September 19, 2012 - By Olivia Shumaker
Review Staff Writer
Exploring the world became a reality for former Lake Orion graduate Cindy Mom and her friend, Megan Frey, when they set sail on Sept. 11 on a trip across the Atlantic.
Mom and Frey signed up to crew on a boat, the SY Vittoria, sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to St. John's, Newfoundland, and then across the open ocean to Oban, Scotland. They took classes throughout the summer in piloting, seamanship, and navigation and raced and cruised various boats to prepare for the journey.
"All summer they've been sailing," said Janice Mom, Cindy's mother.
The boat Mom and Frey are crewing on is owned by Roger Clark, who is on the last leg of a long trip. His itinerary included Puerto Rico, the Carolinas, and Boston before he stopped in Halifax to find a crew to sail to St. John's and on to Oban, his home port.
While neither Mom nor Frey ever met Clark before they interviewed to crew for him, Frey lived in Scotland for a time and has a sailboat on the Isle of Eigg.
After they land in Oban, Mom and Frey will spend some time in Scotland visiting friends and figuring out what to do with Frey's boat, as Frey has not sailed it in quite a while.
In early January they plan to fly to Norway, where both have friends, to visit for a while. They plan to be gone for at least six months traveling, and have not yet decided how they will get back from Europe.
"If they stay long enough, they may take a return trip and crew on another boat, or they may fly home," said Jerry Mom, Cindy's father.
Mom and Frey have been planning the trip since May, and started talking about the idea much earlier.
Both quit their jobs in Petoskey, where they lived and met. Both have been saving money to prepare, and Mom sold her house and car and gave up her cell phone so that she would not have any bills to pay, which was about the time she told her parents that she and Frey were planning this trip.
"She said, 'Well, I guess I'd better tell you I've planned this trip,'" Janice Mom said. "We did not know until June that she was planning on doing this."
Nonetheless, Mom's parents support the dream, helping her move out of her house and letting her stay with them during the summer while she was taking classes and preparing to leave for Halifax.
"We've always told her, 'You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it,'" Jerry Mom said. "She took that literally."
To keep track of Mom' and Frey's trans-Atlantic adventure, check in at their blog, www.hitchhiketheatlantic.wordpress.com. They will be able to update the blog once they reach Scotland, and have posted pictures to Mom's Facebook account, www.facebook.com/cindy.momm, which can be viewed and ordered online.