As we were leaving Newport we felt as if our sailing journey was slowly coming to an end, so we were taking in everyday with special gratitude. We were falling more and more in love with our sailboat and the lifestyle of a sailor.
A 450 nautical miles (830 km) crossing was ahead of us, and with no diesel available on the small island of Grand Cay where we were staged for our crossing, there was no way we could get to South Carolina by motoring alone. The hurricane season was approaching, and we had to find the wind and to leave the Bahamas. If we didn't get far enough north on this first offshore leg, we knew we wouldn't make it to Nova Scotia by August.
With weather impeding our progress to get far enough south to Grenada before hurricanes started up, we're heading in the opposite direction to a land full of lobsters and blueberries and (mostly) off the main path of the hurricanes, Nova Scotia. Our new plan!
We battled our way, into the wind, swell and equatorial current for over a month and a half in the hope to get southeast. Caribbean Islands were calling us, but going against east trade winds is not an easy task. It is call the "Thorny Path" for a reason.
Pristine and remote are two words that come to mind when describing the Far Bahamas. We experienced more challenging sailing grounds, with bigger distances, bigger seas and bigger storms as we travelled through these remote islands.
Pristine uninhabitated beaches, crystal clear water and smooth sailling grounds make the Exuma Islands the perfect place for cruising. Every morning we wake up, surrounded by unbelievably turquoise water, and it feels like we are dreaming.
Our first crossing rewarded us with calm seas, beautiful sunrise and a land of scattered islands full of new adventures.
The last few months of our lives were filled with many emotions. We are slowly getting used to the constant movement of the boat, most of the time a pleasant rolling back and forth, and other times a violent shake with untucked items flying everywhere as enormous motor boats fly by, leaving nothing but a disasterous wake behind. Jeff is getting up less frequently at night to check whether our anchor is dragging, as we gain more confidence in both our skills and our anchor.
It’s white and burgundy outside with a teak interior, four beds (one shaped as a “V”!), one bathroom and a fold-away dining table. It also floats and can take us to far off places.
After a few stressful weeks of packing, selling and donating most of our possessions we were finally free of everything and on the road on Sep 24th. The huge pile of emotions from leaving the place we called home for the last three years collided with thought of the endless possibilities and exciting adventures ahead as we drove away, leaving Edmonton's early September snowfall behind us.