Madcap Sailing

31 December 2018 | Gold River Marina, Nova Scotia, Canada
06 August 2018 | Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
26 May 2018 | Gold River Marina, Gold River, NS
18 May 2018 | Gold River Marina, Gold River, NS
24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida

All Wrapped Up

06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
Beth / -2C in Halifax, NS, probably warmer in Ft. Pierce!
The end of a sailing season is always bittersweet, and this one has extra layers of seasoning. We left a place we love and ended up over 1000 nautical miles northeast - on the way back to another place we love.

We didn’t plan it that way – at least not at first. Yes, each individual move was planned – there were no accidents - but the plans evolved from week to week. We changed directions according to our gut feelings, and we changed our timing according to the weather (with backup from our gut feelings).

In November, we were going south. In December, we were going a wee bit north, but only for a while. In January we were hurrying north. In February we were lingering. In March we were saying, “This is enough for now – let’s go home.” We never did say a proper good-bye to our dear friends in Rio Dulce. We didn’t anchor and play among the cays and reefs of Belize one last time on our way through. We relied on our own company far more than usual; we swam less and we sailed less. And in the end, we didn’t get as far north as we had thought we would.

We experienced our worst passage ever and survived without mishap. We experienced our slowest passage ever, and survived that one too. We forced ourselves to adjust to a “hurry up … and wait” pattern. We benefited from excellent mechanical and refrigeration experts in Rio Dulce, excellent medical care in Isla Mujeres, and excellent haul-out crew at a new-to-us boatyard in Florida. We didn’t encounter a single cranky or unhelpful customs and immigration official in Guatemala, Belize, Mexico or the USA. We spent waaaay more time on a dock than in any other year – and chalked it up to reasonable use of the cruising kitty. We visited only 4 new anchorages this year, had 2 great land trips, 5 overnight passages.

We didn’t run out of propane in the middle of a meal, or before the morning coffee was made. We didn’t lose any boat poles or fenders – just one jacket and a phone. We did lose weight! We dragged a few times despite the new Manson Supreme anchor, but we didn’t hit anyone or go aground. We still don’t like re-anchoring in the middle of the night. Our most spectacular day of sailing was near the end of the trip – from Key West to Marathon. Our worst was from San Pedro to Isla Mujeres.

We loved spending the prelaunch weeks with fellow cruising friends at Tortugal Marina in Rio Dulce, and the Christmas season with old friends in Placencia, Belize, and with even “older” friends at the end of the season in Vero Beach, and meeting new friends here and there in between. One of the greatest joys and blessings of our cruising life is the new friendships we have made – some that last for a season or two and some that will be forever – both so valuable and so welcome.

Besides the people, we have enjoyed the company of iguanas, dolphins, pelicans, ospreys, frigate birds, herons and gulls. We still get excited whenever we hear the breath of a nearby dolphin or see the flukes and shiny backs as they curve up above the water’s surface, and we rush to the foredeck to watch them play. We grab the binoculars for a closer look at ospreys and frigate birds; we laugh at the sploosh and splash when pelicans hit the water to capture their dinners.

We still marvel at the stunningly blue-green-aqua-turquoise-emerald-jade colours of the Caribbean waters, at white icing-sugar sand, and pebbles that rattle and roll in the tide, at frothing surf and mirror-still water. We still love the ability to live so close to nature – under the moon and stars at night, and the hot sun or cloudy skies of day, and even in downpours as long as they don’t last too long; we love seeing the exact times the wind shifts, and feeling the change in temperature and humidity; we notice how small we are, sitting in our cockpit not even a metre above the sea that is a thousand metres deep, and sailing (or motoring) with not another boat or sliver of land in sight.

And now Madcap is high out of the water at Riverside Marina in Ft. Pierce, secure on jack-stands with heavy blocks and tie-downs at the ready as hurricane season approaches. The sails are at Mack Sails in Stuart for inspection and minor repairs. We covered the top with garden netting to protect her from some of the sun’s rays, and stuffed the through hulls with stainless steel scrubbies to keep out the bugs. We washed down the interior surfaces and lockers with vinegar and water, removed all the food, and plugged in the dehumidifier, and climbed down the ladder one last time.

Jim and I are home in Halifax now, shivering as a final bit of winter deposits a dusting of snow across the lawns. We will go back to Florida in the fall to move Madcap farther north, and next spring we will bring her home to Canada. At least that’s the current plan!

We’re planning trips to Newfoundland, where Mary Beth and Graham are about to welcome our first grandchild into the world; we will enjoy visits with family and friends at the cottage. As we say goodbye to our last season of Caribbean sailing for now (but not forever) we look forward to new adventures sailing back up through the waters of the North Atlantic, and a trip to New Zealand next winter.

And that’s a wrap for this year. Check the gallery for some more pictures.
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011