Steamboat family finds their sea legs sailing ‘Get Routty’ through the Caribbean
Ocean-goers in the Caribbean are seeing signs of Routt County thanks to a 46-foot Leopard Catamaran christened “Get Routty” by Steamboat Springs locals Ren and Heather Martyn.
Plastering stickers of their namesake sailboat on marinas as they go, the Martyns are putting their mountain hamlet on hold to sail the Seven Seas, starting last fall in the Bahamas out of Jupiter, Florida.
“We’re super excited and having a blast,” Ren said. “Our plan has always been based on having a family sailing adventure, and that’s what it’s been. We left paradise to search for paradise.”
The couple, which had little sailing experience before embarking, agreed to being gone a year. But Ren said it could be longer.
They left Florida on Nov. 1 along with children Andrew, 22, and Lander, 8, and have been living full time aboard the boat.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far, with mixed moments of fear and frustration,” Ren said. “As we get our sailing legs, we’re heading deeper into the Caribbean with possible plans of venturing into the Pacific. We’re taking it one nautical mile at a time.”
As of press time, the pair was pointing their bow from the Exumas toward the Ragged Islands and evaluating passage into the western Caribbean. And they admit that, in the confines of their craft, it hasn’t all been piña coladas and smooth sailing.
“From a marital standpoint, it’s been a big adventure,” Heather said. “It can be challenging living with your family in a 40-square-foot space day after day. There’s nothing like three strong adult personalities and a feisty 8-year-old confined to close quarters that can brew a bitter tea at times.”
A case in point comes from when they had to sail through a narrow, shallow passage called Hog Cay Cut — minding the wind, currents and tide — en route to the Ragged Islands, with Andrew and Lander positioned on the bow looking for deep water.
“It blew the pressure cooker,” Heather said. “Months of frustrations, annoying habits, resentments, no alone time, interruptions, homeschool drama, separate goals and irritations all bubbled up during one of our most difficult passages. It was as if the shoals and cliffs constricted our small tribe to the point that we had to blow somewhere.”
She said it resulted in a string of profanities and insults, with arms waving, tears flowing and fingers pointing — enough that Captain Ren had to stop the ship.
“We were miles away from cell coverage and airports and fathoms away from resolution,” she said. “Finally, we each picked a corner of the boat to regroup, and we kept going, finally finding some wind and more depth under the keel. And as the sails opened, so did our minds and hearts as we remembered our appreciation for one another and gratitude for being able to experience this adventure together.”
And with that, they made it to their next stop, the Ragged Islands, a little ragged for the wear but richer for the process.
“If stepping out like this was easy, everyone would be doing it,” said Ren, who’s mastering the mainstay day by day. “So far, I have the lingo and the flip-flops.”
To reach Eugene Buchanan, call 970-871-4276 or email ebuchanan@SteamboatPilot.com.
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