Kristi HruzewiczOn a sunny afternoon the steady wind, with help from large following seas, pushed the GPS knot indicator to 5 knots, a good speed for the small cruising sailboat and a welcome reprieve from the barrage of storms. During the past two months the voyage had been a challenge for Kristi Grotting Hruzewicz and her husband, Alex — auxiliary engine problems, conditions ranging from becalmed to gale force winds, huge seas. They were wet, cold, exhausted, and at times seasick. But for Hruzewicz, a T4 complete para, this was the first leg of a dream come true — exploring the world by sailboat.

“There were times when I thought, ‘What am I doing here? I’m never doing this again!’ But overcoming adversity is what makes for a real adventure,” recalls Hruzewicz, now 40.

How she came to love affordable adventure is a story in itself.

Although nobody in Hruzewicz’s family sailed, her parents instilled in her a love of adventure and the outdoors and how to incorporate it into a modest lifestyle. She grew up in Morgan Hill, Calif., at the southern end of the Silicon Valley. Her dad became a volunteer ski patrolman at Bear Valley 170 miles to the east, so Hruzewicz and her siblings could get ski passes for a dollar. Every weekend in the winter the family would make the four-hour drive to the mountains to ski.