Who am I and how did i start sailing around the world?
Hey I'm Blane!
A Florida native, born in Clearwater who grew up along the gulf coast spending nearly every waking minute in or on the ocean since I was a kid. How did I get into photography? I bought a camera to take photos of friends surfing and enjoyed shooting when I wasn't in the water.
Let's back up to 2015.. I had been taking photos for a couple years now primarily all ocean related, mostly shooting surf at the local breaks during hurricanes and cold fronts that would bring waves to what I like to refer to as, "The Lake of Mexico" I was still enjoying it but never thought I could make a living from taking photos, it was just a hobby, or so I thought. That was until I received a job offer from an aerial photography company located in Tampa, Florida. I, like 99.9% of people, had never taken photos out of a plane or a helicopter but thought I'd give it a shot. I already had the intention of traveling somewhere new, the job didn't start for about two months so I bought a plane ticket to Oslo, Norway.
At the time this was the furthest I had been from Florida. My friend Andrew and I spent nearly seven weeks backpacking all throughout Europe visiting nine different countries and was a trip I'll never forget. Returning to the states after Europe I soon began working as an aerial photographer full time, still one of the coolest jobs I think I'll ever have. Thank you to everyone at Aerial Innovations for such a great opportunity and perspective of Florida, I actually designed their website that they currently have too. A few trips out of the country while working there had me getting pretty bored with living in Florida.
Fast forward a little over two years later.. I took a trip up to Montana, Idaho and Canada in April of 2017. From surfing in a river while it was snowing that unfroze the day before to dogsledding on frozen lakes in Banff National Park, I had the itch.. I had to move somewhere out West. By May of 2017 my car was loaded up and I was headed back West to the small town of Pinedale, Wyoming. Working at a fantastic local outdoor shop and new coffee shop, both gave me plenty of time to explore the surrounding area. Switching from it being summer nearly year round in Florida to it being winter pretty much all year took little time to adjust. I remember it was June and my first summer there, it was snowing. I thought to myself, "I could get used to this" so I enjoyed the month of summer we had in July and was hooked on winter when it arrived.
The winter months pass, my passion for surfing the white wave has grown to be almost as strong as surfing in the ocean. I can't get enough of it! I chased the snow late season deep into the Wind River Range behind my house just to get a few more turns. By July 2018 I was wrapping up the snowboarding season, with over 150 days on my board my first winter ever I knew this wouldn't be the last winter I spend in the frozen paradise of Pinedale. August has past, most of September passes by then I see the first major winter storm brewing up in Canada. My weekend lined up perfect and I went for it. One thousand miles north, I arrive to Jasper for the most epic early season conditions ever. Biggest storm in over three decades, it's the start to another great winter. Thousands of turns on the frozen wave are the only thing that separated that trip in September from February. I knew the winter would end in just a few months but I wasn't ready to quit surfing the white wave. I had heard of people chasing winter year round so that's what I wanted to do, follow it down to South America. Everything was lined up, then I tore both my MCLs and a meniscus. Which meant I wasn't going to South America, bummer. Since I couldn't enjoy the snow it seemed like it was time for me to get back to the ocean.
I began looking for a job just crewing on a sailboat with the intentions of hoping to eventually get into the sailboat delivery business. I get a message from a guy named Cody saying he checked out my website and to shoot him an email if I'm interested in documenting his circumnavigation. I couldn't send him an email fast enough. Captain Cody discussed his plans for the circumnavigation and I agreed to be part of the crew. He hired myself as the photographer and videographer of this incredible journey that will take roughly two and a half years. Saying I was stoked is an understatement. I left Wyoming in August of 2019, thank you Great Outdoor Shop and Pine Coffee Supply for the opportunities you gave me and the amount of time you let me have off so I could see the world. I'll always be grateful of my time there and the people I met along the way. There's no better place I could have moved to for my first time moving out of Florida.
With the departure date set as November 1st, 2019 I had a few months of time to kill. Starting out with some much needed time in the tropics I spent a week in the Caribbean, island hopping with family. Followed by a ten day road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Fransisco to Portland with my girlfriend. Lastly I spent ten days in Europe and Africa with my best bud Colin, most of which were spent surfing in Morocco. Still the most unique place I've ever been to.
I'm pretty new to this whole blogging thing so if you've made it this far thanks for reading. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletters below if you'd like to know when I post again on my blog, I promise the posts from here on out will be much more exciting. Follow along as I begin the most incredible trip I've yet to take.
"I would rather own little and see the world, than own the world and see little."