Rob and Marlane O'Neill - About us
(All photographs can be viewed at a larger size by clicking
on the image)
in New York City, on the island of Manhattan, Marlane has been travelling the
world on her own since the age of 16. By the time she was 21 she had been to several
islands in the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, several European cities, Australia and
East, West and North Africa. She always knew that she wanted to voyage, that is,
to see the world as a part of her life, not just a place outside of it.
She is fascinated by travel involving a vessel or vehicle that she can call
home as well as a way of life. For four years before living on a narrow boat,
she and Rob lived on their sailboat on the eastcoast of the USA. Prior to 'living
the dream', Marlane lived on both coasts of the USA, Australia, Paris and South
America. During this time she learned to speak French and Spanish fluently while
being active in the visual arts. She has hosted exhibitions of Chinese and primitive
art in world class venues and museums in two different national tours of Australia
and imported fashions to the USA from haute couture houses in South America. In
Miami she acted in Christofo Colombo, and Manot Lescaut for the Miami Opera Company
and was in the production of Carmen for the Atlanta Opera Company. While participating
in a fashion benefit show for the Miami Opera Company she and Rob met and have
been together since. She received her Bachelors of English and Fine Arts from
Florida International University.
living in Atlanta, Georgia, she jointly published articles about bicycling along
the French canals for the Atlanta Constitution and Journal newspaper. She now
writes about the European canal journeys for the website www.robandmarlane.com
and general publication. Cooking, photography, drawing and music are her interests
while living aboard. When she is land based she loves to garden. For Marlane,
'Living the Dream' is a philosophy that integrates travel as a lifestyle and she
hopes to help breathe new life into the ancient spirits of the worlds nomads,
that are dwindling in this world of 'settling down'. Laplanders, Bedouins, American
Indians, Gypsies and Australian Aborigines are just some of the worlds colorful
travellers. European canal boaters are yet another. Her path is to live, let live
and beckon the dreamtime wherever it may be found.
Born in St. Louis Missouri, Robs wanderlust was seeded by the typical American
Vacation. The family Pontiac station wagon packed with parents and as many as
seven brothers and sisters cruised the highways of the United States every summer.
The Dream took on a maritime theme at a very early age. This fantasy would vary
between Sports Fishing Yachts to Lobster Boats. The basic idea was a new life
wandering the sea feeding endlessly on shrimp, lobster and the finest fish.
Upon graduation from high school, he travelled around the East Coast in a
1955 Chevrolet school bus that he and his school chums converted to a landyacht.
He then joined the Navy. Not caring to be a target for small arms fire he volunteered
for the Nuclear Submarine service. The rest is top secret, but you don't get to
see much on a submarine. Soon after an honourable discharge he was wheeling tractor-trailer
trucks. Driving was fun, unloading was murder. He would gravitate back to the
road during his college years driving over-the -road trucks on weekends and holidays.
Rather than running the interstates he preferred the back roads of the older highways
visiting the towns left behind by the newer interstate system. He circled the
contiguous USA in a thirty-day run on holidays and on weekends; it was a round
trip from Columbia, Mo. to Corsicana, Texas hauling building insulation for a
giant food distribution complex.
After receiving his B.A. in Commercial Art and Advertising from Columbia College
in Missouri, Rob was employed by the local ABC-TV affiliate producing commercials,
news, features and the odd stint as the weatherman. This was the beginning of
a career in writing and producing video, film and multi-image slide productions.
After becoming a commercial success, the hard work finally panned out resulting
in the first boat. The Merry Prankster was a sailing catamaran for the right price
in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was off to the Bahamas for a well-deserved break.
His scenario for the next seven boats was sailing around the Eastcoast, the Bahamas
and the Caribbean; he obtained a 100 ton Masters License from the US Coast Guard.
With this in hand he captained various power and sail charter boats.
in Miami, he continued writing and producing advertising and corporate presentations.
Responding to a newspaper ad, he joined the Miami Opera Company and acted in Cristofo
Columbo, Macbeth and Popeii. He met Marlane at a Mothers Day Fashion Benefit on
the runway as they modelled costumes from different operas. They started a conversation
that continues today. After a business transfer they moved to Atlanta where they
did the production of Carmen for the Atlanta Opera Company. Yearning to be near
the water, Rob soon found an opportunity in KeyWest, Florida to be Director of
the Historic Seaport. He successfully marketed the Seaport via the web and special
events such as Key West Yachting Race Week. Desiring to explore new sailing grounds,
after two years he and Marlane sailed up the East Coast to Annapolis, Maryland
and the Chesapeake Bay. With the European canals still on his mind, the sailing
vessel Oo-La-La, home for four years, was sold. It was time to 'Live the Dream'.
Rob worked to wrap up their affairs in the USA and relocate to England. The sailboat
was replaced with the narrow boat Oo-La-La. Rob currently works managing the boat
and website. He enjoys exploring the English canals and planning future adventures
in Europe. Rob is available to deliver lectures and computer presentations on
European canal life.