Nikki Walsh, 24, and boyfriend Tanner Broadwell, 26, decided nearly a year ago that they were tired of working.
“How can we live our lives when we’re working most of the day and you have to pay so much just to live?” Walsh, who booked timeshare tours for a living, said to the New York Post.
“Most of the work you do goes to your home. There has to be another option,” she added.
So, the Colorado couple sold all their furniture and their SUV and purchased a 49-year-old boat in Alabama to live on and eventually sail the world in.
The couple moved onto the 28-foot boat, which was in the marina of Tarpon Springs, a town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and lived there for months with their two-year-old pug, Remy, while they stocked up on food and supplies.
Tanner Broadwell, 26, and Nikki Walsh, 24, sold everything they had in Colorado, bought an old sailboat and set out to sail around the Caribbean with their 2-year-old Pug, Remy. But their trip was cut short on Wednesday night when motoring their boat named Lagniappe into John's Pass (background), they struck something underwater that tore their boat's keel off and caused it to sink about 20 minutes later. They and their dog were rescued, but are now stranded in Madeira Beach with one cell phone some of her clothes and some dog food.
The couple had planned their trip for a year -- both quitting their jobs and selling all their worldly possessions in Colorado before moving out to Florida to live on their 28-foot boat.
“We were pretty prepared,” Walsh said, of gathering items to last them for their planned trip to the Caribbean.
However, the two were not prepared for what happened next.
“We thought the channel was where we were going, but it wasn’t,” Walsh told the New York Post, telling the publication they were armed with GPS and paper navigation charts.
Local boat captains say the sandbars often shift in John’s Pass, the Post reported.
“We started freaking out because waves were coming, and it was tossing our boat back and forth,” Walsh recalled.
Broadwell was at the rear of the boat, holding onto Remy when the trouble hit.
“My hands were shaking. We were terrified,” she said.
Before abandoning ship, Walsh said they grabbed some clothes and important documents, as well as things for their dog.
“I also grabbed Remy’s food and just about everything he needed,” said Walsh. “He doesn’t deserve to go without his favorite toys.”
Walsh admitted she and her boyfriend, who used to drive for Uber, were “new to sailing.”
However, the couple, who has been left with just $90 in cash, no jobs and no boat insurance, say they are still hopeful for their world-sailing plans and have started a GoFundMe begging people to help them “not give up on their dreams.”
The pair are seeking $10,000 to rescue the ship, which sank off the coast of Madeira Beach, FL. Walsh said raising the boat alone will cost at least $6,700. Donate at this GoFundMe link help them... http://bit.ly/2Bo19M4
“We have a lot of family helping us, but it’s hard when you’ve lost everything,” Walsh told The Post from Jacksonville, where the couple is staying with loved ones.
Though the pair seem down and out, they still plan to “buy or salvage another boat” at some point and “try try try again,” Walsh writes on the GoFundMe.
“You only have one life. Why spend it doing what you don’t love. Money isn’t everything!” Walsh told the Post.
COMMENTS by Miles Moore of FunToSAIL
Just some quick notes on this disaster. First based on other reports it appears this couple took no sailing lessons, had very limited experience, etc. Note to the wise... it's easy to take a sailing class for only a couple hundred dollars, once you have done this get a small sailboat to practice with, then do a lot of research on how to buy a solid sailboat that works for what you have plans for.
In addition the couple said they had a GPS and paper charts. This is all great, but as they learned channels and sandbars shift and these changes do not showing up on GPS/charts. Plus even channel markers can move. To adjust to changes in underwater topography and other changes talk to locals about the conditions, etc. They can also tell you the best times to go through the channel, typically at high tide.
Original article by Alexandra Deabler of Fox News, added comments by Miles Moore of FunToSAIL. Click and Donate Here!