the Ray Marine Auto Pilot has a 3 year warranty… and it is awfully wayyyy to common for them to crap out DAYS ( Or months) after the warranty expires… which means.. you will be replacing the sensor core every 3 years ay $600 a pop ( Ill add more details on which one we have in a little bit) So Keep in mind that if your warranty is expiring soon call it in and get it replaced before its too late >.<
Hand Steering isn’t too bad with wind. If you can trim the sails right the boat will follow the wind on course pretty nice which leaves room for little adjustments. But a complete pain the ass when your steering at night trying to avoid the lit up oil rigs and ships in no wind…
What we ended up discovering is that although that map above seems insanely over whelming it isn’t as bad as we expected.. A lot of the rigs have been removed or moved to other locations, Most of them were on our radar, and they are all a few miles between each other so its not like your winding in and out of rigs.. To be honest a lot of them were in the far distance as we passed and very spread out .. Occasionally we saw clusters of them about a mile apart from each other as we got closer to the Mississippi boot. The view of the rigs were more like this!
Our Departure Date
We had planned to be leaving Texas and Heading Back to Florida at the end of Feburary/ Early March. It was March 11 when we were saying goodbye to our friends and casting lines to cross the gulf of Mexico.. John and I were both so wrapped up in finishing our boat projects, and cleaning up my projects from the Phyllis Upholstery Shop located in Kemah Texas. I had interned for her for 6 months and she taught me everything I needed to know about making cushions and creating work out at sea. She even gave me a sail rite machine and a whole box of supplies and fabrics as a castaway. If you need any canvas work or cushion work I highly Suggest Giving her a call. You can reach her here.
Here is a link into the sewing machine I have onboard
Anyways, we were obviously VERY distant from the social Media World and heard whispers of the corona Virus in China but was completely blown away by the reality of it as we returned back to land ( And Service) March 19th!
We Had No Idea We Were going to be returning back to the land of the apocalypse
We are still in bit of a shock. Our first adventure on land was to awuire some provisioning. We entered a military commissionary and everyone was wearing gloves, not making eye contact, no store music, just a stagnate silence. The shelves were bare, and even the air felt suffocating. We had to go into Walmart after and some kids thought it would be funny to try and scare our friend by making a loud noise behind him, His reaction was turning and pretending to fall into a deep coughing fit as if he was infected which freaked out the kids and they ran off .. Unaware of the seriousness of this virus I suppose we Picked a great week to set sail ? We self quarantined without even realizing it was about to become a nation wide affect… Im also very happy that we were stocked up on toilet paper.
" Unaware of the seriousness of the virus we suppose we picked a great week to set sail"
So here ya have it.. We are a family now stuck in Pensacola wondering how much longer will it actually take for this virus to pass. How will this affect the smaller business people and their employees, and I can’t help but wonder how will Mother Nature actually reset and heal from the short lived human quarantine? Here a short video of our crossing, Full video will be launched in a month or so from now 🙂 Or maybe its already released depending on when you read this 🙂
Some time has passed
And We have made it around Florida and made it all the way to New York! We managed to knock out some unexpected big projects and got our auto pilot back 🙂 If you would like to see more of our day to day challenges follow our Instagram here