In Florida: Everyman's Dream

With two live chickens and 200 eggs, $20,000 and no prospects, the Couvreux family from Bordeaux crossed the Atlantic in a 40-ft. ketch. There was Michel (the father, the Frenchman, the architect) and Janis (the mother, the Californian, the first mate), and their little boy Sean and his baby brother Brendan, as newborn at the time as his father's dream -- everyman's dream -- to sail away.

The decision had been reached through the usual channels. A structured life is a box, if you think about it (as architects like Michel Couvreux certainly do, drafting refinements left and right). On land,...

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