Dylan Silver

Sailing the World With My Friend Jacob

Added on by Dylan Silver.

A friend of mine is living his dream. A few years ago Jacob bought a 37-foot 1967 Pearson sailboat. He spent a year working on the boat as it sat in decrepit Oakland marina. With little experience and a lot of help from the marina locals, he installed a new diesel engine, a new wind generator and some new electronics. I was really inspired by Jacob and the sailing adventures I read about in books and articles he recommended. 

Sunset in the middle of the Pacific.

Sunset in the middle of the Pacific.

I decided to sail with Jacob to Hawaii. Down the California and across the Pacific, we spent three months together on the boat. The passage was so much more complex than any other adventure I've ever experienced. It was terrifying. It was lonely. It was exciting. When we pulled into Hilo Harbor on the Big Island 21 days after we left Santa Barbara, it was pitch black and wildly relieving. Of the three of us, no one had done an open ocean passage. Looking back, it is one of the things in my life I'm most proud of.

Jacob dumping the ashes of Jurgen, the former owner of Genesis Earthling. I wrote a story about that experience that appeared in Good Old Boat Magazine.

Jacob dumping the ashes of Jurgen, the former owner of Genesis Earthling. I wrote a story about that experience that appeared in Good Old Boat Magazine.

While I flew back to California, Jacob spent a few months working on the boat and earning money. Later that year, he sailed to the Marshall Islands, another grueling 20-day passage. From there, he kept sailing, on to the tiny island nation of Vanuatu. He wandered the islands, communed with chiefs of small villages and drank a ton of Kava. As the hurricane season rolled in, Jacob pulled his boat, Genesis Earthling, out of the water and jumped on a plane back to California.

Jacob returned to his job as a fiber optics engineer in Lake Tahoe, primarily to pay for repairs and upgrades on the boat. He spent just over a year here before flying back to Vanuatu. Genesis Earthling got new sails, new bottom paint and some shining refinished rails. Now back in the water, Jacob and his girlfriend have completed the passage to the Solomon Islands and are cruising around the archipelago, surfing, fishing and diving.

If you have a minute, check out Jacob's website and/or his Facebook page. I'm really proud to know Jacob. I'm constantly inspired by how hard he worked to accomplish this and I think his lifestyle could serve as a model for many of us.