Blue Water Wanderers

By Kymberly Taylor

 

 

Four Annapolis sailors splashed off in 2019, planning to sail around the world on a 54-foot Hylas named Rover. Who are these brave souls? None other than long-time friends Brian Regan, Paula Radon, M.D., Lisa Simpkins, and Rich Hoyer. Though Covid derailed their timeline and cut their journey short, they managed to sail 10,000 blue water miles over the three-year period allotted for the trip. 

Team Rover sailed off and on from 2019 to 2022, dodging Covid restrictions and international quarantines. Annapolis Home had the good fortune to catch up with Paula and Brian soon after their return to Annapolis in June after a six-month trek to American, Dutch, English, and French ports, ranging from Bar Harbor and Martha’s Vineyard to St. Maartens, Anguilla, and Guadeloupe. 

Radon stepped down from her decades-old gynecology practice just before boarding Rover. “I was worried that I had been going 1000 miles an hour and wondered if I would be bored. I wasn’t. I could hike! I could read! Go to a coffee shop! There is a cadence to cruising,” she reflects, “—a different way of looking at time and distance, and we really got into that.” Regan, a former senior banking VP and long-time Annapolis Yacht Club member, elaborates: “The concept of time and distance takes on a whole different meaning. 1500 miles is a long sail, but now that we are back, a 100-mile trip seems like nothing… it changes your sense of scale.” 

These blue water wanderers were never lost—not with their substantial navigation experience. They stayed on course, braving 15+ foot seas, hurricanes, and tropical storms. However, what they remember most are the small villages where driftwood cottages line the sea, and peaceful harbors are hidden from the world. 

 

In their own words, Brian Regan and Paula Radon share highlights from their journey: 

The Good: The best thing about traveling by boat is arriving somewhere for the first time, experiencing a totally different culture, a different topography, observing the “patina” of the town. 

The Bad: The worst parts are the unexpected breakdowns of machines; we had trouble with the engine and head system plumbing. In Newport, we had to pull our boat out of the water on a Saturday, and hurricane Henri hit on Sunday. We had to do what is usually a one-week job in 24 hours.

The Ugly: Out of all the international waters we sailed, those around Cape Hatteras were consistently the toughest. It is the most hateful body of water. 

The Strange: During heavy winds, we often got “velocitized.” We got so used to going fast that when we slowed down, we felt we were hardly moving. 

The Miraculous: In the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Sanctuary in Guadeloupe, I saw hundreds of blue fish swerving in a great synchronized school, mirroring each other… Seeing the entire Milky Way galaxy from the middle of a deserted ocean… Night sailing and watching phosphorescent sea life falling away from the boat.

Favorite Port: Les Saintes, Guadeloupe, where a young French woman in a pink ballgown played the violin while we were at a café.

 

 

 

© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 4 2022