It was two people and a bottle of wine at a dinner in a tropical garden in Guatemala:

Rich Howe, an adventurous sailer and me, Deb Walters, an avid kayaker and a “woman of a certain age”. Rich is the current board president of Safe Passage, and I am the past board president, so we were talking about how to raise money to help the children and families living in the garbage dump community. Rich was dreaming about a fundraising regatta for yachts from Maine to Guatemala. I had been dreaming for years of raising money by kayaking from Maine to Guatemala. But I had kept getting stuck when thinking about the coast of Mexico. Don Starkel's Paddle to the Amazon was about the canoe trip he and his son took from Canada to the Amazon, and he mentioned two challenges with the Mexican coast. One was being repeatedly trashed and losing gear as they tried to land through the surf, but that would not be so difficult for a kayak. The second was getting held up at gunpoint by “pirates”, and that sounded like a show stopper. But the solution appeared at this dinner – we could combine our dreams! What if I kayaked the 2000 plus miles from Maine to Miami, boarded a yacht for a leg to Belize, and then paddled the rest of the way to Guatemala. Now that could work!

A week later Rich and I talked to see if it was just the wine or if we really were serious about this Voyage to Guatemala. Serious won out.

-Deb Walters  (Board of Directors)