We are now official, our boat cards are in!
The new year has arrived and we are ready for it! Two years ago when we were first making the decision to delay cruising to establish our rental income, Dan’s brother Kyle encouraged us (forcefully) to set an end-all date: the date at which we would quit our jobs and start cruising, no matter what else had happened. That date was January 1, 2015. Now that we have passed it, there is a constant reminder that the time has come.
We are hoping to be able to head out to the Bahamas sometime in the vicinity of March-April. Dan’s work pays their annual bonus around that time and while we are acutely aware of the fact that there will always be more money if we stay longer, it just makes sense to us to at least cash in on money we’ve already earned before leaving. That, coupled with the chance to have both of our parents come to visit in a relatively easy-to-get-to setting, is what we are basing our timing on at this point.
Once we head out, our tentative plan is to head for the northern Abaco islands as our landing point in the Bahamas and work our way through the chain. We’re hoping to get through the Exumas as well but with hurricane season on the horizon, we’ll have to play everything by ear and keep an eye on the weather for sure. The only solid deadline that we have is August 1. That is the day that Dan’s brother Alex is getting married and all three of us are in the wedding!
With that in mind, we’re hoping to have the boat stored somewhere on the hard for a month or two while we go home. After that our plans are completely fluid. We are essentially waiting to make any other definitive plans until after our time in the Bahamas. Hopefully a lot of our big questions will be answered at that time and allow us to do more in-depth planning. Here are a few of those biggies:
- “How long do we see ourselves cruising?”
- “Is our planned budget working for us?”
- “Are we interested in a large-scale crossing?”
- “Do we have the right boat for our future goals?”
- “What changes need to be made to accommodate our cruising style?”
The answers to these questions will have a huge impact on our decisions going forward and our lives in general. Dan and I fully anticipate loving the cruising life-style, but we can’t say that positively because we haven’t tried it of course. We hope that you’ll continue on this journey with us.
Have suggestions for beautiful anchorages in the Bahamas that we just shouldn’t miss or a great suggestion for a haul-out facility on the east coast? Leave us a comment below!
The year 2014 will go undoubtedly be ranked among the most significant of our lives. This was the year that all of our planning and saving culminated in moving 1,000 miles onto our own Irwin 37. Though at times we experienced incredible stress and frustration, there were far more moments of joy, excitement, and true wonder at our new life. We look back on this year with a great feeling of accomplishment, knowing that so many have never reached such a tangible realization of their dreams.
It is with that knowledge that we head into 2015, having faith that what is to come will be greater still. We hope that you will join us as we continue to Follow the Horizon.
We don’t have snow, but there’s nothing wrong with a sand angel on Christmas day instead!
The weeks coming up to Christmas this year were a flurry of packages, Christmas cards and Skyping with family. As our first year on the boat and the first away from family, it was important to us to make Christmas special and establish a bit of our own flair. I had the idea that I would have a fabulous menu planned with all of our presents perfectly wrapped and under our “tree” on Christmas morning ready to go. It turns out I was a little over ambitious on the menu side for my first try (I’m sure I’m not the first person to find that out!), but we still had a great time complete with a visit to the beach!
Our table was piled high on Christmas Eve!
One of the bigger challenges for us this year was trying to coordinate presents for Carter from the extended family. Because his birthday and Christmas are only about a month apart, finding enough gift ideas has always been an issue but this year it was especially so. Unfortunately, most gifts for his age range are space hogs featuring near life-size vehicles, sports equipment, and monstrous play sets. Seeing as how we are a little short on garage space, we had to a little more creative for him and us.
My sister Melissa got Carter a set of Ninja Turtle books. Now I just have to find time to read them.
Luckily for us, his friends on Viatori introduced Carter to the wonderful world of Lego only a few weeks before his birthday. Legos are perfect for boat life since they can be endlessly rearranged in new ways and store into a fairly compact space. Five separate sets of Lego Junior later and a general bucket from Grandma means we are now a fully stocked Lego vessel. Carter also scored some new books, a few superhero costumes, and some new DVDs to add to the collection.
We got Carter a custom book called “The Little Boy Who Lost His Name”. This is us reading it just before he finds out it is about him.
Here is his face when he finally figured it out!
Dan and I actually had quite the list ourselves of things that were luxuries for the boat/entertainment but perfect ideas for Christmas gifts. Here was the list we sent to the family:
- Explorer Charts of the Bahamas
- an Omnia stove-top oven
- waterproof Bluetooth speakers for days on the beach
- Handheld depth finder for our dinghy
- collapsible strainer set
- Underwater camera
- Kick-stand case for the tablet
- Bahamas courtesy flag and yellow Quarantine flag
- The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey
Planning for our trip in the full sized charts is much easier than on a screen!
While we missed the family, we still had a great day together and are already enjoying our new gifts. Another Christmas success!