Midtown Raleigh News

North Raleigh couple makes annual holiday stop at home during sail around the world

Linda Moore listens as husband Hugh passes the time with his banjo during their Atlantic crossing in November and December.
Linda Moore listens as husband Hugh passes the time with his banjo during their Atlantic crossing in November and December. Courtesy of Harris Welles

A month ago, Hugh and Linda Moore were on a boat off the coast of Africa, enjoying sunny weather and fresh fish.

This week, they’re at their home in North Raleigh, adjusting to the back and forth of rainy and sunny North Carolina winter weather. It isn’t exactly the Caribbean, where they visited most recently on their sailboat, the Wild Goose, but their family is nearby for only the second time in almost three years.

The Moores have been sailing around the world for the past two and a half years, making an annual holiday stop at home in Raleigh to see their friends and family. After a monthlong visit, the couple will fly back to their sailboat in Grenada and resume sailing around the Caribbean, central and South America.

It’s a short amount of time to make up for the months spent away from their two sons, Harrison, 24, and Tirrill, 23. The two are busy with school and career, but Hugh and Linda make a point to spend as much time as possible with them when they’re not sailing.

“We miss family and we talk to family all the time, so we’re in close contact, but it’s not the same,” Linda Moore said.

The couple have perfected ways to check in back home from their boat, using a combination of a satellite phone at sea and Wi-Fi service when they’re closer to land.

They put up their sails in 2012, when they knew their sons were settled. Harrison works in Research Triangle Park, and Tirrill just started classes at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

“We have not looked back. It totally fit our phase in life,” Hugh Moore said of their indefinite journey. “We may not do this forever, but for now we live on a little boat we’ve taken to different countries.”

This year, the Moores sailed to Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy and through the Mediterranean and Middle East on their 10-year-old, 43-foot sailboat.

The couple has always loved sailing. Hugh Moore grew up in Raleigh and went to Oriental to sail with his dad. Linda Moore grew up in Beaufort and although she didn’t sail the same kind of boat as her husband, she knew a thing or two about being on the water.

When they married 27 years ago, they spent their honeymoon sailing. They decided at some point in their married life, they would go sailing again for a longer time.

So they started saving money. Hugh Moore was a financial adviser for 30 years and Linda Moore was a computer consultant.

It was scary to embark on the trip knowing there would be no income, but they’ve just adjusted their lifestyle to make it work.

“We live on fumes when we’re sailing,” Hugh said. They rely on their savings, which they started 27 years ago with this trip in mind.

While traveling, they’ve figured out the most economical ways to live. They estimate it costs less than $1,000 a month to live at sea.

“We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle,” Linda elaborated. “We find where the locals eat, we don’t pay for hotels. When we do land travel, we take public transportation.” Linda also learned some of the basics of boat maintenance to offset the cost of expensive repairs.

They live just as frugally in Raleigh, too. They don’t have a big Christmas and try to avoid going out to eat. The focus, they said, is really on spending time with the family.

Flying back home to Raleigh for the holidays is always the year’s biggest expense, and a worthwhile one, they said. “We kind of fit right back in as soon as we get here,” Hugh Moore said.

Still, they don’t plan to permanently dock their boat any time soon.

“We feel like we have a very rich life right now,” Hugh Moore said.