Rob's recap: The inspiring journey on Bueller's year off

I’ve never written anything at such an angle. This boat is leaning at least 20 to 30 degrees to the left as we set sail to our next destination in the Bahamas, the Abocos. A quick recap of our journey in case this is the first entry you’ve read about this trip:

So I’m Rob Andrews, sailing guest of captains Lars and Travis. I’ve known Lars for well over a decade now, we were friends back in Nashville but over the years our friendship has strengthened through our many adventures in Austin, his hometown for the majority of his twenties and one of my favorite cities to visit. He’s always been a sailor; I’ve been on boats with him numerous times although only for day trips. So when he spoke about doing a year-long sailing trip halfway around the world I completely believed he would do it, and is just so happened to work out perfectly that I was able to join him for the start.

So I met up with Lars and Travis in Hollywood, FL about a week and a half ago as they were preparing to leave on their epic journey. Upon arriving I was greeted to the beautiful sight of their 39-foot sailboat they named Bueller. This is #buellersyearsoff. Preparing for such a journey is an arduous task, and I encourage you to read their previous posts about all that went into making this journey possible. We ended up leaving Hollywood on Monday Jan. 12 and motored along the intercoastal highway, crossing under drawbridges and seeing a view of Miami that I’ve never seen before. A quick aside, Miami is essentially my second home. I lived in the magic city of 6 years, studied at UM for 5, and still feel deeply connected to this city. I spent the 2 weeks prior to this trip catching up with old friends and exploring some of my old haunts, and some new ones. It was fitting then that our first day’s stop was in Coconut Grove, right down the street from my favorite place I lived in Miami. We even got to eat at Monty’s Raw Bar, a great last meal of oysters and stone crab claws before we departed the country.

Our first crossing was to Bimini, about 60 nautical miles. We woke early in the morning around sunrise to set off, but we had to wait a little while for a storm to pass. I’m glad we did, because the crossing weather was absolutely gorgeous after the clouds cleared. It has been a while since I’ve seen such a deep blue as the ocean out here, it is almost unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Sitting up top deck looking around you with no land in sight, the deep blue sea and sky stretching out in all directions is an incredibly humbling experience.

This whole trip in fact has really helped put things in perspective for me. It happened to come at a major crossroads in my life, as immediately after this trip I am moving from Nashville to Dallas. I’ve also been working on improving myself and becoming a better person, I’m about to turn 30 and it is time for a new phase of my life. This setting and this experience helps me to see all this is possible, but also how unbelievably insignificant my issues are. While anchored off Hoffman’s Cay in the Berry islands I was staring up at the sky and clearly saw the Milky Way. There was no moon, no lights, no civilization to speak of for miles…just the billions of stars dotting the sky like the most epic sequined dress draping the globe. I realized this may be the most remote place I’ve ever been in my whole life. This trip has been an absolute blast, and I plan to go into more detail about the fun stuff we’ve done and post pictures and video on another entry, but for now I’m just kind of brain dumping on how this has affected me emotionally.

We as people are capable of achieving nearly anything we set our minds to. I am inspired by Lars and Travis’ wherewithal to make this trip a reality, it’s the kind of thing people talk about doing all the time but few actually make happen. They set their goal, broke down all the steps it took and did them. And some of these were big, big steps such as saving up enough money to quit their jobs and buying a boat fit to sail across the ocean. I am also about to make a big shift in my life and it is motivating to see friends of mine making their dreams come true. My trip here is now at its end (I’m posting this from Nassau airport), but theirs is just beginning. Luckily I will have memories to inspire me for a lifetime. I really hope I can make it back this year to join for another segment of #beullersyearoff. Thanks again to Lars and Travis for making this happen, and to Pete and Rishi for joining on the first leg with us. Pictures and videos will be posted in the coming weeks, for now go ahead and check out some of the good ones that Lars has already posted, including a hilarious video of my first attempt at a backflip. I can still feel the spot on my back that was bruised, good times! Bon voyage!