St Francis

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Proud members of

The Seven Seas
Cruising Association

Occ burgee
The Ocean Cruising Club

  Meet Captains Dave McCampbell
and Sherry (Beckett) McCampbell

Dave and Sherry were married Mar 24, 2007 in a small ceremony by the water in Melbourne Beach.  pics

Since that time we have voyaged nearly 40,000 miles from Florida, through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to SE Asia, first in the CSY 44 Soggy Paws and then in the St. Francis 44 Soggy Paws.

About Dave McCampbell
Born in Norfolk, Va, Dave grew up in a Navy family.  Dave's dad was a famous WWII Naval aviator. See a bio of Dave's dad here and here.

High school found Dave in the small central Florida town of Eustis where he spent much time swimming, fishing and water skiing. After a short time at Florida State he finally settled on Annapolis and graduated from the Naval Academy with a degree in Oceanography in 1970.

Most of his time in the Navy was spent as a Diving and Salvage Officer involving extensive diving, engineering and navigation experience. During his Naval career he commanded the Rescue Salvage ship, Bolster, and two shore based diving commands, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One in Hawaii and the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, FL. Dave spent considerable time in Hawaii, the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, California and Cuba.

While in the Navy and also after retiring, Dave was also involved in historic shipwreck research with the National Park Service and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. He retired to the Florida Keys in 1992.

Dave began sailing in the mid 1970s in Cuba with his first sail boat, the 1929 Alden yawl Cynara. Since then he has owned five sailboats including Catalina 36, Tartan 30 and Ranger 26 sloops, a Piver 35 Trimaran and a Hobie 16. He lived aboard the Catalina for two years while in the Navy in Southern California. In the spring of 1994 he spent time cruising in New Zealand and Fiji and made the 1100 mile trip north just a week ahead of the infamous Queen's Birthday storm.

Dave's current boat is the CSY 44 Walkthru Cutter, Soggy Paws, purchased in 1996.  At the time of purchase, it was just out of charter service in the Bahamas, and in need of a total overhaul. After two years preparation, with his (now ex) wife, Stacy, he circumnavigated the Caribbean--visiting 24 countries during 1998-2002. Extended stops were made in Trinidad, Venezuela, Bonaire, Cartagena, Panama, Rio Dulce Guatemala, the Bay Islands of Honduras and Belize. During that time he also took a two month inland trip to Peru and Chile. He has now lived aboard for the past 11 years.

For the 4 years preceding our current trip, he spent every spare moment and every spare dollar upgrading Soggy Paws in preparation for the circumnavigation.

Dave has one son, Chris, a graphics designer in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dave holds a 100 ton USCG Masters license and spent 6 years in the charter industry with the Florida Sea Base sailing program in the Keys. He is a retired PADI and YMCA scuba instructor. He holds an Extra amateur radio license (KE4BKF). He was a licensed General Contractor and has built four homes. He has been a member of SSCA since 1994 and a Commodore since 2000.

Contact info

About Sherry (Beckett) McCampbell  Sherry Gray  Sherry Beckett
Sherry has been in, under, and around the water since she learned to swim at 3 years old.  Summers as a kid were spent camping, waterskiing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Sherry started sailing on her Dad's 41' Trimaran, Rivka, in high school.  By the time she acquired her own boat in her late-20's, Sherry had already been several times to the Bahamas and once around the Caribbean, and was proficient at such arcane cruising specialties as anchoring, celestial navigation and eyeball navigation through coral reefs.

During a 4-year stint at University of Florida (Go Gators!), she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering and also learned to fly airplanes and to skydive.  She later added an MBA in Computer Management to her professional credentials.

There was a 15 year blur between college and going cruising, in which Sherry worked 60-70 hour weeks as a computer programmer.  During those busy years, she also got married and had a daughter, Nicki.  It was a fun time, but by 1992, career burn-out was looming.

In 1993, Sherry and her (now ex) husband, Lenny, set out on their 37' Prout Catamaran, Island Time, for a 4 year liveaboard adventure, with 5 year old daughter Nicki, a cat named Annabelle, and Tramp the Wonder Dog.  Their travels took them first north to Maine, and then south through the Bahamas and into the Caribbean.  They cruised the 'Thorny Path', down through the Windwards and Leewards, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, the ABC's, Columbia, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico, arriving back in the States in 1997.  They came back mainly because daughter Nicki wanted to go to "Real School".

Once back in the States,  Sherry bought and restored a Lindenberg 28, a go-fast race boat, and then REALLY learned how to sail.  She raced for 5 years in the Melbourne Florida area in her L28 named Fast Lane.  From 2004 to 2006, she and her women's crew won both the Spring and Fall ECSA Women's Series, in the Spinnaker/Racing Class. 

Also while beached, in anticipation of more sailing adventures, Sherry earned her USCG 6-Pack Captains License, her 50-Ton Masters License, and a PADI Rescue Diver rating.

Sherry is an SSCA Commodore, semi-active member of the Waterway Net (Extra class callsign KN4TH), past Board Member and Women's Racing Chairman for the East Coast Sailing Association, and past Fleet Captain and Newsletter Editor of Melbourne Yacht Club.

After working full time as a computer programmer/manager for Globe Wireless for nearly 10 years, as well as doing a lot of volunteer organizational work for local sailing clubs, Sherry retired again in March 2007, to accompany Dave as co-captain on their around the world cruise.

Contact info

Sherry's Favorite Saying:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.    Explore. Dream. Discover."      /)  /)
                - Mark Twain