18 January 2018 | Staniel Cay
03 January 2018 | Palm Cay, Nassau Bahamas
22 December 2017 | Bimini Blue Water Resort
19 December 2017 | Fort Lauderdale
14 December 2017 | St. Augustine
09 December 2017 | Charleston
08 December 2017 | Charleston, SC
25 November 2017 | Alligator-Pungo canal (20 miles)
20 November 2017
03 October 2017
30 September 2017 | NYC
29 September 2017 | NYC skyline
26 September 2017
24 September 2017
22 September 2017
21 September 2017

Cold fronts & weather windows

18 January 2018 | Staniel Cay
Ann
We are becoming quite knowledgeable about this crazy weather- I know, I know, we are warm and have nothing to complain about right? But jeez Louise!

One nice day and 3-4 days of high winds, beating rain, waves, and no nice little hurricane holes to hide. All this equates to noisy (from 20-30 kt wind in the rigging), rocking/rolling (from waves), and minimal sleep ( from worrying that our anchor will slip). Good news is that we don't have to show up at work in the morning, and midday naps are awesome!
We've been catching up on many books, and I've been cooking alot onboard, including homemade bread. We've met lots of people who are all in the same boat ( so to speak) waiting for weather to clear, so happy hours seem to be recreational now.
We're in Staniel Cay at anchor and all sources are predicting the weather to calm down after the next 8 days. We'll head south to Georgetown following a quick stop in BlacknPoint to do laundry, get diesel and fill our tanks with water.
All water here is reverse osmosis and costs about 40-50 cents/ gallon. (We carry 120 gallons.) It certainly puts a new light on water conservation and how lucky we are with our water supply back home!
We crossed the Exuma Bank from Rose Island to Highbourne Cay. The bank is anywhere from 5-20 feet deep sand bottom except for coral heads which can be seen if the sun is high ( a bit nerve racking!)
Spent 3 days at Highborne Cay marina which was a great reprieve from approaching bad weather. A hilltop open-air exercise hut, 3 beautiful sand beaches, palm trees and hammocks swaying in the high wind and pounding rain- but we still went swimming and explored the island on bikes ( it's a warm rain). There was also a small store for some provisions so it felt super special! We're still buddy boating with the Swains- sharing lots of time, laughs, & food. We both made signs with our boat names & drilled it into the cabana we affectionately referred to as our " dining room".
As soon as the weather lightened up we made a run for Shroud Cay where we had to reset our anchor amidst a 40 kt squall that hit from 180 degrees swinging us too close to shore.
We reset the anchor like pros and proceeded to spend 2 sleepless nights with a gust of 60 kts! Needless to say- on day 3, we were out of there heading to Warderick Wells ( Exumas Land and Sea Park). Upon picking up the mooring, eagle rays were swimming under our boat! No doubt, this was a good sign! Waking to bright sunshine, we swam and snorkeled, seeing turtles, sting rays, eagle rays, black tip reef shark, nurse shark, lion fish, & barracuda within the first half hour! It was awesome! ...... then the clouds came, and the rain, and wind. We left our name on the pile of momentos on "Boo Boo" Hill, and made a plan to leave-
Three days later, the rain stopped, and under a gray sky with black clouds on the horizon, we sailed 20 miles south to Staniel Cay.
As I write this, the wind is blowing at 18 kts but the waves have diminished. Unsettled weather predicted for the next 48 hours but I have a plan to bake some bread and take a swim at Thunder ball Grotto ( made famous as the sight of the Janes Bond film) with Lucy (12) & Jessie (9) Swain.
Rumor has it that even the Southern US has very cold temps- this is still better than that.
Take care family & friends. We miss you!
(I'll upload pictures when I get wifi). The picture is of our almost daily attempts at climbing hills to get an internet signal for weather reports.

2017 Holidays in the Bahamas

03 January 2018 | Palm Cay, Nassau Bahamas
Ann
Hello family & friends! We're at Palm Cay Marina, Nassau, for a few days, waiting for some nasty weather to pass ( predicting 30-45 kt winds, squalls, & waterspouts). It's nice having WiFi, and laundry, and using the courtesy car to get provisions before heading to the Exumas.
I'm happy to report that we'e adapting well to life aboard! We are still buddy boating with the Swain family from Cape Cod ( parents & 3 kids ages 12-10-5) since Christmas Eve and will probably stay together for awhile as we make our way to the Exumas once this front passes.
I've been baking quite a bit onboard, making bread & desserts ( inspired by Sarah Swain - musician, baker, dance & yoga instructor). We have been truly blessed to meet this family & wondering how we will part ways, feeling like we've known each other all our lives.
New Year's Eve at anchorage overlooking the lights of Nassau under a full moon, eating/drinking ("Pallar rum"- thank you Kate Mercedes!) singing in the cockpit proved to be the best NYE ever.

We've been snorkeling/swimming everyday, enjoying new friendships, & learning ALOT about the effects of plastics on the marine environment ( the Swain kids do a 30 minute trawl with a net to assess the amount of plastic- they have found more bits of plastic here than in waters of the US eastern seaboard!) It's been an eye opening experience!)
We're anxiously looking forward to moving south, but the 79 degree clear blue water and 83 degree air temp is not too hard to tolerate! We have been keeping track of weather at home and hope you are all safe & warm.
I'll upload pictures soon as the rain is starting and I have to stand under this palm tree for a WiFi signal!

Bimini, Bahamas!

22 December 2017 | Bimini Blue Water Resort
Ann
" WE MADE IT"- on winter solstice and before Christmas!
Motor-sailing for 48 miles Miami to Bimini, watching the water temperature rise to 81 degrees and loosing depth ( soundings on chart for depth 2700 feet!), and correcting for the 3 kt current of the Gulf Stream. We were hailed on the radio by other boats crossing and got some good intel into what to expect upon arrival in Bimini.
The crossing was highlighted by another pod of dolphins riding our bow, sighting flying fish everywhere, and watching the water color turn a deep clear blue.
We arrived in Bimini 8 hours after departing Miami-
With our yellow "quarantine" flag flying, John took customs forms & our passports while I was "required by law to stay on the boat". Then a quick visit to immigration and we were in!
A pina colada on the beach, dinner of Conch and Kalik. Decided not to jump off the back of the boat after seeing these bull sharks circling at our dock-


We'll leave this marina and anchor at Gun Cay Saturday night- then move to Bimini Sands Marina for Christmas (will be sure to post pics from the infinity pool!!). We checked it out today and the place was empty. Leave it to JC to find us a safe, quiet, lovely spot to spend Christmas and protected from the predicted cold front & squalls coming our way. We plan on attending a Christmas service at an Anglican Church here on Bimini Christmas Eve.
The lead picture is of me finding a couple of overgrown Christmas Elves in the holiday spirit!
Take care, be well, and a most merry Christmas to all our family & friends.

Overnight to Florida!

19 December 2017 | Fort Lauderdale
Ann
Mostly a motor-sailing 28 hours to bypass Georgia and get to Fernandina Beach. But I didn't get sick- I'm hoping that's over!
Located just over the Georgia/Florida line, this was the second marina we saw with some serious hurricane damage- boats stranded high on land and fuel docks that were still not operational. We stayed on a mooring anticipating an ICW run to Fort Pierce in the morning.
This part of the ICW was beautiful- and just what we imagined it to be! Beautiful estates, palm trees, lots of boats, dolphins, signs to watch out for manatees! - just what the doctor ordered!
Going aground down here is just expected and not a big deal- except it is a real big deal for these northerners! Arriving at our marina for the night, the dockhand informed us to watch the tide because the entrance to the marina drops to 4 feet " but you can muscle through it". Needless to say, we ended up leaving at sunrise- on a rising tide. It seems like we are being pushed to move on!
Another ICW day to Palm Beach- and we crossed into warmer weather! High 70's and bright sunshine as we motored to an anchorage on the inside of Palm Beach. Dinner in the cockpit, no bugs, anchored among other boats planning to cross the Gulf Stream. We have decided to move further south to take advantage of the Gulf Stream current when we cross.
Raising anchor at 8 am heading for Fort Lauderdale offshore. Going offshore along this part of the Florida coast, amidst clear, warm water and less than 2 miles offshore allowed us some serious peeping at mansions, including Trump's Mar-A-Lago (White House south). (John swears Melania was topless on the beach). The picture is entitled " Puffy makes it to Mar-A-Lago"
We are currently at the Bahia Mar marina in Fort Lauderdale. John spoke to Chris Parker (famous weather-guy for boaters) who says we should cross the Gulf Stream from Miami on THURSDAY or we will have to wait at least a week!! So we are running around provisioning ( limited supplies in the Bahamas), John is changing the oil, filling tanks with water & diesel, deflating the dinghy so we can store it on deck for the crossing, and I'm doing some serious loads of laundry.
Fort Lauderdale beach is literally across the street from this laundry mat I'm sitting in at the marina.
That water is calling me!
We clear in to customs at Bimini, Bahamas by sunset Thursday. After that, we head further south to pick a spot to celebrate Christmas! Our new friends should be in the vacinity and we'll be with other sailors & boaters in the same situation- missing family but surrounded by warm sun, sand, and water and fish!
Merry, merry Christmas to all our friends and family. We miss you!
Let us know via email or text when you'll be in the Exumas! xo

St. Augustine, FL.

14 December 2017 | St. Augustine
Ann
Florida. Finally!
The overnight sail from Charleston to Fernandina Beach, FL started out great- and if you asked John, remained great except for Ann being seasick again! 15-24 kt winds and choppy 4-6 ft waves, during pitch-black night, with no visual reference points, and freakin' cold .. makes Ann a sick and useless girl. John was happy, but cold, with wind on the beam and ocean spray making its way through our lovely cockpit enclosure to soak the captain & crew. Cold, wet, tired, and a dry heaving crew- well, you get the picture!
Arriving in Fernandina Beach, we picked up a mooring for $25/night, ate, and slept. This was the first marina that we've come across that sustained significant hurricane damage- still having docks closed and no fuel available. We were entering a very small part of the ICW with warnings of "many vessels going aground here" and " don't follow your charts or the magenta line on your chart plotter- they are not correct". The ICW is FULL of these areas which requires a lot of planning the night before. It is not what we imagined the ICW route to be, which is why going offshore seems easier.
We followed waypoints obtained from "Active Captain" on the internet- it's a forum for boaters to add comments and advice about troublesome areas on the ICW.
We left Fernandina Beach on a rising tide and had no trouble 😅.
Having only 10ish hours of daylight and having to wait for bridges and slow down for passing barges, getting 40 miles done in a day is the usual. (going offshore & overnight we can get 160 miles!).
Arriving at Beach Marina in Jacksonville, we were greeted with a sign saying " slow- no wake- manatee area"! (I was so psyched!). The dockhands were great & competent as we landed in high winds & current. However, we were told not to worry when (not if) we go aground- " it's soft mud and you can power through it". These are not comforting words! So we left early AM at high tide.
This was our favorite part of the ICW, with beautiful waterside homes and uncomplicated waterway. Dolphins, pelicans, egrets, and lots of boats to look at as we motored toward St. Augustine.

The St. Augustine City Marina has $25 moorings and are located right in historic St. Augustine. What a great city! We did all the touristy things, and met up with some boaters that we met during our stay in Charleston.
They have a "cruiser's net" here at 8 am every morning- dial in to 72 on our VHF and people chat. I joined in and connected with another boat from Maine also at this marina. "La Luna" hails out of South Portland and authored the book "Hart's at Sea" ( thanks to Lisa Borrows for telling John about it!). The people we've met are great, and as we keep meeting them along this journey, it makes us feel less lonely. Everyone is in a similar "boat" and everyone has stories to tell.
Today was a glorious day , with temps around 70, bright sunshine, and our first dinner in the cockpit since it wasn't too cold. With wine, music, good food, and a few friends nearby, we looked at each other and wondered if this is real! It's amazing to us that we've made it this far, that we've learned so much in the past month since leaving Norfolk, and that the Bahamas are now a little more than 300 miles away. I'm willing to be sick overnight a few more times to get there! The sun felt so good today, Christmas is coming, and I want to swim in warm water!
Planning on leaving Saturday morning for at least one overnight to Fort Pierce, FL ( Florida is a LONG state and we can't cross the Gulf Stream until we are further south).
We'll let you know how that goes....
BTW- Dr. Steve Katz gave John an awesome " battle flag" to fly when we are in port- we flew that flag today as we sit on a mooring in front of the "Castillo de San Marcos" Spanish fort in St. Augustine. Thanks Steve! Super cool!
Battle flag

More Charleston

09 December 2017 | Charleston
Ann
The food, music, history, & sites of Charleston have been great! With the temps dropping to the 30's at night and 40's during the day, we're getting very anxious to leave tomorrow morning and try to get to Florida. We anticipate cold temps, 3-4 ft seas, and 10-20 kt North/NW wind behind us.
We visited the " Mother Emanuel" Episcopal church today- site of the mass shooting in 2015.
9 people died as they were attending bible study. Two days later, at the arraignment of the shooter, the survivors & family were able to face him in court, and forgave him for his heinous crime!
There is hope in this world, and good people everywhere.
Peace on earth, good will toward men.
Vessel Name: Perspective
Vessel Make/Model: Cabo Rico 38
Hailing Port: Westport Island, Maine
Crew: Ann and John
About: We have had Perspective for the past twenty years and have cruised the coast of Maine to the Bay of Fundy. Now for a little more...
Perspective's Photos - sbd1ypbz3