Sunday morning, 8:45 AM. The weather window is good for a Sunday night Gulf Stream crossing. Slack tide is 3:53 PM today. Too early to begin the crossing, but we need slack water to safely leave the slip here at Miami Beach because currents are strong and pilings over which our lines hang are just a bitch to manage. Luckily, we have our talisman, a turkish evil eye, hanging in the cockpit to protect us from harm. Plus, we’ll have marina help to pull the lines off the pilings and the dock master will let us to tie up at the fuel dock to make our escape from the marina at 7:30 PM for an easy departure for a well-timed morning arrival at West End, Bahamas. The trip will take 12-15 hours and we must arrive in daylight to safely pull into West End. It looks like the trip will be a pleasant combination of sailing and motor sailing.
My ability to post to the blog will be somewhat limited during our Bahamian month-long cruise. We’ll be anchoring out at unpopulated cays (little islands) that have no or little wi-fi or cell phone connectivity from what we know. So, I’ll leave the post to the larger towns of West End and Marsh Harbour where we’ll have a marina slip at least part of the time. Until then, I’ll write off-line. However, you’ll be able to follow us via our SPOT Tracker.
March finishes six months of traveling on the water. Our path home started when we left Key West ten days ago. My feelings about “the return” are surprisingly strong–I am ready to return. My crazed, if not exotic, fantasy of nomadic living is not what I want long-term. It has been an awesome experience, given all the weather, towns, people and conditions we’ve encountered, but John and I miss home, just as I did 30 years ago. Perhaps our time in the Bahamas will kick-up our wunderlust a notch. The three of us are looking forward to it, for sure. From the Bahamas we’ll sail to St. Augustine, then, with a hired captain, we’ll sail outside around Cape Hatteras into the Chesapeake to be back to our Chesapeake Bay home marina by June 1. We’ll continue to live and sail aboard for the summer, then return to land and, likely, sell Dolce Vento, to the next generation of explorer.
On the other hand, the nomadic life is exactly what Cindy, our friend and crew member, craves. She’s fallen into a deep commitment to living on the water where palm trees bend in the breeze. Her skills and experience are needed in the Florida Keys or in the Caribbean so her future is set. She’ll start looking for a job as we make our way once back in the States. She is committed to live and work where it does not snow, where she’ll never again wear a winter coat or slosh through slush. We’ll be her refuge if there’s a hurricane to dodge. Update note: By October 2018 Cindy was working full time in St John, USVI at a large charter marina. Her mission was accomplished!
So here we are in South Miami. I’ll nap this afternoon, just like a little kid, to rest up before we leave. In the mean time, until I write from West End, enjoy some pictures of our Miami Beach stay.