Your Captain – Shane McClellan
Getting to the boat
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas I had my first experience as a sailor on my aunt and uncle’s motorboat in Lake Dallas. In the time it took me to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout, I sailed my troop’s 18’ sloop and was a sailboat instructor at a summer camp for half a summer.
At the age of 20, I left the great state of Texas and moved to Boulder, Colorado in order to ski, oh, I mean finish my degree in business. After college I moved to Golden, Colorado, where I joined the Golden Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter, had a career as an auditor, and played soccer. During this time I met a friend who owned a Catalina 25 on Lake Dillon and got reintroduced to
sailing. This prompted me to take several ASA courses through Victoria Sailing School and spend more time on my friend’s boat. After several years of this, I realized I wanted more sailing time to continue improving my skills, so my choices were to either buy
a boat and spend the money on the different expenses associated with ownership or become a sailing instructor and have someone pay me instead. Through this process, I quickly discovered I really enjoyed teaching and people responded well to my instruction.
My retirement plan had always been to buy a boat and cruise around the world, but there was a three month period in 2008 where 13 different things happened, some bad and some good, and it seemed as if God was presenting the cruising path to me sooner than I had expected. So I retired from the Golden Fire Department, after a 10 year career, sold my house and most of my belongings, bought a boat, and left Colorado after 17 wonderful years.
After sailing the boat from the British Virgin Islands I started living aboard in Kemah, TX for seven months before starting my cruise along the Gulf coast of the USA in early 2010. The highlight here was the two months I spent in New Orleans enjoying the Saints Super Bowl victory and Mardi Gras. By May I visited the Dry Tortugas (one of the coolest National Parks around) and officially began cruising the East Coast. I traveled all the way to Nantucket Island (a place I wanted to visit due to the show Wings). There are so many amazing places to visit on the East Coast, but my favorites were NASA, Cumberland Island, Charleston,
Ocracoke Island, New York City, and Nantucket (check out the Travel Video tab to see videos of each location plus many others). On the way back to Florida, my dad was able to join me for a month, so I got to show him the cruising lifestyle from Yorktown (his favorite spot) all the way to Kennedy Space Center.
On Christmas Day 2010 I crossed the Gulf Stream for Bimini in The Bahamas and was able to experience the annual Junkanoo festival (a must for me) in Nassua. I spent seven months in The Bahamas as I sailed down the Exumas and on to Long Island and then down the Ragged Islands. I crossed over to the Acklins Island group, where I visited Hogsty Reef (an atoll sitting 1 foot under the water with only a small spit of sand showing and a second must see for me). From Acklins I started my trip back north seeing Rum, Conception, and San Salvador Islands on the way to Cat Island (the location of my third must see – The Hermitage). I continued north to Eleuthera Island (the north half of the island is my favorite in the entire Bahamas) and then visited Andros Island, the Berry Islands, and Grand Bahama before the hurricane season where I stored the boat in Brunswick, GA. By this time I had the required sea time, so I tested for my US Coast Guard Captain License.
At the beginning of November 2011 I headed towards the Caribbean through The Bahamas and spent a month exploring the Abacos and another several weeks in the Turks & Caicos. I officially arrived in the Virgin Islands on January 5, 2012. Once there I set up a charter business and sailing school, because during my travels with guests aboard I found out I REALLY enjoy cooking, teaching, entertaining, and being a tour guide for people. Starting in 2017 I have been cruising the Leeward and Windward Island of the Caribbean.
My dad instilled the travel bug in me at a young age by taking us on extended road trips every couple years. Now my charter business has afforded me the ability to travel the world extensively during each hurricane season when I put my boat away to avoid storms. I love experiencing first hand all the different cultures and histories of the world. Afterwards, the best part is sharing my experiences with my audience through my blogs, podcasts, photos of the day, and travel videos. My personal goals are to visit every country in the world and eventually sail my boat all the way around.