We are Steve & Kay Van Slyke of Gig Harbor, Washington. Kavenga is a Lord Nelson 41, cutter-rigged sailboat. We've owned her since she was new in 1983. We've lived aboard her since 1989. In the summer of 1990 we departed on what turned out to be a very enjoyable three-year circumnavigation of the Pacific. We first sailed south to Mexico then west to French Polynesia, American Samoa and Tonga. After spending the cyclone season in New Zealand, we sailed north to the Minerva Reefs, Fiji, Vanuatu, The Solomon Islands, Micronesia and Guam. Finally, after three terrific months in Japan, we made a 4,577-mile, 38-day passage across the North Pacific to Vancouver Island to close the loop on a wonderful trip. That adventure is documented in a 169-page "book" called Kavenga's Wake. This website and our email cruiseletters are essentially a continuation of Kavenga's story.

For those of you who have never been aboard Kavenga, here's the layout of her interior spaces:

At anchor we sleep in the double berth, forward. At sea, whomever is off watch sleeps on one of the settees (lounges) in the main cabin. We pick the side that is lowest depending on which way we're healing. We find that we don't need lee cloths (small curtains) to keep us in the berth as long as we sleep on the low side. Kay, and most knowledgeable cruising ladies love the galley. Its J-shaped counter keeps the ship's cook secure even when the going gets rough. The two berths aft are used for storage: sails, bikes, and miscellaneous gear and toys. Across from the galley is the chart table and a hanging locker. The head and shower compartment is on the port (left) side between the forward berth and the C-shaped dinette.


And here we are. Kay was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, Steve in Salem, Oregon. We met while working at Weyerhaeuser and were married in 1983. Kay had never sailed before meeting Steve. One of their first dates was a blustery sail on Puget Sound in Steve's Venture 222. Steve learned to sail at the University of Oregon while getting his MBA. He suspects that the desire to sail to far off lands is inherent in his Dutch blood. He served as Navigator aboard an ammunition ship in the US Navy and made two deployments to Southeast Asia and Viet Nam. That experience furthered is desire to sail the oceans in his own vessel. Kay learned more about sailing technique through her membership in TWSA (Tacoma Women's Sailing Association). Steve and Kay gradually developed their cruising skills via several cruises in the Pacific Northwest and in the British Virgin Islands.

**Photo, Linda Adams

Now it is ten years since they returned from their circumnavigation of the Pacific. They're feeling like their sealegs might be a little atrophied and their sailing skills a bit rusty. On top of that they have a boatload of new gear to figure out while enroute. It should be entertaining. Now, bring us that horizon!