On the proverbial “road” again! Celebrating six months of living on board!
Yes, it’s been six months since we moved aboard Liberator full time. Can ya’ll believe it!@#$!! Back a year ago, it was hard to believe all this hard work was going to pay off. All the hard work, change of life decisions and planning - then came October - we were just happy to spend the first night on board. As we sit in the cockpit to write this we are in Black Point Exuma. The water is so clear, turquoise color - Jeff says it looks “gin clear” I say it looks like a jewel. Go figure! We left Emerald Bay Marina in Great Exuma yesterday and had such a nice day on the water. Winds at about 12-15 knots, seas at 3-4 feet - on the beam but still a nice sail. Even had a chance to take a nap while underway since we got up so early to make sure we got into Black Point at high tide. (Salty right?) We're sitting here with a cup of coffee, some fresh coconut bread from Lorraine’s, staring out to the horizon, when I get an email from our friend Tami who says we’re “slackers" because we have not posted anything recently. (The subject line: Waiting on a new post from ya’ll slackers.) She’s so right! So that’s the motivation we needed - Thanks Tami! It’s not that we haven’t done much - on the contrary, we just got into" island time mon" and well, excuses right?
A week ago today our good friends from Northern VA left after a short 4 day visit. Jill and Scott took us up on the offer and came to share this beautiful place with us. (Yes, they made some sacrifices to do this for sure - but if you ask them, I’m sure they will tell you they left enriched by the experience.) Small spaces, scuba tanks under feet, showers at the common facilities and a head with a “unique” smell as Scott put it - but we hope they left with an understanding of why we’re in love with this. We tried hard to keep it real and had coffee in the cockpit, breakfast on the boat every day, hung out on the beach and made some new friends. Went into town and checked out the grocery store, bank and local hang out's. Took a few car rides around the island and had some cracked conch, lobster and “gin and coconut water” - even got the song stuck in their head- Ha! A real feel for the cruising lifestyle. Scott even had a chance to put on a scuba tank and get in the water as Jeff replaced the Zinc on Liberator. (Boat work in exotic places). Sharing this experience with folks we love made it even more special and made us realize yet again, how fortunate we are - we are living an adventure for sure!
So much has happened since October. Feels like we’ve lived a few adventures on this trip. Traveling the intracoastal, the wait for weather in Florida, the crossing of the gulf stream, the 24 hour passage from Bimini to Nassau, living on the hook while traveling down the Exuma chains and then finally George Town. So many new friends (some we consider adopted family) and experiences that have enriched our lives. How great is it when you see cruisers again that you haven’t seen in a while? Folks you really connected with. It’s like a family reunion. So grateful to be able to do this! To my surprise, so many of you have sent us messages of encouragement and have mentioned things you read in the blog. Thank you all so much for the messages and communication. We miss you all and hope this blog gives you a little inspiration for your hopes and aspirations as well as keeping you informed as to our adventure.
As most of you know, We don't fully appreciate it when this lifestyle gets over simplified and painted in a total rosy picture. I’m a realist - tell it like it is. I don’t think anything or anyone can truly prepare you for this lifestyle. Read all the books, blogs, FB groups you want. (BTW: I find some of the FB groups are a bit militant so you won’t see us on any of those-we're opinionated enough.) Until you do it - you won’t know. As a new Bahamian friend put it: "Who feels it, Knows it.” So whatever your dream is, whatever your plans are - work it. Don’t wait for the timing to be perfect. Guess what, I guarantee there is no "perfect" time. Make your plan and then work it. Educate yourself but don’t be paralyzed by analysis. Did we spreadsheet this whole thing? Yes, you betcha baby! Of course we did! (As Becky would say: Obvi! Who are you? I thought I knew you!) If you know me/us - you know we did - down to provisions, equipment and funds. If we would have had to wait another year - well, we would have. However, when you see the window of opportunity, sometimes you have to take it - say those two little words... “F**k it!” Let go be pirates before it’s too late and we’re too old and we lose that loving feeling for it. Now, it’s hard to imagine not having this in our lives.
We are starting our trip back north - back to Florida at some point for some boat work and other opportunities. Yesterday was the first leg - Black Point. After Jill and Scott left, we took a day to mourn their leaving and then got busy making ready to head out again. We have a loosely formed plan and route we will take. We say this because we have time and we are headed to new locations so if we like someplace we may stay an extra day or three. So be on the look out for updates as to our new locations. Today, we plan to explore Black Point, "hit the beach Marine" and spend another night in the cockpit with my astronomy app and gaze at the constellations and beautiful stars above. (At least on the boat it’s easier to not fall - I did this one day on the dock and Jeff and our friend Everett had to keep me straight as I almost fell in the water.) We’ve been invited to dinner on s/v Traveller (a 44ft Leopard) tonight with some friends we met at Emerald Bay. I’ll get my doggie fix with Pilot and Skipper on board. Tomorrow we head out again, not sure if we’ll go to Staniel Cay or Cambridge. We’ll decide that in the morning.
My friend Scott gave us a little parting gift back in October before we moved on board and I keep it on my spice rack. It’s a quote from John F. Kennedy. It reads:" We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea-whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.”