We've been quite busy since I last wrote. We pulled into Dozier's Regatta Point Marina in Deltaville, VA on June 29th and we've been working our tails off since then. We relaxed for part of a day and then began the lengthy process of putting the boat away for the season. We have a long list of things that need to be done and we've gotten quite good at it, but it still takes a long time. Every filter needs to be changed, every system needs a through inspection, sails need to be removed and stored or repaired, food needs to be sealed/stored/thrown away, everything needs to be washed or wiped down, etc, etc, etc. It typically takes us about a week to complete everything, and this year was no exception.
We're having a bunch of canvas work done or re-done, so we had three different companies aboard taking measurements and discussing what we wanted to have done. We were so happy with the work that they did last year, that we came back to have them do more work for us. We received faulty fabric last year for our bimini, and that's being rebuilt on Sunbrella's dime. The vinyl glass that makes up the dodger (cockpit wind shield) was also flawed and StrataGlass is providing new glass to have those remade. We're having the cockpit cushions remade as they're 10 years old and the sun has done a number on the foam.
We rented a Jeep Liberty so that we could drive home and bring boat parts with us. Since we plan to store the boat over the winter in the Chesapeake, we needed to haul everything home that shouldn't freeze. Yeah...that was quite a bit of stuff and there's more to come. Plus I brought the outboard home so that I could work on it and I brought the dive compressor home too. Can you say a full car!?!
Since the 4th of July was on Wednesday, we were really confounded as to when we should drive back. We decided to leave on Saturday, the 7th, in hopes that everyone who was already somewhere was going to stay there and that no one else would go anywhere. We were right, and we made the 600 mile trip in 10 hours of driving time plus an hour for breaks. You can't complain about that!
We got home to find the house in fine shape, but once again no one finished the projects that were on my list when we left in February! And a house doesn't take care of itself, so we've been busy getting life reset, working in the gardens and doing things like going through the mail. Just think about going through FIVE months of mail! Believe me, that's daunting. But we're working through everything and are enjoying being home.
Right now we've decided on a major change of plans for next year. We're planning on heading NORTH and exploring areas such as Maine, Nova Scotia and maybe even Newfoundland. That means heading N from the Chesapeake in April and hitting Nova Scotia just in time for their month of summer! :-) This will be a major change as Sue will have to survive the Boston winter and she considers water that's below 78 degrees to be cold. I suspect that I won't see her swimming much next year!
Now for some thoughts about this cruising season:
We've decided that the Bahamas just aren't for us. I know that lots of people love them, but we much prefer other areas of the Caribbean. For one thing the weather just isn't that great. You're just too close to the US and you get all kinds of storm systems that sweep over the area giving you high winds and low temperatures for extended periods of time. That was rare in the NW Caribbean and even rarer in the eastern Caribbean. The water and the beaches are beautiful, but the diving is only OK at best and is poor in many areas. More and more of the Bahamas is being taken over by people from the US who are willing to pay exorbitant prices for land and they're basically forcing the Bahamians out, or into the undesirable locations. I really wonder what the Bahamas will be like in 50 years. I think that I already missed the chance to see it.
I'm very happy to report that all of the new equipment that we put on worked great.
I hope that I haven't overloaded you with too many logs, but I was trying to document each place that we visited. I regularly meet people who thank me for all of the work that I put into them. However, I did get e-mail from one person who accused me of writing a "running tirade of misfortune and complaining about anything and everything." I hope that isn't the impression that I left on most of you. Certainly we had our share of issues to work through, but I didn't think that I was complaining about "anything and everything." If I felt that way, I wouldn't keep cruising.
Some people have an idealistic view of cruising. You know: Having umbrella drinks in your cockpit while watching the sun set over a palm lined beach filled with native girls frolicking in the surf. Yeah, right! They don't tell you about the realities of cruising. You know: Water makers breaking down in the middle of nowhere and you have to invent a process to get parts shipped in, or hauling groceries/laundry down long dusty roads to your dinghy and then getting soaked on your way back to the boat. That's reality, and I hope that my logs help people realize what cruising is really about.
Anyhow, thanks for coming along with us via these logs. I hope that you enjoyed them. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write to us. Hopefully we'll see some of you in person soon!
-- Geoff & Sue
To receive these logs via e-mail, please subscribe to the mailing list or you can follow us on FaceBook by clicking: