The Crew

Cap'n Shane

Cap’n Shane Dennis has been sailing since his childhood in Queensland, Australia and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.   Shane is also the breadwinner for our crew, through his IT Management Consulting business.  Learn more about Shane’s IT skills at



First Mate Mary Larson-Dennis is a clinical Social Worker who grew up in Minnesota, USA.  Mary is the Mom-in-Chief, Ship’s Blogger, and Blanket Hogger aboard s/v Sea Change.  She also works from aboard as a Supervision Consultant for Minnesota social workers seeking LICSW credentials.

L-R Franklin, Ruby, Darla

L-R Franklin, Ruby, Darla

The Swabs include Franklin, Ruby and Darla Dennis.

Franklin is a full-time crew aboard s/v Sea Change.  He is the Heart-Warmer and Mess-Maker in Chief.

Big sisters Ruby and Darla live with their mom in Minneapolis, and spend time on Sea Change whenever they are able.

Ruby is an award-winning poet, and a bibliophile. She has a penchant for languages (Espanol!) and travel.

Darla is a teenage trend-settter and a competitive swimmer.  Not only can she swim the butterfly stroke, she excels as a social butterfly, as well.


27 thoughts on “The Crew

    1. marylarson Post author

      Hi Nauru! Thanks for your interest in our blog. Unfortunately, I am not sure what your question is. Could you clarify? I will be happy to try to answer your question, once I fully understand. Hope to hear from you soon,
      Mary & s/v Sea Change crew.

  1. Paul Slaughter

    Helo Mary & crew, I learned about you through Amy Schaefer’s blog of Sailing Away on Papillon of which I learned from Sail magazine. I saw your post on her blog. Is this the best way to follow your family’s travels? I found this site by searching S/V Sea Change. I don’t read blogs much but love sailing, sailing people & sailing stories, so I thought it would be fun to keep track of your family’s sailing adventure also. You can learn about me at my website listed. Thanks, paul in Estherville, IA

    1. marylarson Post author

      Hi Paul!
      Thank you for your interest in our new blog! I am excited to learn that we already have some interest. Having just started the blog, and having actually just put up the first official “post” this past weekend, I hadn’t done anything yet to try to promote it. In fact, I had only sent the link to 2-3 people so far (s/v Papillon included). I feel encouraged by your interest!

      I hope to have 1-2 more blog posts up before we move aboard 4/29/13. I’m sure posts will be more frequent after that, as I won’t have a full time job to contend with. If you have time to provide some additional feedback, I would love to hear more about what type of content is most interesting to you in a sailing blog. I have noticed some focus on boat stuff, reapirs, maintenence; some on destination information; some on the “human” aspects of the experience, such as crew thoughts, feelings… If you want to share any tid bits about what you like in a blog, I would happily receive it. I’m a novice blogger!

      I checked out your website briefly (things are getting very hectic here with T-minus 27 days to wrap up our land lives, so I am unable to spend much time). I see you are a small plane enthusiast. I can see a connection between small plane lovers and small boats enthusiasts!

      Thanks again so much for your interest. Yes, this is the main place to follow along. Good night!

  2. Paul Slaughter

    Mary, (What are you doing up at 2:42 am? I saw when you replyed to my message.) Thanks for the reply. I don’t have too much to share in the way of guidance on blog posting as I have never had one and hardly ever read any. So I am really new to them too. I guess I would mainly be interested in the common questions most anyone would have that has never done a trip like you are doing – what brought you to this point, what major steps had to be taken to leave the land and home and make the move aboard, what will you do for income, how are relationships challenged and developed aboard, and anything else you are willing to share with the whole world about your personal life and what might interest an outsider regarding your life aboard. I am sure maintenance items onboard are a common necessity, but I think readers may be more interested in events in life that are different from living in a house and going to a job. I am sure you will be sharing with your family a bit via this blog, so that will be a bit interesting too.

    As for me and airplanes, I manage the airport for our small town and we live at the airport where we also have our airplane repair business. Aircraft maintenance is my main job. We have lived here 16 years and it has been a great place to raise our two children; a 19 year old son and 15 year old daughter. We are a Cirrus service center, so I get ot Duluth now and then and I worked two summers in high school at Lutsen Resort. And of course I am drawn to the water and woods of the north.

    The first time I ever stepped on a sailboat was when I was 25. I had been in Iowa in college and landed a job on a 100′ three masted schooner in Maine. I was hired to help finish refitting it and mainly do the wiring as I am an electrician. The owner said he could teach me the sailing part. After school in May, I drove half way across the country and stepped on this ship that had a deck but no masts yet. It was a great way to get to know the boat. We finished it and began taking groups on half day and two-day sails in June out of Bar Harbor. I got to stay the whole season before I went ot Colorado to airplane mechanics school in October. That is when sailing and the ocean got in my blood. Now we own a small 10′ sailing dory and a 21′ Aquarius sloop which we sail on some local lakes but have trailered up to my parent’s cabin near Walker, MN. The sloop is just big enough to live on for a weekend or so with up to 3 or 4 people. It is a fun “RV” for us. So that is where we are. Happy packing, paul

  3. Michaela N.

    Sea Change is a better and more fitting name than Rose, especially considering your impending journey.

    I’m looking forward to your updates as you prep the boat (and yourselves) for this amazing adventure.

  4. Laurie McRostie

    This is so exciting. I am really glad I ran into you yesterday Mary. I hope you got good stuff and the Coop and are feeling better. I will miss my neighbors but very excited for you all. Looking forward to following the journey.

  5. Julie & Graham

    Well !! Well !! Well ,how amazing what a fabulous adventure ,trip ,holiday . Have you Guys set sail yet ? We will look forward to your Blogs . I heard Adam can’t wait to board and David is sounding very keen,he is looking forward to spending time on your adventure with you , how wonderful for you all . Love to you all from Julie & Graham xxx

    1. marylarson Post author

      Hi Julie & Graham! So mice to see you’ve been to our page! We have not set sail just yet, but we have moved aboard. Tonight is our 4th night. I’ll be writing a post about our adventure so far, just getting the boat ready and such. We are having a great time so far, and of course looking forward to reuniting with you all Down Under! Thanks so much for the encouraging words! Love, your craxy 1/2 American 1/2 Aussie family in transit. xoxo

  6. Dorothy Simmons

    Hello Mary,
    I just wanted to say happy sailing. I love your blog. I will be back to check on you and find out how the voyage is going.

  7. Mike OReilly

    Hi Dennis (and Mary & Franklin), Nice to see you’re finally on your way. As Dennis knows, we’ll (hopefully) be following in your wake come next Spring. Good luck and fair winds, for a change. Lets hope the season settles down into something approaching normal.

    P.S. I like your website & blog tool. Do you like WordPress? I’ve shied away from these package tools (old html coder myself), but I like the look and feel of your site. And what are you using for tracking (SPOT? Email? SMS?) I’m certainly interested in your BlueWaterSailingData tool.

    1. marylarson Post author

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your post. We’ll be putting up some more pictures and a new post hopefully tomorrow. I like the wordpress tool pretty well. I’m not a computer/web person by trade, so it is nice for me because it’s pretty user friendly. For how the bluewatersailingdata tool works, I’ll ask Mr. Dennis (Shane) to follow up with you (see above disclaimer on not being a computer person).

      I’m glad you like the site, and happy to have you (virtually) aboard!
      Mary and Crew of s/v Sea Change

  8. Tony Pettinelli (flying cloud)

    Congratulations on your successful beginning. Hope to one day be following in your wake although the trip I am planning doesn’t involve quite as great a commitment and will not be happening for a few more years. As an E dock inhabitant, I can tell you that you have our best wishes and that you will all be missed. Smooth sailing.

  9. Bob and Connie Kotrba

    So glad to have run into you at Port Austin and Port Sanilac. You are making the trip many sailors dream about. We hope we run into you again. Tell Shane and the kids we said HI, Safe travels.

  10. Angie

    Hi Mary,

    You always were the adventurous type. I can’t believe I stumbled onto this site and found you. It sounds like things are going well for you and your family. A lot has changed with me since the last time I saw you, about 6? years ago. You are probably stumped who I am, not to blow your mind or anything, but we lived together briefly in SC during the summer of 99. Yeah, it’s me :) Life is strange. I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip. How long do you think it will take you to get there?


  11. Heidi

    Hi all!
    I saw your post on the kids4sail (makes me think kids4sale) site. We are crossing the pacific next year with a then 3.5yr old and a hopefully 2 month old. I’m finding out everyone else who’s planning to cross then. Seems 2014 is the year of the kids. I know 4 others already. Anyway just wanted to say hi. My hubby is in I.T. Also. He’s American and I’m Australian. Hope to see you out there.

    1. marylarson Post author

      Hi Heidi & Crew!
      Thanks for stopping by to say ‘hi’! I hope we do see you out there somewhere. Do you have a blog we could follow? Where abouts are you now?
      Mary & Crew

  12. Tony Pettinelli

    We are in the thick of a fairly brutal winter here in the northland and it causes me to daydream of water lapping on the hull and warm breezes and friends from Barkers. You have given a less than ideal winter the slip. Hope you are all well and that your plans are unfolding as expected. From your pals at Barkers, our wishes for a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Smooth sailing.

  13. Shane Dennis

    Hi Tony. Just yesterday I was imagining your Bayfield down here in the Keys. You and Larry would fit in well here at the Marathon (Boot Key Harbor) mooring field. At $225/month it is even cheaper than living in Virginia, MN. No winter. The Bayfield and the Catalina would look look good here. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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