For the last few years, we’ve lived in our sailboat in the winter and spring, starting out in Florida and cruising through the Abacos in the Bahamas. Well, we’re now back on the boat…in our “happy place”…
It’s compact living to be sure, but we love the simple lifestyle and freedom. You can see more pictures of Windsong II, our sailboat, here. It’s a Hunter 356, which is just short of 36 feet long.
As Bob has put it: “Windsong II is so much more than our winter home. She connects us to mother nature. With her we can see, hear and feel the wind, the waves, the tide changing, and wonder at the number of stars so bright from our bed at night.We watch the sunrise and the sunset from her cockpit. On her you can feel very small and full of awe. The wind can move her along so quietly — you can tell she loves it when the engine stops and the sails are full. She takes care of us in bad weather. She is our mother ship — she allows us to swim in the clearest water, explore and photograph remote beaches, shorelines and settlements in her tender. She is just big enough we can have friends visit to share these experiences with us — what could be better than that? And those are just a few of the reasons we love her…”
The last few years we’ve stayed in marinas as we cruised with one or two salty dogs, our Westies, Angus and Charles — and being on the dock made it much easier to get them off and on the boat many times a day — but sadly, it’s just Bob and me now. So we have the option of anchoring out or taking mooring balls, which require dinghying to shore.
Right now we are in southeast Florida in a mooring field. We’ve stayed here before and really enjoyed it. It draws a community of friendly cruisers from all over the United States and Canada, even other countries. As part of the modest fee, you have access to showers, tuck shop, lending library, lounge, laundry facilities, wifi, bikes to rent, a shuttle bus and special events. There are also lots of great restaurants in walking distance. And shopping if you have the need.
On board, we have a 70 gallon fresh water tank, which we use for washing dishes and such, and to fill it we need to haul 5 gallon jugs to the boat. Once you’ve hauled a few of these heavy suckers, you find ways to minimize your water use! Last year we installed a solar panel, so this year we have been relying almost 100% on solar for our electricity — fridge, freezer, LED lights, computers etc. On rainy days, we run our diesel generator briefly to provide power. Many other cruisers have wind generators too, but we haven’t gone there at this point. All in all, we have a much lighter ecological footprint than we do on land.
Scenes from the Sunset Bay mooring field…
It’s called Sunset Bay for a reason. One shore faces east and the other west, so we are treated to beautiful sunrises and sunsets almost every day. I don’t have to go far…just a few steps with my camera and there it is. I never tire of this beauty.
Stay tuned for Part II…
Artisan State has a great offer on now for photobooks, which is good until the end of May.
I’ve created many photobooks with them in the past and have always loved the result.
I couldn’t resist this sale — an 8″ by 8″ book for $10 instead of $35, so I quickly put one together last night with some of my favourite images of this past winter. I call it Cruising in the Abacos on Windsong II, 2015.
I invite you to have a look at my photobook with Artisan State. You may just want to whip one up too! I’d love to hear what you think if you do…
We’re back in Florida now after an amazing voyage to the Bahamas on our sailboat Windsong II this year. We returned to some old familiar places from last year and discovered some new ones. Treasure Cay was one of our new favourites — sure to become one we go back to in the future.
Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters.
We made landfall in the Bahamas on Friday, March 6. For the story, check out our blog: Sailing on Windsong II.
One of the many things I’ve been enjoying doing lately is making photo books. I’m up to three now — two are for gifts and one is for us. I’ve received the first one and am very pleased with the way it turned out.
But photo books can take a while to put together.
For the times when you want a quick and easy project, I like to make magnets. A few pics, a few seconds and they’re done.
I just made one for each of the grandkids, using some images taken this year. I also have one from last year on the fridge that I will add these to.
I love having reminders of those sweet little faces and great times together every time I go get a glass of water or something to munch on…