The Pod (a.k.a. Crew)

Captain – Matt was born in Houston, Texas and raised in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, where he developed his love of the outdoors with activities such as: rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, etc. He graduated from Colorado State University with a business degree but decided the business world he had entered was more like a repeat of the movie Office Space.  Not willing to accept this fate, he moved to New Mexico where he trained to be an airline pilot and obtained a second diploma in Aviation Technology along with his Airline Transport Pilot license. Matt is now into his 10th year of commercial aviation, which has been nothing less than a roller coaster career due to 9/11, fuel prices, recessions, airline bankrupticies, etc. He was able to fall back on his business education in 2009 when things were looking really rocky with the airline. Matt started his own mobile disc jockey company and was soon making more money at his “part-time” job than that as a professional airline pilot. He continues to juggle both in order to fill the cruising kitty and have the means to make SV Yolo a reality for him and his family!

Coco LarastaFirst Mate – Courtney aka CoCo, Corney, or Mambo Number 5- Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the oldest of 3 girls. She graduated from Arizona State University and likes to think she facilitated in making it one of the best party schools in the nation. She graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. After graduating, she decided to never use her degree again and went into real estate for 10 years. Presley was born in 2008 and Colter was born in 2009 (17 months apart)




OUR LOVERS STORY– How the Captain and First Mate came to be mates: Courtney’s Gramma and Matt’s Mom introduced them at a 4th of July party. Matt got drunk and CoCo had to drive him and his brother home. Needless to say sparks did NOT fly. But the story does not end there. Matt got the nerve to invite Courtney on another date (sky diving) and she was able to see a more sober side of him that she rather enjoyed. Matt moved to Phoenix after completing flight school, which put him in the same city as Courtney. After a few weeks of courting (pun intended), it was L-O-V-E. The results of this love can be viewed below!

photoDeck Swab #1 – Presley aka Tootie or Trudie – Born May 2008.  A dancer, an avid Daisy Girl Scout, a yogi and an artist.  She likes to beat up her brother and in general tries to drive him completely crazy. But beware, when anyone else tries this, they get the bull by the horns!  She enjoys Chick-Fillet and going to the park.  She attends kindergarten. In order to get Presley to agree to the trip, we promised her a Yorkie (somewhere down the road). Not looking forward to fulfilling this promise.



IMG_3958Deck Swab #2 – Colter aka Bubbie, Bubs or Big Guy- Born October 2009. Had a rough start from birth. Colter spit up all the time and at 15 months Colter stopped talking/babbling, quit making eye contact and began to cry more. At 2 years old, Colter was diagnosed with autism. It was life changing for everyone in the family.  However, after two expensive years of intense therapies and medical services, Colter is now OFF the spectrum!  He still has some work with his speech, but otherwise, is just another active 4 year old boy.  Colter attends a special needs preschool, plays soccer and is an avid speed cyclist.




IMG_2687Boat Bitch – Zoe aka Moosie, Moesha, or Moose Hawg – She is an attack trained Caucasian Wolf Hound. Zoe mainly likes to eat food and chase kids on bikes.  She occasionally enjoys posing for formal glamour shots, as viewed in this photo.

6 thoughts on “The Pod (a.k.a. Crew)

  1. Grant

    Plotting to do exactly what you guys are doing soon.
    What a great crew! Does the boat bitch stay on board? Wolfhounds are quite big!

    From a local Houston guy working the 9-5 grind–enjoy yourselves and fairwinds!

    1. Matt

      Hey Grant! Thanks for the comment. Trust me, I know all about the 9-5 grind but this little sabbatical is quite nice! Sadly, our boat bitch passed away in Puerto Vallarta back in February. We miss her but will not get another dog until we wrap up this adventure. It’s great companionship but not a great lifestyle for any dog, unless they absolutely LOVE water. Stay focused, set a date and get out on the water!

      1. Phil LeRoy

        Hey Matt, Captain Charlie Hess was just telling me about you, and I just realized who you are, lol
        You’re living the life I’ve always wanted to live!!! Super happy for you. I went back to Mesa last year.
        Go to Tahiti! I was there a couple of years ago and totally fell in love with it.

        1. Courtney Courtney

          YO Phil LeRoy! Wasssup? Great to hear from you. Thanks so much for the shout out. Sorry for the delayed response. We truly are living the life and enjoying every second of it. We are currently in Acapulco and continuing the journey south. Can’t believe you are back in Mesa Land! How is the family? Be well and tell Charlie Hess hello for me. Also tell him, our adventure is all HIS fault. He loaded me up on sailing magazines a few years back and I’ve never been the same!


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