Welcome Aboard, Ginny!

Ginny and I have a history together under sail. As kids, we fell in love with each other on boats. We sailed together in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, from the Azores to Portugal, along the Spanish Mediterranean coastline, and throughout our home waters in the Florida Keys. On a sail back from Bimini, she asked me to marry her… at least that’s the way I remember it. That was 40 years ago. We are celebrating that anniversary in Sardinia aboard Flying Fish.

Our partnership allows great latitude in our lifestyles. Sometimes we only see each other for a few weeks each year. It works for us.

In 1976, Ginny and I were students at the University of Florida when we said our first bon voyage. I was sailing across the Atlantic with my family. My mother and father had a dream to go sailing and sold everything to buy a 43-sloop. With my two sisters and my brother already scattering into the wind, Mom and Dad’s plan brought us all back together. We had a glorious passage from Florida to Europe but the money ran out faster than expected and our family voyage was abbreviated. Mom and Dad left the boat in Spain to go back to work and asked me to help bring it home where it could be sold. Ginny joined me in Alicante for a few months as I waited on a weather window for the return ocean crossing. That summer Ginny and I sailed like pirates through the Mediterranean surviving on young love, mountains of fresh sardines, and bodega wine that we drank from goatskin bags. Ginny was always the responsible party in this partnership and after that summer she returned to school while I continued sailing.

In 1981, we had only been married about a week when I set sail again, this time solo across the Atlantic in my 23-foot sloop Betelgeuse. Ginny met me in Horta and we continued to Portugal together. I sold Betelegeuse in Europe and returned to college where it took me 10 years to earn a four-year degree. I was distracted by saltwater; Ginny, however, was focused and working her way through law school.

Our daughter Lilly was born in 1986. In our connubial re-telling of history, the story once again diverges here but I am fairly certain that my “enthusiastic” operation of an open skiff across rough water, with Ginny late in her pregnancy, induced labor and Lilly ultimately entered our world. She is Capt. Lilly now, a 100-ton USCG-Licensed Master.

While I continued to mess about in boats, Ginny created a notable legal career as a State Prosecutor, a City Attorney, and a brilliant lawyer in private practice. I clearly remember Ginny’s face on the dock in Key West as I departed in Flying Fish in December 2017 on this passage around the world. This wasn’t her dream, but in her eyes I saw her confidence and encouragement of my dream. She has given me a generous gift.

As the voyage of Flying Fish progressed, Ginny and I would rendezvous in ports around the world. We celebrated Christmas together in Panama City with a 2 AM supper in the historic quarter of Casco Viejo. Ginny flew to Tahiti and we swam in the natural aquariums of Moorea. In New Zealand, we sailed and road-tripped, and even worked as grape pickers in a vineyard in exchange for a wine-country lunch and a box of vintage Cabernet. At the end of each visit Ginny would return to Key West to a house, friends, and job she loved–and where a dog was always waiting for her. I would trim the sails aboard Flying Fish and set a course for another distant horizon.

It will be interesting to see how our lives will dovetail once this trip around the globe in Flying Fish comes to an end. I suspect that there will be a period of adjustment, at least for me. But for my wife of 40 years, who always sails through life on an even keel, the potential of stormy weather ahead does not concern her. Ginny is an optimist. She has strength and patience, and we are in it together for the long run.

Ginny Stones, June 2021, at the base of the 15th Century Torre di Porto Giunco overlooking Flying Fish at anchor. Photo: © Jeffrey Cardenas

Sailing is not just about the wind and the sea; equally important are the places to which this boat takes me.

Please click Follow at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss a new update, and please consider sharing this post with others who might enjoy following the voyage of Flying Fish. I welcome your comments. I will always respond to your comment when I have an Internet connection. And I will never share your personal information.

You can follow the daily progress of Flying Fish, boat speed (or lack thereof), and current weather as I sail into the Mediterranean by clicking this satellite uplink: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/FlyingfishClick the “Legends and Blogs” box on the right side of the tracking page for en route Passage Notes. 

To see where Flying Fish has sailed since leaving Key West in 2017, click here: https://cruisersat.net/track/Flying%20Fish.

Instagram: FlyingFishSail
Facebook: Jeffrey Cardenas

Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2021

Let this be a time of grace and peace in our lives   –Fr. John Baker

60 thoughts on “Welcome Aboard, Ginny!

    • Thank you, Michael, but words do not adequately describe Ginny Stones. How many other spouses would tolerate their partner sailing off across the ocean–alone–a few days after they are married? This visit together will only last a couple of weeks but the days will stay with us for a lifetime.


  1. Jeff, what a wonderful love story! So happy you get to spend your 40th anniversary with Ginny! Your adventures and love has endured all these years. Happiness to you as always Jeff. True love always endures! I know as well, I will be married 40 years next year! The long and winding road !! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Anniversary to you wonderful folks that I’ve had the honor and pleasure to know and work with in one of my past lives. You’re both an inspiration to everyone that knows you!
    All the best and enjoy Sardinia, it’s such an idyllic location.
    Ps: You’ve got Carliss and beat by two years, our 38th is rapidly approaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How beautifu! It seems you two have mastered the art of generous living and loving as Kahlil Gibran described it. “…Love one another, but make not a bond
    of love:
    Let it rather be a moving sea between
    the shores of your souls.
    Fill each other’s cup but drink not from
    one cup.
    Give one another of your bread but eat
    not from the same loaf.
    Sing and dance together and be joyous,
    but let each one of you be alone,
    Even as the strings of a lute are alone
    though they quiver with the same music…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly!
      That is exactly how we have chosen to live our lives. I have not seen this verse from Kahlil Gibran. Thank you for sharing it, Carol. Somehow it reinforces our wonderful but somewhat bizarre relationship.


  4. Hello: Love the Post. Your family-Your wonderful sister and her wonderful husband , mom and dad, brother, all pets, are included– is truly magical. My family-love you all very much Our introduction started in 1991-wow-a long way from selling fly’s on line our first introduction. You even made my son a fly fisherman-big transition for a cotton hand line guy….

    Please sail on and be careful-Ginny hurry home—

    We love you all very much.

    Kurt / Monica and family.

    Kurt Lewin SVP Senior Lending Officer (O) (305) 293-7127 (C) (305) 304-4187 kurtl@keysbank.com KeysBank.com 1201 Simonton St. Key West, FL 33040

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your family sentiment, Kurt, but there is more… The SVP in your title reminds me of the confidence you and committee had in my early Key West ventures. The faith you had in this boat bum made much of this possible. I won’t forget that.


  5. Happy anniversary! 🥳🥳🥳 Beautiful account of beautiful lives♥️🙏♥️ May God continue to bless your family 🙏🙏🙏☀️☀️☀️ Sending much love and best wishes to both of you, Elena & Robert

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • We are truly blessed, Elena, but as wonderful as these travels around the world have been, I am feeling the gravitational pull of Key West. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next chapter at home on our little island.


  6. Wow, 40+ years actually. GOD Bless you both. Those bullet points brought back a lot of happy memories (bet you didn’t think I could remember at this point in time 🙂 “…what a long strange trip its been”…and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW What a fabulous LOVE STORY.After you write your upcoming book you should direct and produce a movie.You won’t be able to name it LOVE STORY as that title is taken.You and Ginny will give Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw a run for the money.Happy Sails Jeff and Ginny and Happy Anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dave. Sometimes I have a tendency to impart too much personal information. I’m told I “wear my emotions on my shirtsleeves.” Like Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” 😊


  8. A toast to the both of you for forty wonderful years! Give Stones a hug for me and come visit if you ever sail to Mexico.💕


  9. WHAT A TRIP, Both of your lives and your voyages. Takes a special bond to make that work. Have a wonderful reunion.

    PS.. I have read and enjoyed all of you stories, first time I am moved to respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. To the “J & G” duo
    Sooo beautiful!
    Rarely “comment” but , Here’s to making more great memories! They keep you full.
    On the sea of life-The horizon is just that !
    (I know in my heart, Chris & I will once again meet in the cross currents!)
    Enjoy it all & laugh a lot!
    Reen🌅🧜🏼‍♀️🌊💞Key West

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jeffrey and Ginny,
    I always knew you both were special but learning the whole story was beyond wonderful for me.
    Happy Anniversary!
    Ginny, I asked Ben to marry me also. Certainly not the norm, but one of my better moves!
    Cole is home after two years of travel in the South Pacific – it’s so nice to have him here – for how long, who knows?
    Continue to enjoy life and each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strong women rock!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Helen. Growth comes from risk, and I don’t just mean “life-threatening” risk. Living beyond the convention of what is expected is risky, too. But oh! the rewards…
      Love and good health to you and your family.


  12. Cap’n. Glad to see ya have your wench with ya. Four named storms in the Atlantic before July 1st is very bad news. It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.


  13. Pingback: An Ocean Ahead | Flying Fish

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