Welcome to the sailing adventures of Cheyenne Richards, Colin Ross, and SV Pristine—a 1990 Pacific Seacraft 37. 

This series of posts covers our first attempt at a circumnavigation, from April of 2018 to June of 2020, that included 5000 miles of sailing from San Francisco to Pacific Mexico before Covid forced a premature return to California.

But we’re just bold, excited, and bonkers enough to give it another go. This time, the expedition will begin in France, starting with a major boat upgrade in late 2025. We'll introduce you to our new Garcia 45 as soon as she enters the build phase. :)

Whether we make it around the world this time or the fates have other plans for us, there's no doubt that whatever the journey, it will be an epic adventure.

So stay tuned for more messing about in boats. You can sign up below to get updates via Cheyenne’s newsletter.

JULY 5, 2020

Sometimes the Real Adventure is Getting Home

Just ask Ernest Shackleton.

True, our Baja Bash didn’t involve icebergs or Southern Ocean storms, but the name of his ship could have been the theme for our more recent journey: Endurance.


MARCH 26, 2020

Love From La Paz

For Colin and I, the tectonic shift of Covid-19 revealed itself slowly, then all at once.

We were a week away from departure for the South Pacific when Tonga closed its borders. Bummer, we thought, but we’d work around it. Then the Cook Islands followed suit, and we were sad, but—a bit like Wile E. Coyote, not realizing he’d run off the cliff—continued with our preparations. 


MARCH 3, 2020

It's Go Time

Even if you’re not a sailor, you’ve probably heard that a tidy boat is a safe boat.

That whole place for everything and everything in its place kind of thing. Perhaps it sounds like a worthy ideal that’s never really needed, like the earthquake kit in your garage circa 1986 or the hand-cranked radio that came with your PBS donation. 


JANUARY 13, 2020

Putting the Awe in Awesome

It was my first shift of our first night passage in six months and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what was just ahead.


NOVEMBER 22, 2019

Embracing the Butterflies

To my knowledge, there’s no official name for the advanced yoga maneuver that involves wedging yourself between the galley and nav station, balancing on one foot and one knee while trying to achieve the leverage required to scrub the impossible area under the sink.

Personally, I call it the Losing-My-Sh*t pose.


JUNE 30, 2019

We Found Pristine Waters

We were told that Pristine’s original owner named her after the quest for pristine waters. If so, consider her aims achieved. Colin, Pristine, and I had this bay—and many others like her—all to ourselves recently. 


JUNE 3, 2019

Killer Whales in Our Bathtub

It’s a unique experience to wake up, step in the shower, and encounter a razor-toothed predator.


MAY 11, 2019

“Hard to Port!”

We’d left Isla Isabel far behind and were in 1500 feet of water, safely far from any obstacles. 

So why was that seagull standing on a rock?

The binoculars came out immediately. The rock was shaped like a big, upside-down salad bowl. 

Also, it was moving. 


MARCH 21, 2019

Surf SUP!

After sailing 2500 miles to find warmth and waves, it was time to break out the toys.


MARCH 2, 2019

Mother Nature Brings Her A-Game

The cruising life involves some hefty contrasts.

After a week surrounded by beach umbrellas and construction cranes, Colin and I sailed a mere 90 miles and arrived 9,000 years back in time at a prehistoric island dubbed the Galapagos of Mexico.


FEBRUARY 24, 2019

Magical Mázatlan

Is it a Señor Frog’s tourist trap or a cultural paradise?

Yes and yes.

If you have one week to build sandcastles with the kids, squeeze limes into beer, and sunburn your butt, Mazatlán has you covered. 


FEBRUARY 19, 2019

Sailing the Wide Open Sea

Well, almost.

We weren’t exactly crossing the Pacific, but Colin and I were heading from Baja to Mazatlán, a journey of roughly 200 nautical miles across the Sea of Cortez. Depending on the winds, we’d be out of sight of land for 2-3 days. If anything went awry, we could be 100 miles away from a doctor, mechanic, or trained masseuse.


JANUARY 28, 2019

A Year of Living Dangerously. And Vibrantly. And Spontaneously.

Last Christmas, the length of our to-do list would have overwhelmed Santa.


DECEMBER 25, 2018

Mariachi Christmas from Mother Nature

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me...


DECEMBER 1, 2018

Apple Pie à la Mer—A Recipe of Endurance

Start with a three-day coastal passage from Ensenada to Turtle Bay, delayed until your departure falls smack on Thanksgiving.

Next, consider carefully what festive holiday dish can be made using only the ingredients you have on board, the preparation or consuming of which is not likely to cause spilling, scalding or a severed artery on passage with a forecast of 20-knots.

Belonging in San Diego

NOVEMBER 15, 2018

Belonging, in San Diego

When this sailing dream was new and fragile, I probably talked about it a little too often.


NOVEMBER 1, 2018

Sailing in the Wake of Giants

“We must come down from our heights, and leave our straight paths, for the byways and low places of life, if we would learn truths by strong contrasts; and in hovels, in forecastles, and among our own outcasts in foreign lands, see what has been wrought upon our fellow-creatures by accident, hardship, or vice.” —Richard Henry Dana


OCTOBER 22, 2018

Running With the General

General Santa Ana was an unpredictable, shape-shifting politician and dubious military leader who helped Mexico gain independence from Spain, then lost more than half her territory to the U.S.

Southern California's infamous Santa Ana winds mirror many of the General’s more disastrous characteristics. 


OCTOBER 17, 2018

Colin's Great White — Up Close and Personal

The trolling line, which had been quiet since we left Santa Cruz Island, suddenly screamed into life like a swarm of angry bees.

”Colin!” I yelled. “Fish ON!” 


SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

Working the Dream

Sailing Pristine: the Maintenance Issue.


AUGUST 29, 2018

Got Diesel?

For those used to driving cars, the idea that boat fuel gauges are often inaccurate may come as a bit of a surprise. But imagine a float gauge on a bouncing boat, in sloshing liquid, measuring a tank that is shaped like a Frank Gehry structure.


AUGUST 19, 2018

Enough Adventure to Grow On

After a two-month hiatus on land, graciously filled with family, touring, dancing, paddling, biking, surfing and celebrating, it was time to return to our little floating home.


JUNE 21, 2018

Who's Driving the Boat?

I was beyond confused.

It was dark. Colin was lying next to me, softly snoring. If we were both asleep, no one was at the tiller.

How had we let that happen?


JUNE 17, 2018

War Games

Colin and I are pretty diligent about planning passages, but this one threw us some real curveballs.


JUNE 10, 2018

Point Conception In Our Rearview

We were screaming downwind in 25 knots of breeze with following seas.

The jib was giving us six knots of boat speed and we were surfing eight foot swells with two fingers on the tiller. The sun was out, we were flying and the boat was bouncing along with all the joy of a Labrador chasing a tennis ball.


JUNE 5, 2018

Shaken, Not Stirred

We said the California Coast would be our shakedown sail and here we are: shaking away. 

The planned passage from Monterey to San Simeon went well with two exceptions: it didn’t end in San Simeon and we’ve probably added both our names to the government watch list.


JUNE 3, 2018

“What's That Noise?”

That is our affectionate name for a new game we’re learning to play on the boat. 


MAY 30, 2018

"I'm just living the dream right now."

That was all I could reply after my fourth round of feeding the fish off the leeward rail. 

It wasn’t baptism by fire, as much as by fifteen foot swells. 


MAY 25, 2018

And They're Off!

The journey—a lifetime in the making—has finally begun.

It wasn’t always clear it was going to happen. 48 hours before departure, we were still on our hands and knees, scrubbing when I thought our dream was dead.


MARCH 27, 2018

Meet Pristine

She is a stout blue water cruiser, designed to cross oceans in comfort and safety.

A 1990 Pacific Seacraft 37 double-ender with a cutter rig, she has graceful sweeping overhangs, a fin keel, and skeg-hung rudder.