I’m sure many of us have wanted to get away from it all now and then. When we can, we’ll schedule vacations to get away from the rat race and relax for a week or two, but we all dream of being able to be completely stress-free at some point in our lives. But some people try and move away as soon as they can, even going as far as taking to the sea.
Tanner Broadwell, 26, and Nikki Walsh, 24, met in Philadelphia. They quickly became friends and started dating, eventually moving to Colorado together in 2015.
That’s when they had the idea to get away from the world completely, by selling all their belongings, buying a sailboat and living the rest of their lives on the open sea.
They bought a boat for $5,000 and spent another five grand getting it into shape. They named it the ‘Lagniappe’ (pronounced lanny-yap), which is Creole for ‘bonus’. “Like the 13th donut in a dozen,” Broadwell said. “It’s something extra for you.”
They set sail on Tuesday from Tarpon Springs along with their two-year-old pug, Remy, with plans to sail along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Panama City. However, when only two days into their journey they stopped at John’s Pass to dock for the night, and things went south fast.
The couple, neither of whom had proper boating experience, ended up sinking their houseboat just off the coast.
“I sold everything I had to do this,” Broadwell told the Tampa Bay Times, “and I lost everything in a matter of 20 minutes”.
They were having difficulty navigating the channel, as their view didn’t line up with an outdated navigation chart they had. Then they hit something in the water so abruptly that Walsh almost fell off the deck. They realised the keel, which is supposed to stabilise the boat, had been ripped off, and water started to flood the cabin.
They put their lifejackets on (Remy too) and abandoned the ship, ending up losing everything except for a little cash and their social security cards. Nikki rang up Sea Tow to help them out of the situation, as she explains:
“I know I probably sounded like a crazy person to them. They said they would be there in 40 minutes. I thought, ‘That is a long time to spend out here’.
I’m just standing there in awe. I just lost everything I ever owned. I see my things floating away and I can’t get to them”
How do I have everything, and end up in a s***** hotel with nothing?”
Now the couple could be spending up to $10,000 to get the boat out of the water, with no insurance and only $90 to their names. Luckily, they received support from family and friends nearby, but are still in a rough situation. But it hasn’t deterred them from living out their dream.
Broadwell said “I’m not going to give up now,” Broadwell said. “I’m going to get another boat down the road”, while Walsh added, “We can’t just give up on our dreams”.
I imagine next time they try this out, they’ll be a little more prepared.