24 December 2012
22 December 2012
18 December 2012
16 December 2012
29 November 2012 | Bird Island, SC
19 November 2012
19 November 2012
23 October 2012
22 October 2012 | Charleston, SC
20 October 2012 | Off SC Coast
17 October 2012 | Little River, SC
13 October 2012
11 September 2012

We Are Home

04 May 2017 | Myrtle Beach, SC
Michael
Thank you all for the heartfelt messages we have received since the loss of Aria. They have been a comfort at a difficult time.

We are back home in Myrtle Beach. I will not sugarcoat it; we are devastated at the loss of Aria and completely unable to talk about what happened. We are trying to focus on our many blessings and not dwell on what we have lost.

That's all I have to say at this time. Thanks again for your support. It means more than you can know.

Aria is Lost

28 April 2017
Tammy and I are okay. We were rescued by four Jamaican fisherman, who ferried us to a freighter bound for Cartegna.
Aria is lost.

Departing for Providencia, Columbia

25 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We hate to leave Jamaica, but it's time. We depart tomorrow at first light for Panama, with a stop-over in Providencia, Columbia. The voyage to Providencia is about 400nm. Conditions look good.

If you've never heard of Providencia, don't feel bad; neither had I till I began following sailors in the Caribbean. The island is located off the coast of Nicargua, but it is the territory of Columbia. And that's about all we know, except that it is a great stop to break up the long sail to Panama.

Our final days here have been filled with wonderful times meeting a colorful cast of dozens of sailors from countries around the world - old salts, retirees, young people, a Dutch female double-hander team - even a young couple from Germany with an infant. Most have crossed at least one ocean. We have discovered that, besides being a great place in its own right, Port Antonio serves as a stopover for sailors criss-crossing the Caribbean. Many are heading for Rio Dulce, Guatemala, a popular place to pass the hurricane season. Others, like us, are going to or coming from Panama. Still others are heading for the Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti. Sundowners are never dull.

If you care to follow us on our passage, I will have the tracker on. Click the link that says "TRACK US" below, or click here.

How Tammy Buys Bananas

23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
Life on the hook in Jamaica is, well, different. We love Clive, who lives in the mangroves at the harbor's edge. When it's not raining, he paddles to a nearby deserted island, picks bananas and mangos, then sells them to the boaters. As you can see, he can drive a hard bargain!

UPDATE: We are still in Port Antonio, Jamaica. We are waiting on weather to depart for Providence, Columbia, probably later this week.

Our Jamaican Life

15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We have settled into a Jamaican rhythm here in Port Antonio. When we go ashore, we greet people by name. We end sentences with mon, not because it's cute, because that's how they talk. We go to the market for the day's shopping. We walk. We experiment with Jamaican produce and recipes on our own stove. We have our favorite ice cream parlor, coffee shop, restaurant, grocery, market. We consume so much data on our phones, they now know us by name at the phone company. Our wallets are filled with Jamaican money, and we recognize and make change easily with their strange array of coins. We've learned a few words of Patwan, their strange English dialect, e.g. "How are you?" equals "Wahgwan?" (What's going on?).

Today was market day, and we returned with a great haul. We particularly love the papayas, which are almost creamy and are great in smoothies. Also among our loot is soursop, mango, coconut, peppers, pineapple and much more.

Our plans may be best described as "fluid." We arrived here on our way to Cartegna, Columbia. We are now looking at the jungles, gorges and rivers of Guatamala with stops in the Caymans and Roatan, Honduras. But that could well change again.

While in the Bahamas, a cruiser noted our slow progress through the islands and commented that we were "circumnavigating 100 yards at a time."

Well, okay.

A Few Words About The Ganja

08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
On a busy street corner here in Port Antonio, Jamaica, the raft captain was giving us his excursion pitch, showing us his credentials, including an official looking license. I had a hard time getting past the marijuana roach tucked in the corner of his mouth. On another occasion we were in the market buying produce, and ganja sellers approached me with the ease of someone selling mangoes.

In a nearby park, we met a lovely man (pictured here), who showed us a few local fruits and vegetables he had gathered himself. He let us taste a Star Apple, smell the lemon grass and take home some large Bay Leaves that were the most aromatic I have ever smelled. Then, just as naturally, he moved on to the ganja.

Marijuana, or ganja as it is called here, isn't just here and there; it's omnipresent. Technically, small quantities are subject to a $5 fine, but for practical purposes it is legal. And it makes perfect sense. Alcohol, the vice of the first-world, is expensive and difficult - even dangerous - to produce yourself. Ganja can be grown with a few seeds, rain and sunlight, raw materials in abundance here.

As for Tammy and I? While we are all for walking in another man's shoes, we really don't need to take on yet another vice at this point in our lives. I'll stay with my cigars and scotch; Tammy with her wine.
Vessel Name: Aria
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 350
Hailing Port: Myrtle Beach, SC
Crew: The Hetzers: Tammy & Michael
About: Email: aria (at) webhenmedia (dot) com
Extra: We're on YouTube! You Tube Channel
Home Page: http://www.svaria.com
Social:
Aria's Photos - Main
33 Photos
Created 22 April 2016
65 Photos
Created 30 June 2015
Continued, beginning with Christmas Eve on Hawksbill Cay through Staniel Cay and beyond
73 Photos
Created 27 December 2013
This album covers a lot of sailing. First we sailed Aria from Little River to Nassau with Tom Leonard and Gary Miller. Later, while I remained aboard Aria, the family plus my old college pal, Larry Knipp, joined me at various times throughout the winter.
53 Photos
Created 21 November 2013
Conrad and I hiked 8 days through Bavaria beginning in Oy-Mittleberg and ending in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
28 Photos
Created 30 July 2013
June 2013: St. Helena Sound, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Bluffton
33 Photos
Created 25 June 2013
Tammy and I, sans kids, visit Beaufort, Morehead City, Bald Head Island and Southport
26 Photos
Created 1 April 2013
Instead of a bushing, I used two custom-made steel plates to repair an elongated hole that supports the alternator.
9 Photos
Created 15 February 2013
Photo essay of my project to replace heat exchanger, and make several other upgrades to the fresh water and sea water loops.
18 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
25 Photos
Created 6 September 2012
Tammy and I sailed to Cape Lookout Bight, then returned via Wrightsville Beach to Bald Head Island, where the kids and dog joined us. Lovely family vacation!
27 Photos
Created 12 August 2012
Michael's voyage from the BVI to Bermuda, May 7, 2012
25 Photos
Created 6 May 2012
Pictures sailing in our home waters, a stretch of the coastal Atlantic called, Long Bay.
5 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
Scott Jackson, James "JD" Dodd and myself sailing from Marsh Harbour, Abacos to Little River, SC, clearing in at Charleston, SC
21 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Hetzers, Plus Sarah Martin!
32 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
Trying out the new mainsail, a mylar/taffeta laminate sail from Neil Pryde.
9 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
17 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Six guys, two identical Beneteau 40s, a dozen islands and ample stores of rum - how I spent spring break, 2010.
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Summer 2010
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Christmas 2009
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
The boat was in Milford, CT when I bought it. We sailed it home... well, motored mostly, as there was no wind, and we got the mainsail jammed in the mast on the first day. We came ashore in Atlantic City to take on more fuel.
26 Photos
Created 2 April 2012