There comes a point where you can’t do anymore and I’ve about hit that point. I’ve provisioned, pre-made meals to cook from frozen, have cleaned and stowed away anything and everything that I could possible fit. Space has been freed up by clearing out the old and bringing in the necessities. It’s time to set sail.
I think we have more food on board than when we did for our 18-day Atlantic Ocean crossing!
Simon and our new crewmember, Andrew, have accomplished massive amounts of jobs in the last week. The hull has been polished, the steel is glistening, our safety rails have been checked and secured, the davits (things that hold our dinghy) have finally been fixed (new cog, new motor, new controller), the outboard is working great, our mast has been fixed, the CopperCoat antifoul situation was remedied and our engines are working great.
Loads of odd jobs have been taken care of too – missing padding on floorboards replaced, cupboards and drawers cleaned out and organized, a door stopper replaced, our broken windless ‘down’ button swapped out, a broken fan replaced in the forward berth and… knock on wood…Britican has no leaks!
I’ve even purchased and stowed all the Christmas presents and purchased a ham.
The only things that need a bit of attention, before it’s time to set sail, are our watermaker and the new batteries. Both things can be seen to in Fort Lauderdale. And we need to sell our car too! I think we’ll be saying goodbye to her tomorrow.
So, in two days we’ll be heading south along the east coast from Charleston, South Carolina to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There’s a few stops that we’ll make in between but the ultimate goals is to get down to Ft Lauderdale within the next couple weeks.
From there we’re a bit torn as to which direction to head in.
We’ve been planning on visiting the Bahamas. Recently, however, we’ve discovered that it’s fairly difficult to get from the Bahamas over to the port we want to enter in Cuba. Cuba is high on my destination list. Furthermore, we have friends leaving Guatemala now who will be able to meet us Cuba (s/v Delphinus). So…we might just head south to Key West and then down to Cuba. We never know where we’ll end up until we actually get there.
Our ultimate destination for the end of the season is Grenada.
We’re looking to spend the hurricane season at anchor there. I’ve heard so many great things about the area so I’m quite excited to have a new long-term ‘home’ base. I just hope that we don’t have to dodge hurricanes like we have had to do this past year. Living through Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma was not a fun time.
On top of all the organizing and planning I’ve had a terrible cold. And to make matters worse, I also had to have a root canal.
I keep visualizing blue seas, warm wind and the smell of salt water. And of course, I constantly remind myself that it’s all worth it. A friend on a neighboring boat told me that there are three things that cause ‘trauma’ to people – dealing with death, something else (can’t remember!) and the third thing was moving. I wonder if our lifestyle fits into that heading? In some cases I think it is traumatic yet the excitement of it all, perhaps, counters the negative effects. I don’t know.
Looking back over our yearlong stay in America after sailing around for three years I have mixed feelings.
Staying so long has enabled us to make incredibly awesome friends, see my family often and grow roots. I can see why many sailors take a break from sailing and never get back out to sea. There’s a pull that’s very strong. A part of me just wants to stay.
Leaving land the first time in 2014 was far easier than it is leaving land now. The first time, I was running away from everything that I didn’t like. I was in search of a better way to live, freedom, sunshine and a closer connection to hubby and my daughter. This time I still want those things and I know I’ll get them…but I’m not running away.
Isn’t that interesting?
All the things I wanted to achieve by living the life of a full time cruiser were, for the most part, accomplished. I found a way to life a far more fulfilling life than I ever had before. During our stay in Charleston that new fulfillment must have remained with me. In other words, on my scale of living a fulfilling life I must have been around a 4 out of 10 in 2014.
Once we got out sailing my fulfillment levels increased massively.
I found absolute pleasure in the amazing sights. The lack of news and media was incredible. Eating local fresh non-processed foods was so gratifying. Having the time to grow closer to my husband and daughter was brilliant. And meeting all the lovely sailors/cruisers/live aboards that we’ve met throughout the years was way more fantastic than I could have ever imagined.
Fast forward to 2018 (almost) and I’m an 8 out of 10.
Although we’ve mostly been in a marina for a year, aside from our six weeks in Bermuda, we’ve been very happy. As usual it’s the people around you that make all the difference. Having our amazing boat neighbors for the year has really made the whole experience one that we’ll hold in our hearts forever. And the staff at the Marina have been fantastic.
So…the journey continues. As always, I’m excited to see what path we take now that it’s time to set sail. It will be interesting to find out where we end up and all the amazing people we get to meet along the way.
Check out our latest SailingBritican vlog update by clicking on the image below. In this one you’ll spend a bit of time with my family for Thanksgiving, watch us complete some of our many jobs, discover a bit about provisioning, meet our new crewmember, Andrew, and get an introduction to the concept of incinerating toilets.
Time to Set Sail vLog Video
If you have any comments, suggestions or something that will benefit all of us, please leave a comment below. I read and respond to all website comments (although if I’m sailing it could take a bit of time for me to respond). For more information on the lead up to our departure, please read: Preparing to Sail Away from America. And if you’d like to watch Britican as she makes her way south, make sure to check out our Britican’s Location page.
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To read more about our preparations for leaving America, read and watch Soon to be sailing away (again). If you like reading about our life living on a boat, consider buying my book…