Bahamas bound…

pic of Bahamas beach

The beautiful pink sand beach at Harbour Island, where we spent New Year’s. This kind of beauty draws us back to the Bahamas, this time under our own steam.

We’re looking at Monday to “sail away from our safe harbour” in Florida and cross the mighty Gulf Stream to cruise to the Bahamas on Windsong II, our Hunter 356 sailboat.

We’ve been preparing for this for what seems like a very long time!

Last year we weren’t able to leave the marina at all because our little Westie Angus was not well enough. This year we were delayed for a few months because we needed a new mast to replace one that had been damaged.

So we’ve been patiently waiting for the right time. There has been much to do to get ready, though, and a long list to work through in recent days. Now most of it has been done.

The fact that this is actually happening  is exciting and definitely even a little scary. But it’s finally time to “throw off those bowlines” as Mark Twain exhorted and “explore, dream, discover.” (That quote is a bit overused, but still apt, I think.)

We’ve been watching the weather carefully as it’s vital to choose the best possible conditions to make what is usually a 10-hour trip covering 55 nautical miles. Monday and Tuesday are looking good. We’re planning to leave Lake Worth at West Palm Beach and then clear customs at West End in the Bahamas after a Gulf Stream crossing. After that, we’ll make our way to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos on the Bahamas Banks.

My plan is to be back here when I can to post some favorite images, but if you’re interested in the day-to-day details of the voyage, come on over to Our sailing blog where you can see what we’re all up to. Hopefully we will have enough Internet access to keep it up.

I wrote a guest post on the blog Focusing on Life with a bit of background on our life afloat. Have a look if you’re so inclined.

I’ll look forward to catching up with you and all your wonderful blogs once I have reliable communications. In the meantime, take care and enjoy your lives and all the goodness in them!

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The Simplicity Project, Nos.19, 20 and 21

morning in the pocket

Not our boat! This is a neighbouring boat. I love the way the sun glints off it in the morning.

We’re living on our sailboat now, in a lovely intimate marina in the Manatee Pocket, at the mouth of the St.Lucie Inlet in Florida.

This is the same place as we were last year, and it was so heart-warming to be welcomed back by many friends we made during our stay then.

Our original plan was to head to the Bahamas after the Christmas holidays, but the best laid plans….as you know…

It turns out we have to replace our mast and rigging before we sail anywhere — no need to go into the whys and wherefores here — and we just have to accept that that will take some time.

I’m still doing my Simplicity Project so the next two images will reflect that.

four winds3

This is the hull of the boat of the couple slipped next to us. I loved the way the sunlight divides the water into triangles at one certain point in the morning.

The couple in the boat next to us have sailed and lived aboard their sailboat since 1986. They have helped to develop the charts for cruising the Bahamas and authored articles on sailing topics. They really know what it means to be sailors! People on boats make friends fast and help each other out all the time. To me that’s one of the great attractions of this kind of life.

lines

It takes big lines to tie up a big boat! We have boats — both power and sail — of all sizes here.

These last three images may not quite fit the simplicity brief but they do show a glimpse of life on our mastless sailing vessel.

sailboat without mast

Bob ties us up at the dock.

I’ve circled where the mast is supposed to be.

breakfast

Breakfast on the boat. We have one burner and I don’t need more than that!

bob and charles

Bob and Charles enjoy a quiet moment in the cockpit just before dinner.