The sailors we have met working our way north in the states have given us a new appreciation and sense of pride for what we did. Many people we met have been working toward their goal of sailing to the Bahamas and they cannot believe we got the boat ready to go and provisioned in 2 months, let alone sailed all the places we did this past year. It took hearing this from at least 7 sailors we met before we understood what an accomplishment it was.
Some of these people have been trying to go for years. One we met has been trying to get to the Bahamas for 8 years. For some, the weather window never seems to open up or they did not get their provisions and missed weather windows. For others, boat repairs keep them at the docks. Some solo sailors decide they need crew but cannot find the right person to go along. Some want to gain more experience first. Some run out of money before they cast off. The list goes on.
The first realization we came to was that boat repairs are never done. You have to decide what is absolutely necessary, thus stopping the outflow of money and leave. Second, stuff as many provisions as you can in the boat before you go. Whatever you forgot or run out of, you will either do without or another cruiser may have brought what you need. Third, there is rarely a perfect weather window. Be selective, but also be ready to move when the opportunity presents itself. If it is too bad, you can turn back and wait a day or week and try again.
Looking back, being at the dock getting ready to go was the hardest part. Once we cast off, it was much, much easier. Not only did we make our goal, we set several new goals as we went and were able to make every one of them. Our original plan was to take a year off with the kids and sail to the Bahamas, with a destination of Georgetown, at the end of the Exuma Islands. We thought if we made it all the way down there, we would be lucky.
After arriving in George Town, relatively unscathed, we decided next to sail to Elethera, then the Abacos. With summer approaching, we knew we wanted to be back in Florida where we could hole up if tropical storms or hurricanes threatened. Many cruisers told us, “You have to do the ICW,” so we continued up the coast in the ICW all the way to its beginning in Norfolk. After that, we continued north into the Chesapeake Bay, up the Rappehannock River where we are ending our journey on Truansea. What is in store for Truansea next? I can’t wait to share that with you, but that is another blog post. Stay tuned.
If you have your own adventure waiting inside you, it has been said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Take it.
Fair Winds ~ Christine and Mark