Retirement to Bahamas

Mike and Judy have been sailing for some 25 years. We have dreamed for years about retiring and sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean. We are living our dream!

05 February 2013 | Riverside Marina
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12 February 2012

Cuising Life Part Deux

09 March 2010
I realized that I did not explain our decision (or indecision) to remain in the US rather than go to the Bahamas this winter.

As you know, our goal for the first year of our cruise was to get to the Bahamas. Despite our terrible personal tragedy, we made it and thoroughly enjoyed the Bahamas; it was everything we expected and more. If there was any dark side it was the dearth of reliable communications back home. I probably grumbled about it in last years' blogs but our inability to easily email or call home haunted us as we would have liked to be able to call our families just to see how everyone was doing and let them know that we too were healing. While this is to a certain extent a shortcoming of Bahamas winter, it is also epitomizes why the Bahamas are attractive; they are off the beaten path but only 50 miles from the US.

Anyway, with this in mind and given the terrible weather conditions, we decided to bump our way down the Keys rather than cross to the Bahamas. Guess we were not in the minority. We heard stories of cruisers waiting weeks to cross then only to be beset my bad weather in Bimini or Nassau and deprived of the real cruising grounds. For the same reason there was a huge waiting list for moorings in Marathon, Florida, Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas apparently had half the number of boats as usual. So we didn't feel so bad that we made the decision to stay in the US as many cruisers did the same. And we certainly don't feel that we chose the second best. Florida Keys is another great experience; particularly taking the leisurely inside track and spending time in virtually solitary anchorages with not quite so nice beaches but the same aquamarine waters.......

Back to our cruising life in Marathon.....

In the small world category, we were dinghying down Sisters' Creek one day and saw another dinghy coming our way with what appeared to be NB registration painted on it. We stopped to chat and indeed this couple is from Waasis Road, just outside of our hometown, Fredericton. Turns out Merle and Sandi sailed their Amber Marie down this fall and are anchored like us in marathon. Very interesting folks, among other things, Sandi does haircuts or as she pronounces, "follicular reductions". So Judy and I make an appointment for one for each of us. She comes to our boat and while she does great work, she leaves in too much of the grey for my liking......

Everyone here has bikes and while we left our folding bike home when we left for our cruise, several folks offer us theirs and we take advantage of this. One great bike trip we took was along the former Flagler railroad bed across the seven mile bridge. You should google the Flagler Folly. He build this bridge from Miami to Key West under daunting conditions. There continue to be significant remains of this engineering marvel.

Forgot to mention but not long after we arrived at Marathon, our great friends and boating buddies Darryl, Muriel, Layton and Doreen stopped by on their way to Key West to see us. They came aboard Sea Sharp then we had lunch at one of the many local eateries. No matter how many new friends we make along the way, there's nothing like someone from home to help combat the blues.....

A bunch of us hop in and on a cruising friend's half ton truck to go to a boaters' flea market at Islamorada. While the A1A highway is congested and slow, this trip by car takes a bit over an hour which by boat would have taken probably eight.

We go to Sombrero Beach often and enjoy what snippets of warm weather we can among the cold and vigorous fronts which have dominated this winter. Our dear frienda Bob and Carolyn are coming to visit us for a week and we can't wait. We provision, clean Sea Sharp to Bristol standard and anxiously await their visit.
Vessel Name: Sea Sharp
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter Legend 37.5
Hailing Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada
Crew: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Mike will be retiring in September 2008 after a long and rewarding career with the civil service in New Brunswick, Canada. I will end my career as President of Service New Brunswick, the "single window" service delivery agency for multi-jurisdictional government services to citizens and businesses. [...]
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Sea Sharp's Photos -

Preparing for Retirement Trip

Who: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada