Astronaut Scott Kelly labeled the Bahamas “the most beautiful place from space”. I’m sure the bright turquoise waters are a stunning sight from 200 miles above, but I have to believe their beauty is better appreciated while floating carefree in them. I still remember the first time I set eyes on the incredible sight. On February 29th, 2016, after a 9.5 hour passage, Kairos cruised into the clear, stunning turquoise water leaving the rich, dark blue waters of the gulf stream behind us. We had left the comforts of the US and had arrived in Bimini, Bahamas. At the time, it felt like we were crossing the finishing line of our Gulf Stream passage. But looking back, I now realize it was just the start of a 15-month voyage that would be both frustrating and astonishing at times, but was always an adventure.
Tomorrow we will point our bow towards Florida and sail away from the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. With any luck, 28 hours later we’ll pull into a slip in Fort Pierce where Kairos will rest, awaiting her next crew. Our sailing adventure is coming to an end and we are full of mixed emotions. Even though we knew our transition to the cruising lifestyle would be temporary, it’s still incredibly sad to see it come to an end. We’ve fallen in love with the resourceful sailing community, the incredible beaches, and the genuine island people. It almost seems impossible to walk away from it all. But at the same time, we are looking forward to some of the comforts associated with land life and we’re excited to see where our next adventure takes us.
Rob flew home for a short visit with family, while I stayed behind to care for our boat and our two dogs in the Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma. With Rob out of town, I was settling in for a nice, calm, relaxing weekend. I envisioned the next four days would be spent reading books on the beach, cooking healthy meals, sipping on rose, and testing out some face creams. Rob and I hadn’t spent a night apart since we moved onto the boat 18 months ago and while I was certainly going to miss him, I was looking forward to the alone time. But on Thursday morning, the sleepy, quaint marina atmosphere changed wildly when megayachts began rolling in.
Rob recently pointed out that for a sailing blog, I write very little about actually sailing. This is a fair point, but it is true what they say—sailing is boredom punctuated by terror. Most of the time we are just staring off at the vast seas and occasionally trimming the sails. But it doesn’t take much–a rogue wave, a squall, an engine pitch change, a pod of dolphins, a fish on the line—and things get exciting fast.
We knew when we moved on board last January that our transition into a cruising lifestyle would be temporary. The cruising kitty we built up after selling our house in Denver would eventually run dry and we would need to find employment again. I think that knowing this adventure is finite has helped us overlook the negatives (there are a couple) and really appreciate every incredible moment of this journey. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been an adventure and that is exactly what we set out to find when we left the dock last February.
We knew we needed something to keep ourselves busy this hurricane season. There’s only so much beach paddle ball we could play. So, in addition to knocking out some boat projects and chasing waterfalls, we started working towards our OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel) licenses. Also known as the 6-pak license, the OUPV license allows the holder to captain uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons with up to 6 paying passengers. We don’t have any grand plans for using the licenses, but it’s something that might come in handy in the future.
I previously wrote about the pet import process while cruising from the Bahamas to the British Virgin Islands. Click here to see how we got ready to cruise with the pups before we set sail. This season we continued cruising south down through the Leeward Islands. Just like last season, we had three documents for each pooch: