How Blue Dot Voyages Began

In Retrospect – by First Officer Dawn Bell

I did not grow up knowing the ocean. I never dreamed of being where I am today. I learned of its beauty when I started dating Stephen. He had been boating and sailing his entire life. Master Captain licensed, he delivered many boats for their owners to their final destinations. Just an amazing seaman (and more).

First, Stephen took me out on his fishing boats in Seabrook Island, South Carolina. Next, I learned to scuba dive and we went out on scuba diving charter boats, eventually becoming so skilled that we took our own boat out for scuba diving off the Edisto SC coast. Stephen even became safety certified.

We had always wanted to eventually retire and live on our boat and journey around the world, but that was 3-4 years off. While we waited, we decided to start looking at boats to give ourselves plenty of time to research, test and decide.

Finding the Perfect Yacht

Pilar Sailing Catamaran

Our hunt for the perfect boat began at the Fort Lauderdale boat show in October 2017. We looked at all types of boats in all brands. And then we saw it – a Lagoon62 Sailing Catamaran. Gorgeous inside and out, spacious and comfortable. We talked to the crew who sailed it and they kindly shared their experience with us. We knew a catamaran was probably the right boat for us. It had comfort, fuel economy, sea stability, world cruising capability, and fishability.

We bare boat chartered a Lagoon52 Sailing catamaran in BVI, and we were hooked. With plenty of time to retirement, we initially were going to just research and learn. Once we got looking, we realized that the right thing to do was to buy the boat now, and sail it on east coast and Caribbean trips so I could get more experience with sailing.


So, the hunt was on… Our requirements:

  • Barely used
  • 45 ft or larger
  • $600K max (it will be our retirement home)
  • Owner’s hull
  • Large airy main saloon, cockpit and one more seating area
  • Open galley (kitchen)
  • Not in need of much work
  • Sport bridge, so sailing captain could be by guests.

We looked at boats in both Annapolis and Fort Lauderdale. We narrowed it down to two – a 2014 Lagoon450 and a 2015 Leopard48. After much deliberation, we decided on the Leopard48, and proceeded with the purchase contract, boat survey and closing!

Our Plan

Our plan is to dock in Charleston, SC and get to “know our boat” during summer 2018. Then in 2019, we will occasionally offer day cruises  on weekends as captained charter voyages – not many – as we both still have our day jobs. Eventually when we retire, we will sell the house,  move onto our boat and expand into longer cruises. Our Seabrook/Kiawah Island location is ideal as there are no charters currently offered on Luxury Sailing Catamarans.  But once we retire the world is our oyster!

Why Blue Dot Voyages ?

Carl Sagan called earth the “pale blue dot” as he looked at the footage from the Voyager as it turned around to view the earth while it was on it’s solar system journey.  Watch his video here.

Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot OFFICIAL

As seen from space, Carl Sagan describes the “Blue Dot”,

“ Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. “

And so, our Blue Dot Voyages begin. Carl states

“Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.” Stephen and I will quench our thirst for adventure, our desire for exploration, and our love for that blue ocean. We share our journey with others who have that same need to live life to its fullest, whether it be with us on our boat or by reading these Blue Dot Voyage Pages. Bon Voyage!

Find out more about our Leopard48.