Windsor local Steve Denny prepares for life at sea, keeps Windsor friends up to date with blog | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor local Steve Denny prepares for life at sea, keeps Windsor friends up to date with blog

James Redmond
jredmond@mywindsornow.com

Almost three years ago, Windsor native Steve Denny retired from the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District as the director of operations.

Now he and his wife prepare to set out on a three-month journey to the Bahamas, what he describes as their first real adventure.

"It will be our longest trip to date," Denny said.

Come Feb. 20, Denny and his wife Lillie will set sail from Fort Pierce, Fla., on the first of what he hopes will be many sailing trips culminating in a voyage around the world.

When the couple is at sea, they want to share their adventures with their friends and family around the world and in Windsor.

The Dennys will, as regularly as their watery travels allow, update their blog: http://solmatesgotosea.blogspot.com. While they're out on open waters they won't have an easy way to stay in touch with the world. When they get to port, and find a good internet connection, they will take all their notes and craft updates for the blog, he said.

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Denny lived in Windsor for 54 years and worked for the school district for 31 years. Now he lives at Chrystal Lakes above Red Feather, but he and his wife still do business in Windsor and often to visit friends in the area.

A retirement afloat probably won't come as a surprise to most who knew Denny in Windsor. When he retired in 2014 he already had the dream of circumventing the world in a sailboat.

"My wife and I, for 34 years, have developed a real sense of adventure and we've done a lot of what most people consider crazy and wild adventures," Denny said. "Through the years and through all that we started talking about seeing the world completely on our own."

Although he tended to favor the speed of motorcycles, snowmobiles, powerboats, jet skies and airplanes — of which he built three — they knew they'd need to learn to travel without fuel. So they couple learned how to sail.

More than a decade before his retirement he started practicing and preparing at Carter Lake on a 26-foot sailboat equipped with solar panels, a stove, sink and more.

"Really, all the things you would have on a world cruising boat, (but) on a smaller scale," he said, "which really seemed ridiculous on Carter Lake."

But the two wanted to sample life on a real boat, so they spent many summer weekends there.

When they had time for a vacation the couple would charter a boat in the Caribbean to get more experience.

"That was tough because it was pretty expensive," he said. "But we knew that is was more than just a vacation, it was a test of 'is this really something that we want to.'"

Over time they tried out larger and larger boats, different styles and configurations to figure out what they liked.

"I'll never forget the first time we charted a sail boat out of the British Virgin Islands," Denny said. "I was really shocked when they turned us loose and we headed out to sea in somebody else's boat, all based on what I had told them my experience was. They didn't have any proof. I didn't have any license or training or any documentation."

It felt a little awkward, he admitted, heading out onto saltwater for the first time in somebody else's half-a-million-dollar boat.

"But it was a fantastic trip," Denny said. "We were hooked after that and we knew that was what we wanted to pursue."

The couple started looking for a boat of their own and soon after Denny's retirement they found a 45-foot 38,000-pound boat, which they bought and named "Sol Mates." In they two years since, they have worked to outfit and prepare their boat for cruising the world.

"It's been a chore the last couple years," Denny said. "We've been apart a lot as I've been down (in Florida) on the boat working, replacing some of these systems and fixing it up the way we want it, while my wife has continued to work in Fort Collins."

Denny didn't usually spend more than 10 days at a time in Florida working on the boat. Then it was back to Colorado to spend with his wife and order more parts for the boat.

"But the boat is done now," he said. "It's begging to be taken out to sea."

Follow the Dennys’ sailing adventures

Lillie and Steve Denny will depart Feb. 20 on a three-month sailboat trip in the Bahamas.

“It will be our longest trip to date,” Steve Denny said.

Denny lived in Windsor for 54 years and worked for the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District for 31 years before retiring as the director of operations. The fourth-generation.

When the couple is at sea, they want to share their adventures with their friends and family around the world and in Windsor. To that end the Dennys will, as regularly as their watery travels allow, update their blog: http://solmatesgotosea.blogspot.com.