Passage. A journey usually of some distance over water in a vessel. Sail. To move and proceed
Lighthouse on Ocracoke
smoothly and readily.
Ken McKinney and I planned our voyage for almost a year before leaving Sarasota in January 2014. Ken prepared S/V Quidam (37' Hunter Cherubini 1983) and I educated myself on just how one lives on a boat. Quidam never looked better - clean bow to stern, reprovisioned and all systems operating well. Our first "shakedown" cruise revealed the need to do further repairs, as well as to define our roles on the boat. This was followed by additional shakedowns with similar results. If you wait till everything says "cast off," you will never go. Thus, in April we headed south with a goal of navigating the ICW up the East Coast to NY/Boston. The best laid plans are subject to revisal when you.... Have an accident which disables your mast and rigging, discover a cracked rudder when you haul to paint the bottom and a generator repair requires too much time and money. Our sojourn north ended in Annapolis. Proceeding smoothly didn't happen.
Enjoying St. Augustine
Ken and I are fortunate in that when laid up in Virginia for 6 weeks we became "guests" (or as Dave commented, "This must be what it's like to have siblings.") of SSS member Dave Finlay. The 10-11 week layover in Maryland was eased by one of my best friends living close to our anchorage. Both of these friends (and their partners) provided shelter, wonderful meals, vehicles/rides and endless support during all our boat troubles. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had as well.
As our plan to cross to the Abacos in November was not going to happen, our route reversed and we returned to Sarasota to
From left, Caroline and Paul Cogsdill, John Gordon, Cari and Kenny in Ft Myers
finish repairs. The cost of repairs in the Bahamas can end a trip. Finally, we were as ready as we could foresee and crossed the Gulf Stream to Bimini on February 9. The crossing was during a narrow weather window after waiting for almost a month in the Miami area.
What we have experienced - besides the continuous repairs and maintenance - is what makes this journey "Living the Dream." We have traveled with old friends, made new friends and are entertained endlessly by what nature provides. We have become a partnership in the pursuit of tranquility.
Ken was serenaded at Spa Creek by the Historic Kayak Tour group (they said we were a stop on the tour as we were there so long.) I have petted sharks, rays and swimming pigs. We have witnessed the most beautiful sunsets, full moons and water the color of best dreams. The people we have met on shore and our fellow cruisers are always interesting and the stories never end.
Cruisers plan for the unexpected and tolerate the intolerable. Weather awareness and accurate charts can make or break an anchorage. Marinas blow the sailing kitty out of the water. I am tempted to lie regarding sailing vs motoring time. Between the repairs and weather - motoring wins hands down.
Ken and I navigated approximately 4600nm since giving up street addresses in January 2014 and arriving in George Town, Exumas. Our plan at this time is to make our way back to FL where we will decide "What's next?" Hope to see you all at SSS upon our return this summer.
Safe sails! Cari Gunsaulus and Ken McKinney