About Us!

Tiff and Greg (both former US Coast Guard officers, hence the blog address) are currently on their odyssey around the world!  So far it’s just been Mexico and the South Pacific, but hey, there’s a lot down here to see!  We’ve been having a blast crewing around on other people’s sailboats and exploring the islands.  Shoot us a line, we’d love to talk to you.

Tiff and Greg

ps- In our “normal” lives, Greg is a seminar speaker and runs Armada Training Solutions, and Tiffany is a Sailing Instructor and USCG 100 Ton Master Charter Captain.

47 Responses to About Us!

  1. Patty Hansen-Rhodes says:

    Hi Greg,
    Thank you so much for speaking at the Puddle Jump Seminars. We learned a lot and it sure put our minds at ease to know the USCG is there for us if we need them.
    So, to make sure we don’t do anything really stupid could you please email us the Ten Things to Save Your life, the List for the Ditch Bag and what we need in our Damage Control Kit. Thank you so much for your kind assistance.
    Have a great day, Patty & Steve S/V Armagh
    Email: phansenrhodes@gmail.com

  2. Behan says:

    Greg- how ’bout posting it to the PPJ list? Sounds like something good to share around!

  3. Michael says:

    I’ve been checking up on you via your ship’s position at
    Looks like you’ve been stuck in the BFE of the sea for a while–but have no fear, you’r probably only a week or two from some little patches of dry land! (Good luck walking straight once you get on it!) Godspeed.

  4. danmo says:

    dude I can’t believe you are seriously in taiehoe or frenchie pollineeshuh. that is so cool. And how you are webcasting from there is beyond me.

    But: slow down! Or, start convincing your skipper to sail to india, since that’s where I’ll be all of july + august. Beach weather is no good here anyway during that time so there’s nothing to rush for. Come in september and then we can all three rent a house on the beach as aussie spring starts. I’ll be away in bangalore june 27-1st sep.

    Happy sailing, and may the sharks continue to fear your speargun,

    • Tiffany says:

      House on the beach sounds awesome! We’re not sure when we’ll be there, but we’re still heading in your direction :) When we get a better idea we’ll give you some dates, but it is definitely going to be months away. We’re looking at Tahiti and the society islands until mid July, and then who knows where from there. We may have a post-Tahiti boat lined up, so we’ll have to see what he’s planning.

      Have a blast in Bangalore, and keep some notes on what’s the best stuff to see and places to go, ’cause Greg and I will be heading in that direction after OZ!

  5. howard says:

    Merry Christmas you two!

    It’s been awhile…. (to say the least)
    and I still remember our time at the next level with great fondness and warmth.

    thanks for the updates on the comings and goings on in your lives–it’s awesome to seehear about how you two are doing, and how you two are doing it well!

    having said that…..I’M JEALOUS. the southern hemisphere looks amazing! haha

    greg: at the next level, i still remember you saying that you’d be available to talk about the priesthood and your experiencesthought. it meant a lot to me back then and still does now.
    tiffany: thanks for keeping in touch with your emails. without them the lifeline would have been “cut” so to speak.

    Keep safe, keep strong, keep God and keep on living life with such zest!


    • Tiffany says:

      It’s great to hear from you Howard! I feel like I’ve lost touch with so many people from the Next Level, and it’s always great to reconnect again. Yes, Greg and I are doing very well, it’s been a fantastic year for us. How are things for you?

  6. Hi Tiff and Gregg,

    It looks like you’re having a great time! I just met Mike and Bill on the Spirit of Freedom who suggested I check out your blog. I’m looking for a crew spot on a boat doing the puddle jump from Mexico to the South Pacific this spring. Do you have any suggestions or advice? Either in terms of finding/choosing a boat, the trip over or how to keep costs down in the islands?

    Keep posting! It’s great to read about your first hand experiences there.



    • Tiffany says:

      I’ve been meaning to reply, but it’s not a short answer and we’ve been super busy lately!

      The short version is – be friendly and get to know people! The more people you meet and who know you’re looking for a ride, the better chances you’ll have of finding one. As a female, you’re much more likely to find something than a single male, and if you’re just looking for yourself instead of a couple, there are more bunks available to you then there were to us just because of sleeping space!

      The other most important thing is to be a reliable person. Most of the people out there really need someone who will be able to stay awake during a night watch and act as a responsible person. If you appear clean, neat and professional you’ll be much better served than if you go looking for a ride after an all night party…

      On your side of things, you definitely want to make sure that you get on the right boat. For a short hop, being able to get along with the other people on board isn’t as big of a deal as it is to cross an ocean. Do a trial trip of some sort to make sure everyone can get along and work together. Greg and I took one boat down the Baja Coast for a week, and that was all we needed to do to know there was no way we were going to sail any longer with them! Most of the boats we spent significant time on, we got to know the people on board quite well before we departed with them.

      As for safety – you are responsible for your safety! Yes, the owner/captain is legally responsible, but you need to make sure you choose a boat that *should* be safe, baring any unforeseen circumstances. Any boat could sink if it ran into a submerged container, this is true. But you should choose a boat that is most likely to stay afloat and intact. Boats with lots of standing water in the bilge, rusted rigging, owners who are new to sailing – all of these should be red flags that maybe you don’t want to sail with them. I have a checklist of the things we look at when we consider working with someone, I can email it to you if you want.

      Best way to keep costs down in the islands? Eat on board as much as possible (having cruiser dinners with other sailors makes this lots of fun!) and don’t do every excursion. There are some things that you should do, otherwise what’s the point of the trip? But talk to the other people who have been there a few days before you arrived to figure out what the best things are. Some of the stuff we really enjoyed were the various island hikes (bring lots of water and a swimsuit!) to waterfalls, dinner at a local’s house, and snorkeling. In most of the smaller islands, there aren’t too many things to spend money on, but the larger islands give you lots of opportunities, so just look for the best ones. Also, anchoring is way cheaper than paying marina fees, but this isn’t really an issue in most places. Until we reached Tahiti we didn’t even have the option. Once you get used to anchoring out in the small island, it’s easy to keep doing it. You’re never anchored very far from anything, so dinghying in to shore is never a big deal.

      Hope this helps! We’d love to know what you find and who you cross with! Make sure you get down to Puerto Vallarta as soon as possible to start meeting people. Best places to meet cruisers are in the La Paz marina and the Puerto Vallarta Yacht club at the Nuevo Vallarta marina. Just be yourself and I’m sure you’ll find someone to sail with!

      Best of luck!

  7. Hi Tiffany,

    The picture of the atoll from your recent post is almost too incredible for me to imagine in real life.

    Thanks for the detailed reply! Very helpful to hear first hand from someone who is doing it. I would LOVE an email with the checklist of things that you and Greg look for before sailing with someone. I’ve been trying to put a list together myself, and it would be great to hear what you put on your essential list.

    goodwitch33 at gmail dot com

    I’m flying down to Puerto Vallarta in a week to meet up with a boat, Sudden Stops Necessary, and sail with them from PV to Manzanillo. The plan is to do just what you are suggesting, sail a bit, hang out a bit, get to know the skipper and other crew member and see how well we get along before potentially making the longer trip of crossing the Pacific together. I’d like to sail to French Polynesia with them, fingers crossed, but who know. I’m not gonna put myself in a tough spot.

    Hope you’re finding great sailing. From your latest post it definitely looks like you’ve found beautiful snorkeling.


    • Greg Norte says:


      Tiff covered it well, here are a few more tidbits:

      Networking is critical:
      – Go to every single puddle jump seminar, dinner, party, grog fest, etc. you can and make friends. Push no one but let people know you’re looking for a ride. Become a member of the community.

      – if you don’t have a place to stay, rent one (I got a room at ana bannanas for a month for CHEAP). Live down there and, again, become a part of the community.

      – get a radio, get on the morning net & get involved. if you don’t have a radio find someone who does and is willing to share. (radios are under $100 in the states and was EASILY the best piece of gear we brought) do not spam “i’m looking to crew” every day. I said it about twice a week. Do get your voice out there by getting involved in the community, responding to other people, etc. Have a “handle” (radio name) that is unique to YOU and easy to remember. Do not always use your current boat’s name unless you are talking for the ship.

      – If you have a useful skill (like us, being former USCG) make sure people hear about it and you make use of it. If you get an opportunity to teach / speak. do it. If you have the opportunity to volunteer / help someone out, do it. word travels fast in the community and you want good things circulating.

      – NEVER ACT DESPERATE. A lot of people won’t make their decision to ask you until the week before, some even later than that. So don’t get down on yourself if it doesn’t happen right away. Worse case scenario? you lived the life in MX for a month and you grab a boat heading south.

      – there are online forums, google, groups, yahoo groups. get on them and treat them exactly like the radio net. As in give and get a good rep before you start “begging for rides”.

      – Tiffany said it & I agree: If you don’t feel good about the boat or the crew, bail. trust me on this. I didn’t once and it was a HUGE mistake.

      – one of my video posts is on the gear I have with me. I just now noticed we have no way to search the old blog entries…hmmm…have to work on that.

      Good luck and enjoy MX!

  8. Barb Ouimet says:

    Hey, Guys!
    “Lampshade” here! I want YOUR life! What a fabulous thing you’re doing. Being a Pisces, anything water would “fill my cup”. But sailing around the world…what a life!

    Stay safe, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy….
    Barb Ouimet

  9. George says:

    Hey, really great blog posts… I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy. I actually work for the CheapOair travel blog. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: gchristodoulou(at)cheapoair(dot)com, and I’ll give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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  11. Brittany says:

    I was hoping you could provide me with some advice…My fiance and I are contemplating joining the coast guard together after we get married and while we know there are never any guarantees we want to put ourselves in the most likely situation to be able to stay together. I just graduated with my bachelors degree and he is very close to completing his. We are both at a cross roads, not really sure what to do next because we’ve been in school our whole lives. In addition, we are both the outdoorsy thrill seeking type so an office job really isn’t cutting it. I’ve been doing a lot of research on married military couples and have received completely mixed reviews; however what it seems to come down to is what you choose for your job and whether or not you become an officer. Both of us are very driven and I wouldn’t want us to have to sacrifice career advancement to stay together. Do have any suggestions as far as how to increase our chances of being able to stay together? Any particular jobs that offer more opportunities than others? How did you guys make it work?

  12. Diane Glassman Kish says:

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Love hearing about your adventures…

    Warm Regards,
    Diane Glassman Kish

  13. Mike Scott says:

    What kind of boat are you on?

    • Tiffany says:

      We’re not on a boat right now – we’re exploring on land for a while. Also, since we work as crew the type of boat we’re on changes. Most recently we’ve worked on a Catalina-Morgan 440 and a Selene 48.

  14. Greg: You left a wonderful comment on my blog post “My Application to Join the 1%” and I dropped by to thank you. Then I read your blog and decided I now envy you and Tiffany’s life–the hell with the Cayman Islands :) Wow! (Oh God, to be young again.) Your adventure sounds so enticing. I’m curous though–how did you hear about my blog from where you’re camped?

    God speed and keep on doin’ what you’re doin’ because it sounds fabulous. Cheers! Eleanor Tomczyk (www.howthehelldidienduphere.wordpress.com0

    • Greg says:

      Well first off I’d like to let you know that most of our sailing friends are your age, not ours (you said your husband was 60 I think, right?). We’re the exception whereas you all would be more normal out here. Yes, sailing around the world is considered “normal” to some people. 😉

      As for how I heard about your blog Tiffany (techno geek that she is) showed me this magic button I press on wordpress that takes me to other people’s blogs. Yours came up.

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  26. Hey Tiffany and Greg!!

    Marisa from the Transatlantic Cruise here! Denton and I are staying with his parents in Fair Oaks. Are you guys still in Florida? How’s the job hunting going? I’ve been curious what you’ve been up to. You guys inspired me so much about all your stories about Australia- that Denton and I are entertaining the idea of heading over there in January. Do you have any suggestions for work/employment? Could I get the contact info for the recruiter you used? We’d like to have something loosely arranged before show up. Do you think the bar you worked at needs extra help? Anyway, would love to hear from you and know what you’re up to now! Take Care and be in touch
    (ps. if you read our blog, it’s 4-5 months out of date! whoops)

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  30. Josh Gerry says:

    Tiffany and Greg,

    My name is Josh and I’m a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. I’ve actually been putting some thought into doing the same thing that you’re currently doing. I did an Atlantic crossing on Eagle a few summers ago and loved it, I’ve been thinking about joining the off-shore team at school to learn a little more about sailing smaller boats. I just wanted to say that what you’re doing is way cool, any advice on making the transition from the CG to what you’re doing now?

    Thanks and be safe,

    2/c Josh Gerry

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