Photo: Tayana 37 s/y Gyatso in Florida. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Gyatso after we finished a refit in 2006. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Annapolis sailors David Read Barker and Lisa Borre cruised aboard Gyatso, their Tayana 37 sailboat from 2005 to 2014. The couple sailed full-time for five years, visiting the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Black Seas.

At the end of the 2010 cruising season, they put Gyatso in storage for a year in Marmaris, Turkey and returned home to write a cruising guide to the Black Sea based on research conducted while sailing. The Black Sea was published by the RCC Pilotage Foundation and Imray in April 2012, and officially launched with an event in Turkey before the couple began to sail west toward home again.

They sailed another two and a half years part-time while bringing Gyatso back from Turkey, retracing their steps through the Mediterranean to the Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Their cruising window closed, and Gyatso was loaded on a freighter and returned to the U.S. where the couple put it up for sale.

“We set up this website for family, friends and fellow sailors who are interested in following our journey,” said Lisa. In April 2012, they moved this website to a new platform to make blogging while underway easier. The new blog picks up where their last cruise left off, in Marmaris, Turkey.

The Owners

Photo: David Barker and Lisa Borre in Portugal.
David and Lisa on the Algarve coast of Portugal.

Both David and Lisa have been boating and sailing for most of their lives. From 1997 to 2005, the husband-wife team logged 4,500 miles together aboard their previous boat, About Time, a 32′ Endeavour sloop, on the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Coast from New England to Georgia, and all five of the North American Great Lakes. From 2005-2010, they logged about 20,000 miles aboard Gyatso, sailing to the Caribbean, across the Atlantic and around the Mediterranean and Black Seas. For details about their sailing adventures, visit Gyatso’s online Cruising Logbook.

In his later years, David had the motto, “I would rather die in a storm at sea than in a nursing home.” After a brief hospital stay in May 2022, he died peacefully with Lisa by his side.

The Boat

Image: Tayana 37 plan.
The Tayana 37 was designed by Robert Perry.

Gyatso is a 1985 Tayana 37 sailboat that David and Lisa purchased in Yarmouth, Maine in October 2005. Designed by American naval architect Robert Perry and built in Taiwan by the Ta-Yang Yacht Building Company, the Tayana 37 has a classic look with its bowsprit and canoe-ended stern.

This sturdy double-ender was originally designed as a couple’s world cruiser — a boat that could be taken anywhere in the world. More than 600 T37s have been built since the 1970s. Gyatso has a cutter rig (pictured left) with a fully-battened mainsail and two foresails: a self-tending staysail and a Yankee. Both are roller-furling. Gyatso is outfitted with a 30 hp Yanmar diesel engine. We are the fourth owners.

The Name

Gyatso (pronounced “ghi-yah-tso”) is the Tibetan word for “ocean.” One of the most common questions we were asked about our boat’s name was, “What do the Tibetans know about oceans?” This gave David the opportunity to explain that the term is also used by Tibetans to describe the concept of vastness. He usually added, “Gyatso Rinpoche is the title that Tibetans use for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” The Tibetan title means “vast or precious ocean of compassion.”

While trying to create positive thought forms about cruising full-time, David always attached the name Gyatso to the boat he would sail away in someday. “When we bought our Tayana 37, we decided it was just the right name for the boat of our dreams,” says Lisa.  After renaming the boat, the couple invited two senior monks from the JaLing Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center in Baltimore, MD, to perform a naming ceremony and give blessings for safe passage.

The name “Tayana” is coincidentally derived from the Mandarin Chinese word for “ocean.” Under previous owners, our boat was named Cleartime and Wayward, neither of which held much meaning for us.

More Information

For more information about Gyatso and crew, visit the following pages:

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Adventures while cruising to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Black Seas in a Tayana 37 sailboat


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