Ellen at 8Great

My name is Ellen and I am a retired (as of this update) computer science professor at Edinboro University in PA.  I have been a professor since 1989 and in 2015 I was ready to make a lifestyle change.  I really love teaching but unfortunately my health and the stress of keeping up in this ever changing field takes its toll.

In 2014 myself, my husband and my daughters hiked the Camino De Santiago in Spain.  It is a 500 mile pilgrimage from St. Jean Pied de Port in France, over the Pyrenees and across the northern part of Spain.  It was a fantastic journey and I discovered how much I loved simple living.

I knew a lifestyle of simplicity and minimalism was for me so I set about to find a way to make this dream happen.   I stumbled, by accident, onto the idea of sailing and although I knew nothing about it the idea really appealed to me.  Luckily I married someone that taught sailing for 10 years in his “previous” life. And so began our “5 year plan” to be live-aboard sailors.

In 2016 we started looking for a boat and I started doing research on sailing and cruising as a lifestyle.  It was so intriguing.  We bought Freedom, a 1987 Freedom 36, in June 2017, prepared her (and me) for sailing Lake Erie and spent weeks living aboard and sailing in Lake Erie.

July 2018 we did a longer shake-down cruise and lived and sailed for a month from one end of Lake Erie to the other.  It was so fabulous that when we returned I refused to go home for 3 days, remaining on the boat by myself!!

June 2019 we did yet another adventure, going through the Welland Canal and sailing around Lake Ontario. So many beautiful anchorages on the Northern shore allowed us to anchor out 30 of the 35 days we spent there.

Through these experiences I found it so fulfilling and challenging to live frugally, simply and sustainably on the boat and hope to make it my permanent lifestyle by 2020.

So begins my plan to reboot and upgrade my life… to find what will sustain me spiritually, physically and financially for the next phase of my life….