We are the owners of Buffalo Nickel.
After many years in practice in veterinary internal medicine, Stan changed careers to become founder and CEO of National Veterinary Associates in the mid-1990’s.
Val is also a veterinarian. She spent the last 13 years of her career as owner and founder of The Cat Doctor, a feline specialty practice in Thousand Oaks, CA.
We bought our very first boat, Pax Nautica, a Selene 53 trawler, in 2006 and moved aboard her in Ventura, California while we were still working full time. When we announced our plan to sell our home in order to move aboard a boat, most of our friends and family had the understandable reaction of trying to get us into therapy. When that failed, they merely sighed, looked at us with concern, and asked, “You’re taking some kind of class to learn how to do this, right? And what about pirates?” They consoled themselves, we believe, with the thought that some semblance of rationality would return to us soon, at which point we could sell the boat and move back on land like normal people. As soon as we retired in 2009, we left the States aboard Pax Nautica to pursue our dream of full time coastal cruising.
Less than two years later, somewhere along the coast of Pacific Mexico, it occurred to us that we enjoyed the cruising life even more than we expected. Val lost her aversion to the concept of ocean crossings. We ventured confidently up-river into the little-visited, remote Darién province of Panamá. And made a six-day crossing from Panamá to the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador, our longest passage to date, with just the two of us aboard as usual.
We began to explore the idea of blue-water passage making more seriously. What would it take for us to feel safe and comfortable as a couple making longer offshore passages more routinely? Perhaps explore higher latitudes, get even further off the beaten path? All of this, naturally, without giving up the option of preparing an elaborate meal, or mixing craft cocktails at sunset?
This led us, really without any further ado, to the FPB. And today, sitting in New Zealand with our passage to Fiji only about two weeks away (wow, did I just write that? two weeks?) we know we’ve made the right choices. We look forward to continuing to translate our love of travel, our affinity for being on and in the water, and our love and reliance on each other into… well… a good time to be had by all.
Valerie Creighton, Whangarei, North Island, New ZealandFollow @trawler_trash