The Baars' Adventure Aboard EIRA

Menno, Valerie, Daniel, John and their dog Daisy are off to explore the Caribbean Islands for two years-no-make that three years!

23 June 2008 | Wilmington, North Carolina
20 June 2008 | Wilmington, North Carolina
06 June 2008 | Charleston, South Carolina
05 June 2008 | Passage in the Gulf Stream
04 June 2008 | Little Bahamas Bank
03 June 2008 | Green Turtle Cay, The Abacos
27 May 2008 | Little Harbour, The Abacos
26 May 2008 | Little Harbour, The Abacos
25 May 2008 | Hope Town, The Abacos
24 May 2008 | Hope Town, Elbow Cay
23 May 2008 | Tahiti Beach, Elbow Cay
22 May 2008 | Marsh Harbour, The Abacos
19 May 2008 | Lynard Cay,The Abacos
27 April 2008 | Paradise Island, Bahamas
20 April 2008 | Normans Cay
19 April 2008 | Normans Cay
18 April 2008 | Passage from Nassau to The Exumas
06 April 2008 | Normans Cay
02 April 2008 | Normans Cay
31 March 2008 | Normans Cay

House hunting...

23 June 2008 | Wilmington, North Carolina
We like the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area and are thinking this may be where we drop the anchor and stay awhile. We are starting to look at homes and have already looked into the schools and are pleased with the elementary, middle and high schools. Being close to the water is super and as I said previously the beaches here are great! More to follow.

Photo: John, Charlotte, Robert, Daniel and Lawrence having fun in the Carolina surf!

Cruising in the Carolinas

20 June 2008 | Wilmington, North Carolina
We have been stateside for two weeks now. We left Charleston and made our way up the ICW and Cape Fear River to the historic city of Wilmington. We spent four days at the Waterfront Docks getting a feel for the city and enjoying the charm of the Historic District. Charlotte met us that first night and we treated her to some cracked conch fresh from the Abacos! We have moved EIRA over to Wrightsville Beach and are now anchored in the sound. We are a stones throw from Charlotte's house and the wonderful beach at Wrighstville. We are still in the cruising lifestyle mode, having school in the mornings and the afternoons free. Charlotte's nieces and nephews are visiting the beach house for summer so Daniel and John have had a super time playing with all of the kids! The beach is a great surfers beach and the boys are having fun on the surf board and are fortunate to have Deans here ( a real surfer dude!) to give them some tips.

Photo: We have raised all of our flags from the countries we visited over the past 3 years! EIRA looks raather festive!

Land ho!

06 June 2008 | Charleston, South Carolina
We were met by dolphins playing in the surf around EIRA as we approached Charleston Harbour. The noticeable difference between the dolphins playing here and those who said farewell to us in the Sea of Abaco was the color and clarity of the water! Nothing compares to the crystal clear waters on the Bahama banks. The Charleston water is a dark muddy brown.
We travelled 460 miles and had a great trip. The days did not have much wind but in the evenings the wind picked up and we had beautiful, brisk sails. No moon, however the night sky was brillant with stars. The Gulf Stream gave us some good speed under Eira's keel, clocking 8-9 knots regularly.
We dropped the anchor in the Ashley River and Customs and Immigrations came to clear us back into the US of A- no problems. We put the dinghy down and took Daisy ashore- she was very happy to be on terre firme once again.
Vessel Name: EIRA
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 393
Hailing Port: Solomons Island, Maryland
Crew: Menno, Valerie, Daniel and John Baars
About: Valerie, Menno, Daniel, John and our dog Daisy are aboard Eira off to explore The Bahamas. We will island hop south through the Caribbean with plans to be in Grenada by Hurricane season. Our second "windy season" will be spent in the Spanish Virgin Islands.
Extra: "Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in you sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."--Mark Twain
EIRA's Photos - Puerto Rican Vacation
View of San Juan
Exploring the fort
Soldier Juan scaling the fort walls
Built in the 1960
This enormous reflector is in a natural sinkhole. The observatory has been used in movies, Goldeneye 007 and Contact.
Camuy Caverns, the third largest in the world
El Conquistador Juan taking a break in the barracks
El Morro, the larger fort which protects the harbour, built in 1539.
Day 2 of vacation- Castillo de San Cristobal in old San Juan built in 1625 by the Spanish
The stalagtites take 1000 years to grow 1 inch
Soldier Daniel trying to hang on
Caught the 630 am ferry from Culebra to Fajardo (cost US 3.00 for all of us- what a  bargain)
We stayed at the Windchimes Inn in Condado
During both World Wars the US Army used it as a look out post to protect the island
The spaniards continually fought off the Dutch and English soldiers
A dip in the pool after a full day of touring
The Arecibo Observatory is the largest radiotelescope in the world
View of the Rio Camuy and more caverns located below us
Sentry Valeria guarding San Cristobal
El Morro originally consisted of one tower, but as pirates continued to besiege the island, the fortress expanded.
The Americans bombarded the fort in 1898 and succeeded in capturing it
San Cristobal was built by the Spanish in 1634
Old San Juan is very picturesque with cobble stone streets
We are deep in the caverns looking skyward
Looking along the north shore of Puerto Rico to Fort San Cristobal
The Spaniards continued renovating the fort and added this lighthouse to the sixth floor in 1876
The boys unwinding in the jacuzzi
El Morro is a six level fortress
Riding the trolley to the caverns
Menno and Daniel looking for cave bats--10,000 bats call the caverns home
One project is SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, which looks for radio signals sent our way from outer space.