Wondering who’s behind all this nonsense? Here’s a quick snapshot of the cruising crew behind With Brio!
Leah: 33, Vancouver-born dreamer with an insatiable curiosity and a penchant for new places and pretty pictures. Responsible for all gross jobs, jobs that involve heights, and jobs that involve diving underwater. Strong optimist with a passion for new adventures and ‘making it happen’. Loves reading (everything from Maeve Binchy novels to Jack Canfield self-help to blogs); obsessed with photography (taking pictures, admiring pictures, collecting pictures, compiling pictures into photo books… all of it!) and yellow shoes. Self-confessed optimist with an inability to be overly-practical. Passionate about meeting new people. Lived on a sailboat and cruised for 7 years as a kid. Scuba and HAM (VA7LMK) certified.
Jonathan: 35, Maine-born, practical realist with the ability to not only take all things apart but also to fix them and get them together again! (Thank God!) Responsible for the broad category that I refer to simply as “mechanics” (includes inboards, outboards, plumbing, electronics, electrical and anything else I can’t identify) as well as cooking meals other than Kraft Dinner and being our Great White Fisherman (see photo!). Dedicated hard-worker who never gives less than 110% to making our life (and boat) work. Loves the actual “sailing” part of cruising. Speaks much better Spanish than I do and is a serious bird-lover (had pet chickens). Fantastically understanding & my favourite partner in all aspects of life.
Zephyr: Maine-born, boat-raised, newest + cutest member of the Brio crew! Zephyr joined us in April 2018. So far loves to taste the ocean breeze, play outside and get rocked to sleep. Still working on what his boat duties will be!
Us: We met through a mutual friend in the summer of 2009 in Vancouver. I didn’t pay too much attention to this Maine-man until I heard him say something about sailing and how he would like to live on a boat one day. We’ve been together ever since, albeit with a lot of time in the beginning on opposite coasts of North America.
The challenge of a long-distance relationship was one of the biggest pushes for getting the boat and the cruising funds together to make our dreams a reality. Nothing like a little love-motivation to get things moving 🙂
We sailed around Vancouver Island on my parents’ sailboat in June 2010, and after confirming that yes, we do indeed absolutely-freaking-LOVE sailing, decided we wanted to commit to this lifestyle more permanently.
After spending 6 months together 24/7, sailing around Mexico on our 33′ sailboat in 2011, we came ‘home’ and realized, “hey, this long-distance things really sucks”. So we got engaged! And then we got married in Maine! We sailed Brio up to Maine and lived aboard (yes, even in the crazy winters!) from 2014-2018. Then we popped out a kid (see pics above) and decided to ditch winter in favor of warmer weather.
We’ve been bouncing around the East Coast ever since.
Hi Leah, I’m sitting here with your mom looking at the new boat. NICE!! Do you know if Nor West ever made a 29 footer?
Haha THANK YOU!!! I think she’s darned pretty, but then again I’m sort of biased… 😉
As far as I know, Chuck Burns only designed the Nor’West 33 — they had a production run of <20 boats, and then folded. I have heard of "Nor'West Yachts" though, and I'm not sure if they had other lines or were a brokerage or what... did you hear something about a 29'?
Just wanting to say that your mom just told me about your site….I love it! You are having the time of your life! Good for you…do enjoy…stay safe and have fun! Love and Hugs Cousin Darcy
I figured Jess was on her way to connect with you – and I’ve found my way onto your blog, and am so thrilled that you and Jon are livin’ the Dream !! Your photos, experiences and observations are such fantastic fun to read …. we can ALL live vicariously through you! And WHAT a tribute to your parents, and their amazing accomplishment (with you two little ones, sailing around the world!) I’m just blown away …
and I have to tell you, your photos of the birds (one one of your many island excursions) has great emotional impact, as I’ve just finished reading (only chapter 1!) of “Sea of Slaughter” by Farley Mowat – such a powerful and desperate tribute to all living things ‘ocean’ …
I am inspired by you … big surprise there, look at your family – 😉 Well done, young lady! Keep it up !! (Did I mention I’m a little jealous, too??!) LOL Beautiful.
Hi Bob Lee,
I did a boat known as a Farallon 29 / Bodega 30 / Golden Gate 30 that preceded the Nor’west. It is very similar and several have made circumnavigations and survived hurricanes…look on my web page: http://chuckburns0.tripod.com/farallon29/ for more information.
Hi! We really enjoyed having dinner with you guys last night. Looking forward to running into you again along the way back north! My cell is 614-746-5000 if you need to reach us. -Natalie and Mitchell (s/v Sea Major)
Did I read some time ago that you were making handmade jewelry? If so do you have a web page or anything showing your pieces? Thanks!
Oh wow great memory, yes! I was doing lots of jewelry design when we were in Maine and I had access to a studio. These days it’s just for fun (and when I have studio access!) so no website or shop anymore 😉
Hi Leah. Good to catch up on your website again. Love the new boat and totally understand the move. Have shared Brio’s details before but will again. She’s so lovely she deserves a good home. You are currently in one of our favourite places in the US! We sailed up the East Coast on Harmonie II after crossing the Atlantic and spent quite a bit of time in Beaufort, SC. Quite magical. Enjoy your time there.
Hi Heather –
So nice to hear from you! We actually sold the original Brio (very pleased to say we had an offer within a week and had closed within two!) so that’s a bit of boat-owner relief 😉 Love that you spent time here too! Where did you mostly stay? Any sights to recommend? We’re loving it here and hoping to stay a while longer!!
Hi Brio. Wonderful info on transiting the canal without an agent. Thanks so much. Quick question for you. What boat documentation did you email?
Glad it was helpful! They wanted a copy of the USCG documentation (boat registration) and the captains passport 🙂