Yep, that’s my Baby, making me cheesecake brownies in the galley on our boat in the Caribbean wearing a T-shirt from the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke which is declaring her love for day drinking. I’ll never know what I did in a former life but it was clearly something amazingly selfless and grand!
It’s been a little while (again), I know. No need to point it out to me (you know who you are!). Anyway, a lot has happened. We moved out of our house and onto Surely Sea full time (again), we flew to the states to visit with family for the holidays (I was Cap’n Red Beard), we got Laura’s business running full time (she says her boss is the worst), and the animals have adjusted to it all (and lovin’ it).
Today, we took a day off for some adventure time and just roamed the island, visiting beaches, and eating food.
before heading off island-hopping in the off-season again. There is certain to be a trip to nearby islands soon (I’m looking at you, St. Thomas) and we will keep everyone included when there is! Until then, cheers!
(There’s probably an analogy to floating through life together here somewhere but I’m too sunned out to write it right now)
Captain Red Beard
Had a great visit with Laura’s kids and their spouses when they stayed with us for a week. One of the highlights for us was getting a chance to take them sailing, snorkeling, and for a proud mama to show off her Surely Sea. Everyone seemed to enjoy snorkeling Cayo Blanco and enjoying just a little of the relaxing sailing lifestyle!
Well, we have a new sailor in the family! He’s not quite sure what to think yet but he’s not freaking out and actually seems to be settling in nicely. We were actually pretty nervous that he wouldn’t be able to handle the boat and we’d have to find him a new home so this is great news! Welcome aboard, Sailor Frankie!
Two years ago, last week, my dad, Laura, and I sailed our boat, Float On, 12 days direct from Virginia to Puerto Rico. Last week, my parents flew down to stay with us and yesterday, we got the old crew together for a daysail on our current boat, Surely Sea! We had squally weather alternating between sunshine and 25 knots and quick rain storms and 35-40 knot winds. So we put a reef in, rolled up the big Genoa, opting for the smaller staysail, and really put the boat through her paces. And of course, she did well. Dad agreed it never felt like more than a brisk breeze. She is really an amazing boat and the crew really enjoyed getting together under sail again!
Since we have been back in Vieques and in our “dirt home” I have had requests and encouragement for continued posts. I didn’t know anyone would still care so here are some random thoughts, in no particular order, I have been having while sitting out on our back deck late at night the past couple weeks.
I miss the boat. That seems silly, I guess, but it’s true and it’s sincere. Laura and I have marveled at how we spent three months onboard hopping from island to island. It was not a vacation; we agree on that. It was different than that. It feels like we were ‘doing’ something, or ‘accomplishing’ something. I don’t know. Anyways, we spent three months together with Abby on a 42 foot sailboat and I can say I have never felt better, happier, or more content. So that is something and I crave more of it. (Spoiler alert) There is a lot more of it coming very soon!
I love leaving my cell phone at home. The most enjoyable moments of the past few months and probably my whole life had nothing to do with my cell phone. I mean, sure, people always say put down your phone and actually live life but seriously, there have not been a whole lot of great moments that had anything to do with my phone. Think about it! Don’t get me wrong, I like technology. I really do. And I am probably somewhat addicted to this phone. Not as much as many people I have known in my life but more so than I’d like to be. But upon reflection, the best moments of the past thee months cruising were without a phone and ‘unconnected’. Sometimes with friends, sometimes with Laura, and sometimes alone on deck counting shooting stars at night. It sounds obvious but somewhat worth saying.
I am torn between nighttime and daytime. The magnificence and childlike wonder I feel at the countless shooting stars even while I type this post tonight compared to the deep-down-to-the-core and nearly overwhelming feeling in the presence of water so clear you can see straight to the powder white sand on the bottom of the anchorage 20 feet down, almost like the water wasn’t even there. There are just so many experiences that I struggle to put into words. Sometimes I feel like I am rambling on and on about the same things but seriously, there has not been a single day down here that any of this has been even remotely taken for granted or gotten even a little bit old.
I wish I could share all of this with my children. Right now. As many of you know they live back in the states and are constantly asking me the most interesting and challenging questions about my pictures and my experiences. Over the years, while they were growing up, we spent most of our time together sailing and exploring and challenging to learn and experience new things. They saw much and I believe they will carry those memories forever. They all plan to come here and I cannot wait to share this life with them but it is my biggest regret that they have not been able to yet but we will work to get them all back onboard a sailboat and exploring soon!
I guess that’s about it. We have tons of family time between now and the new year and we plan on a bunch of local sailing in that time. The plan is to hit the high seas again come the new year so look forward to that! Thanks to all of you for the continued encouragement.
Well, we are back in Vieques and in the house taking care of a tedious list of chores we were able to push off repeatedly for later and we both agree that it is already time to get back underway. We plan to let the lease on the house expire and move onto the boat to take on permanent cruising status. The fact is there just is no tenable anchorage here on vieques so we will bounce around the island depending on the prevailing weather when we are here to visit friends and the other islands otherwise. We long for the extensive sailing community on the Dutch side of St. Maarten and the clear and inviting anchorages of the BVI and the ridiculously easy sailing of the Virgin Islands as a whole but mostly we long for what’s beyond the horizon. There is something really special about this lifestyle that has captured us and we cannot wait to get back at it! For now, though, it has been wonderful catching up with friends and to see Frankie, our cat who didn’t make the last three months on the boat with us. He was hesitant at first but has welcomed us back; even his big sis Abby! We have a couple months planned for visiting with family and then we will be back at it. Until then, we will settle for a short trip to Culebra or a weekend in St. Croix. Thanks for following us and we will keep you informed!
Surely Sea on her mooring behind Mar Azul in Vieques.