We crossed back to the states after a calm day of catching mahi and crisp ocean breezes flowing around us. It could not have been a better crossing back to the states. We were even able to fry up one of the mahis for lunch while underway. After days of planning and changing those plans by the hour sometimes, it felt great to have finally accomplished the goal. Our mainsail tore while we were starting our trek back, so it limited our ability to sail and added to the constant changing of plans waiting for the “right” time to cross. Where would be leave from? Would we have a buddy boat? Would we do a longer passage back? Would we go overnight? Where would we enter back into the states?
Finally, we decided to leave West End, Bahamas just before sunrise by ourselves. We arrived into West Palm, Florida around four o clock…just enough time to get the girls off the boat to run around in a nearby park. The feelings of success are so sweet!!
So, where does that leave us now?
Well, we are in Florida, traveling back to Beaufort to visit family and friends. We are back on the ICW just as we were in November and December of last year, except this time traveling much faster. It is getting hot and we no longer have our AC unit making us commit ourselves to moving as fast as we can….currently on 9 straight days of travel!! So our days are spent raising anchor, drinking coffee, coloring, games, bracelet making, reading, watching for wildlife (lots of dolphins, jellyfish, and manatees), lowering anchor, finding a playground or ice cream shop, and getting ready for the next day of travel. Not bad, but it can get tiring….especially hearing the loud diesel motor everyday! There is no sailing down the ICW when trying to really move and get somewhere, just motorsailing. For Mother’s Day and my birthday the day after, we are taking a break from moving and even staying in a hotel room with AC, flushing toilets, hot private showers, and large bed…luxury!
We had never put “plans” in place past May, only knowing we would be off the boat for two months for my brother-in-law’s wedding and to visit family and friends. Plus, our insurance policy requires a “layup” period during hurricane season AND we would only have the option to travel north during hurricane season, which is what we did last summer/fall. Bryan and I have been having daily conversations about what and where we want our next adventures to be. Year One is done and complete with travel up the coast to Annapolis down the coast to the Florida Keys and finally a jump over to the Bahamas totally around 3500 miles.
LOTS of ideas have been tossed up, considered and then re-considered. Sailing, traveling, and adventure still leads us, but above all freedom from the “daily grind” and “rat race” is priority. This feeling of freedom was something Bryan or myself had never felt before, actually we never even knew it was missing. It is funny how when you step out of a comfort zone, it is as if your eyes open up to so many different ideas and ways of life. It has been the biggest gift of this year. From this point forward we will create a life that works best for us, minimizing or eliminating things that tie us down. We fully anticipate shaking things up every so often based on our desires and dreams of maintaining this freedom we have found and become accustomed to.
Over the last month signs were all over the place (I’m sure thanks to my mom) as to our next steps and our eyes have been open and led by signs entire year. Now, it is all magically falling into place. While I do not mean to leave anyone in suspense, it does deserve it’s own blog post which will be coming soon! Until then, we hope to arrive in Beaufort next week, possibly doing another overnight offshore passage from St. Mary’s, Ga and we are excited to see family and friends over the next couple months.