A Colorado couple who sold everything to buy a sailboat so they could sail the Caribbean isn’t going to let their boat sinking capsize their dream.
Tanner Broadwell, Nikki Walsh and their pet pug Remy escaped injury when the 28-foot boat hit something and capsized Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Madeira Beach, Fla. The couple says just about everything they owned floated away, according to the Associated Press.
“I’m not going to give up now,” Broadwell told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m going to get another boat down the road.”
“We can’t just give up on our dreams,” Walsh agreed.
But for now, the couple is planning to use a GoFundMe appeal to raise the money they’ll need to spend to remove their sailboat from St. John’s Pass off Madeira Beach. That could cost up to $10,000, the Times reports.
The couple, who had been living in Breckenridge where Broadwell marketed timeshares, decided to sell their belongings and pursue their dream of sailing the Caribbean and ultimately, maybe, the world, the Times reports.
The couple, who had no sailing experience, bought a 28-foot sailboat in Alabama for $5,000, the Times reports. Broadwell’s father helped the couple travel to Florida, teaching them to sail along the way.
They spent months refurbishing the 49-year-old Lagniappe (pronounced lanny-yap), which is Creole for bonus, the Times reports.
They set sail Feb. 6 and anchored off Anclote Key. The next day they made their way to John’s Pass to dock for the night. It was dark and foggy as they tried to navigate the channel, the Times reports. Broadwell steered while Wash stood at the bow, lighting their path with a spotlight.
The navigational buoys seemed out-of-place and the shoal wasn’t where their 2016-2017 navigational charts said it should be, the Times reports. They wondered if Hurricane Irma had altered the channel.
Then they hit something underwater and Walsh nearly flew off the deck. As the sailboat dipped from side-to-side, Broadwell realized the keel had been ripped off the bottom.
As water poured into cabin, the couple put on their life jackets (Remy, too). They called for help and then Walsh ran to the flooded cabin and grabbed what she could — social security cards, cash, IDS and the dog, WFTS, the ABC affiliate in Tampa Bay, reports.
For now the couple is relying on family and friends. They may live with his mother while he looks for a job, the Times reports.
They’re thankful to be alive and they’re not giving up their dream.
“The boat sank,” Walsh told WFTS, “but our dreams didn’t sink with the boat.”