Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Year in Review

   Today marks a milestone for us.  One year ago today, Bill and I set out on our journey.  Having either sold, given away or stored everything we couldn’t keep on the boat, we threw off the lines and officially started our new adventurous lifestyle.  Over the last twelve months, we’ve experienced quite a bit.  While looking over our log book, Bill and I were quite surprised at what we had accomplished . . . even with our forced stop here in Florida (Thank you, engine). 

   So, I thought I’d take a few minutes to highlight our year’s trek down the ICW, around the Keys, over to the Bahamas, and back across the Atlantic to Florida.  

Miles Traveled: 2,280; Nautical Miles: 1,981 . . . and this was really covered in about half of the year since we were forced to return to Florida in June.

Engine Hours: 323 (for propulsion).  There were other times that we ran the engine but, it was simply to charge the batteries.

Nautical Sailing Miles: approximately 530 (about 350 after the engine died)

Number of Projects Started/Completed: Countless . . . Project lists are never-ending on a boat.  There was the wind generator, a couple of bilge pumps, adding on solar panels and repairing then later on, the air conditioner, the dinghy motor (just to name a few) . . . oh, and there was the little problem of the engine . . .  

States Visited: 5 plus 3 of the Florida Keys

Other Countries Visited: 1 – The Bahamas; We anchored off of/explored 11 islands – or Cays (pronounced “Keys”)

Scariest Moment: Riding out the surprise of Tropical Storm Anna in Black Point Harbor on one anchor (not set by the engine) and no way to set another . . . There were waves coming over the bow (at anchor!) and boats all around us were dragging . . . we didn’t drag an inch (We LOVE our Spade anchor now!)

Favorite Spot: There were many places that we really enjoyed but, we really have 2 favorites.  Black Point was our favorite cruisers’ haven.  This was THE best place overall for us to be.  Shroud Cay was our favorite place to explore.  Shroud’s beaches were spectacular and offered the best picture-perfect, breath-taking views.

Least Favorite Spot: Honestly . . . this title goes to Ft. Lauderdale because it seems that, on the whole, no one seems to have the time for or interest in sailboats.  Mega yachts and money rule here . . . sailboats and their owners take a back seat . . . This is a LARGE part of why it took sooo long for the engine to get the attention it needed to get up and running again . . .   

Awesome Animal Encounter: Manatees!!  These guys are so cool!

Most Unique Experience: Teaching for 3 weeks in Black Point Settlement.  The students there were amazing.  Getting to know the community in this way was wonderful.  Sailors often talk of getting off the tourist paths and really experiencing the places that they visit.  This certainly allowed me, and consequently Bill, to do just that.

Proudest Moment: For Bill, this would be when Tropical Storm Anna blew over.  Seeing that we had set the anchor well enough that we were one of the few boats in a harbor of many that didn’t budge was definitely a confidence booster.  

   For me, this came from one of my students.  From day one of working at the school, I always had a hand full of books with me (a habit I picked up from my substitute days).  The first time I pulled a book out, one of the students told me that he didn’t like stories.  I told him that he didn’t have to listen but, he did have to sit and be respectful to his peers.  It didn’t take long for this boy to go from not liking the story to listing to it.  By the time I left, he was engrossed in the books I presented and was obviously enjoying them.  On my last day there,  he shyly told me, “Do you remember when I told you that I didn’t like stories? Well, I like when you read them”.  Turning a child on to reading: priceless.    

  Thanks for keeping up with us and our travels.  Here's to many more miles, adventures, and blog posts in the future!

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Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.