Many people entertain the dream of sailing around the world, but very few actually attempt it. Jeff is one of those rare exceptions. After graduating college, he and two buddies set off on an adventure of a lifetime. Setting sail from Cape Cod in their newly purchased 32 ft. Pearson Vanguard, they sailed the high seas for two years in the quest to circle the globe.
Hazelton’s entire travel fund consisted of $2,000. Literally living off the earth, the men fished and traded for fruit and supplies with inhabitants on nearby islands throughout their travels.Hazelton became the boat’s resident artist selling some of his artwork along the way to help fund the adventure. Passionate about art at a young age, his love faded as other interests came to the forefront over the years. In college, he studied to become a doctor for three years before circling back to take an introduction to painting class, which reignited his passion for art.
“I found new pleasure beyond anything that I had experienced before,” he said. Hazelton particularly enjoyed painting outdoor landscapes.
Throughout their journey, the adventurous trio experienced unexpected and often dubious conditions, constant change and completely foreign people and places that forced them to become adaptable. Hazelton became enamored with art as a means of communication and found it was far more effective than the written word in translating his thoughts and ideas.
“Writing exists on an entirely different, and I must say inferior, cognitive plane. To use an analogy, communicating what I am trying to paint in words is not unlike attempting to light my house with a flashlight. Ideas which are so eloquently conveyed in a painting can very quickly become an incomprehensible mess of words when a translation to everyday English is attempted,” he wrote in 1991 in The Vagabond, a bi-monthly newsletter the men produced while at sea.
Writing exists on an entirely different, and I must say inferior, cognitive plane. To use an analogy, communicating what I am trying to paint in words is not unlike attempting to light my house with a flashlight.
After 15,000 miles and more than two years aboard The Vagabond, Hazelton ultimately ended his journey in New Zealand. His mates sailed on for another year to complete the around the world adventure. The quest shaped Hazelton into who he is today and laid the foundation for his company, BioLucid, a digital heath company that creates an interactive experience for the health care industry. Marrying his passion for art and medicine, Hazelton has created a world where artists can help people better understand their health and become active participants in their treatment.
He recently purchased a 42 ft. sailing catamaran, a 2005 Manta, which was built in Sarasota. He says, “the boat, named Virtual Reality (aka The VR cat), has become an interesting platform for me to explore new avenues of art and technology. Me and some of my film/tech friends are doing some unique things and capturing some unique perspectives with it. We are filming 360 video for use in VR headsets from the boat, which is brand new technology to immerse people in the action. What we are doing will allow people to experience activities and places through VR that otherwise they could not reach.”
Once again Hazelton appears to have created a new way to incorporate his passions into a technological experience.