The following is a review of our first sailing season as cruisers:
Nov 1 - 30, 2007: [870 nautical miles covered]
This portion of the journey allowed us to become accustomed to longer offshore passages and confirmed a preference for being on the 'outside' rather than motoring the ICW. Upon arrival in the Bahamas, we felt as though we had finally 'made it.' For the first time, we had dropped our own anchor in crystal-clear water.
Dec 1, 2007 - Jan 15, 2008: [680 nautical miles covered]
The Bahamas were truly wonderful. We enjoyed lots of time under sail, great snorkeling, and beautiful beaches. If not for the limited selection and expense of supplies (oh, yeah, and relative lack of protection from hurricanes), we might have stayed forever.
Jan 16 - Feb 6, 2008: [270 nautical miles covered]
The Turks & Caicos had little to offer the cruising sailboat, so we quickly pushed on to the Dominican Republic. We sailed nearly all the way to Manzanillo, but it was to be our last sail for a while. The motor was required to get us to Luperón. We found the people and places in the DR to be quite lovely, especially Luperón. The officials, though, were a bit of a pain. A few too many 'extra' fees and the fact that we often had to provide dinghy transportation so that they could board our boat left us with a bit of a sour taste in our mouths.
Feb 7 - Feb 17, 2008: [340 nautical miles covered]
The remainder of the Dominican Republic brought more motoring to windward in the dark, more shuttling officials in our tiny dinghy, and less-than-ideal anchorages. Despite the somewhat intimidating reputation of the Mona Passage, for us it was the easiest part of the eastward journey. After clearing into Puerto Rico, we enjoyed the little beach town of Boquerón.
Feb 18 - Mar 1, 2008: [170 nautical miles covered]
The south coast of Puerto Rico brought more sailing to windward, but rewarded us with many of the familiar 'American' institutions we had left behind back in the states. By the time we reached the 'Spanish Virgin Islands' we were actually sailing again without the motor.
Mar 1, 2008 - mid-Dec, 2008
Remained in Culebra, Puerto Rico for nearly 10 months.