↟ Break Away Tale NR 204 // @svprism

We are the crew aboard Prism, our names are Jon and Shannon and we have lived a life outside the norm for the last ten years. Our relationship and journey started off with the question “how would you like to sail around the world?”. We then spent a year traveling up and down the west coast searching for the sailboat that would take our dreams and our passions on that journey. Jon is a videographer and I am a professional diver, which means both of our professions require a lot of gear so we needed a vessel capable of holding everything. Do you think we did that? No. We bought TARA a Caliber 28’ sailboat. Spent just under two years doing a full refit before cutting the land lines and sailing south out of San Francisco Bay. Making it to Southern California we realized we needed a bigger boat after an eye opening experience with some nasty weather. At the same time we also decided that instead of buying a home (on land) we were going to buy a boat that would also be our home.⠀


We started the boat search again but this time with a higher budget and a refined list of “must haves” when it came to the design. We wanted big boat features in the smallest package possible, because bigger is not always better, bigger means more maintenance more money and more everything, this is when we found Prism.

Prism is a 1982 Hans Christian 33. A vessel in which we could call home, could sail us anywhere we wanted to go and hold not only us, but all our gear to help feed our passions, make money along the way and also have room for guests. We say that the HC33 is the smallest biggest boat you can buy, and we have yet to find another design to challenge that. Although Prism in twice the weight of other 33’ sailboats, she can still get up and go in the slightest of winds and look classy while doing it.⠀

For the last six years we have been documenting our journeys along the way to share them with the rest of the world. This has made it possible for us to stay out longer with albeit a small income stream, although it’s more like a trickle, it’s a trickle none the less. So far we have seen some pretty amazing things on land, at sea, under water and have learned quite a bit about ourselves and our relationship along the way. Breaking away from the “normal” life to get out and see the world has opened our eyes. When we first were getting into the cruising lifestyle we thought we had broken the code on the meaning of life, recommending it to all of our friends and people we would meet. After our time spent actually cruising and gaining experience, we rarely do this anymore as we have learned the sailing life it not for everyone and very few do it forever. I'm not sure if we can say how much longer we will continue to sail but we live by the motto to sail for as long as its fun.

Living outside the normal 9-5 job cycle we had to learn how to make the money we did save and the little amount we make from our videos last. Luckily while cruising in remote places like Baja California Sur and The San Bals islands in Panama there are not many places to spend your money. We gave up things that while on land seemed irreplaceable but while at sea living without them is manageable including; local grocery stores, laundry machines (well we do kinda miss that), dishwashers, cars, TV the list goes on and on. Instead we find ourselves doing and making more with our own hands, keeping ourselves self entertained, on a budget and in general more healthy.⠀


Over the last 5 years we have sailed Prism from Olympia Washington, down the west coast, through Central America, and up the east coast via the Panama Canal. We and our sailboat have been though a lot and all 3 of us needed some TLC so right now Prism is undergoing a major refit in North Carolina. We have been working nonstop for over two months and with the cruising season officially underway we can both feel the frustration of not getting back on the water as soon as we wanted after about a years hiatus of making money.

We have to remind ourselves why we are working this hard and what we are doing this for, but I'm sure in a month or two when we finally sail into our first anchorage by ourselves with just the noise of waves crashing, bugs living on the island and the stars reflecting off the water it will become clear why we worked so hard. It's not always easy nor fun and can be extremely stressful and scary but we both agree that it is one of the most rewarding lifestyles we have found so far. Our goal is to sail, dive, document and to see what we can for as long as we can or for as long as it is fun.⠀

Cart