Leaving Antigua, W. I.

About Us

Thanks for visiting.  We are Bud and Leslie Dougherty, and we have owned Play Actor since 1988, when Leslie bought into Bud's life-long dream of cruising under sail.  By the Spring of 2000, our children were on their own and doing well, and we decided to cut our ties to shore life and go sailing full-time.  Our original plan was simple, and it has served us well:  We would go where we felt like going, when we felt like going, and stay as long as we were having fun.  We're still having fun!

Bud grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and has been messing about with boats as long as he can remember.  One of his ancestors from early in the colonial era owned a sizable vessel, which he loaned to General Oglethorpe in 1733 for use by the early settlers in Savannah to transport goods to and from Charleston.  A slightly more recent ancestor owned a Baltimore schooner in the late 1700s, also called Play Actor.  If there is such a thing as a genetic predisposition to travel under sail, he probably has it. 

Leslie grew up in California's central valley, and her roots are planted firmly in Nebraska, where her ancestors homesteaded after leaving the east coast prior to the Civil War.  She had no idea that there was such a life as full-time cruising until she met Bud, but she was open minded and eager for adventure.

We bought our first boat together in Chicago in the early 1980s, and sailed for a season on Lake Michigan.  Leslie quickly got hooked on sailing.  A job change for Bud resulted in moving the boat to Long Island Sound for a season, and yet another corporate relocation took us to the Washington, D.C. area.  We shipped that old boat from  Chicago to Connecticut, but we sailed her down the coast to the Chesapeake, making a two week holiday out of it during a cold, rainy April.  Leslie enjoyed it so much that when we got the boat to her new slip in Maryland, we opted to spend the weekend aboard instead of in our new home in Arlington, Virginia.

After cruising the Chesapeake during the summer of 1988, we were having breakfast aboard on a cold Fall morning when Leslie said, casually, "You know, if we're going to take off and do this full-time one day, maybe we should go ahead and get the boat now, so we can get used to it and get it fixed up the way we want."  A little over two weeks later we owned Play Actor.  We also still owned the other boat, but we were able to sell her reasonably quickly.

We enjoyed 12 years of weekend and vacation cruising on the Chesapeake before we simultaneously reached the conclusion that it was time to move aboard.  We gave away or stored all of our belongings, sold the cars, cancelled our slip lease at the marina in Maryland, and sailed south.  There are books' worth of tales twixt then and now.  The pages of this blog from our old web site tell part of the story, and  Dungda de Islan' tells more.  We'll write the rest as the mood comes over us.  Until then we hope that you enjoy our blog.