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Meet the Captain and First Mate

We’re Steve and Denise, an adventurous, semi-retired couple who have lived a bit of life, learned a few lessons along the way, and continue to challenge ourselves by embarking on a long-awaited dream to cruise the world in our Ourtremer 51 s/v RELENTLESS.  We love the sailing lifestyle, vibrant community and especially enjoy sharing it with family and friends. We were both born and raised in Southern California, which is where we still live, work and play. Our two grown kids, Kelsea and Douglas, also enjoy being on the water. We’ve been adventuring together for over 33 years.


Sunrise the last morning of our South Pacific Mahina Expedition. June 2014


My brother Eric and I racing Vortex Summer 1973

Where it all Began

An interest in sailing started for me (Denise) at age 10 when my sister, brother and I received a Sabot for Christmas. One of my fondest memories is my Dad teaching us to sail. Growing up on the water in Newport Beach offered many opportunities to enjoy summers participating in youth sailing programs. I really took to the racing and did well in Kites and ultimately Lasers throughout high school. Our family owned an Ericson 35 which my brother and I would crew on for Beer Can Regattas. If needed, we served as the rules experts during protest committee meetings. We enjoyed weekends and vacations sailing to Catalina, an island 26 miles off the So Cal coast. Dad went on later to cruise extensively up the west coast, to Mexico and then on to the Caribbean, so it is no surprise that I would follow his example. 

Our family in Cabo, Mexico 2018
Dad teaching Steve knot tying 1987

Steve was also introduced to sailing by my Dad when we started dating. He was eager to learn and it wasn't long before Dad invited him to crew for a race. As always, my husband read everything he could get his hands on about the sport and also grew to love it. As we raised our family, we would occasionally join Dad and my Step-Mom on trips to Catalina and harbor day sails, but homeschooling the kids, church ministry, remodeling our home, and building a business seemed to take priority. We did spend 4 months traveling the U.S. in our "land yacht", a 38' diesel pusher we named "The Dawn Treader" and enjoyed the RV lifestyle for 5 years. Next Steve earned his private pilot license and IFR Rating (to help me feel safer!), but flying wasn't something I was keen to join him in. So as we approached our empty nest season, Steve's love for adventure led to discussions of future plans together. It took me a little longer to get on board with the idea of long-term cruising, but soon I did and this is where our adventures begin.

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