When Garth and I worked in St Lucia for a year in 1978/79 and we saw the cruising boats coming into Marigot Bay, we said that one day that would be us. Fast forward almost forty years through marriage, children, emigration, working as hard as we could, finally retirement and we now find ourselves in that place.
Just before Christmas last year we bought a bank-repossessed 2005 Beneteau 423. It was in bad condition, but we saw that it had good bones and Garth had the skills and time to make it right. He has worked around the clock since then and has transformed the boat – I am so full of admiration.
Our plan is to travel at a leisurely pace down the Intracoastal Waterway to Florida and then hop across to the Bahamas. We will stay in the Abaco Islands until we fly home for Penny’s birthday and Christmas and then Kate and grandchildren will come back with us and we will spend a week together over New Year. Once they go back, we will make our way down to the Exumas and explore for a couple of months – we have no plans, no deadlines, no itinerary. We have had some good advice from friends; we firmly believe we are heading to paradise!
We set a date of October 15th – just after the boat shows – and were very impressed with ourselves when we only extended that by two days! On Monday 17th we had a last minute Christening ceremony for Jabulani (a Zulu word which means “bringing happiness”) and we cast off our lines with a few close friends and family on the dock to wave goodbye.
Our first destination was Solomons Island – we had to motor as the wind was directly ahead of us. Never mind, it gave us some time to settle in, unpack some clothes (everything was simply put in the boat) – there is a lot of sorting to do!
We had some company on our way down the bay ….
If this blog ends up being full of pictures of sunsets and sunrises, please forgive me. We anchored peacefully at Solomons Island and were on our way this morning when the sun rose …
Last night SpaceX launched a rocket from Wallops in southern Maryland. Of course I wanted to try and get a photo as we were in that rough vicinity. In the dark, my camera kindly allowed a long exposure – of course I know nothing about photography so these are my results:
….. but I can assure you that it was the rocket making those beautiful scribbles!
Tonight, Tuesday, finds us tied up at Onancock Wharf – a lovely little town on the Virginia Eastern Shore. After another long day of heading directly into the wind, this time with the mainsail giving us some stability as it was gusting to 20 knots, a hot shower and choice of great restaurants was just what we needed. This town is definitely on my list of places to come back to on a road trip – it is special. Heading to Norfolk tomorrow.
So this is my first ever blog entry. For those that want to follow what we are doing, I promise to continue, but don’t make any promises as to quality or quantity. Internet connectivity is scarce, so bear with me. This is not intended to be a travelogue but simply a journal, a diary, a record of where we are and what we are doing.
I’ll end with pictures of two special little people that we carry with us in our hearts on this journey – can’t wait for them to join us in December!