David and I have dreamed heartily of coastal circumnavigation of the Americas--North and South. His dream includes the NW Passage and Cape Horn...
mine doesn't. A compromise will have to be struck on that one, for sure
We are avid canoeists, so some of this dreaming began when we read a couple books which were inspiring to us--first one was Paddle to the Amazon
about a couple of guys who literally did that from New England on down. Well, among the books there was The Family Canoe Trip
which entails a family of 5 (including a babe in diapers) paddling across Canada in a 20' canoe--tracked by Polar Bears and the like, their adventure was quite dangerous. We spend countless hours practicing our canoe surf landings on Baja in the 80's simply inspired by those paddle to the Amazon fellows. Let me tell ya, there's nothing easy about landing an open (river) canoe in big surf without swamping. We do now have the skill to do it--but with age, no longer the desire
A few other similar books and tales have made us realize that one can explore the world in almost any boat--no matter how big or small--just read David Hays My Old Man and the Sea
about father and son sailing from CT down around Cape Horn and back in a 25' Vertue if you're thinking small...or Villiers Cruise of the Conrad
if you want to know about using a big! boat for your world cruising...where there's a will there's a way.
Somewhere along the way, our love of sailing took over and we decided that we'd do our tripping via sailboat and then take adventure in a canoe here-and-there along the way. Thus, we have a flush deck boat that can store our 17' canoe without it being "in the way" of the actual sailing. It could be swept off deck during a passage...but that's another issue entirely.
Everyone's dream is different--and everyone's implementation of the dream even more so. Perhaps we'll see you somewhere along the way, Atavist.