Rick & Ami's 8 Year Sailing Adventure

...or, how to log 8000 miles in 8 years!

12 January 2010 | Southern Caribbean
01 January 2010 | Bahia de Chalon, Colombia
19 May 2009 | San Blas Islands, Panama
25 December 2008
05 August 2007 | Mochima, Venezuelan coast
25 May 2007 | Trinidad, West Indies
28 February 2007 | Trinidad, West Indies
23 December 2005 | Trinidad, West Indies
12 August 2005 | Trinidad
14 July 2005 | Trinidad, West Indies
28 June 2005 | St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean
09 December 2004 | Peru
10 June 2004 | Chatham Bay, Union Island, The Grenadines
19 March 2004 | Trinidad, West Indies
22 December 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies
11 December 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies
13 November 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies

Venezuela: Isla Blanquilla

23 August 2007
I am writing from Isla Blanquilla, Venezuela. One of the most beautiful spots we've ever anchored in. The water is gin-clear. Our boat is anchored in about 22 feet of water, yet we can see the ripples in the sand below the boat. There are 3 lone palm trees on the beach, the sand is whiter than white, so enticing. There are several rocky points, hosting plenty of live coral, with lots of fish, seemingly unafraid, lots of activity, and great visibility. The water is 83 degrees, the air is 83 degrees, and the humidity is less than in the Eastern Caribbean, making it a bit more comfortable here. The island is quite dry, covered with cactus and shrubby things, so different from the lush rainforests of the other islands we've visited.

Last night Rick BBQed a mid-sized tuna that he caught on our sail here, and we ate it with the mango salsa I had made from deliciously ripe, sweet mangos. The night was quiet, but for the wind in the rigging, and an occasional 'splash' from a fish jumping. Blanquilla is uninhabited, so the night skies are exploding with stars, with stars that you just can't see in the vicinity of civilization's lights. There are 8 other boats anchored around the island, 3 of which we know, but we've been so enjoying the quiet and tranquility that we haven't felt like socializing yet. We're enjoying the complete relaxation that a place like this encourages.

When we were preparing for this adventure, working so hard to organize our lives so that we could sell everything and buy a boat and go cruising, this is the kind of place we yearned to be in. The kind of place that they write about in the cruising magazines. The kind of place that other cruisers rave about.

Our experiences in Trinidad and the Eastern Caribbean were richer that we could have ever imagined, ever planned for. To become immersed in such a different culture was a highlight of our lives together. We spent 6 years there, with more than half the time in Trinidad. Except for the family and friends that we miss, Trinidad feels so much more like home than California ever did. It was so hard to leave.

But now we are exploring new islands and our pace has relaxed considerably. It's time for this next part of the adventure. There are so many small islands to explore in this Venezuelan archipelago, and we've got all the time in the world. What a wonderful feeling!

Vessel Name: Tara Vana
Vessel Make/Model: Nautitech 435 catamaran
Hailing Port: Laguna Beach, CA
Crew: Rick & Ami Bergstrom
About: With little previous sailing experience, we decided to sell everything we owned, buy a cruising catamaran, and explore the world.
Extra: Retired at 40, we've been living aboard Tara Vana in the Caribbean since Sept. 2001. It has been a rich and varied experience. New people. New cultures. Lots of dance and music. And spectacular scenery.

Who: Rick & Ami Bergstrom
Port: Laguna Beach, CA