The Darntons
(September 2004, just before leaving on this trip)

L&L-sm Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, Lane and Lynn came together under unlikely circumstances and managed, after a fair amount of drama, to get married and look like a conventional couple. Behind the scenes it's a "Beauty and the Beast" sort of story, except when he turns into a prince at the end, he's still not

Lane saw a lot to like in Lynn, of course -- intelligent, educated, witty, thin, beautiful, and actively trying to look good -- but Lynn's view of Lane differed: intelligent, educated, witty, fat, revolting, and definitely not trying hard enough to look good. She loved talking to him on the phone, but his physical presence physically nauseated her. Yes sir, it was a classic romance.

Just like Belle in the movie, Lynn got over her nausea, found someone to love inside Lane, and the rest is history. He cleaned up pretty good for the wedding.

All kidding aside, they love each other deeply and can't imagine being with anyone else. They've been married 23 years this month, and they'll be together " 'til death do us part", just like they said at the start. They've done a lot of things they'd never have even considered had they not been together and been the particular people they are. It's been a great ride, and it's far from over.

lanepic That was then. This is now. Lane turned 55 in July 04. AARP is now sending him solicitations. If he had any money, he'd retire. Lane views work as a necessary evil. He's never found a reason other than money to go to an office. He still thinks that life should be like it was when we were four, when the horizon beckoned each morning and every day was an adventure. His dad taught him to sail at an early age, but
sailing did not take hold of him until his dad bought an eight foot dinghy as a tender to his "big boat", and Lane found out that being alone on the water in your own boat made the world your own.

You see, when your life occurs in the matrix of other people's expectations, you have "responsibilities" and so it is possible to be "irresponsible". On the ocean, irresponsibility is not possible. You can live or die out there, you can thrive or fail, it is totally up to you, because Mother Nature does not care. You are responsible, and what you think about it doesn't matter even a little. The freedom in that is astounding.

Lane's education was in physics, which he chose as a college major because it was the easiest subject he could think of to keep him in school and avoid the draft during the Viet Nam war. When he's earning the money necessary to support living as if he were still four, Lane helps design and build space telescope systems. Since the year 2000 he's been working on the next generation of US weather satellites. Among his favorite photographs are those of the Earth's coastlines taken from space, a few of which appear in this web site.

lynnpic Lynn grew up in a family where space exploration was "in the space", shall we say. Her father designed the Pioneer space vehicles that explored the outer planets and eventually left the solar system, but science and technology did not call to her. She trained in psychology (BA) and business (MBA), and pursued a career in human resources and management training.
Then Tania was born, and during the six postpartum weeks that Lynn stayed home, Roxanne, who was two and a half, emerged out of some shell she'd created for herself in child care. And it wasn't subtle. So Lynn quit her job and became a housewife and mother.

Since the girls have now mostly grown up she's taken on a new career as a model. She's always been a high class girl after all, and this way she gets paid for it. That's one of her advertising photos at left. She does television and print ads and catalog modeling.

She has always maintained that a person can do anything they decide to do and be anyone they choose to be. Her modeling is clearly an expression of that, and while cruising has always been Lane's idea -- she'd never have done it in his absence -- she has applied a great deal of the motive force to make it happen.

When she's not raising children, modeling, or sailing the world's oceans with Lane, she enjoys yoga, tai chi, and playing the harp.

roxpic Roxanne, who just graduated from high school, took her first sail at the tender age of two weeks. She got in one year of public school education (kindergarten) before chucking it all and leaving to go cruising
with her parents for two years when she was six, which among other things introduced her to home (boat) schooling. Aboard our previous cruising boat Daybreak, Roxanne typically completed three days' worth of lessons in a morning, so she was somewhat surprised when, upon returning to land, it seemed to be the norm that school days were six hours long and occurred more frequently than every third day. It makes you wonder what the other 4.5 hours or more are supposed to be for in a standard school day. Day care, mostly.

She survived this shock and did well, supported in part by the two years on Daybreak where huge chunks of each day were spent either reading or being read to, because that was the available entertainment. This had a profound impact. To this day she reads about twice as fast as either of her parents, which is a good thing because she's decided to attend St John's College in Annapolis, MD, where all you do is readreadread and then writewritewrite. St John's has a "set curriculum" -- everyone takes the same classes, no electives -- based on the seminal literature of western civilization, starting with Homer, Aeschylus, and Sophocles and ending with Heisenberg, Millikan, and Conrad. Literally in that order. Check it out on their website.

When she isn't reading, Roxanne trains in Kyokushin karate, plays the harp, and reads and draws anime, a form of Japanese animation. She also volunteers as crew on the sail-training brigantines of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, an organization dedicated to rescuing at-risk youth from virtually certain self-destruction and showing them possibilities for their lives they could never have imagined. One side effect of this work has been a growing affection for wooden sailing vessels, about which her dad has mixed feelings, since there are close parallels between a love of wooden boats and a bad drug habit. But hey, where boats are concerned, dad's not in much of a position to criticize.

taniapic Tania was only four when Daybreak took in her dock lines and left the US, and she does not remember what happened very clearly. That's not to say she has no memory of it, just that it is a jumble of images, atmospheres, moods, and sensations. She'll be a junior in high school during our sojourn in the Bahamas, and will conduct her classes "remotely" under the auspices of her local high school. This says a lot for the staff there, because direct electronic connectivity, which has been the basis for communications when the school has done this before
, will not be possible for us. (Can you say "snail mail?) It also says a lot for Tania, who enjoys comfort and being with her friends, and is leaving both to spend the school year in close proximity to her parents and sister in exchange for the opportunity to see tropical paradise close up. She'll get to spend her senior year back home.

Tania also picked up the "reading gene" on Daybreak, and goes through books by the dozens each week. We're not sure how this is going to work on Wind Song, which has precious little storage capacity. Maybe Tania will just finish her year of school work in the first two months, who knows? Even with AP calculus and AP physics, she probably could do it. Roxanne has volunteered to teach Tania the calculus, since she took the course last year from the same teacher and has all the notes.

This summer Tania walked out of her last day at school and, on her way home, stopped in every storefront on Main St between the high school and home and asked for a summer job. She got several offers and accepted one at a travel agency/Internet cafe -- which is how we found out about the cheap airfares to Tampa, FL. It also means she is well prepared financially for this cruise. She'll be out shopping while the rest of the family watches!