Nikki Walsh and Tanner Broadwell had given up everything to follow their dream of sailing around the world.
As CBS Denver reports, the couple from Breckenridge, Colorado had taken an enormous leap of faith and decided to pursue their dream to sail around the world together. They quit their jobs, sold their car and nearly everything they owned, and bought a 28-foot sailboat.
Walsh wrote on GoFundMe that they spent a year living on the boat in the Florida Keys, where they worked in a boat yard to learn more about sailing and prepare for the round-the-world trip.
The plan was to start their cruise from the Florida coast. But they’d barely begun before the trip came to a crashing halt.
Two days into their journey, the boat hit a submerged object and began to take on water. Walsh told CBS it was frightening to find themselves tossed about by the waves. Broadwell added:
“It was really dramatic. All the things we had, no matter how tied down they were, were getting tossed and thrown, and hitting us.”
It was clear they needed to abandon ship, so the couple tried to save what they could. Their dog, Remy, was wearing a life vest, and they managed to grab him, some cash, and their social security cards before the boat sank. Broadwell told CBS:
“I was shaking. I’m like, ‘Tanner, everything we’ve ever had is gone. Everything we worked for is gone.'”
They are grateful to have escaped with their lives, but now Broadwell and Tanner are facing a big challenge. The boat was uninsured, and they only have enough savings for a few months. They lost what few possessions they still had, including irreplaceable sentimental items. They’re out of work, and their home is underwater.
And yet, the couple says the hardship has strengthened their bond … and their determination to continue. Broadwell told CBS:
“It teaches you a lesson of what really matters to you.”
Low on funds, they have turned to crowdfunding to raise enough money to get the boat out of the water and properly disposed of. They also hope to buy a new boat and continue their trip. As Broadwell wrote on GoFundMe:
“We lost every single one of our belongings with no insurance, but we all made it to land alive [and] we are not giving up on our dreams!”