One of the GREAT things about our lifestyle is that we get to choose every year where we want to go next. For those of you who do not know we are actually trying (though not very hard) to sail around the world. We have no dates or plans beyond that thought and simply REFUSE to put ourselves on a timetable. That being said, the weather determines a lot of things for us because of those blasted hurricanes. So every summer we really try to find a way to get out, or nearly out, of the ZONE. Also when planning a serious ocean leg like any of the South Pacific one simply is a fool to travel those long distances in the hurricane seasons. With those thoughts as background for you, here are our thoughts for this year.
We feel the need to really get moving through the canal and into the Pacific and at the same time we REALLY need to get out to Wyoming and Washington to visit our families. It has been four years since we moved on the boat and in that time we have only seen Amy and Ellie, and Cheryl, Becky's sister, niece and Mom who have visited us both in Charleston and last summer Amy and Ellie stayed on the boat with us down in Trinidad. When I first dreamed of moving onto the boat I really thought family and friends would use it as an excuse to come see some of the beautiful places we visit but this has not been the case so one way or another we intend to get out to see them. Travel for the seven of us by air is pretty much out of the question so we are considering one of two options.
Option #1: We will sail the boat in May to the east coast of the US and do a little summer cruising up to washington DC, New York City, and perhaps Long Island Sound. Then we will head back south to our favorite little town, Oriental, North Carolina, where we will put the boat on the hard for a couple of months at Sailcraft and we will lease a car and drive out to visit our families for the rest of the summer. In September or October we would head back to Oriental where we would do our boat work and then we would head south toward the Windward Passage, Jamaica, and on to Caragena, Columbia, and the Panama Canal. We would then sail to Hawaii in April-May.
Option #2: We would stay here through the summer working and braving the hurricanes and leave for a direct sail from St Thomas to Cartagena next November. We would spend Nov. - March in Cartagena and cruising the San Blas, transiting the canal in march and heading offshore on a straight 4800 mile sail directly to Bellingham, Washington.
The other factor is that Jimmy has decided (you have NO idea the importance of that little statement) to enter the US Coast Guard so he will need an accredited High School Deploma. He will be moving to Wyoming for his final year of High School to live his Grandparents and finish school. When Jimmy leaves us it will be really rough. Not only will he be our first kid out of the nest but he has become such an integral member of the crew and a delivery crew for me that his loss will hurt us more than just in the heart. But we are very happy and excited for him to make the choices he is and support him 100%.
So... yep we have the pleasure of decideing where we want to go next... but... the choice is not that easy.
Thanks for the comments!!! It is greta to know you all are keeping tabs on us. Let me know what you think of our options.