|Vessel Make/Model:||Hylas 49|
|Hailing Port:||Robinhood, Maine|
|Crew:||Susan and Jim AuBuchon|
|About:||Livin' the life - finally!|
Wow! It's been a long slog up the east coast (which looks remarkably the same from Florida to Long Island, albeit with changes in vegetation). We've mostly been hopping in day trips of 40-80 miles, allowing us both to get a full night's sleep, but occasionally we take longer jaunts, such as yesterday/today's [...]
Yes, we're self-isolating (pretty easy on a sailboat!), but we are slowly heading up the coast. Currently, we are sitting out a huge band of thunderstorms in St. Augustine, which, when the torrential rain abated, was a nice place to explore on foot for our daily exercise. Tomorrow should find us anchored at Amelia Island, and then it will be on to Georgia. (Florida is the N-S equivalent of Montana -- seems like it will never end!) The coast of Florida has miles of beautiful beaches (many of which are NOT deserted...), but it's far from ideal for a tall-masted, deep-keeled boat. We're looking forward to waterways that are easier to negotiate as we head north. Hard to believe that we're only one month out of Panama - seems like a year with all that's happened in the world plus our 1000+ miles under the keel since then!
We cleared into the US at Key West a week ago. (Great sunsets - no green flashes, though...) We could get fuel but not go ashore, so we headed up the Gulf Coast to Marco Island. We were able to get some boat work done and go to the grocery store (plus West Marine - just next door!), so we now have about a month's worth of groceries plus oil change material to get us to Maine. We are awaiting arrival of cruising guides for the East Coast (certainly didn't expect to be here!) and then will head to Maine, hopefully coast hopping along the way!
We've arrived in Key West after an uneventful, two-day crossing from the Yucatan. Weather was beautiful but only allowed sailing half way. Key West is "closed", but we could get fuel and ice. (What more does one need??) We will now move slowly up the coast (after all, it's still snowing in New England!) with the intention of getting there in time for black fly season. We didn't really have plans for April and May other than hanging out in the boat, so we've just changed locales. Unfortunately, we'll be celebrating Summit's birthday remotely, but we will certainly make it up to her this summer.
Well, the entire world is topsy turvy, the voyaging community included. We've spent four wonderful days at Isla Mujeres (off Cancun) after traveling a thousand miles up from Panama. However, all the Caribbean islands are closed, so we are going to head to Maine for the summer instead - providing we can get back into the US! Stay tuned and stay healthy!
Well, we're still having fun, but in different places! We had intended to next call at Aruba on leaving the Panama Canal, but the weather was not conducive for that easterly slog. We then chose Jamaica, 570 miles northward - and still to windward and with reasonable likelihood of getting home for Summit's birthday party. However, after the first 150 miles turned into 300 (with tacking) and tiring of the unending tilt, Susie declared she had reached the end of her windward passages. (Not that I could blame her.) "Isn't there another way we could do this?" We committed to a clockwise Caribbean circumnavigation with a potential homeward trip from Key West. After 4 days out, she was ready for a break - but Providencia (Colombia) refused to let us even anchor in a a secluded cove for a restful break, fearing we would bring coronavirus! (It doesn't travel on the wind, guys! - and we don't have it. Sailing alone at the moment is not a bad idea!!) So we continued on to a group of reefs and tiny islands off Nicaragua, where we have a peaceful anchorage and were treated to a half dozen native sailing fishing boats turning circles around us going after their catch. We then will have only a few overnight passages as we stop briefly in Honduras, Belize, and the Cozumel area before leave attempting to re-enter the US. We are concerned with all the viral craziness that if we leave the boat in a foreign port, we may not be able to get back to it. So we may just keep sailing to the Bahamas, the VI and then on down the chain - stay tuned!