Who Are We?
Duncan sailed Sunfish and Hobie Cats starting in his early teens on Lake Michigan sparking his love of sailing and desire for cruising. Duncan’s family loves boats and travel trailers. In the 70s, Duncan spent a month in Mexico with his grandparents who drove their Airstream across the US and into Mexico for a summer.
Robin’s career started out in civil engineering until she realized writing software might be the way of the future. While waiting for large debugging print outs to generate from the painfully slow dot matrix printer, Robin dreamed of traveling the world.
We met in 1989 in Florida, where they discovered their mutual love of the water, diving, sailing, traveling and each other. Early in our relationship, may late evenings involved talk of a future with lots of travel, diving, and maybe some offshore sailing.
After moving to California’s Silicon Valley in 1990, we immersed in careers and the California lifestyle for the next 12 years. Married in 1992, in between long hours and commutes, we traveled, dived, skied, biked, kayaked, camped and hiked.
The Sailing Years
After several years of Duncan saying “you know what would be cool?”, but never doing anything about it, Robin finally said, “If you think it would be so cool, why don’t we pursue it? Let’s put together a plan”. This plan — roughed out over a fine bottle or two if wine — is what set the wheels in motion for crossing the Pacific Ocean.Lessons and charters in San Francisco Bay, Captiva Florida, and Tahiti in French Polynesia confirmed the desire to cruise and some ability to sail.
On March 23, 2002, we sailed under the Golden Gate bridge, turned left and headed south. After cruising California and Mexico, we pointed Whisper west to tackle the 3000 mile, 21 day passage passage from Puerto Vallarta. Mexico to Hiva Oa, Marquesas.
We cruised French Polynesia, Cook Islands and Tonga prior to heading to New Zealand, After falling in love with New Zealand, we lived, worked, and sailed while living aboard Whisper in Bayswater Marina on Auckland’s Waitemata harbor.
The Overlanding Years
In August 2016, we decided to join the land-cruising, overlanding community and put down a deposit on a Sprinter Sportsmobile 4×4 campervan. For a couple years, we hope to explore US, Canada and Mexico.
Why Traveling Light?
Traveling Light is a place for us to share our adventures with images and commentary.
“Why the name Traveling Light?”, you ask. Is it because we actually “travel light” when we travel? Is it that our sunny dispositions shine as bright as sunshine on all we encounter? Do we offer some kind of light-show?
It all began when Duncan first went on a 20 mile bike camping trip to Long Lake, Michigan with friends in 1975, With only a Schwinn Continental bike, two tents, a sleeping bag, a foam bed-roll, three pots-pans, two flashlights, extra batteries, food, beverage, matches, utensils (including a bottle/can opener), bug spray, toiletries (and extra TP), three days worth of clean clothes and a rain poncho in two rear rack panniers, a rack mounted cooler and a backpack, Duncan biked to the campsite . All told, it must have been an extra 60-70 pounds of gear.
Friends arrived on their bikes with a grocery bag of hot dogs, a sleeping bag each and one small tent. Duncan set up two tents — one for sleeping and one big green canvas tent for protecting the “supplies”. He was nearly laughed out of the small group campsite.
The next day in the mid-summer downpour, the friends began to appreciate Duncan’s preparedness. First, they borrowed the pan. Then, the matches. The, the can/bottle opener. Then, extra batteries. Then, the freeze-dried beef stroganoff.
Fast forward 15 years. we love to travel and camp. We love to dive, hike, bike, kayak, and explore new places. We moved to California together in 1990 – for opportunity as well as lifestyle.
Hard-work combined with the 90’s tech-boom enabled our first trips to Hawaii, Europe, Scandinavia and the Caribbean as well as frequent camping trips in California. Several of these trips were with friends.
Upon completion of packing for each trip — as suitcases, duffel bags, and gear-bins accumulated near the front-door, we always had WAY more stuff than needed. We surveyed the pile, looked at each other, smiled, shook our heads, and simultaneously exclaim “That’s us, traveling light”!