About Us

Matt & Hillary at Te Anui Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand
Hi! Welcome to our sailing blog!

I'm Hillary and my husband's name is Matt. We are both American, Matt's from Arnold, Maryland and I'm from Lake Ozark, Missouri. We met in the Caribbean on a tiny island called St. Eustatius, locally known as Statia. I was there as a volunteer for St. Eustastius National Parks (STENAPA) and Matt was the hunky dive instructor across the street. I went for my Open Water certification and that was it! Pretty much tied at the hip since then. Best dive course ever, huh! 

We'd both been around the world exploring on our own and we were lucky enough to find a partner to continue our adventures with. Since Statia, we've traveled back around the world, worked in diving, at a bakery, at a bar, in yacht repair, lived in a bungalow in Indonesia, in a caravan in the desert in Australia, a bach in New Zealand, and now a tiny sailboat in the Caribbean. 

We are both very distracted by shiny things and love seeing new places so it doesn't take much to get us to throw out everything, pack a bag, and head to a new country. Buying a sailboat seemed like a great way for us to have a home, but keep moving. Matt has been sailing for years and has always dreamed of having his own sailboat, but it's all new for me. We both are very excited for the adventures that lie ahead!

Wanna know more? See below for updates of where we are/what we've been up to and for a link to photos of our recent wedding!

Things that we love and what make us, us:

Hillary: taking photos, cats, dancing ridiculously and cracking myself up, Dark and Stormies at sunset (sunset=anytime of day), diving and waving at fish, tiny things, the color turquoise (see boat interior), removing that protective plastic that's on the screen of new electronics (why is that so satisfying?!)...

Matt: peanut butter & carrots, cats, and rum.

July 5, 2013:
We bought the boat! Day 1 of our sailboat refit begins...

July 2013-May 2014:
Refitting the boat in St. Maarten

May 10, 2014:
We tied the knot! It was a beautiful, backyard wedding at my grandparent's house in Lake Ozark, MO. It was actually a surprise to all the guests there and it turned out perfect! Wanna see some pictures? CLICK HERE to check it our big day.

August 2014:
We are excited to announce our new job! Starting in September, we'll be running charters on a private yacht called Lady Katlo. Matt will be the captain, I'll be the stewardess/deckhand, and a lovely guy called Richie is the chef. The best part is that we'll be working 6 months on and then will have 6 months off! That gives us loads of time to enjoy sailing on our own boat, Varuna, and to visit family. We'll be back and ready to sail on Varuna in April.

January 2015:
The job on Lady Katlo is going great and we are already 3 months into it. That means only 3 months until we are back on Varuna! We are enjoying the charter business and making money to spend on Varuna and cruising during our 6 months off.  It's great working on a luxury catamaran, but I have to say that both of us really miss Varuna. We really customized our boat for us and fixed anything that drove us crazy so that makes it such an easy and comfortable space to be in. More posts to come in April!

April 2015:
We are done with our 6 months of work and have officially began our 6 months of play. We are spending this first month back in Maryland and Missouri to visit our families. We are so excited to get back on Varuna mid May.

June 2015:
We are back onboard and Varuna has splashed! We leave soon to island hop our way down to Grenada. Let the cruising adventure begin!

July 26, 2015:
In Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. We've sailed 250 miles already! Trying to keep the blog updated when we have wifi available. Be sure to follow us on Instagram: sailingvaruna for more current and up to date photos b/c it uploads right away! We are doing good, very wet and tired, but doing good. Lots of pics to come!

August 4, 2015: 
We are in Carriacou for a few nights before heading to Grenada. The weather is windy and rainy, but it's supposed to settle down tomorrow. Looking forward to getting to Mt. Hartman Bay soon!

October 2015: Made down the island chain to Grenada. What an amazing adventure! Now it's time to go back to work though :(

April 2016: We are on the charter boat we run in the BVI's working away. Varuna is in Grenada and is for sale! It's so sad to know that we don't have time to enjoy her anymore, but we know that someone out there will and that makes us very happy! Check out the post here.

July 2016: Varuna has been sold! A lovely girl bought her that's gonna love her just as much as we do! Matt and I are off the charter boat for hurricane season and are headed to the US for a road trip out West and then to New Zealand and Australia to visit friends and explore.


  1. Love your blog! Have a 1974 Telstar trimaran (3 hulls), name is 'Amazing Grace.' She was built in Great Britain, now lives in Virginia on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Grace is sound but needs many interior upgrades - lights, fans, paint, etc. I'll take "before" photos tomorrow. Inspired by the work you've done on Varuna. Many thanks for sharing on this blog, pamchesbay

    1. I'm so glad you found our blog and enjoyed looking through it! Sounds like you have a big project ahead of you as well which is very exciting. Definitely be sure to take a lot of before photos and many along the way as well. You will forget what it looked like and just how much work you've done. The photos will be your inspiration to continue your restoration adventure!

  2. Found your blog and then proceeded to read every post in one sitting. Lets just say it's midnight now, but totally worth it. We are a young couple for Southern California in the very beginning stages of the journey you are on. Recently decided to trade the house with the white picket fence for a home to travel the world together in. I would love to get an advice I can from you guys! Also, I completely love the way you painted the entire interior, it looks so much brighter and larger! Love, Love, Love!

    Rhianna and West

    1. Hi there! So glad that you found our blog! Send me your email address and I'd be happy to give you some more info. Go up to the top of the page and click on "Contact Us", that'll send me a private message that I'll be able to reply to. Talk to you soon!

  3. Hey guys! I'm having trouble with the contact form. Shoot us a reply on our website when you can! :)

  4. Hi Matt and Hillary,
    Quinn and Ben here from S/V Wanderlust. We're loving your blog and love following along as we complete our own sailing journey around the Caribbean. Also strange is that Quinn grew up in Osage Beach Missouri, just next door to Hillary! What a small world after all :) If our paths cross we must meet up to discuss lake stories! Anyway, keep up the good work, and you are definitely a blog to keep up with in 2016!

    All the best,
    Ben and Quinn

    1. Hi Ben and Quinn! Small world! Love your blog and your boat - both are laid out beautifully. Let us know if you are headed to the Virgin Islands at some point. We run a charter cat and are usually around that area. We'd love to meet up for a drink and stories for sure! Take care