My name is Mary Grace. I’m 15 years old and have been a full-time liveaboard for 3 years. I’ve been to all 50 states, completed The Great Loop, and boated over 12,000 nautical miles. However, nothing compares to spending 8 days doing an open-water crossing!
A couple of years ago, my family set out to complete America’s Great Loop on our Cruisers 4450 Motor Yacht, Light & Salty…About 1,500 miles into our journey and just days after my 13th birthday, fellow Loopers (Paul and Adrienne on M/V Chasing 90) asked if I could crew on their boat for a day. They needed someone to handle the lines while Paul navigated through several locks on the Erie Canal. I eagerly agreed, but of course, I had no way of knowing the massive impact it would have on my life.
On top of managing fenders and lines during the locks, Paul let me drive their 48’ Californian. At one point in an open part of the canal, he challenged me to spin the boat 360 degrees. Without even a compass, I was told to bring the boat as close to exact as I could. On my first try, I came within 3 degrees. Paul also spent time telling me about his former days on a sailboat and how he dreamed of being back on one in the future.
Now, nearly three years later, he invited me to crew on Untethered, a Lagoon 42 Sailing Catamaran. This time, rather than just a day on a canal, he asked me to crew on their maiden voyage across the Gulf of Mexico…