Stephen Ladd

Stephen Ladd was born in 1953. As a child he was happy to sit in a corner reading books, often of history or geography. After high school he traveled through Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, inadvertently witnessing the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and passing a traumatic month in a Moroccan prison. He navigated the emotional crisis of his youth alone, in foreign cultures.

Upon his return Steve studied urban planning, obtaining degrees from Western Washington and Harvard Universities. From 1976 to 1990 he worked for various Puget Sound counties and cities, writing land use plans and administering environmental regulations. He wrote poetry and played piano, and kept his wanderlust at bay by wilderness skiing, canoeing, and sailing.

1987 found him still single, hardy, and non-materialistic. His savings allowed him to spend three years designing and building 12-foot Squeak, and three more years sailing her. Steve returned home in 1993 to the bosom of family and friends. He then wrote, self-published, and sold 8,000 copies of his book, Three Years in a 12-Foot Boat, a second edition of which is now available on amazon.

In 2009 Steve teamed up with his now-wife, Ginny, to spend five years on a 21-foot boat, traveling from Florida down through the western Caribbean, then up the Orinoco River. In southern Venezuela they found the inexplicable headwater inter-connection to the Rio Negro and descended the latter, the Rio Negro, and the Amazon to the mouth of the Madeira River. They then ascended the Madeira and its tributary, the Guapore, to the latter's headwater, from which point they transported the boat to the Rio Paraguay, which they descended to its mouth at Buenos Aires, Argentina. Similarly, via the Uruguay, Parana, Verde, Araguaia, and Tocantins Rivers they sailed, motored, and rowed back north to the mouth of the Amazon, having a son along the way in Brazil. Virginia and Baby George flew home from Belem, allowing Steve to continue home via open sea, but he was shipwrecked in the Dominican Republic. Steve survived, but that terminated that voyage, which is the subject of another book, similar to the first. Go to

Steve and Ginny, now with two sons, live in Steve's hometown of Bremerton, Washington.